An Assessment Of Students Experience On Internship And Continuing Education In Nigeria (A Case Study Of University Of Benin)
1.1 Background of study
Practical training is still necessary in any industry, and ensuring that undergraduates get hands-on experience with their education before entering the workforce is critical to a profession’s effectiveness. The ever-changing nature of what they encounter in the real world underscores the importance of continuing to expose students to the full range of their chosen profession. This is especially true for those who work with adult learners who must continue to adapt and fit into a changing society, where the dynamics of what they need to learn throughout their lives, especially in this technology age, are constantly changing. As opposed to working with youngsters, the internship experience helps students acquaint themselves with what it takes to deal with adult learners, particularly in terms of handling them. Students are actively engaged and participate in learning through direct experience, making it experiential learning. According to Grossman (2017), an internship is a professional work experience in which learning is integrated into the business’ structure. As a result, the student assumes responsibilities in the company, participates in observation and learning, and actively performs duties that support the organization’s goals. As a result, an intern can be defined as a student who receives supervised practical training in temporary employment with a company through on-the-job training in order to learn more about that field. The term “intern” was originally used in the medical field to describe someone who had a degree but did not yet have a license to practice. Internships are no longer limited to those in that profession. Student internships began in the United States in the early 1900s as a work-based educational experience linked to certain employment roles and professions, and are now widely used in many higher education institutions that train professionals. An internship is a period of practical experience or exposure conducted by professionals after completion of the theoretical phase (which can take years). It is completed in a short period of time and may or may not include compensation for interns. It is a type of work attachment that involves a student exchanging services for experience with an organization or somebody known as the “mastercraftsman” or “more experienced,” and is normally taken as a graded course inside the university system around the penultimate year before graduating.
Internships serve as a link between the classroom and the working world for students, making the transfer easier. Students who will end up filling the employment market rather than being self-employed will benefit the least from the previous inclination to depend too heavily on learning theory alone, as they may lack abilities that allow them to be innovative. As observed by Ejere & Tende (2012) and Oviawe (2013), this might entail flooding the labor market with unemployed graduates, which is not good for national growth (2010). In a similar line, the Nigerian government has included Entrepreneurship Education (EE) into university curricula in an effort to provide students with entrepreneurial skills and competencies that will enable them to become employers rather than job seekers. It is intended that this will aid in the country’s fight against poverty, as well as strengthen the economy and promote industrial development. This is because internships assist students to become more aware of business opportunities, which is why Olorundare and Kayode (2014) advocated for entrepreneurial education in higher education. While Merrit (2008) stated that internships have many benefits and few drawbacks, the latter can be exacerbated if proper precautions are not taken or the experience is handled carelessly.
1.2 Statement Of Problem
In light of Nigeria’s economic crisis and rising unemployment rate, internships serve to develop more well-rounded graduates and entrepreneurs who, if properly harnessed, may contribute to the country’s development goals. So, what is the state of internships at Nigerian colleges, or what are the internship practices, and how do they contribute to national development? Students in the Department must complete the required internship experience in order to successfully move from theoretical to practical experience working with adult learners. But, aside from the benefits gained, what has been their experience so far, and what hurdles have they faced? If adults are to be encouraged to learn for the rest of their lives, those who work with them must be appropriately equipped to accomplish the jobs required; otherwise, graduates will not be able to contribute their fair share to national progress. Internship programs are also rarely evaluated for effectiveness, leaving a research gap that must be filled in order for Nigerian universities to enhance their internship procedures. Students participating in Students Industrial Work Experience (SIWES) of students in tertiary institutions appeared to have a considerable gap between reality and actualization of their objectives, according to Nse (2012). Do universities have a good internship program? Is the program meeting the expectations of the students? Because of the importance of internships, the University’s Continuing Education Department and other faculties have taken notice and recognized the need to reevaluate current internship policies in order to strengthen students’ practical skills.
1.3 Objective Of Study
The following are the primary objectives of this study:
- To examine the internship experience of students
- To evaluate the perceived advantages of the experience
- To examine the issues that have arisen and consider how they can be addressed.
1.4 Research Question
- What is the internship experience of students?
- What are the perceived advantages of the experience?
- What are the issues that have arisen and how can they be addressed?
1.5 Significance Of Study
Students will benefit from this research because they will learn to be more confident in their abilities to face their vocation, which will be backed up by the learning of important practical skills. Staff and authorities will benefit as well, as they will discover the ideal ways to administer the course and maximize opportunities.
1.6 Scope Of Study
This study focuses on examining the internship experience of students. Also, evaluate the perceived advantages of the experience. Lastly, to examine the issues that have arisen and consider how they can be addressed. This study is limited to the University of Benin.
1.7 Limitation Of Study
Finance, inadequate materials and time constraint were the challenges the researchers encountered during the course of the study.
1.8 Definition Of Terms
An internship is a period of work experience offered by an organization for a limited period of time. Once confined to medical graduates, internship is used for a wide range of placements in businesses, non-profit organizations and government agencies.
This is education provided for adults after they have left the formal education system, consisting typically of short or part-time courses.
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