NEED TO IMPROVE SKILL ACQUISITION IN ELECTRICAL ELECTRONICS TECHNOLOGY EDUCATION FOR SELF-EMPLOYMENT

Abstract

A lot of efforts has been made to improve skill acquisition in electrical electronics for self-employment. Skill acquisition training has been identified as a way to equip individuals with skills and knowledge that will help them to be self-employed. This paper discussed the needs to improve skill acquisition in electrical electronics such as: fighting unemployment, improvement of entrepreneurship in the society, improving the national economy, improving the standard of living and the effective skill in the world of work. Skill development has been man’s means of materials transformation from the earliest of time, but for development to take place it takes trained hands and minds to apply the knowledge and techniques effectively.

Introduction

Technology is the application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes, especially in industry. It is also known as the act, skill and process of making, modifying, and use of knowledge of tools, machines, techniques, crafts, systems and methods of organization, in order to solve problem, improve a pre-existing solution to a problem, achieve a goal, handle an applied input and output relation or perform a specific function.

Not long ago, technology education was designed to prepare individuals for work in the industry and commerce. (Nwachukwu, 2001). The objectives are preparing, training the needed human resources for commercial, industrial and self-employment ventures. The education of people on technology has been regarded as one of the current innovation in Nigeria today. Emeshini (2008) stated that it is inescapable to ignore technology because it cannot ignore us.

This is why education is the process by which the society deliberately transmits its accumulated knowledge, skills from one generation to another. The knowledge of technology education today by different technicians is as a result of help of education which helped it to be transmitted from the mentor to the present days, the same time leading to more development and widening of technology in different forms. The use of electrical /electronics in technology education have brought more techniques in developing the society, which has helped in improving skills of electrical electronics.

 Electrical/Electronics  can be referred to as the connection with electricity using or producing electricity with the branch of science and technology that studies electric current in electronic equipment. The study of electrical electronics is based on either practical or theoretical learning activities. Mkpa (2003) started that students needs assessment, evaluation and exposure to practical work experience in order to be proficient in any electrical electronics job.

Electrical / electronics of technology education process must deal with more of skill acquisition, which involves the development of a new practical skill or is a way of doing things usually gained through training or experience. This is the type of training that equips the individual with the skills and knowledge needed to stand as electronics worker, electrical installation technician, consultants etc.

Skill development has been man’s means of materials transformation from the earliest of time. For the development to take place however, it takes trained hands and minds to apply the knowledge and techniques effectively. Therefore, the youth and adults acquire the skills and knowledge to become artisans, technologist or engineers based on their field of specialization and mode of skill training which help in improving the society by making an individual to be self employed.

Self-employment is the activity in which an individual engages for pay to make a living or to earn money. An individual who operates as a business man or professional as a sole proprietor partner in a business or dependent contractor or consultant is said to be self employed. Someone who is self employed is the owner of a business also individual who earns a living by working for himself without being under someone is self employed with its individual basic skills. If skill is satisfactory, the worker get satisfaction and the employer get satisfaction in correspondence, (Balyeb and Adeyemo,2001).

          Skill acquisition is the quality of performance which does not depend solely upon a person’s innate capacities but need to acquired skill through training, practice and experience. Skill represents particular ways of using capacities in relation to environmental demand with human being and external situation together to form a functional system. Hence a persons rehabilitation in these contexts requires new skills with special consideration to he / her field (electrical / electronics) and work function (employment).

Surprisingly the relation of skill acquisition to self-employment in technology education is the practical work on electrical electronics should be provided in such away that they give pupils appropriate opportunities to make new things, increase in level of reasoning and fits for the economics development for optimal performance in their place of work practical oriented course like electrical electronics enable youth to design and carryout experiment including wiring of house in different way, repairing of different electronics etc.

This would enable them in the final analysis to manage and organize practical work and resources and break ideas and create new things in the concept of skills, work down to manageable parts (Adeyemo, 2009). An activity that involves knowledge, judgment accuracy and manual dexterity, all of which are acquired through learning and practice in various occupations. In this paper skill means the ability of student in electrical electronics education to secure and perform well and the student should choose a job, establish it and manage it.

Self-employment mean individual establishing his/her own business and even employed other (Loufunke, 2005). The self-employment jobs according to Olufunke (2005) in technology education are trading, consultancy services, opening up private schools, constructing jobs, designing jobs and repairs/maintenance work. The work skills required for self employment according to Egbe (2010), are ability to choose a trade, sort funds for the business, produce acceptable goods and market the goods. In his view Igwe (2008), said that a self reliant worker needs skills in management of funds, people and materials.

