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PROJECT TOPIC- QUALITY ASSURANCE OF INSTRUCTORS OF SCHOOLS OF AGRICULTURE IN THE EFFECTIVE TEACHING OF FOREST TREE MANAGEMENT TO NATIONAL DIPLOMA STUDENTS IN SOUTH EASTERN NIGERIA

PROJECT TOPIC- QUALITY ASSURANCE OF INSTRUCTORS OF SCHOOLS OF AGRICULTURE IN THE EFFECTIVE TEACHING OF FOREST TREE MANAGEMENT TO NATIONAL DIPLOMA STUDENTS IN SOUTH EASTERN NIGERIA

Abstract

This study was carried out to determine quality assurance of instructors in schools of Agriculture in South Eastern Nigeria. Five research questions guided the study. Survey research and evaluation design were used for the study. Population for the study was thirtysix (36) instructors drawn from four schools of Agriculture in South Eastern Nigeria. Psycho productive multiple choice test item and structured competency item questionnaire were used for data collection. The two sets of instrument were validated by three experts. Split half technique, Cronbach alpha and product moment correlation coefficient were used to determine the reliability of the two sets of the instrument with the coefficient of 0.84 for the
structured questionnaire item and 0.88 for the psycho-productive multiple choice test item. Thirty-six copies of each of the two sets of instruments were administered to the respondents by the researcher and three research assistant on one to one basis. All the thirty-six copies of each set of the instrument were retrieved and analyzed using frequency, percentage, mean and improvement needed index (INI) to answer the research questions. It was found out that the instructors were of low quality assurance in planning for forest plantation management, forest plantation establishment, forest plantation management and marketing of the mature forest trees and therefore require some improvement. It was therefore recommended that instructors should be retrained through seminar, workshops and short duration courses to improve their quality.

INTRODUCTION

An instructor is one who has been technically prepared for effective teaching of approved causes to students in colleges, polytechnics and universities. Encarta (2009) defined an instructor as a teacher of a specialized subject that involves skills like flight instructor, drill instructor and physical training instructor among others. Instructor as reported in Websters (2002) is any one that had acquired technical competencies to prepare students in colleges and is ranked below assistant lecturer.

In the context of the study an instructor is a person who had acquired knowledge, skills and attitude through training in forest management and is impacting the knowledge, skills and attitude in forest management in agriculture to students. Agriculture is the science that deals with the cultivation of land and rearing of animal for the purpose of producing food for man and raw material for relevant industries. Kriicher (1997) stated that agriculture is the simplification of natures food web and the rechanneling of energy for human planting and animal consumption. Encarta (2009) view agriculture as the art, science and industry of managing the growth of plants and animals for human use.

Agriculture has contributed immensely to the people of south eastern Nigeria in term of provision of food, shelter, clothing as well as generating fund to support the economy of the country. Agriculture has specialized programme areas in school  of agriculture in which forestry is one of them. Forestry as described in Wikipedia (2009) is the art and science of managing tree plantation and related natural resources. Hornby (2006) defined forestry as the science or practice of planting and taking care of trees and forest. Forest tree therefore are strands of wood vegetation thick central stem (trunk) from where branches grow with leaves on them. 

They are mainly perennial plants of economic values, always evergreen though some of the large ones can be found in different parts of the country especially the rainforest zone. FAO report of (1999) stated that some of the utilizable species of forest trees distributed in various parts of Nigeria are khaya ivorensis (mohagany) chronophers excels (iroko), Gmelina arborea among others. FAN (2001) also explained that there are two major types of forest trees adaptable to the soil and climatic condition of south eastern Nigeria.

