DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION OF AN INTERACTIVE ONLINE PLATFORM FOR STUDENTS AND SCHOOL SUPERVISORS TO COMMUNICATE REGULARLY DURING THE STUDENTS IT/SIWES ATTACHMENT.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES) is a skills training programme designed to expose and prepare students of universities and other tertiary institutions for the Industrial Work situation they are likely to meet after graduation. It is also a planned and structured programme based on stated and specific career objectives which are geared towards developing the occupational competencies of participants (Mafe, 2009). Consequently, the SIWES programme is a compulsory graduation requirement for all Nigerian university students offering certain courses.
The Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES), is the accepted training programme, which is part of the approved Minimum Academic Standard in the various degree programmes for all Nigerian Universities. The scheme is aimed at bridging the existing gap between theory and practice of Sciences, Agriculture, Medical Sciences (including Nursing), Engineering and Technology, Management, and Information and Communication Technology and other professional educational programmes in the Nigerian tertiary institutions. It is aimed at exposing students to machines and equipment, professional work methods and ways of safeguarding the work areas and workers in industries, offices, laboratories, hospitals and other organizations.
Prior to establishing the Scheme, industrialists and other employers of labor felt concerned that graduates of Nigeria Universities were deficient in practical background studies preparatory for employment in Industries and other organizations. The employers thus concluded that the theoretical education being received in our higher institutions was not responsive to the needs of the employers of labor. Consequently, the rationale for initiating and designing the scheme by the Industrial Training Funds ITF, in 1973.
The scheme is a tripartite programme involving the students, the universities and the employers of labor. It is funded by the Federal Government and jointly coordinated by the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) and the National Universities Commission (NUC).
1.2STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The Industrial Training/Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme is usually intended for students to get valuable work experience relating to their field of study, due to the difficulty in getting work placement students often find themselves getting jobs in areas far away from their institutions. Supervisors have to wait till the end of the training scheme to assess the performance of the students. As a result of this problem, supervisors find it very difficult to monitor the progress of the student regularly.
1.3 AIM OF THE STUDY
The aim of this study is to provide an interactive online platform for students and school supervisors to communicate regularly during the students IT/SIWES attachment.
1.4 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
⦁ To enable school supervisor monitor the progress of the students during their IT/SIWES training.
⦁ To enable students and supervisors communicate regularly, this in turn enables the student to provide feedbacks regarding problems encountered during his/her training program.
⦁ To enable the lecturer/supervisor determine if the student is gaining relevant work experience during the IT/SIWES training.
1.5 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study covers the student and lecturer/supervisor progress report. The automation involves an online portal where the student and lecturers/supervisors can interact regularly.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study will help to bridge the communication gap between students and supervisors during the students IT/SIWES training programming, it seeks to provide a steady communication stream via the use of online resources, so as to ensure effective monitoring of students, irrespective of the distance where the student is carrying out his/her training.
1.7 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
As a result of the various stages involved in IT reporting, this research work would be limited to only weekly feedbacks, and the full technical reports submitted at the end of the IT/SIWES exercise. Also this research is limited to an online interaction between a student and his/her supervisor.
2.1 student industrial work experience scheme (SIWES)
The Student Industrial Work Experience scheme (SIWES) is a planned and supervised training intervention best on a stated and specific learning and career objectives geared towards developing the occupational competencies of the participants. It is a programme required to be undertaken by all student of tertiary institution in Nigeria pursuing courses in specialized engineering, technical, business, applied sciences and applied arts (ITF 2004). Therefore SIWES is generic
cutting across programmes in the universities, polytechnics and colleges of education. Thus, SIWES is not specifically meant for any one course of study or discipline.
In Nigeria, the current form of cooperative education is known as the student industrial training work experience scheme(SIWES). Often, student mistakenly and commonly refers to SIWES as IT, whereas Industrial Training is generic while SIWES is a specific form of cooperative education or industrial training operation in Nigeria.
The industrial training fund established the student industrial work experience scheme (SIWES) in 1973. The Scheme was designed to expose student to the industrial environment and enable them to develop occupational competencies so that they can readily contribute their quota to national economic and technological development after graduation.
2.2 THE CONTENT OF INDUSTRIAL TRAINING
The existing interest in industrial training derived from the concern of tertiary institution to improve the standard and quality of their students. Therefore, the content of industrial training scheme tends to be wide and comprehensive. Practical knowledge relates to doing. According to Ochagha (1995) practical knowledge is learning without which mastering of an area of knowledge may be too difficult to achieve. Practical knowledge involves developing skills, through the use of tools or equipment to perform tasks that are related to a field of study.
No society can achieve meaningful progress without encouraging its youth to acquire necessary practical skills. Such skills enable them to harness available resources to meet the needs of society. It was against this background that SIWES otherwise referred to as Industrial Training (IT), was introduced in Nigerian tertiary institutions.
SIWES is a skill development programme designed to prepare student of universities, polytechnic/monotechnics and Colleges of Education for transition from the College Environment to work (Akerejola 2008) Oyedele (1990) state that work experience is an educational programme in which students participate in work activities while attending school. This work experience programme gives students the opportunity to be part of an actual work situation outside the classroom. SIWES is a cooperative industrial internship programme that involves institution of higher learning, industries, the federal government of Nigeria, Industrial Training Fund (ITF) Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC) and NBTE/NCCE in Nigeria. Students that participate in this work experience programme include those studying library science, engineering vocational, technological, and related courses in institute of higher learning. SIWES forms part of the approved minimum academic standard in these institutions, SIWES is a core academic requirement carrying four credit units. This requirement must be met by all students before graduation. It is also compulsory at National Diploma (ND) level and is scheduled in the NBTE curriculum. The training programme is undertaken in the 3rd year of a four year degree programme respectively and in the 1st year of National Diploma programme.
Eze (1998) points out that government has recognized the importance of SIWES through the establishment of Industrial Training Fund (ITF) whereas ITG was established in 1971 and was charged with human resource development and training. Following the establishment of ITF, SIWES commenced in 1974 with the aim of making education more relevant and to bridge the yawning gap between the theory and related disciplines in tertiary institutions in Nigeria. The specific objectives of SIWES were summarized by the federal government in its Gazette of April, 1978 as follows:
All students who are registered for a Bachelor of Engineering, Diploma in Engineering, Computer Science, Public Administration, NCE Agric Science etc are required to undergo industrial training for a period of at least12 weeks before their graduation Industrial training is meant:
⦁ To expose student of any discipline of study to learn and experience the knowledge, which they required in industry where these are not taught in the lecture room.
⦁ To apply the knowledge taught in the lecture rooms in real industrial situation.
⦁ To use the experience gained from the industrial training in discussion held in the lecture rooms.
⦁ To get a feel of the work environment.
⦁ To gain experience in writing report in any discipline of study works/project.
⦁ To expose students to any field of study of its responsibilities and ethics.
⦁ To expose students to employers as well as to introduce the Industrial Training programme available within Nigerian institutions.
⦁ With all the experience and knowledge acquired it is hoped that student will be able to choose appropriate work after graduation..