THE ROLE OF THE INDUSTRY AND OTHER AGENCIES IN THE MANAGEMENT OF STUDENTS” INDUSTRIAL WORK EXPERIENCE SCHEME (SIWES)

THE ROLE OF THE INDUSTRY AND OTHER AGENCIES IN THE MANAGEMENT OF STUDENTS” INDUSTRIAL WORK EXPERIENCE SCHEME (SIWES)

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CHAPTER ONE

1.0            INTRODUCTION

Industrial training otherwise known as students industrial work experience scheme (SIWES) is a skill acquisition program intended to expose and prepare students for real work situations which they are likely to meet after graduation. This program was introduced as a result of the inability of the graduate to put into practice what he has learnt. This led to inefficiency in production and created a big gap between theory and practice.

The Acronym SIWES is a planned supervised occupational experience training program which calls for total dedication to duty, positive work attitude, honesty and self confidence on the part of the student who is considered a major beneficiary of the program.

Established by Decree 47 of 1971, the supervised Industrial work Experience scheme (SIWES) is the brain child of the Industrial training fund (ITF) which is intended to supplement in-school classroom and workshop or laboratory experience with actual machines and tools of current industrial processes (Ogalanya, 1994).

Industry and education must work together to develop new teaching styles and curricula which will equip the next generation for a brave new world. This link is necessary so as to equip the graduates of secretarial studies with the necessary skill that will enable them have smooth transition to the world of work and at the same time enable them adjust quickly to the demands of their chosen field of study.

SIWES was introduced by the Industrial Training fund (ITF) in 1973, then it was limited to students of technology, Engineering, today it has covered many disciplines and has become a necessary precondition for the award of Diploma and Degree Certificates in specific disciplines in most institutions of higher learning in the country.

The importance of the program and its peculiar feature has been highlighted and infect re-emphasized by the Federal Government under the IFT Degree 16 of 1985 which stipulates that all students of tertiary institutions in specialized Engineering, Technical, Business and specialized sciences and Arts program should of necessity be required to undergo compulsory supervised industrial attachment as part of their regular studies.

ITF later handed back the scheme to the Federal Government due mainly because of problems which emanated in the course of running the scheme. The problem has to do with finance. The National Universities Commission (NUC) took up the financial responsibilities for the industrial attachment of Engineering and Technological students of all the Nigerian Universities. While the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) also assumed the financial responsibilities for the scheme under Technical Education for all Polytechnics p and Collages of Technology and renamed it the “Compulsory Supervised Industrial Training Attachment” (COITA). In July, 1985 the scheme was reverted back to ITF. The problems are still intact as no meaningful financial restriction had taken place. This program is seen as an important feature in the curriculum of participating institutions and of necessity run in school.

This therefore, is an effort to highlight on the parts played by the various bodies involved in the running and management of SIWES with their specific roles and functions, how they operate and the problems they have so far encountered in the process.

It is evident that some group of students receive money while some do not, therefore, it is important to know why this discrepancy should exist and probably fathom the effects it has had on the entire package. For over two decades that this scheme has been going on it is assumed that it must have had its impact felt negatively or positively on the people involved and the nation. Therefore, it would be pertinent to discuss on the impact this scheme has had on students most especially the business students who it is believed do not necessary need it.

1.1            STATEMENT OF PROBLEMS

In as much as the scheme has been portrayed with its good intentions, motives and the extent to which it has gone in implementing its work, it has not been without its own problems. As mentioned earlier, ITF started the scheme in 1973. In January 1980 it withdrew from financing the scheme which was the chief problem it encountered. NUC and NBTE took over the financing of the scheme the same year ITF withdrew but still had to face the same problem notwithstanding the huge amount of money which they were given by the Federal Government. Based on this, the Federal Government reverted the scheme back to ITF in July 1985.

Some of these problems which were encountered are the financial burden was becoming too heavy for ITF due to the increase in the allowances of the students on SIWES from N30.00 in 1973 to N90.00 in 1976, the fund’s annual expenditure for students allowances on SIWES rose from N150,000.00 to N1,000,000.00 between 1973 to 1978.

Secondly, inadequate supervision of students on Industrial Training by institutional staff; the institution supervisor only met students during payment periods and this makes some of the students play truancy.

The students on Industrial Training always encounter problems of all kinds every year like the problem of getting a particular organization for the program. This is a very big problem almost every student encounters. It takes so many students time to get a place for the program. Some employers after acceptance of the student rarely give the student the necessary guide and supervision throughout the duration of the training. Some or even most of the time the student is dumped in one section forgotten that he or she needed to be exposed to the activities of the entire company or organization. This only succeeds in making the individual a master in one particular area and a novice in other areas. There is usually lack of motivational paraphernalia like recreation after a hectic day’s job. The student’s most of the time lack working materials and this brings disenchantment into the whole set-up especially when the authorities exhibit some degree of non-challenge towards remedying the situation.

The placement of students in industries became difficult because the number of students increased and industries with suitable facilities for meaningful industrial attachment were in short supply. Poor orientation of students of schools and their performance. More often students are not told what to expect in the world of practice before stepping into their company of attachment. This results to confusion and sometimes embarrassment to the student which affects his performance.


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