December 28, 2005 the major purpose of the polytechnics and monotechnics is for the production of technicians and technical teachers, while colleges of education (Technical) are for the production of technical teachers.
Industrial education in the Nigeria secondary schools has as one of its elements the introduction of pre-vocational and vocational subjects into the secondary school system. The vocational subjects are offered during the last three years of secondary schooling. In all, a Nigeria child is expected to have had six years of exposure to vocational education before completing secondary schooling. These six years are partitioned into two-tiers: three years of junior secondary schooling, and three years of senior secondary
The National Policy on Education (FRN, 2000) stated that the junior secondary school shall be both pre-vocational and academic and it shall teach basic subjects which shall enable pupils to acquire further knowledge and develop skills. The curriculum is structured as follows: core subject which includes, mathematics, English, Nigerian languages, sciences, social studies, integrated science, French, and introductory technology. Pre-vocational electives such as agriculture, business studies, home economics, local crafts and computer education are also included in the curriculum. Furthermore, non pre-vocational electives are subjects such as religious knowledge, physical and health education fine art, and music and Arabic studies.
After the junior secondary schools, the policy emphasized that students shall be streamed into the senior secondary schools; technical colleges. Out of school vocational training centre and apprenticeship schemes the streaming which shall be based on the result of test to determine academic ability, aptitude and vocational interest shall be based on transition ratio of 60:20: 1 0: I 0: as follows: secondary schools 60 per cent; technical college 10 per cent; vocational training centre 10 per cent and an apprenticeship scheme 10 per cent.
The senior secondary school is for those able and willing to have complete six years secondary education. It is comprehensive with a core curriculum designed to broaden pupilís knowledge. The core subjects include English language, French, Mathematics, a major Nigerian language, one of Biology, Chemistry or integrated science; one of literature in English, history, geography or social science and a vocational subject.
The National Policy on Education pointed out that every student is expected to select three of those subjects depending on the choice of career, up to the end of the second year and may drop one of the non-compulsory subjects out of the nine subjects in the last year of the senior secondary school from which students can make additional courses to make up the nine subjects which includes: biology, physic, chemistry, additional mathematics, commerce, economics, bookkeeping, type writing, shorthand; history, English literature, geography, agricultural science, home economics, bible knowledge, Islamic studies, Arabic studies, metal-work, electronics, technical drawing, wood work, auto-mechanics, music, art, French physical education, health science and government. A full implementation of the structure is to make senior secondary school leavers immediately marketable.
Therefore, Industrial education should be appropriately administered, planned, organized, staffed, funded, implemented to make the curricular of the programme more relevant to societal need.
Vocation education should be based on needs, the need of the individual and the society. It is effective in proportion as it is offered to those who need it who want it and profit by it.
In Nigeria, today, it has been observed that most technical institution have not discharged their duty well to influence the life of the people to equip them with the skill, knowledge and attitude necessary for effective employment in their chosen occupation.
Technical institutions in the light of the essence of their establishment are charged with the task of making the nation self-reliant technologically. This task they are expected to accomplish through the type of education they provide to the students. The miserable state of technical education institutionsí graduates eloquently testifies to the absence of self reliance in Nigeria, hence, the rate of unemployment of graduates increase every year. Writing on the rate of technical institution graduate) unemployment, Olaitan (1996) comments.
It is unimaginable that in Nigeria where resources abound, many technicians are found in the streets of towns and cities without job. It is because their training is inadequate for or irrelevant to societal needed.
It follows that to eradicate this problem; the programmes of technical institutions need to be made relevant, planned and monitored for productivity and economic development. Some of the developed nations like America developed their industrial education programme and made the curricular relevant to their needs at any particular point in time. For instance, the First World War directly involved America; many Americans were needed to fight in the war, produce food for war victims and Americans at home. Manufactured machine, spare parts for war fare and home use; conduct a lot of research into many life survival devices, create virtue of work in every American, and made every individual American become independent economically, socially and politically.
These requirements aggravated the need for American congress to intervene in aggressive development of vocational and technical education. To this end, Nigeria can demonstrate the same attitude towards vocational education since the need for it is so evident. Economic depression, inflation and political instability that are biting hard on this nation have enabled Nigerians to recognize and accept the potentialities of vocational education to revive this countryís economic situation.
The rapid development of any technological education depends on sufficient and regular disbursement of funds. Vocational education needs fund to purchase recent equipments and machines, expendables and maintenance of equipments and machines for maximum performance. Training of candidates on obsolete equipments and machines is of no value and irrelevant to todayís world or work which is a world of technology. Therefore, industrial education programmes need special grants to institutions to run and manage the institutions. The government should take care of this so that vocational education can render its maximum service to the nation and every individual.
Government should revisit Nigerian technical education curricular; to make it more relevant to societal needs, more work-oriented and entrepreneurial.
Research-institute for industrial education should be established, expanded and funded.
Information on general, local or community jobs is very essential for planning training programmes for youths. Research needs to be conducted, like as it is done in the developed nations. This will assist in identifying areas of other needs of the nation in industrial education and increase opportunities for training.
Research conducted should be implemented. Researches in Nigeria are seen as mere paper work. However, researches should not be meant to fill cabinet in offices. Government should motivate authorities concerned to implement research work.
Technical teacher training programme should be more funded adequately and appropriately to provide enough teachers for the nation.
The technical teacher should be encouraged so that they can discharge their duty well. Their condition of service and remunerations should be improved to reduce high attrition of technical teachers.
The National Policy on Education issue should be readdressed. Employment opportunities for graduate of industrial education should be geared towards self-employment; civil service and private sector employment opportunity are diminishing. This trend has forced governments at various levels to take steps to promoting self-reliance and entrepreneurship development. Entrepreneurship according to Uwameiye and Clark (2000) is defined as the willingness and ability of an individual to make out investment, opportunities, establish and run an enterprise successfully. In the meantime, current global economic innovations have made small and medium scale enterprises to play increasingly important roles in the economic development of nearly every country. In view of this, UNESCO (1994) explained that the great potential of small and medium enterprises and the self employment has necessitated the introduction of entrepreneurial development in curriculum of industrial education of most countries. Against this background, UNESCO and NBTE embarked on the UNESCO project in Nigeria aimed at revising and revitalizing curricula for technical college and polytechnics (UNESCO and NBTE, 2003). The new curricula were approved and adopted by the National Council for Education and NBTE; they include:
Competency-based curricula for mechanical, electrical building and home economics disciplines. Emphasis on practical training. Information and communication technology applications. Entrepreneurship and enterprise education integrated in every discipline.
There are opportunities of employment for graduates of industrial education programmes that hitherto have not been fully utilized either in self or paid employment (Okorie, 200 I). This scenario has given the employment prospects of industrial education a misleading public impression. Those who acquired skills in industrial education programmes find employment readily in private and public enterprise (FME, 2000). The majority who played away their time while in school who are hardly employable tend to give industrial education programmes bad publicity.
In self-employment, graduate of industrial education programme have excelled though many of them are hampered by finance to start new business. This justifies the inclusion of entrepreneurial skills such as management, planning, budgeting, and marketing. Government assistance is highly required as per take off capital.