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Background of the Study
Technical Education is that aspect of education designed to prepare individuals for employment in specific area of occupation: National Policy on Education (2013) describes Technical education as a term referring to that aspect of educational process involving in addition to general education, the study of technologies and related sciences and the acquisition of practical skills, attitudes, understanding and knowledge relating to occupation in various sectors of economic and social life. Technical education is therefore a planned programme of courses and learning experiences that begins with exploration of career options, supports basic academic and life skills and enables achievement of high academic standards, leadership, preparation for industry-defined work and continuing education.
The main aims of technical education as entrenched in the National Policy on Education (2013), are to:
a. Provide trained manpower in applied sciences, technology and business particularly at craft, advanced craft and technical levels.
b. provide the technical knowledge and skills necessary for commercial and economic development
c. Give training and impart the necessary skills to individuals for self reliance economically.
The importance of technical education cannot be over emphasized, that is why Uwaifo (2009) says technical education is the training of technical oriented personnel who are to be the initiators, facilitators and implementers of technological development of a nation. In his own view, this training of its citizens on the need to be technologically literate would eventually lead to self reliance and sustainability. He observed that technical education, more than any other profession has direct impact on the development of a country.
Technical colleges are educational institutions that provide secondary level of education in technical education, which is aimed at producing the young manpower for a country’s economic growth and development. In the same vein, Ayonike in Abdulrauf (2012) viewed technical colleges as institutions where specific knowledge and practical skills required for specific trade, employment or profession are imparted or taught.
National Policy on Education (2013), made the production of craftsmen, artisans and other sub-professional skilled personnel the responsibility of technical college education and maintained that trainees completing technical college programmes shall have three options, secure employment either at the end of the whole course or after completing one or more modules of employable skills; set up their own businesses and become self employed and be able to employ others; or pursue further education in advanced technical programmes in post secondary (tertiary) technical institutions such as polytechnics, colleges of education (technical) and universities.
Technical college students are introduced to different subjects and courses including electrical technology trade which covers electricity/electronics subjects N.P.E (2013) highlighted five subjects that are subsumed into electrical technology trade: electrical installation and maintenance, cable jointly and battery charging; radio and television; machine winding and telecommunication.
The curriculum of each trade taught in technical colleges including electrical technology is broadly divided into three components;
1. general education which accounts for 30% of the total hours required for the programme
2. trade theory, trade practice and related studies which accounts for 65% of the total hours required for the programme and
3. supervised industrial work experience which accounts for about 5% of the total hours (NBTE, 2001)
The trade practice aspect of technical colleges curriculum stated above requires workshop exercises for the practical aspect of the training to be acquired by the students.
Workshop is a building where skills are acquired in a particular discipline for self reliance. In line with this, Okorie in Ofombula and Ekereobong (2012) defines workshop as a place where learners may experiment, test, observe, manipulate, construct, dismantle, repair, design, create, imagine and study. Khalil (2009) defines workshop as an open establishment which is well organized and equipped with tools, materials and machines necessary for students or trainees to acquire practical skills during their schooling or training. Mamman (2008) submitted that electrical workshop is a place where electrical equipment and materials for practical lessons are kept and utilized for training and skills acquisition in electrical technology.
Electrical technology workshops are essential and highly needed in technical colleges for imparting the practical skills needed by students to develop skills in electrical technology and also for teachers to improve on skills they already have UNESCO (2001) opines that for practicals to be done, properly in the workshop, training equipment, instruments and consumables need to be at students and teacher’s disposals. Students interact with these instructional resources for proper habit formation under the guidance of the teacher. For the above to be achieved, there is the need for proper and effective workshop management so as to ensure proper handling and utilization of tools, equipment, instruments, machines and consumables in electrical workshop.
The existence, control and operation of an organization depends largely on its management. Management according to Weihrich and Kroontz (2008), is the process of designing and maintaining an environment in which individuals working together in groups efficiently accomplished selected aims. In addition, these aims are achieved through the coordinated performance of fire functions viz: planning, organizing, coordinating, controlling and leading. Lassa (2010) perceives management as the collection of processes including the outstanding characteristics of decision making, problem-solving and action planning.