If the individual is well trained in electrical electronics with necessary skills needed then the person can be self-employed. However it helps to reduce the poverty and the miserable condition of young graduates of electrical electronics students in technology education. The needs of skill acquisition in electrical electronic for self-employment in technology and vocational education include; Fighting Unemployment, Improving Entrepreneurship in the Society, Improving the National Economy, Improving the Standard of Living, and enhancement of efficiency in world of work..

Fighting Unemployment

Unemployment in the country has been a deadly scourge that has continued to confront the nation generally. Unemployment is a factor that is closely related to the labour force of a given society. Maunder Myers and Wall (1995) said that the size of the labour force as a whole depends on the number of people available for work. Therefore unemployment has to do with number of people at working age without means of livelihood. The country’s unemployment level cannot only be judged by the number of population who has nothing doing but also the extent to which people are gainfully employed.

Unemployment manifest when the number of ready to work members of the working age population does not have any gainfully means of livelihood, to sustain them. In the country today, unemployment is not only a problem facing the uneducated, unskilled and inexperienced but it is also a problem facing the so called educated ones (graduates). According to Fashoyin (1992) professional and experienced people have become unemployed as a result of work force reduction which characterized the Nigeria economy of the 1980’s which was orchestrated by the Nigeria civil war. Fashoyin went ahead to identify these factors as that which has continued to fuel the flame of unemployment in Nigeria.

v    Corruption

v    Population explosion

v    Emphasis on paper qualification

v    Decay in infrastructures

v    Over dependence on crude oil as the only source of revenue in the country.

Again, Nigeria is facing more recent problem of global economic meltdown and dwindling foreign investments caused by the variety of factors like power crisis, Niger delta crisis, kidnapping and the more recent bomb attacks by the Boko Haram sects. In view of these problems, skill acquisition would be one of the best means to tackle the problem presented by unemployment because more and more employers of labour would emerge through the production of skills in the country. Skill acquisition being utilized in the country would first of all create employment for those that are capable and secondly through the expansion of their business create more employment for other member of immediate society.

Nwogwugwu in Shyllon (2004) saw self-reliance in economic and development term, as “development in the form of human resources, development which is the process of increasing the knowledge, the skills and capabilities of all the people in the society”. From his perspective the above author saw self reliance as imperative if the full capabilities of a society must be achieve. When more skill acquisition are achieved it would make more people self reliant and as such it will reduce unemployment.

Improving Entrepreneurship in the Society:

Entrepreneurship is defined by Chinonye (2010) as the process of creating something new with added values by devoting the necessary time and efforts, assuming the accompanying financial, psychological and social risks and receiving the resulting rewards of monetary and personal satisfaction and in dependence. Dollinger (2006) perceived it as the creation of an innovative economic organization of risk and uncertainty.

An entrepreneur according to Nwobasi (2006) is a person who makes plan for business or a piece of work and gets it going. Entrepreneur is a skilled profession work that makes an individual dependent or self-employed in any area of the individual specialization. It is based on different skills of an individual capability or knowledge which help to improve unemployment in Nigeria today.

Entrepreneur is also known as people who have the ability to see and evaluate business opportunities, gather the necessary resources to take advantage of them and initiate appropriate action to ensure success. The entrepreneur in Schumpeterian tradition could be seen as an individual or a group of individuals who either undertakes the responsibility of making innovations in the economy or carries out new organization of any industry.

Nwachukwu, (2005) disclosed that the need for entrepreneurship education in the society cannot be more relevant than now when the whole world is experiencing economic recession with attendant of massive loss of paid jobs in both private and public sectors of the economy. This is in line with Okolocha and Ile (2008) who have earlier postulated that entrepreneurship education is most relevant in the economy with high incidence of unemployment.

Entrepreneurship focuses on recognizing a business opportunity, starting a business based on the recognized opportunity and skill acquisition because it integrates the functional areas or areas of specialization, make things like craftsmen, electrical electronics, power and creation of new things and ideas, contract the legal and economic environment in which a new venture operates. The following according to Nnamani (2007) are benefits of entrepreneurship;

v    Increase awareness of the role of entrepreneurship: the more students know the roles of entrepreneurs in a society, the more they aspire to be entrepreneurs.

v    It encourages risks taking and learning from failure; entrepreneurship education helps the students to know that an entrepreneur does not give up easily. He triumph in the midst of difficulties because, he would always work towards problem solving.

v    Learning to identify and recognize opportunities: entrepreneurship education provides student with the skills to identify and recognize available opportunities around them.