(1) Indigenous forest tree: Butryospemum parstoxum(shear butter) Xylopia villoscia, Afzelis Africans,khaya ivorensis (Mahogany), Nauclea cliderrichi (opepe), Trilochiton scleroxylon (obeche)

(2) Exotic forest tree e.g.Tectonia gradis (Teak), Gmelina arborea (Gmelina), Eucalyptus spp, pinus spp, Azadirachta indica (neem) Worry nut (cider tree). These forest trees are of economic importance to the people of south eastern Nigeria. Olaitan (1998) enumerated some of the economic importance of forest trees as forest trees are source of timber for building, making of furniture and farm structures for animals, supply wood as fuel for cooking, act as
wind breaks, provide satisfying environment and recreational amusement at parks in urban town and cities, soil erosion are check by the network of forest roots among others. FAO (1993) reported that forest trees such as faedhebia albida add nutrients to the soil through their leaf shading provide protection to grasses and shelter to people and livestock from heat. More so, forest trees provide employment to foresters and yield revenue to forest managers. 

Management as defined in Encyclopaedia (2009) is the skilful handling or the act of handling or controlling something successfully. Management in the context of this study is the process of growing and taking care of forest trees from seed to maturity i.e. forest tree nursery practice, plantation management, and wood processing and marketing for the purpose of earning money for a living and producing raw materials for industries. Plantation management which is the main trust of this study involved land preparation, planting operation (transplanting), maintenance operation, harvesting and marketing. The above values of forestry necessitated its inclusion into the programme of schools of Agriculture as forest management for higher national diploma students.

PROJECT TOPIC- QUALITY ASSURANCE OF INSTRUCTORS OF SCHOOLS OF AGRICULTURE IN THE EFFECTIVE TEACHING OF FOREST TREE MANAGEMENT TO NATIONAL DIPLOMA STUDENTS IN SOUTH EASTERN NIGERIA

School of Agriculture is a tertiary institution producing intermediate man power in many specialized programme areas of Agriculture. The programme can run for two or four years leading to the award of National Diploma of two year duration (ND) and Higher National Diploma (HND) with an advanced course of two year duration with a minimum of one year work experience between ND and HND. Graduates of schools of Agriculture in forestry especially HND is expected to find employment in any forest occupation such as Nursery practice enterprise, Plantation management or forest wood production enterprise and wood processing enterprise.

It was therefore observed by the researcher through close discussion with the forest managers that graduates from forestry who are employed in their wood industry could not perform as expected and was blamed for incompetency in their work. These in competencies were probably associated with the type of training they received in the schools of Agriculture under the instructor; therefore to produce competent foresters in future the instructors required quality assurance. To exonerate or associate the instructors with evidence instructors need to be assessed for quality.
Quality in the opinion of Olaitan, Nwachukwu, Igbo, Onyemachi, and Ekong (1999), is that distinguishing parameter or characteristics that brings out or exposes the worth or goodness associated with a thing. Quality in the context of this paper is the level of efficiency possessed by instructors in forest tree management for appropriate performance of activities involved in forest tree management in schools of Agriculture. Quality assurance therefore is the process of ensuring that the degree of excellence specified is achieved by instructors, demonstrating appropriately the knowledge skills and attitudes required in forest plantation management which will yield quality product at the end. 

The purpose of this study therefore was to determine quality assurance of instructors in schools of Agriculture in the effective teaching 0f forest tree management to national diploma student. Specifically, the study sought to: determine the competencies in planning for forest plantation management, plantation establishment, plantation management and marketing of matured forest trees where instructors required improvement.

Research Question

 1 What is the quality assurance of the instructors in teaching forest plantation management to students in schools of agriculture in south eastern Nigeria?

 2 What are the competencies in planning for forest plantation management where instructors required improvement?

 3 What are the competencies in forest plantation establishment where instructors required improvement?
4 What are the competencies in forest plantation establishment where instructors required improvement?
5 What are the competencies in marketing mature forest trees where instructors required improvement?

METHODOLOGY

PROJECT TOPIC- QUALITY ASSURANCE OF INSTRUCTORS OF SCHOOLS OF AGRICULTURE IN THE EFFECTIVE TEACHING OF FOREST TREE MANAGEMENT TO NATIONAL DIPLOMA STUDENTS IN SOUTH EASTERN NIGERIA

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