Workshop management techniques are various ways or methods adopted by technology teachers on how students can acquire practical skills. In the same vein, Danjuma (2008) opines that workshop management techniques are important ways which when appropriately adopted results into effective teaching and learning of practical subjects. Workshop management techniques are essential for successful conduct of workshop practices in electrical technology (Agu, 2006).
Ogwo and Oranu (2006) observed that good management techniques do enable the students to exercise self control in obeying rules and regulations, it also influences the amount of time the students are engaged in meaningful learning as well as enabling the teacher with the aid of other workshop personnel to ensure that records are kept, materials are supplied and cared for, tools and equipment are well maintained and accidents are prevented, and above all meaningful learning takes place and saleable skills are impart in students electrical technology so as to ensure the fulfillment of technical college mandate.
However, according to Abubakar and Muhammad (2014), it situation seems to differ in technical colleges in Kaduna state, where there are frequent damage to tools and machines and wastage of materials by students and teachers. They further state that electrical technology workshops are not organized and planned for practical activities, accidents occur frequently in the workshop and the few facilities in these workshops are not well managed to achieve the objectives of electrical technology training programmes. It is the above situation that agitated the minds of the researchers to want to investigate and find ways through which the management of electrical workshop can be improved for the acquisition of electrical skills by students in technical colleges in Kaduna state.
Statement of the Problem
Teaching and learning of electrical technology relies on workshop activities. Mohammed (2011) said that it is unfortunate to note that the management of workshops for electrical technology in technical colleges leaves a lot to be desired. The problem had led to the creation of skills gap in the production aspect of the economy. In support of this, Wellington cited in Cornelius (2012) was alarmed by the number of complaints from industries that new recruits from schools sometimes do not have the basic skills to do the job. This can be attributed to how poorly workshops are managed in technical colleges which is making them unable to equipt students with necessary knowledge and skills that will not only make them employable but also self employed. Weihrich and Kroontz (2003) stressed that better teaching of technical courses for success of any educational goals and objectives depends very much on management skills/techniques adopted and efficient utilization of the available resources. Unfortunately, the management of electrical technology workshop in technical colleges in Kaduna state is nothing to write home about. The task of this study however, is to identify workshop management techniques needed to improve the acquisition of electrical technology skills in technical colleges in Kaduna state.
Purpose of the Study
The general purpose of the study is to identify workshop management techniques needed for the improvement of skills acquisition in electrical technology in technical colleges in Kaduna state. Specifically the study seeks to identify
1) the skills needed in the management of tools and equipment for the acquisition of electrical technology skills in technical colleges in Kaduna state.
2) The techniques needed in the management of workshop personnel for the acquisition of electrical technology skills in technical colleges in Kaduna state.
3) Strategies for improving the management of electrical technology workshop for acquisition of electrical technology skills in technical colleges in Kaduna state.
Significance of the Study
The findings of this study will be beneficial to; teachers; students; Kaduna State Science and Technical Education Board and National Board for Technical Education.
Teachers will benefit from the findings of this study as it will help them manage tools and equipment effectively as well as coordinate other workshop personnel for an effective workshop practice.
The students will benefit from this study in the sense that it will help them to properly use tools and equipments and to benefit from the skills of other workshop personnel.
The Kaduna state science and technical education board will benefit from this study at it will help them formulate policies and programmes that will enhance the management of electrical technology workshops.
National board for technical education will benefit from the findings of this study in the area of curriculum development as it will help them include in the curriculum the appropriate instructional and management techniques for workshop management in technical colleges.
The following research questions are formulated to guide the study
1. What are the skills needed in the management of tools and equipment for the acquisition of electrical technology skills in technical colleges in Kaduna state.
2. What are the techniques needed in the management of workshop personnel for the acquisition of electrical technology skills in technical colleges in Kaduna state
3. What are the strategies for improving the management of electrical technology workshop for the acquisition of electrical technology skills in technical colleges in Kaduna state?
Scope of the Study
The study is limited to only the technical colleges in Kaduna state. It will also cover only the management improvement of electrical technology workshops of those colleges.
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