In other words, entrepreneurship offers a solution it seeks to prepare people particularly youths and adults or work age group to be responsible enterprising individuals who become entrepreneurs or entrepreneurial thinkers by immersing them in the real world of work by taken risk, manage the results and learn form the outcome. Graduates of this programme are exposed to various favourable entrepreneurial situations per time due to their learning practical skills and general experiences, these favourable entrepreneurial could lead to a successful entrepreneurship if exploited. Equipping graduate with entrepreneurial skills will enable them harness the business opportunities in the associated challenges. Thus, they will become job creators instead of job seekers.

Improving the National Economy

The level of a nation economic growth is measured not only by their national resources at their disposal, but other indices are also considered. The Gross National Product (GNP) and the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) are some of the indices that can be used to measure a nation’s economic growth and increase in the GNP and GDP” figures can indicate growth. The gross national product is the total value of all final goods and services produced by the country during the year in review or particular period, final goods and services are in this case those that are sold or are ready for sale to buyers who will use them for consumption investment, government purchases or net exports (Tregarthen, 1996).

The measurement of the country’s economic growth especially in the area of the national product and domestic product to a large extent is dependent on the country’s industrial sector and the growth in general sector, (Jhingan, 2000). It will automatically cause full employment and the eradication of poverty in the national economy. Skill acquisition which is known to create countless employment through small and medium scale industries in any economy should be a strategic means the country produces many skills, it would cause employment opportunities for individuals who ordinarily need jobs or could not have been accommodated by government’s employment opportunities. Skill acquisition is therefore important for the country if the economy is to experience any form of growth and development.

The industrial sector is a very important sector in every economy because without it, there will be no growth and development. In national economy, the industrial sector is not functioning as it should because the economy is dependent only on one part of the sector which is the oil and gas sector, but for the entire industrials sector to function as it should, other sector such as the manufacturing and construction sector must also be improved in order to boost up the industrial sector. The government of Nigeria has a very big role to play in order to boost this sector which will in turn improve skill acquisition.

One of the way by which the government can improve the industrial sector is by improving and revitalizing the infrastructural sector. The infrastructural facilities are power, road, railway, pipe born water, communications, and health care which can be effectively and efficiently improved by the government, this will go a long way in improving the industrial sector and as well result to growth in the national economy.

The place of skill acquisition cannot be over emphasized in the rapid development of the industrial sector as well as other sectors of the economy for this to be actualized policies and goals on skill acquisition must be put in place and well implemented. One of this policy is to integrate the informal sector such as the road side trainers with the formal sector in order to improve skill acquisition and enhance the development of individuals and the national economy at large. When skill acquisition in electrical electronics technology is improved, it will enhance productivity thereby improving the income per capital of the nation.

Improving the Standard of Living

Most people are said to be poor in the country because they are living below the poverty stage which has been put at living with less than two (2) dollars per day. The poverty stage is the minimum level of income need to buy the basic necessities of life. (hornby, 2001). Through the production of skill acquisition the standard of living of the People would change for the better to a large extent. Skill acquisition is a source or a means of reducing unemployment and in turn create a situation where majority of the population are gainfully employed not only by government but by private firms which make for improvement in their standard of living in Nigeria not withstanding its wealth of natural and human resources which are abound within its borders of skills as a tool of improving the standard of living would go a long way to improved a lot of general population because more people would be made economically stable and financially independent. Skill acquisition is important to the raising of the standard of living of the people as it provides varieties of jobs for the people. Acquiring and learning new skills will reduce unemployment and provide self-employment for these employed individuals by selling up their own business to create jobs for others too. Skill acquisition will prepare young people for any specific job with a life long opportunity for self development. This is because there will be competency, interest and job satisfaction to the highly skilled person to effectively and efficiently carryout that job successfully for higher productivity which will in turn increase the standard of living of the people. Public-private partnership is becoming an obvious facilitator and approach to sustainable national development of any society. And the conceptual aspect of such relationship is based towards contributing and providing for Technical and Vocational Education for the realization of self goals of vocational technical education in Nigeria. On the Emphassy Karean and Garba (2008), opined that in Nigeria and other developing countries sustainable access to technology development and product are best achieved through public-private partnership with vocational technical education. Oladimeji (1995), believed that skill acquisition of practical skills relating to occupation in various sectors of economic and social life will improve the standard of living of people. Private sector partnership in education remains a veritable tool for the achievement of development in our nations.

