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The study was conducted to develop and validate basic office skills training programme for outof- school-girl-child in Taraba State of Nigeria. Five specific purposes were answered while five null hypotheses were tested at 0.05 level of significance. The study adopted Research and
Development (R & D) design for the development of basic office skills training programme for the out-of-school girl-child in Taraba State. The population for the study was 438 respondents which comprises 58 lecturers of Business Education, 287 Teachers of business studies and 93
Business Managers from three educational zones of the state. The sample for the study was 219 respondents representing 50% of the population and comprising 29 Business Education Lecturers, 144 Business Studies teachers and 46 Managers of registered business corporations in
the state. The instrument for data collection for the study is a structured questionnaire titled “Basic Office Skills Training Programme Questionnaire (BOSTPQ)”. The questionnaire items are made up of two sections namely: section one which solicited information on personal data of the respondents, while section two was structured into five parts (A, B, C, D and E). Each section in section two is structured into five – point Likert Scale of Strongly Agree (SA), Agree (A), Undecided (UD), Disagree (D), and Strongly Disagree (SD) with a corresponding numerical value of 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1 respectively. The instrument was face-validated by three experts, all from the Department of Vocational Teacher Education, University of Nigeria, Nsukka. To establish the reliability of the instrument, the questionnaire was trial tested on 15 respondents made up of 5 Business Education lecturers, 5 Business Studies Teachers and 5 registered Business managers from Adamawa State. The data obtained from the trial testing was analyzed using Cronbach Alpha reliability technique to determine the internal consistency of the instrument and an overall reliability coefficient of 0.79 was obtained for the instrument. The data for the study were collected with help of two assistants. Out of the total 219 copies of
questionnaire administered, 206 copies were returned and completely filled representing 94.1% return rate. The data collected were analyzed using mean to answer the research questions while Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) was used to test the hypotheses at 0.05 level of significance.
Based on the data analyzed, the study found that all the 14 instructional objectives, 21 contents, 25 instructional methods, 11 instructional materials and 15 evaluation activities were agreed upon by the respondents for developing basic office skill training programme for out of school
girl child in Taraba State. The findings on the hypotheses tested revealed that there were no significant differences in the mean ratings of the responses of the three groups of respondents on 71 out of the 86 items identified in the study while on the remaining 15 items, there were
significant differences in the mean ratings of the responses of the three groups of respondents. Based on the above findings, the study among others recommended that: stakeholders in charge of education reform and development should make provision for fund for effective
implementation of the basic office training programme for the girl-child, and that federal ministries of youth and women affairs should be made to champion the implementation of the basic office training programme to the grass root at the advantage of out-of-school-girl-child.


Background of the Study

The child has the fundamental right to education which is a process of imparting knowledge, skills and experiences to individuals so that one could be functional in life. The Convention on the Right of the Child (CRC) (2007) defined a child as “every human being below the age of eighteen years. According to UNICEF (2007), childhood stage covers the crèche, the nursery or early childhood (0-5) years, primary school (6-12) years and secondary school (12 -18) years.

During this period, the young child is totally under the care of the adults who may be parents, guardians or older siblings. In other words, the period is made up of infancy, childhood, early or late adolescent stages of development to a boy and girl-child.
A girl-child is a biological female offspring from birth to 18 years of age, and it is the age before one becomes a young female adult. The girl-child at this age is very dependent on others for basic needs such as food, clothing and shelter. The educational, physical, mental, social and spiritual development of the girl-child starts and progress to the peak as a female adult (Ikekeonwu, 2009). When a female child drops out of school at this stage before the completion of her education, she is referred to as out-of-school-girl-child.
The out-of-school girl-child is a female child from eleven to eighteen years of age who is out-of-school without completion of her education (UNICEF, 2007). The sudden disengagement of the girl-child from school may be due to unexpected occurrences such as lack of money to pay
fees, harmful traditional practices, pregnancy, and religious misconception, death of parents or guardians, among others. This situation exposes the out-of-school-girl-child to various forms of dangers such as unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases and anti-social behavior such
as prostitution, among others.

The out-of-scho ol girl-child in Taraba State is not only deprived of education but seen hawking firewood and yam for yam dealers. To make the out-of-school-girl- child become useful members of the society, there is need to re-engage them with productive skills through development of a training programme. Development is a complex issue with many different and sometimes contentious definitions. Development, according to Quirk (1995), is the act of making an idea clearer by studying it more, by speaking or writing about it in more detail. It is the act of making something more organized.


According to Olaiya in Osinem and Nwoji (2010), development is a process of providing learning opportunities for improving competence and performance. “Human development,” can be measured by people’s education, as well as people’s average income, a necessary condition for a gainful job through skill training. Development of a training programme in this context can be referred to as the designing of a course of study which is aimed at equipping the out-of-school girl-child with the required basic office skills for employment for self or societal development.
Developmental process involves such activities as career planning, planned promotion, coaching and counselling, self development, and action learning among others. Therefore, programme development is an ongoing systematic process that professionals follow as they plan, implement and evaluate educational programmes. The process is not confined to a four year planning cycle. It can be applied on a small scale to an individual working shop, on a large scale to a comprehensive community initiative or to a country or statewide programme of action.

