An Assessment Of The Relevance Of SIWES To Skill Acquisition By Students

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An Assessment Of The Relevance Of SIWES To Skill Acquisition By Students


Abstract


study specifically investigated the relevance of Student Industrial Works Experience Scheme (SIWES) to skill acquisition by students in Edo and Delta States. Research questions were raised to guide the study and were answered descriptively. The descriptive survey research design was adopted for this study. The population of the study comprised 941 Business Education students and the proportionate stratified random sampling technique was adopted in selecting a sample size of 188 Business Education students for the study. The instrument used was the structured questionnaire and it was validated by experts in the field. The test re-test method of reliability was used in ascertaining the reliability of the instrument and it yielded a co-efficient of 0.87. The mean and standard deviation were used in analyzing the data collated and some of the findings include: SIWES has great benefit especially in equipping Business education students with skills and that funding is a major challenge confronting SIWES. One of the major recommendations advanced in this paper was that there should be more funding of the scheme by the government in order for it to be more effective.


Table of Content


Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

  • 1.1 Background to the Study
  • 1.2 Statement of the Problem
  • 1.3 Objectives of the Study
  • 1.4 Research Question
  • 1.5 Research Hypothesis
  • 1.6 Significance of the Study
  • 1.7 Scope of Study
  • 1.8 Limitation of the Study
  • 1.9 Definition of Terms
  • 1.10 Organisation of the Study

Chapter Two

2.0 Literature Review

  • 2.1 Conceptual Framework
  • 2.2 Aim and Objectives
  • 2.2.1 Aim
  • 2.2.2 Objectives
  • 2.3 The Roles of Organisations and Establishments on SIWES
  • 2.3.1 The Federal Government (FG)
  • 2.3.2 Industrial Training Fund (ITF)
  • 2.3.3 Nigeria Universities Commission (NUC)
  • 2.3.4 Employers
  • 2.3.5 Universities
  • 2.4 The Content of Industrial Training
  • 2.5 Purpose of Industrial Training
  • 2.6 Problems of Industrial Training
  • 2.7 Evaluation of Student Industrial Attachment
  • 2.8 Theoretical Review
  • 2.8.1 Experiential Learning Theory
  • 2.8.2 Human Capital Theory

Chapter Three

3.0 Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research Design
  • 3.2 Population
  • 3.3 Sample and Sampling Technique
  • 3.4 Instrument for Data Collection
  • 3.5 Validity of the Instrument
  • 3.6 Reliability of the Instrument
  • 3.7 Method of Data Collection
  • 3.8 Data Analysis

Chapter Four

4.0 Results and Discussion

  • 4.0 Results and Discussion
  • 4.1 Result
  • 4.2 Green Management Policy
  • 4.3 Green Business Practices
  • 4.4 Drivers of Green Business Practices

Chapter Five

5.0 Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendation
  • References
  • Appendix

Chapter One


1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

Education is meant to inculcate in the individual the appropriate skills required to face tomorrow’s challenges. Ofoegbu (2004) stated that education is identified with the acquisition of the right set of values, attitudes, ethical thinking and discipline, knowledge and skills for life adventure. Skill acquisition is very important in many fields of study such as vocational courses, engineering courses, computer related courses, and other related disciplines that are involved in practical. SIWES was established by Industrial Training Fund (ITF) in 1973 to solve the problem of lack of adequate practical skills preparatory for employment in industries by Nigerian graduates of higher institutions (ITF, 2007). The problem of lack of workshops/laboratories or ill-equipped ones has led to the production of “half-baked” graduates. This is because they lack the skills required for the world of work. To solve this problem. Students’ Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES) was established (Ekpenyong, 2005). A department in ITF called Industrial Training Department(ITD) is charged with the responsibility of SIWES. The scheme is thus meant to expose students to industry based skills necessary for a smooth transition from the classroom to the world of work. SIWES, therefore aims to help the students marry classroom theoretical knowledge with practical knowledge.

