Impact Of Secondary School Vocational Curriculum On Socio-Economic Empowerment Of Youths
The study attempted to examine the impact of secondary school vocational curriculum on youths’ empowerment in Mainland Local Government Area of Lagos State, Nigeria. In this study, relevant and extensive literatures were reviewed under sub-headings. The descriptive research survey was used in the assessment of the opinions of the selected respondents with the adoption of the questionnaire and the sampling technique. A total of 300 (Three Hundred) respondents were selected and used as samples for this study the respondents were made up of (150 males and females). A total of four null hypotheses were generated and used in this study using both the percentage frequency counts and the t-test statistical tools at 0.05 level of significance.
At the end of the data analyses, the following results were generated: Hypothesis one found that there is a significant impact of vocational curriculum on youths’ empowerment in Lagos State; hypothesis two showed that there is a significant impact of teaching method on achievement of vocational curriculum objectives in Lagos State; Hypothesis three indicated that there is a significant impact of skill-acquisition on self-reliance among youths in Lagos State; hypothesis four revealed that there a significant relationship between technical know-how and youths’ self-employment in Lagos State. In the light of the foregoing, it is recommendation that vocational curriculum for our secondary schools in Lagos State should be constantly reviewed so that the curriculum will be maintained for better outcomes for our youths in Nigeria. This is because, if the vocational curriculum for the secondary schools is reviewed from time to time, it will bring about continuity and effectiveness in our secondary school as the youths would be empowered for self-employment.
1.1 Background of the Study
Education is described as the totality of life experiences that people acquire, and which enables them to cope with and derive satisfaction from living in the world (Babafemi 2007). This is said to enable people achieve social competence and optimum individual development. It is on this premise that it is believed that the quality of a nation’s education is proportional to the level of its prosperity. Economically, advanced nations of the world are distinguished by the excellence of their educational system.
Following the political independence of Nigeria, there was a realization that the type of education our colonial masters left with us needed a critical re-examination of the worth: of content, objectives, relevance, methods, administration, evaluation, and so forth. According to Ezeobata (2007), this period saw a state of affairs in Nigerian education where every subject had to prove its usefulness’ to retain a place in the school curriculum. This was said to have led the then National Educational Research Council (NERC) to convey a historic curriculum conference at Lagos in 1969. This conference recommended new set of goals and provided directions for major curriculum revision upon which the National Policy on Education of 1977 and the revised policy in 1981 and 2004 were based. Against this background of national aspirations, a new educational system commonly referred to as the 6-3-3-4 system of education emerged. The system consisted of six years of primary school education, three years of Junior Secondary School (JSS), three years of Senior Secondary School (SSS) and four years of post-secondary education (Omotayo, Ihebereme, & Maduewesi, 2008).
The implementation of the 6-3-3-4 education system began in 1982 and brought many reforms into the educational system in Nigeria. Among the innovations is the vocationalization of the secondary school curriculum in Nigeria. At the junior secondary level pre-vocational subjects were introduced into the curriculum while vocational subjects were introduced into the senior secondary level. The focus of the pre-vocational was to expose students at the junior secondary school level to the world of work through exploration. Such exposure would enable junior secondary school students make intelligent career choice and also intelligent consumption patterns. Among the pre-vocational subjects are practical Agriculture, Home Economics, and Business Studies. Introductory Technology is an integration of components of woodwork, metalwork, basic electronics, applied electricity, water flow technology, airflow technology, food preservatives, automobile, technical drawing, physics, rubber technology, chemistry, plastics, basic building technology, and ceramics. While Business Studies has typewriting, shorthand, bookkeeping, office practice, commerce and computer science as components. Fafunwa (2002) stated that the specific objectives of the Junior Secondary School Education are to develop in the students’ Manipulative skills (Manual dexterity) invention, respect for dignity of labor and above all healthy attitude towards things technical.
At the senior secondary level, recommended vocational /technical subjects include: Agricultural Science, Clothing and Textile, Home Management, Food and Nutrition, Typewriting & Shorthand, Principles of Accounts, Commerce, Woodwork, Technical Drawing, Basic Electronics, Building Construction, Applied Electricity and Auto Mechanics (Senior Sec. National curriculum).