The scope may be different but the principles of developing training programme remain the same (European Commission, 2000) Sinclair (1999) defined programme as series of action or activities that are planned to be carried out. In the view of Olaitan, Nwachukwu, Onyemachi, Igbo and Ekong (1999),
programme means real plan of what is to be done. What is to be done in actual fact required manipulation and that the programme is mostly used in exposing learning activities preferred in vocational technical education to the learners. Olaitan and Ndomi (2000) referred to programme
as a planned list of instructions to be executed or carried out. In this study, training programme is a series of activities in basic office management that are meant to develop the skills of out-ofschool girl-child with saleable skills for work in offices.
Skills are the learned capacity to carry out predetermined tasks often with the minimum outlay of time, energy or both. Skill is a well established habit of doing something and it involves the acquisition of performance capabilities which required simultaneous or sequential coordinated pattern of mental and/or physical activity in relation to an object or other display of information, usually involving both preceptor and effector process (Osinem and Nworji, 2010). Hull (1991) defined skill as manual dexterity acquired through repetitive performance of an operation.

Skills can often be divided into domain-general and domain-specific skills. For example, in the domain of work, some general skills would include time management, teamwork and leadership, self motivation and others, whereas domain-specific skills would be useful only for a certain job. Skill usually requires certain environmental stimuli and situations to assess the level of skill being shown and used. People need a broad range of skills in order to contribute to a modern economy and take their place in the technological society of the 21st century.
National Policy on Education (FRN,2004) stated that basic education should be provided for out of school youths; girl-child inclusive, in order to improve the basic knowledge and skills needed to enable them progress steadily towards the world of works for self-reliance and contribute meaningfully to the development of the nation. Basic skills are fundamental or foundational performance capabilities which a person should possess in order to fit into a regular job or field of endeavour (Osinem and Nworji, 2010).

Basic skills according to Tonne and Nanassy in Obi (2005), is the ability to use one’s knowledge effectively and readily in performing an act, or a habit of doing a particular thing competently even in office. Basic office skills gives an individual the basic necessary skills for general office support in today’s modern  office. Through skill training in basic office skills, the out-of-school girl-child will gain basic skills in keyboarding, computer applications, document formatting, document editing, records management, interpersonal relations and other clerical tasks. The responses of business education lecturers, business studies teachers and managers of business offices will be of help in identifying the basic office skills for equipping the out-of-school girl-child.
A teacher or lecturer in higher institution is someone who has undergone the necessary and recommended training in a particular subject matter and charged with the full responsibility of managing the classroom or laboratory for teaching and learning of the learners (UNESCO,  2003). In the syllabus of business studies in secondary school and curriculum of business education in tertiary institution, basic office skills are highlighted. The business managers coordinating offices where the services of the skilled girl-child can be paid for are also relevant in this study. The managers hire and pay for the services render by the girl-child as sales girls, typist and other clerical office work.
Clerical or office workers do much more than answering phones in offices. Typing smartly and accurately is a qualification of most clerical workers. New technology has greatly changed the profession but typing remains one of its biggest components. In some paperless offices, taking messages over the phone involves simultaneous sending of emails rather than making a note and delivering the message by hand. Sorting and filing is still a common office function.

Electronic files are kept through data entry postings to applications such as Access and or Excel spreadsheets and the developing an electronic filing system that others in the office can understand is important. Understanding mail delivery and how to prioritize incoming items makes a clerical worker indispensable. The Federal Republic of Nigeria (FRN) (2004) in National Policy on Education emphasized on functionalism and acquisition of appropriate skills as the bed rock for survival of the individual including the girl-child in the society. This can be ensured through the development of a training programme for acquisition of vocational skills for sustainable livelihood.

When vocational training programme is developed, it is validated in order to ensure that the set goals and objectives of the programmes are being met on sustainable basis. The process of programme development involve certain procedures, which include; the identification of objectives of the programme to be developed, the contents of the programme, the instructional methods, instructional material to use and the required evaluation activities of the programme. Objective is a brief, clear statements that describe the desired learning outcomes of instruction; that is, the specific skills, values, and attitudes students should exhibit that reflect the broader goals. UNESCO (2008) described objectives as specific and concise statements that state who will make what change, by how much, where and when. Objectives of a training programme can most be achieved through effective exploitation of specific contents of the programme.
Content can be divided into the three domains of knowledge: Skills, Attitudes, and Values. When teaching knowledge, the teacher can use a variety of methods, with the goal of getting the learner to actively engage in learning the material. When teaching skills, the teacher needs to demonstrate and point out important aspects, supervise the student doing the skill, or teach the student through the skill. When teaching about attitudes, the teacher needs to use methods that require the application of the attitude in particular situations (UNESCO, 2008).