Business Education, for instance, is a part of technical and vocational education which is studied in secondary and tertiary institutions in the country. That is, universities, polytechnics and colleges of education. According to Osuala (2004), Business Education is divided into two parts: office education, which is vocational in nature for office careers and general business education which is a programme that provides information and competences needed for managing businesses. The primary objective of Business Education is to foster the acquisition of the necessary business competencies needed to effectively function in the world of work, either as an employee or an employer of labour. The need for ensuring that the theoretical knowledge acquired by students is matched with their practical knowledge gave room to the establishment of Student Industrial Works Experience Scheme (SIWES).

SIWES is one of the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) programmes and it was introduced in 1974 due to the inability of engineering and technology students in Nigeria universities and polytechnics to meet the practical aspects of their training. That is, the needs to enable students match their theoretical school knowledge with the practical aspect of their training in industry. According to Ekpenyong (2011), one of the principles underlying any industrial work experience scheme for students in institutions of learning is the desire to marry the practical with the theoretical learning which characterizes conventional classroom situations with a view to striking a balance between theory and practice. The author stressed further that it was in realization of this that the ITF when it was established, set out to study the extent to which the theoretical knowledge that students in engineering technology and other allied fields in Nigerian institutions offering technology based courses related to the kind of work experience expected of them by employers. The result of the ITF survey showed a great disparity between students’ knowledge and their ability to apply it in relevant jobs. In order to bridge the gap between the two, the ITF in 1974 established a co-operative internship programme, which enabled students of technology to spend some part of their courses for relevant on-the-job. practical experiences in appropriate areas of the Nigerian industry (Ekpenyong, 2011). The author further stressed that the internship programme, SIWES, can therefore be seen as that which is intended to give Nigerian students studying occupationally related courses experience that would supplement their theoretical learning.

Business education is one of the vocational courses taught in academic institutions in Nigeria. According to Imeokparia and Ediagbonya (2014), Business education is described as an aspect of education that is geared at equipping the learners (students) with business and education competencies (that is, skills, knowledge and attitude) needed to effectively and efficiently function in the world of work either as an employee or an employer (job/wealth creator). The authors further stressed that Business education is an ‘umbrella word’ which covers both secretarial education (that is now known as Office Technology and Management) and Accounting Education. Office Technology and Management (OTM) emphasizes the teaching of office and management related skills while Accounting Education primarily emphasizes the teaching of accounting related skills.

In a similar vein, Osuala (2004) opined that Business education is divided into two parts: office education, which is vocational in nature for office careers and general business education which is a programme that provides information and competences needed for managing businesses. The primary objective of business education is to foster the acquisition of the necessary business competencies needed to effectively function in the world of work, either as an employee or an employer of labour. The need for ensuring that the theoretical knowledge acquired by students is matched with their practical knowledge gave room to the establishment of Student Industrial Works Experience Scheme (SIWES).

SIWES is one of the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) programme which was introduced in 1974 due to the inability of engineering and technology students in Nigeria universities and polytechnics to meet the practical aspects of their training. That is, the needs to enable students match their theoretical school knowledge with the practical aspect of their training in industry. According to Ekpenyong (2011), one of the principles underlying any industrial work experience scheme for students in institutions of learning is the desire to marry the practical with the theoretical learning which characterizes conventional classroom situations with a view to striking a balance between theory and practice. The author stressed further that it was in realization of this that the ITF when it was established, set out to study the extent to which the theoretical knowledge that students in engineering technology and other allied fields in Nigerian institutions offering technology based courses related to the kind of work experience expected of them by employers.

The result of the ITF survey showed a great disparity between students’ knowledge and their ability to apply it in relevant jobs. In order to bridge the gap between the two, the ITF in 1974 established a co-operative internship programme, which enabled students of technology to spend some part of their courses for relevant onthe-job practical experiences in appropriate areas of the Nigerian industry (Ekpenyong, 2011). The author further stressed that the internship programme, SIWES, can therefore be seen as that which is intended to give Nigerian students studying occupationally related courses experience that would supplement their theoretical learning as a well of equipping the students with the needed skills to function in the world of work.