The most significant aspect of the National Policy on Education as noted by Dike (2009) is the new focus it gives to Nigerian educational system, the need for the Industrialization of the nation in which technical and vocational education play crucial roles and the realization to change from white collar job oriented educational system to science, vocational and technical oriented educational system which prepares individuals to be self-reliant and useful to the society. This is said to have informed the Federal Government to lay emphases on technical education. Dike (2009) further noted that the five National goals cannot be realized without developing technical /vocational education, a well-rooted technical education that will definitely transform the economic, social and political life-styles of our Nation from the third world to be the first would class.
According to Ajala (2002) “the new National Policy on education has all the necessary ingredients for landing Nigeria into the future technologically, politically, Socially and Morally, adding that the policy if well coordinated and implemented is a solid basis for the nation to launch itself among the great nation”. Babafemi (2007) sees the 6-3-3-4 system of education as a step in the right direction towards the technological development of the nation, describing it as laudable programme capable of ushering in an educational revolution in Nigeria, he however remarked that the current situation on ground is far from this ideal as the system seems to be suffering from poor and shoddy implementation
In more specific terms, the secondary school is intended, among other things, to raise a generation of people (youth) who can think for themselves, respect the views and feelings of others, respect the dignity of labour and appreciate those values specified under broad national aims and live as good citizens (National Policy on Education 1998).
In line with the above, Akande (1999), in a study titled: “present Nigeria secondary school curriculum and goals of Nigeria secondary education” formulated hypothesis on the influence of secondary school curriculum on goal of Nigeria education. Akande used 120 students as sample for the study and further applied the independent t-test statistical tool at 0.05 alpha level, to check whether a significant influence of secondary school curriculum on the goals of Nigeria secondary school education exists. At the end of the analysis, it was found that there is a positive influence of the curriculum on the goals of Nigeria secondary education. This in any case, implied that the present Nigeria secondary school curriculum meets the goals of Nigeria’s education.
Uyanya (1989) stated that the most important thing that ever happened to Nigeria is the 1981 National Policy on Education, which emphasizes the acquisition of vocational skill and self-reliance. Puyate (2004) quoted Sower (1971) who observed that vocational/technical education is a means towards industrialization of Nigeria. Olaitan (2007) defines vocational/technical education as that aspect of education which is a skill acquisition-oriented form of training, based on application of mathematics and scientific knowledge in specific field for self-actualization and development.
The 6-3-3-4 system of education in Nigeria is job oriented. It places premium on manual activities, technical proficiency, and respect for dignity of labour and economic efficiency. It is to provide the child with basic tools to prepare him for job creation and wealth generation. Anwuka (2005) summarized the secondary education curriculum as immense and profound for teaching and learning.
Curriculum development is vital to educational success and nation building. Nations expend vast amounts of time and resources on designing what ought to be learned in schools in order to elevate social consciousness and improve economic viability. Nigeria is no exception. Since its independence in 1960, Nigeria has struggled with designing and implementing a sustainable educational curriculum that adequately prepares its children for adulthood. Several years later, the country faces the rising tide of an educated but unemployable workforce, as Nigerian students graduate from secondary and tertiary institutions without essential workplace skills. Based on inarticulate policies, inadequate research, and poor planning, curriculum implementation has become ineffective and lacks any useful feedback mechanism anchored in review, analysis and redesign processes. School curriculum is expected to equip learners with skills that will make them self-reliant, prepare them to enter into jobs and progress in them. Recognizing the importance of this, the Phelps Stroke Commission of 1925 and the national curriculum Conference of 1969 advocated for vocational as well as technical education as a way of advancing entrepreneurial education in the country.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Curriculum is a vehicle through which education is attained (Offorma 2005). The secondary school curriculum as presently implemented is far from achieving the goals of secondary educational system (Obanya 2004a). It has been noted that the National Policy on Education was well structured and the contents were adequately defined but the implementation calls for question (Babafemi 2007; Dike 2009). Investigation gathered shows that students’ potentials are not properly channeled as schools lack basic infrastructural facilities necessary for effective curriculum implementation, there are inadequate specialist teachers, and where available, focus more on theoretical aspect leaving out the practical component.
