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MEASURING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF ELECTRICAL-ELECTRONICS TECHNOLOGY PROGRAMMES IN TECHNICAL COLLEGES IN ENUGU STATE

Vocational Technical Education Project Topics & Materials

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of the Study

            Effectiveness of electrical/electronics technology programme in technical colleges can be determined through appropriate measurement. Technical education and training lead to acquisition of employability skills. Individuals choose careers in education with the hope of securing employment in that field and enjoying a certain level of income based on the qualification attained. The extent to which the graduate of technical education and training programmes secure employment, enjoy certain level of income based on their qualification determines the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of such education and training.  Effectiveness is a measure of the match between stated goals and achievement (Fraser, 1994). Erlendsson (2002) defines effectiveness as the extent to which objectives are met. Educational effectiveness focuses on the relevance of education to the socio- economic conditions of the country. The ability of graduates to get employment following the completion of education is seen as an indicator of educational effectiveness. The effectiveness of electrical/electronics technology programme in technical colleges is the extent to which graduates are able to  find jobs, enter in the occupation related to the field of training, earn expected income, and are able to use their skills in the place of work.

Technical colleges are institutions which provide students through training with relevant and adequate knowledge, skills and attitude for employment under the guidelines of a teacher in related occupations. Okorie (2001) stated that technical college in Nigeria is established to prepare individuals to acquire practical skills and basic scientific knowledge. Technical colleges are regarded as principal vocational institution in Nigeria. They give full training intended to prepare students for entry into various occupations (Okoro, 2006). Technical college is an institution in Nigeria that offer technology education at secondary school level

Technology is a process of integration of science and practice in the application of tools and methods, also a study, development, and application of devices, machines, and techniques for manufacturing and productive processes. Ogbuanya (2005) described technology as the rational utilization of energy in any process designed to satisfy a need. It means the actual use of scientific knowledge in meeting the specific needs of man and the society. The history of man on earth, clearly show that he has had to work to satisfy his basic needs of food, shelter, clothing, leisure etc. to achieve this, he has invented tools, materials and techniques of various size and designs. These tools and equipment are intended to increase productivity and effectiveness, and reduce reliance on human strength and energy. It is evident from historical records that man has always used a form of technology like electrical/electronics technology

Electrical/Electronics technology is an aspect of vocational education offered in technical colleges in order to produce electrical and electronic craftsmen and technicians. The main goal of electrical/electronics technology programme according to National Board for Technical Education (NBTE, 2004) is to produce competent electrical/electronic technicians with sound theoretical knowledge, who should be able to perform all types of electrical installation, diagnose, and perform repairs and/or maintenance on electrical and electronic devices. The trainees on completing the programmes have the options to; secure employment in the industries; set up their own business, to become self-employed and able to employ others; pursue further education in advanced craft/technical programme and in post-secondary (tertiary) technical institutions such as  Polytechnics, Colleges of Education (Technical) and Universities (FGN, 2004). This implies that effective programmes of Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET) especially electrical/electronics will enable persons to obtain the skills they need in order to be gainful-employed either on paid employment or as self- employed, thereby reducing the level of unemployment in the country.

Electrical technology deals with machines, tools, devices, and systems in which a current or a flow of electron takes place through conductors and metals. It involves the design and development of high-voltage systems and components such as motors, generators, heaters, electrical power transmission and distribution systems, radio wave and optical systems, converters, and control systems for operating light and heavy machinery (Tom, 2007). Electrical technology however, not only involves the design and production of all the electrical systems mentioned, but also the installation, testing and maintenance of these systems. According to NBTE (2004), electrical technology is an area of specialization in industrial education. It includes such areas as construction, installation, panel building, repairing and rewinding, instrumentation, maintenance and highway electrical systems.

Electronics technology as a science deals with the development, behavior, and application of electronic devices and circuit. Theraja and Theraja (2001), defined electronics technology as the application of scientific knowledge, the design, selection of materials, construction, operation and maintenance of electronics. According to Grobs and Schultz (2005) electronics technology is concerned with the design, manufacture and application of electron tubes and solid-state devices, transistors and diodes. These devices are found in such diverse applications as home radio, and television, computers, mobile phones, MP3 players, satellite and traffic light. Electronics technology progamme at the technical college provides hands-on training that will prepare an individual to design, build, develop, test, troubleshoot, and manufacture electronic equipment for use in applications such as communications, medical monitoring devices, navigational equipment, machine tool, numerical controls and computers. It also includes a solid grounding in electronics theory complemented by intense hands-on laboratory training that will give a person the confidence to perform at a professional level on the job. Electronics craftsmen and technicians are in demand in small and large companies and virtually all government agencies.

Electrical/electronics craftsmen have the options for wage employment (as skilled labour in the industry) or self-employment (job creation). Wage employment describes a type of employment in which an individual works under someone and obtains salary as compensation. According to Hailu (2012) wage employment includes any salaried or paid job under contract (written or not) to another person, organization or enterprise in both the formal and informal economy. It is an employment situation where the employee receives consistent work and payment from the employer. Individuals can secure wage employment in government establishment, industries, corporate firms, or private owned businesses. In most cases the level of education, training and skills acquired determine the rank or position, income and other benefits of wage employees. According to Startiene, Remeikene and Dumciuviene (2010) unemployment rate decreases the opportunities for wage employment as well as the expected income from wage employment. Forced by these situations, a person chooses self-employment as an alternative to get away from unemployment. Self-employment also called sole proprietorship contributes immensely toward reduction of unemployment and increases the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Electrical/electronics are among the various occupations where one acquires adequate skills to be self-reliant.