          Public private partnership is known as developmental partnership with the private sector paves the ways for entities in the private sector to perform corporate social responsibility by extending their services and financial cooperation for substantial development. Finally the working group for international cooperation in skill development. Yakubu (2003) posited that cost sharing policies in education and training provision are justified by the recognition that these investments create human capital, leading to enhanced earnings.

Enhancement of Skill Efficiency in the World of Work

In the real world of work, the help of entrepreneurship and skilled acquisition play an important role of enhancement of skill efficiency after technology and vocational education have prepared you with the different skills in electrical and electronic, knowledge to perform well in any industry or company in the world of work this show the individual skill acquisition for self-employment. The enhancement of skill will manifest in the world of work to improve and increase employment and decrease unemployment in the society at large.

Technology and vocational education determine to achieve the economic stability of a nation by training and imparting the necessary skills that lead to the production of craftsmen, technicians and other skilled personal trained to be enterprising and self-reliant, (Nwobasi, 2005). The world of work programme aims to ensure that every student is equipped with the skills they needs to be successfully engage in the world of work, either because they possess skills which are highly valued by employers or because they are well equipped to set themselves up in their own business. In the world of work entrepreneurship means any person who uses his skill to discover hidden business opportunity and exploits it for a profit.

A good entrepreneur should be repository of knowledge in field of planning, organizing staffing, directing, coordinating, reporting as well as budgeting. The important attitudes of an entrepreneur includes technical competence, practical experience (in time of business or product live in order to ensure clarify of decision). Skill is seen as ability to do something well, usually gained through training or experience. Skill acquisition on the other hand involves the development of a new skill, practice or way of doing things usually gained through training or experience. The types of skills that can be acquired by the youth are

Vocational carpentry, hair dressing, fashioning designing, tailoring etc.

Mechanic, electrical, repairs of GSM handset, wrist watches, air-conditioner etc, and Entrepreneurial (small scale business such as operation of kiosk, buying and selling of spare parts, restaurants etc)

As the political and economic enigmas, governments at all levels in Nigeria attempted to deal with the problem of unemployment, the strong feeling that the general nature of the nation primary and secondary schools does not encourage the acquisition of skills to fit into any skilled job, thereby worsening the unemployment situation. The motivating factor has been the spirit of self-reliance. The world off work has been changing for more rapidly and unpredictably than education provision. Employers worldwide need workers who blend soft and hard skills, they want workers who have technical expertise and conflict the ground running, work collaboratively in teams and know how to analyze problems by thinking critically. The cores of improving individual for employment through skills are

  1. Self-confidence: the fruits are confidence independence and individuality, opinion and leadership dynamism,
  2. Originality such as resourcefulness, creativity, versatility of knowledge ability;
  3. Task result oriented
  4. People: oriented that is getting along with others.
  5. Future oriented
  6. Risk taking abilities

Conclusion

The world today is a civilized and a global village as a result of electrical electronics technology. Electrical and electronics technology education is regarded as one of the most popular system where people venture into as a result of education that has enlightened them on its uses and importance which lead to the training of the students to acquire more skills. Skills acquisition enables the students to gain employment or be self-reliant in their area of study.

It helps in the means of livelihood or in the increase of standard of living and help them in creation of job as an individual to be self-employed which many students have benefited from, as a result of skills acquired from electrical electronics technology education on the present world. Positively and negatively, technology of electrical electronics education has imparted enough to the modern civilization and globalization with the product of creativity.

Skill acquisition training in electrical electronic has been identified as a way to equip individuals with skills and knowledge that will help to be self employed. The needs of skill acquisition in electrical electronics have helped in the following ways by fighting unemployment which means creating jobs for those that are capable and willing to work, skill acquisition will help any individual to be self-reliant and these will reduce unemployment, improving entrepreneurship in the society is the innovation of a new idea and it actualization is useful to the society, improving the national economy is the process of increasing industry and facilities to increase the standard of living with the various jobs in the society, again by increasing the standard of the people and reducing unemployment and by enhancement of skill efficiency in the world of work as to help society to reduce unemployment.

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NEED TO IMPROVE SKILL ACQUISITION IN ELECTRICAL ELECTRONICS TECHNOLOGY EDUCATION FOR SELF-EMPLOYMENT

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