A good number of students who have completed their secondary education but do not wish to continue with higher education are in dilemma. This is because they are not well equipped with necessary skills to empower themselves. The training acquired at the end of secondary education seems inadequate to make the school leavers competent and self-reliant, hence cannot contribute to nation building. If the Nigerian society is not to be plagued by a breed of unemployable youth who cannot raise the economic productivity of the country, it is desirable that a lasting solution be provided. Thus, this study was designed to fill this gap.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of this study is to examine the impact of secondary school vocational curriculum on socio-economic empowerment of youths in Lagos State, Nigeria.
- Determine the impact of vocational curriculum on youths empowerment in Lagos State.
- Examine the impact of teaching method on the achievement of curriculum objectives at the secondary school level in Lagos State.
- Examine the impact of skill- acquisition on self- reliance among Youths in Lagos State.
- Ascertain the relationship between technical know-how and self-employment among youths in Lagos State.
1.4 Research Questions.
The following research questions were raised in this study:
- What is the impact of vocational curriculum on youths’ empowerment in Lagos State?.
- What is the impact of teaching method on the achievement of vocational curriculum objectives at the secondary school level in Lagos State?.
- How can skill-acquisition impact on self-reliance among youths in Lagos State?.
- What is the relationship between technical know-how and self-employment of among youths in Lagos State?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The following research hypotheses were tested in this study:
- There is no significant impact of vocational curriculum on youths’ employment in Lagos State.
- There is no significant impact of teaching methods on the achievement of vocational curriculum objectives at the secondary school level in Lagos State.
- There is no significant impact of skill-acquisition on self-reliance among youths in Lagos State.
- There is no significant relationship between technical know-how and youths’ self-employment in Lagos State.
1.6 Significance of Study
This study is significant in many ways. Most importantly, it will sensitize policy makers, educational administrators, and curriculum planners on the need to plan towards effective curriculum implementation in Nigerian secondary schools. This will go a long way in minimizing the rate of unemployment among secondary school leavers thereby making them well adjusted individuals who will raise the economic productivity of the country.
Also, the result of the study will contribute to policy formulation and practices, as inspectors from Federal and State Ministries of Education will be sensitized on what to look out for during inspection. On a wider scale, State in Nigeria will benefit from the study because its findings and recommendations will provide point of reference. Above all, the Federal and state Ministries of Education as well as the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) will find the result of this study valuable particularly in the current government effort towards implementation of the new 9-year Basic Education Curriculum.
1.7 Scope of Study
The study covered all the secondary schools in Lagos State. It was limited to the effect of secondary school vocational curriculum on socio-economic empowerment of youths.
1.8 Operational Definition of Terms
The following operational terms were defined in this study:
Curriculum is the total package of what is to be taught or learnt. He describes it as a process of translating national educational objectives into ‘within-school do-ables’. Offorma (2005) sees curriculum as the planned learning experiences offered to the learner in the school. In this study, it refers to vocational and technical subjects outlined in the National Curriculum for Secondary Schools manual as part of subjects for secondary education.
As used in this study, these are practically-oriented subjects that are designed to teach students skills which will empower them for job creation and self-reliance. The subjects in this category fall under the vocational and technical field. Skill-based means the same as practical-based and they are used interchangeably in this study. For purpose of this study, subjects in the vocational and technical field. Skill-baesd means the same as practical and they are used interchangeably in this study.
As used in the study, it means knowledge that is purely descriptive and devoid of reference to purposeful action.
Knowledge that deals with skills involving muscular dexterity and coordination of mind and muscle.
It is used in this study to refer to ability of youth to organize their finances, trade and industry for sustainable national development.
As used in this study, youth is young people between the ages of 15-24 years. In this study, youth refers to young people between 10-24 years of age.
Skills that will enable an individual create employment or start up business for himself.
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