Impact Of Student Industrial Work Experience Schemes (SIWES) On Academic Research Performance Of Business Education In Ekiti State University, Ado Ekiti

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Impact Of Student Industrial Work Experience Schemes (SIWES) On Academic Research Performance Of Business Education In Ekiti State University, Ado Ekiti


Abstract


This study examined the impact of SIWES on Academic Performance of Business Education students. The final year students of Business Education of Ekiti State University, Ado Ekiti were used for the study. One hundred and twenty-four (124) business education students were sampled through simple random sampling technique. Item questionnaire was designed and validation of the instrument was assessed by experts. The data collected were analyzed using percentage, mean score and standard deviation. The findings of the study showed that SIWES influenced students’ academic performance. The result showed that SIWES enhances competency of students in their academic activities, prepares them for future job challenges and creates employment opportunities. It was recommended that SIWES should be properly organized to achieve its set objectives. It was recommended that SIWES should be properly organized so that students can be appropriately placed in organizations that are related to their course of study, Students should be properly and regularly supervised by both the industry-based and school supervisors during SIWES and the duration for SIWES should be increased at reasonably portion such that students will benefit maximally from SIWES exposure. It was concluded that SIWES exposure enabled business education to have more competency on their academic because the strategy of handling academic is enhanced after the exposure to SIWES. The findings also explained that if the duration of the SIWES is increased reasonably the performance of the students will be better. SIWES also exposed business education students to the proper and personal quality skills required to promote their academic activities and prepare them for future employment. In the same vein exposed them to job opportunities. The study further explained that there is a great improvement in the academic activities of business education students after SIWES exposure and also has a positive impact on their academic performance because there is progression in their academic’s performances after exposure to SIWES.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

In the earlier stage of education in Nigeria, students were graduating from their respective institution without any technical and vocational knowledge or working experience. It was in this view that students undergoing vocational, engineering, science and technology (VEST) related courses were mandated for students in different institution in the view of widening their horizons so as to enable them have technical and vocational knowledge or working experience before graduating from their various institutions.

Since education is meant to inculcate in the individual the appropriate skills required to face tomorrow’s challenges. Ofoegbu (2004) states that education is identified with the acquisition of the right set of, 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.

Business education is one of the vocational courses taught in academic institutions in Nigeria. Business education is a vocational education programme that equips students with occupational future responsibilities variables such as knowledge, competencies, attitude and skill acquisition. It is a programme tailored towards meeting the aims of technical education as stipulated in the national policy on education. According to Imeokparia and Ediagbonya (2014), Business education is describes 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). They 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. Business Education is also a vocational education programme that equips students with occupational future responsibilities variables such as knowledge, competencies, attitude and skill acquisition. It is a programme tailored towards meeting the aims of technical education as stipulated in the national policy on education.

In a similar vein, Osuala (2004) opines 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).

The Student Industrial Work-Experience Scheme (SIWES) is a planned and supervised training intervention based on stated and specific learning and career objectives, and geared towards developing the occupational competencies of the participants. It is a programme required to be undertaken by all students of tertiary institutions in Nigeria pursuing courses in “specialized engineering, technical, business, applied sciences and applied arts” (ITF, 2004a). SIWES is one of the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) programme which was introduced in 1974 due to the inability of vocational, engineering, science 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. 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 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). SIWES is a planned and supervised training intervention best on a stated and specific learning and career objectives geared towards developing the occupational competencies of the participants. Mafe (2010) opines that SIWES will bridge the gap between reality situation-practice and class work (theoretical).

Theoretical knowledge alone would not usually prepare an educated person for the world of work. The worker or productive individual must not only be knowledgeable but must also be versatile in the application of skills to perform defined jobs or work. The reality of the foregoing fact can be illustrated by using a simple analogy. While it is possible for someone to learn and imbibe all the available information on driving a car in the classroom, it is unlikely that the individual would, based on this knowledge alone, be able to drive a car at the first opportunity. On the other hand, someone else without the theoretical information on how to drive a car, on being told and shown what to do, followed by hands-on practice and supervision by an instructor, would at the end of the day be able to drive a car successfully. Of course, someone who has been exposed to both the theoretical underpinnings of driving a car and the hands-on experience of doing so would and should be a better driver (Mafe, 2009).