An occupation is the vocation or economic pursuit of an individual for livelihood. According to Osuala (2004) occupation signifies the nature of one’s work, what one spends working hours doing, what occupies an individual’s time and energy. An occupation can be a trade or profession. While trade requires limited level of skill-training and acquisition, a profession requires more skill-training period. The difference then is on the level of training attained and certificate acquired.  Occupation is therefore, a trade, a business, a profession, an activity, or a career in which one acquires skills through training and earns a living through it. Ede (2001) indicated that the more difficult it is for a person to qualify for an occupation, the fewer the people that engaged in it and invariably the higher the prestige and remuneration (income) attached to such an occupation.

There are various occupations which the graduates of electrical/electronics technology programmes from technical colleges can take up in order to earn a living. These occupations includes: radio/TV repairs and servicing, electrical/electronics equipment maintenance, electrical and electronics installation and repair, electronics home entertainment equipment installation and repair, electrical utility lineman, electrical and electronics sales, electrical/electronics panel construction and repair, house installation (wiring) and maintenance, industrial/commercial electrician, rewinding of Ac/Dc electric motors, plant generators, transformers, etc. Occupations vary by level of training. Skills in electrical/electronics maintenance can be learnt informally through apprenticeship or formally in the technical colleges. Those that are trained through apprenticeship are called artisans while technical college graduates are the craftsmen.

An artisan is a person who does skilled work, making things with their hands. Bulk (2012) defined an artisan as a skilled worker who practices some sort of trade or handicraft after obtaining training under a master craftsman. It also refers to a product of apprenticeship programme who has been certified as competent to perform a trade.  Artisan training is obtainable in vocational centres (FGN, 2004). Emphasis in such centres is usually placed on crafts and cottage industries within the locality. The major distinction between artisans and craftsmen is on the nature of training and certificate acquired. Craftsmen are graduates of technical colleges who have obtained National Technical Certificate/National Business certificate, NTC/NBC (FGN, 2004). The length of training for the craft level in technical colleges is three years, like the senior secondary school. Not only does occupational status vary by training level, but earnings or income does as well. One anticipates that higher training attainment will yield higher income.

Income is the acquisition of money via a regular source, including money that an individual earns for work done or any allowance that persons receive on a regular basis. According to Gwims (2007), income is a gain or recurrent benefit usually measured in money that derives from capital or labour. Income (wage) refers to financial reward, which a person receives for work done (Ezeji, 2001). Income is important because with it, an individual can afford the things he/she desires, such as payment of rent, or mortgages as well as payment of other bills, like car payment, life insurance and the food and water that one consumes. The income received by graduates of electrical/electronics technology programmes in their place of employment is expected to provide them sustainable livelihood.

Contrary to expectations, electrical/electronics graduates are faced with unemployment. Unemployment occurs when a person who is actively searching for employment is unable to find work. Unemployment is defined as a situation where someone of working age is not able to get job but would like to be in full time employment (Pettinger, 2010). Riley (2006) stated that the unemployed are people who are registered as able, available and willing to work, at the going wage rate but who cannot find work despite an active search for work. Unemployment (joblessness), as defined by the International Labour Organization (2007) occurs when people are without jobs and they have actively sought for work within the past four weeks. Erewari (2004) observed that the level of unemployment in any society is an indicator of low quality manpower. In the context of this study unemployment is described as a state of joblessness among the individuals of working age. Balogun (2010) stated that with over 40 million Nigerians effectively unemployed in a population of 150 millions no doubt, Nigeria has one of the highest unemployment figures in the world despite her economic potential. This unemployment situation questions the effectiveness of TEVT programmes, which suppose to be a panacea for the problem of unemployment. The reasons for the unemployment conditions among the graduates of electrical/electronics technology programmes in technical colleges could be ascertain through measurement.

Measurement is a process by which a judgment about the quality of product or nature is made. Kenneth and Kelth, (2002) viewed measurement as the process of examining as carefully, thoroughly and objectively as possible an individual, a group of product or programme in order to ascertain strength and weakness. Measurement according to UNESCO (2002) is the systematic process of generating data about traits, projects, activities, performance etc. One way of measurement the effectiveness of electrical/electronic technology programme in technical colleges is through follow-up study. Follow-up study involves contacting graduates of educational programmes after they have been in employment for some time and finds out from them their measurement of the programme of study they passed through (Okoro, 2000). The true state of any educational programme can only be ascertained through measurement. Ede (2010) pointed out that any programme or project that has lasted for more than four years needs to be assessed to find out whether the purpose is being achieved. This therefore calls for the measurement of the effectiveness of electrical/electronic technology programme in technical colleges in Enugu State.

Statement of the Problem

Technical colleges were established for the purpose of training craftsmen in various technical and vocational education and training programmes including electrical/electronic technology. It is expected that on completion of the training, graduates should acquire appropriate vocational skills, attitudes and competences necessary for securing employment in industries (as skilled labour), set up their own businesses and become self-employed (job creation) and be able to employ others or pursue further education in advanced craft/technical programme in tertiary technical institutions. It is also expected that on graduation electrical/electronic graduates working in industry and those in self-employment should be in one of the electrical/electronics related occupations and also earn comparable or the same income to those of holders of similar or equivalent qualification and certificate.

Unfortunately, most of the electrical/electronics graduates are faced with unemployment. They could not secure job in the industries nor set up their own business in line with the training they received. The current trend is that some of these graduates are seen going into menial jobs such as okada riding, security in banks and other establishment, bus driving, laundry and car washing businesses among others. At present, there is no available data on employment status of electrical/electronic graduates nor has any research seem to have been carried out to determine the extent to which the objective, goals, aims and intentions of electrical/electronics technology programmes in technical colleges are been achieved and the challenges.  These lack of valid information and data have hindered adequate improvement, planning of electrical/electronics technology programmes and hence the need to provide one through the present study.

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