In the context of this study, the contents of basic office skills are those steps embedded in skills, attitudes and knowledge towards enhancing employability of the out-of-school-girl-child for sustainable livelihood in the state. The proficiency in equipping the out-of-school-girl-child in the state with basic office skills depends on the appropriateness of the/or teaching instructional methods used.
Teaching methods are ways through which lesson contents in any teaching activity are taught to the students by the teacher. Instructional methods are more efficacious than others.
According to Barnstein (2006) instructional methods are techniques adopted by a teacher to deliver or impact knowledge to the students. The author reported further that teaching methods are designed to be as interactive as possible, emphasizing small group work using relevant and
practical case studies. An important part of any teaching experience is the quality of the relationship between learners and teachers. When appropriate instructional methods are used for imparting relevant skills, knowledge and attitudes to the learners, efforts must be made by the
teachers to adopt the use of the most relevant instructional materials. Instructional materials are teaching and learning aids that are in learning environment or classroom to facilitate teaching and learning (UNESCO, 1999).

When the learners are well taught using the relevant instructional materials and method, the teachers evaluate the performance of the students and the achievement of the stipulated objectives of the programme.
To evaluate means to assess or judge something against a standard. Evaluation as described by Wheeler (1978) is a powerful device in clarifying objectives such that the objective could either be modified or replaced with more properly planned ones. Ughamady (1998) identified two types of evaluation. The two types of evaluation according to the author include formative and summative evaluation.

If education is viewed as a process which seeks to change the behaviour of learners in the direction of objectives considered desirable, then evaluation may be conceived as the process of determining the nature and extent of these changes in the behaviour of learners after being exposed to objectives. Therefore, both types of evaluation apply to evaluation of students’ achievement in a programme. In the context of this study, evaluation is the process of assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the out-of-school-girl-child in basic office skills to determine their progress.

In order to ensure that the desired results of enhancing the employability skills of the out-of-school-girl-child with basic office skills in Taraba state, the basic office skill package must be subjected to validation by experts. The validation by experts confirms the authenticity of the basic office skill programme package for the out-of-school-girl-child. Validation is the verification of something or programmes to confirm its correctness to the set goals and objectives. Wikipedia (2011) defined validation as the process of ensuring that the norms and standards are maintained.

Validation of a programme simply means ensuring through a test that a programme is in conformity with set goals and objectives. Validation of basic office training programme must be executed according to the method of instructions to equip the girl-child with the required skills to become selfreliant.
This is because, the education of a girl-child provides a rewarding social and economic development to the child and the society at large.
It is imperative to note that, despite concerted efforts and the declaration by Human Right in Article 26 adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in December 1949, that education is a fundamental right of individual including the girl-child. The Federal Republic of Nigeria (FRN) (2004) in the National Policy on Education stated that education is a right as well as a tool for achieving goals of equality, development and peace of the individual and the society.
Unfortunately, majority of the out-of-school-girl-child in Taraba state are still disadvantaged in education for sustainable livelihood. Most of the out-of-school-girl-child withdraws from school without completion of their educational pursuit therefore result to menial jobs to earn a living. To
reverse this ugly trend, the researcher deemed it necessary to develop and validate basic office training programme in order to equip the out-of-school-girl-child with saleable skills in Taraba State.

Statement of Problem

The girl-child like every individual is expected to contribute to the socio-economic development of the country. This requires some developmental skills, knowledge and attitudes through attainment of some level of education which is a fundamental right of every child (Civil Society Action Coalition Education for All “CSACEFA” 2009). According to Department for International Development “DFID” (2005), educating a girl-child is one of the most important investments that a country can make in its future plan and development.
However, in many cases the girl-child is not favored like the boy-child who is always given better treatment because of the lineage continuity that the girl-child lacked once she gets married. Research has shown that millions of girl-child do not have access to school despite concerted effort to push the course (Ikekeonwu, 2009). For instance, the study conducted by UNICEF (2003) across African countries including Nigeria showed that the number of girl-child that are out of school each year has risen from 20 millions in 1990 to 24 millions in 2002.

The resultant effects of this scenario is increase in teenage and unwanted pregnancy among the young girls, child and women trafficking, prostitution, abortion, increase in sexually transmitted diseases and increase in poverty rate due to unnecessary increase in population. Unfortunately, this is against the backdrop of the strategic slogan “education for all” EFA. In order to help the out-of-school-girl-child out of this unfortunate situation, especially in Taraba State, there is need to equip them with salable skills for work to earn a living without getting involved in antisocial activities such as prostitution, abortion or trafficking. Based on this, the study is aim at developing and validating basic office skills training programme for equipping out-of-schoolgirl-
child for employment opportunities in Taraba State.

Purpose of the Study          

The major purpose of this study was to develop and validate basic office skills training programme for out-of-school girl-child in Taraba State of Nigeria.
Specifically, the study aimed at determining the:
1. instructional objectives of basic office skills training programme for out-of-school girlchild.
2. contents of basic office skills training programme for out-of-school-girl-child.
3. instructional method of basic office skills training programme for out-of-school-girlchild.
4. instructional materials of basic office skills training programme for out-of-school-girlchild.
5. evaluation activities of basic office skills training programme for out-of-school-girl-child


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