Consequently, there are two basic forms of learning – education and training – both of which are indispensable to the productive world of work and the functioning of society today. In the illustration given above, the first individual had abundant education on how to drive a car; the second individual had received adequate training on how to drive a car; the third individual had the advantage of being able to combine theoretical knowledge with practical skills to become a better driver. This need to combine theoretical knowledge with practical skills in order to produce results in the form of goods and services or to be productive is the essence and rationale for industrial training. Both education and training are important: there cannot be effective education without some training input and there cannot be effective training without some educational input. The productive individual, particularly in this millennium, must be able to combine and utilize the outcomes from the two forms of learning (Know-How Ability and Do-How Capability) for the production of goods and services. This requirement is particularly crucial for individuals pursuing careers in vocational, engineering, science and technology (VEST) disciplines.

The Student Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES) was established by the Industrial Training Found (ITF) 1973 to enable students of tertiary institutions have basic technical knowledge of industrial works base on their courses of study before the completion of their program in their respective institutions. SIWES provides pre-professional work experience with specific assignments and responsibilities. SIWES program should be relevant to student’s personal career interests and academic course of study, serving as a bridge between university and the world of work. The major background behind the embankment of students in SIWES was to expose them to the industrial environment and enable them develop occupational competencies so that they can readily contribute their quota to national economic and technological development after graduation. The major benefit acquiring to students who participate conscientiously in SIWES are skills and competencies they acquire. The relevant production skills remain a part of the recipient of industrial training as life-long assets which cannot be taken away from them. This is because the knowledge and skills acquired through training are internalized and become relevant when required to perform jobs or functions. Oyeniyi, (2011) describes SIWES as a programme designed to expose and prepare students of universities, polytechnics colleges of Technology, colleges of Agriculture and College of Education for industrial work situation which are likely employable skills required for self-reliance.

Students’ Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES) is a human capital formation programme through industrial attachment for which students are expected to have a practical experience on the basis of theories and principles acquired in the teaching-learning process. However, the prevalence of the inability of participants of SIWES to secure employment after the programme casts doubt on the continuing relevance of SIWES to the contemporary industrial development drive in Nigeria.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

The problem of ill-equipped and lack of workshop/laboratory has led higher institutions to keep spending enormous time on theory, with little or no emphasis on practical. This therefore creates gaps between classroom exposure and what is obtainable in the industrial sector. To bridge these gaps, ITF is charged with the responsibility of SIWES to expose students to industry based skills necessary for a smooth transition from the classroom to the world of work. However, it appears that Business Education students do not adequately participate actively during their SIWES programme because of time duration, and as a result of this, do not acquire adequate skills through SIWES programme. This calls for investigation if the duration of SIWES programme improved the student’s competency in academic performance.


1.3 Objectives of the Study

The main purpose of this study is to examine the impact of student industrial work experience schemes (SIWES) on academic research performance of business education in Ekiti State University, Ado Ekiti. Specifically, the study intends to:

  1. Identify the perception of Business Education students on how SIWES exposure improved their competency in academic activities.
  2. Determine the benefits of SIWES to Business Education students.
  3. Examine the influence of SIWES duration on academic performance of Business Education students.
  4. Find out if SIWES exposure influences Business Education students’ academic performance.

1.4 Research Questions

  1. How has SIWES exposure improve Business Education students’ competencies in their academic activities?
  2. To what extent do Business Education students’ benefit from SIWES exposure?
  3. To what extent do SIWES duration influence academic performance of Business Education students?
  4. How has SIWES exposure influence Business Education students’ academic performance?