According to Ihebereme (2010), skill acquisition is the process of acquiring or gaining effective and ready knowledge in developing ones aptitude and ability in a particular field. It is also described as ability to show competence in what one is doing as a result of the theoretical and practical knowledge gained through training (Nwonyeh, 2010). Ihebereme (2010) stressed that skill acquisition is one among other policies embarked upon in Nigeria with the sole aim to alleviate poverty, youth restiveness, sophisticated crime and corruption rate, rural-urban drift, unemployment and other social vices. Skill acquisition in Nigeria education is meant to equip our students with more practical and less theoretical knowledge that will make the students to be more useful in the world of work.

The need to acquiring skills has further strengthened SIWES and research works in the area. Several research works have been carried out with a view to understanding the contributions of SIWES and the possible challenges confronting the scheme. The study carried out by Ekwue and Eluro (2002) on Business Education for the Industry highlighted that SIWES helped to improve the skill acquisition requirement of Nigeria Certificate in Education Business Education Students. Furthermore, it showed that SIWES is poorly managed and undermines the achievement of desired set objectives of the programme. The study by Uramah (2003) revealed that proper implementation of SIWES programme encourages good academic performance and enhances better productivity by students in the labour market. Awojobi (2002) in a study entitled College – industry linkage and the training of Business Education Students, some of the findings from the study include: (i) The College-based supervisors were indicted by 51% of the respondents as not having visited them for the required number of times as stipulated in the scheme. (ii) Many students for the SIWES programme could not find relevant placement that would enhance their course of study. (iii) A significant number of students claimed that the SIWES programme was not relevant to their studies as they considered it to be a waste of time and resources. Wodi and Dokubu (2009) in a similar study equally concluded that there were also lack of adequate supervision by the school, difficulties of students in getting placement and undue delay in paying students’ and supervisors’ allowances.

Apart from the school and other supervisory agencies of the government (that is National Universities Commission, National Board for Technical Education and National Commission for Colleges of Education), the organizations play a very crucial role in ensuring that business education students are properly and adequately trained in line with the demands of the modern office. For there to be effectiveness and the realization of the overall mandate of SIWES, there must be proper collaboration between the schools where students are exposed to theoretical knowledge and the organization where they are exposed to detailed practical knowledge. Once the gap between the school and the industry (organization) has been bridged, there would be assurance of greater quality and productivity of the graduates from the various institutions.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

As indicated in the background of this study, SIWES was established in the year 1974 by Industrial Training Fund (ITF) to meet a felt need for individual efficiency by those who left school to work; precisely that of ensuring that engineering technology and management students who graduate from the universities and allied tertiary courses in technical and business education in colleges of education have not only theoretical but also practical competence in the areas of their studies. Since business and technical education are industry related, the students of these courses are equally enlisted on the scheme. Over the years, there has been no clear evidence of effectiveness of SIWES, particularly as it relates to skill acquisition among students enlisted on the scheme. Since there are diverse and unsubstantiated views of the effectiveness of the scheme in Nigeria, the study sought to assess the relevance of SIWES to skill acquisition by students.


1.3 Objectives of the Study

The aim of this study is to assess the relevance of SIWES to skill acquisition by students. Specifically, the objectives of the study include to;

  1. To determine the benefits in terms of skill acquisition that students derive from SIWES
  2. To determine the perceived challenges confronting the effectiveness of SIWES in skill acquisition among students
  3. To determine the factors influencing the relevance of SIWES to skill acquisition by students

1.4 Research Question

The following research questions are formulated to guide this research:

  1. What are the benefits in terms of skill acquisition that students derive from SIWES?
  2. What are the perceived challenges confronting the effectiveness of SIWES in skill acquisition among students?
  3. What are the factors influencing the relevance of SIWES to skill acquisition by students?

