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DEVELOPMENT OF A CAUSAL MODEL OF STUDENTS’ POTENTIAL ABILITY IN VOCATIONAL EDUCATION IN TECHNICAL COLLEGES

DEVELOPMENT OF A CAUSAL MODEL OF STUDENTS’ POTENTIAL ABILITY IN VOCATIONAL EDUCATION IN TECHNICAL COLLEGES

 

ABSTRACT

Vocational education is an important aspect of Nigeria education system which operates on the principles of individual differences. It operates on the theory that different individuals possess specific personality traits which must be considered for effective vocational training. However, the present mode of selection into Nigerian technical colleges is based chiefly on teacher-made-achievement tests which lack predictive validity in identifying candidates with relevant potential abilities for effective vocational education. This mode of selection has been observed to be the major factor influencing low achievement of candidates in vocational education in technical colleges as indicated in research reports. The purpose of the study was to develop a five-variable causal model of four predictor variables and one criterion variable for valid prediction of future achievement of candidates in vocational education. The predictor variables of the model include: age, academic attainment, interest and aptitude while the criterion variable is vocational achievement. The study adopted a correctional design and was carried out in the Federal Science & Technical Colleges in Nigeria. The population of the study comprised 25,212 final year students in 15 Federal Science & Technical Colleges between 2006 and 2010 (5 years)

. A sample of 1200 subject was drawn from the population using proportionate stratified and simple random sampling procedures. Six research questions guided the study. Existing academic data of each subject was obtained from academic records in each sampled school using a data collection format developed by the researcher. Data was analyzed by the method of path analysis based on the research questions. The findings: The coefficients of the causal relation among the five variables of the model ranged from .520 to .659. The relative importance of the paths in the model as indicated by the magnitudes of the path coefficients were: P21 (.566), P32 (.425), P53 (.393), P43 (.367), P41 (.359), P31 (.292), P52 (.194), P42 (.167), P51 (.122) and P54 (.122). The total causal effect of the
predictor variable on criterion variable was .500, and this indicated that the model explained 50% of the total variance of vocational achievement. The relative contributions of the four predictor variables to criterion variable as indicated by the beta weights were: Interest (.393), Academic attainment (.194), Age (.122) and Aptitude (.122). The goodness of fit of the model was calculated as .000. The direct effect of the predictor variables was .122 and the indirect effect was .401.

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background to the Study

Vocational education as an integral part of Nigeria education system has been recognized as an important aspect as prescribed in the National Policy on Education (NPE), forms the basis for technological advancement in Nigeria (Federal Republic of Nigeria 2004). Technical and Vocational Education as defined by the Federal Republic of Nigeria (FRN) is: A comprehensive term referring to those aspects of educational process involving, in addition the general education, the study of technologies and related sciences and the acquisition of practical skills, understanding and knowledge relating to the occupations in various sectors of economy and social life (FRN, 2004: 23). The FRN further prescribes the goals of technical and vocational education to include:-

(a) To provide trained manpower in the applied sciences, technology and business particularly at craft, advanced craft and technical levels;
(b) To provide the technical knowledge and vocational skills necessary for agricultural, commercial and economic development;
(c) To give training and impart the necessary skills to individuals who shall be self-reliant economically.
In pursuance of the above goals, the Federal Republic of Nigeria (FRN) (2004) recognizes technical colleges as the principal institutions for technical and vocational education at the secondary school level. Obviously, the attainment of these goals depends to a large extent on the quality of vocational education offered in the technical colleges. Technical college programmes in Nigeria are designed to last for three years and entrants are drawn from holders of the Junior Secondary Certificates (JSC). Vocational courses offered in the technical colleges as contained in the National Business and Technical Education Board (NABTEB) syllabuses are classified into (1) Business Trades, (2) Technical Trades (3) Miscellaneous Trades and (4) General Subjects (NABTEB 2006). These courses prepare students for the award of the National Technical Certificate (NTC) and the National Business Certificate (NBC). NABTEB is the agency that examines and awards certificates to graduands of technical colleges in Nigeria.A pertinent question is whether the quality of vocational education being offered in Nigerian technical colleges is

 

DEVELOPMENT OF A CAUSAL MODEL OF STUDENTS’ POTENTIAL ABILITY IN VOCATIONAL EDUCATION IN TECHNICAL COLLEGES

 

Statement of the Problem

There is high demand for vocational education in Nigeria today because of the need for skilled personnel who can contribute effectively to the nation’s technological development. In one of the measures to meet this demand, the Federal Republic of Nigeria has embarked on the establishment of more technical colleges at the secondary school level with the expectation of producing more qualified skilled-personnel. Contrary to this expectation, evidence of negative trend of students’ achievement in vocational courses at the National Technical Certificate Examination (NTCE) has been reported by several literatures over the years. One factor observed to be the cause of this low performance of candidates is the present mode of selection into technical colleges which lacks predictive validity to accurately identify candidates with relevant aptitudes for successful vocational training. Vocational education is a specialized type of education which operates on the principles that different individuals possess specific personality traits which must be considered for effective vocational training.

In view of this, there is therefore the need for valid identification of the relevant potential abilities of candidates for successful vocational education in technical colleges. Particularly, the study would develop a causal model of students’ potential ability in vocational education based on the following variables: age, academic attainment, vocational interest and vocational aptitude as predictors of vocational achievement.

 

DEVELOPMENT OF A CAUSAL MODEL OF STUDENTS’ POTENTIAL ABILITY IN VOCATIONAL EDUCATION IN TECHNICAL COLLEGES

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