1.5 Research Hypotheses

  • Ho: Student industrial work experience schemes (SIWES) has no impact on the academic performance of business education in Ekiti State University, Ado Ekiti.
  • Ha: Student industrial work experience schemes (SIWES) has an impact on the academic performance of business education in Ekiti State University, Ado Ekiti.

1.6 Significance of the Study

The study of this research work will be of great importance to the business education students, educators, school management, researchers, educational policy and the society. The result of these research findings will assist to improve the academic performance of business education students and to expose students to job opportunity during their SIWES. The result from this study will be of great benefit to curriculum planner on how best to expose students to SIWES in order to enhance the performance of the students in vocational training.


1.7 Scope of the Study

The scope of this study covers the Impact of Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES) on academic performance of business education students and it will be limited to University of Ekiti State University, Ado Ekiti because it is an academic endeavor and time bounded.


1.8 Limitation of the Study

Like in every human endeavour, the researcher encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. Insufficient funds tend to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size. More so, the researcher simultaneously engaged in this study with other academic work. As a result, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced.


1.9 Definition of Terms

Academic Activities:

These are educational focus Business Education students are meant to tackle in an institution.

Academic Performance:

This is the educational outcome of student from an institution.

Business Education:

It is a vocational course which equips students with occupational future responsibilities through the exposure of SIWES.

SIWES:

Student Industrial Work Experience Scheme – It is the industrial training Business Education students are exposed to, which prepare them for future job challenges.


1.10 Organizations of the Study

The study is categorized into five chapters. The first chapter presents the background of the study, statement of the problem, objective of the study, research questions and hypothesis, the significance of the study, scope/limitations of the study, and definition of terms. The chapter two covers the review of literature with emphasis on conceptual framework, theoretical framework, and empirical review. Likewise, the chapter three which is the research methodology, specifically covers the research design, population of the study, sample size determination, sample size, and selection technique and procedure, research instrument and administration, method of data collection, method of data analysis, validity and reliability of the study, and ethical consideration. The second to last chapter being the chapter four presents the data presentation and analysis, while the last chapter(chapter five) contains the summary, conclusion and recommendation.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations:

5.1 Introduction

The main objective of this study was to determine the Impact of SIWES on academic performance of Business Education Students. Survey research design was adopted using the questionnaire for the gathering of data. Following the analysis of data and discussion of findings, this chapter presented the summary of findings, conclusion, recommendations and suggestions for further research.


5.2 Summary

The study was carried out to examine the Impact of SIWES on academic research performance of Business Education Students. In order to achieve this aim, four specific objectives were raised which includes; the perception of Business Education students on how SIWES exposure improved their competency in academic activities; the benefits of SIWES to Business Education students; the influence of SIWES duration on academic performance of Business Education students; SIWES exposure as it influence Business Education student’s academic performance. Four research questions were formulated. The total population for the study was total number of all final year business education students inEkiti State University, Ado Ekiti. The questionnaire was the instrument used for data collection. descriptive survey research design was employed for the study. The data collected were presented in tables and analyzed using simple percentage, mean and standard deviation.


5.3 Conclusion

Based on the findings of the study, it can be concluded that SIWES exposure enabled business education to have more competency on their academic because the strategy of handling academic is enhanced after the exposure to SIWES. The findings also explained that if the duration of the SIWES is increased reasonably the performance of the students will be better.

SIWES also exposed business education students to the proper and personal quality skills required to promote their academic activities and prepare them for future employment. In the same vein exposed them to job opportunities.

The study further explained that there is a great improvement in the academic activities of business education students after SIWES exposure and also has a positive impact on their academic performance because there is progression in their academic’s performances after exposure to SIWES.


5.3 Recommendation

Based on the findings and conclusions of this study, the following recommendations were made:

  1. SIWES should be properly organized so that students can be appropriately placed in organizations that are related to their course of study.
  2. Students should be properly and regularly supervised by both the industry-based and school supervisors during SIWES.
  3. The duration for SIWES should be increased at reasonably portion such that students will benefit maximally from SIWES exposure.

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