1.5 Research Hypothesis

  • HO1 There is no significant relationship between implementation of SIWES and skill acquisition among students
  • HA1 There is a significant relationship between implementation of SIWES and skill acquisition among students

1.6 Significance of the Study

This study will be of immense benefit to other researchers who intend to know more on this study and can also be used by non-researchers to build more on their research work. This study contributes to knowledge and could serve as a guide for other study.


1.7 Scope of Study

This study is on the assessment of the relevance of SIWES to skill acquisition by students. The study covered the five Colleges of Education in Edo and Delta States and they include: College of Education, Ekiadolor, College of Education, Igueben, College of Education, Agbor, College of Education, Warri, and College of Education, Asaba.


1.8 Limitation of the Study

Financial constraint:

Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).

Time constraint:

The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.


1.9 Definition of Terms

SIWES:

The Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES) is a skills training programme designed to expose and prepare students of Universities, Polytechnics/Colleges of Technology/Colleges of Agriculture and Colleges of Education for the industrial work situation they are likely to meet after graduation.

Skill Acquisition:

Is a type of learning in which repetition results in enduring changes in an individual’s capability to perform a specific task. With enough repetition, performance of the task eventually may become automatic, with little need for conscious oversight.

Students:

Refers to a person enrolled in a school or other educational institution and who is under learning with goals of acquiring knowledge, developing professions and achieving employment at desired field.


1.10 Organisation of the Study

This study is organized into five chapters. Chapter one included the background of the study, research problem, research objectives and questions as well as limitation of the study. Chapter two contains the literature review. Chapter three includes the methodology and study area. Chapter Four contains the results and discussion of key findings of the study. Chapter Five finally looks at the summary, conclusions, and recommendations based on the findings.


Chapter Five


5.0 Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Summary

The aim of this thesis was to assess the relevance of SIWES to skill acquisition by students. Table 4.1 shows that most of the mean scores are above 2.50 which is the mean score for decision making. The highest mean score of 3.66 was recorded in item 7 while the lowest mean score was recorded in item 2. The aggregate mean and standard deviation are 3.51 and 0.848 respectively. Since the aggregate mean score is 3.51 and it is above the mean value of 2.50, all the items are therefore accepted which means that SIWES promotes the acquisition of skills by students.
Table 4.2 shows that all the mean scores are above 2.50 which is the mean score for decision making. The highest mean score of 3.66 was recorded in item 9 while the lowest mean score was recorded in item 14. The aggregate mean and standard deviation are 3.27 and 0.861 respectively. Since the aggregate mean score is 3.27 and it is above the mean value of 2.50, all the items are therefore accepted which means that the above factors militate against the challenges confronting the effectiveness of SIWES in skill acquisition.


5.2 Conclusion

This study has been able to x-ray the issues concerning SIWES which is a core scheme in ITF and which is saddled with the responsibility of strengthening the effective teaching and learning of skill based course such as Business Education. Based on the data collated and the subsequent analyses, this paper therefore concludes that SIWES is of great benefit to students in tertiary institutions in terms of skills acquisition. It therefore implies that the proper and effective administration of SIWES will go a long way in boosting and enhancing the competencies of the workforce. It was also concluded that SIWES is confronted with series of challenges and this may have hindered the realization of the goals and objectives of the scheme and it therefore needs to be given attention by all concerned stakeholders.


5.3 Recommendation

  1. Students’ Industrial Works Experience Scheme (SIWES) needs to be strengthened by all concerned stakeholder in order for its objectives to be realized;
  2. Organizations should always provide the necessary logistics needed for the smooth running of the SIWES;
  3. Regular monthly allowances for students on attachment should be paid promptly;
  4. Organizations should always accept students for SIWES and subsequently assign them to relevant jobs;
  5. Experience staff should always be made to train the students on attachment;
  6. Business education students learning progress should be closely monitored and supervised by experienced staff;
  7. Employers of labour should be more willing to absorb business education students for SIWES;
  8. There should be more funding of the scheme by the government in order for it to be more effective;

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