THE IMPACT OF VOCATIONAL EDUCATION IN COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME IN OVIA SOUTH WEST LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF EDO STATE
BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Vocational education is as old as man. In traditional societies, there were various institutional provisions developed for passing knowledge or skill in specific trade from one generation to another. The traditional system of learning was mainly informal. It emphasize on skilled development such as black smitting, carpentry, pottery, weaving, tailoring, motor mechanic etc. This system of learning prepares learners for careers that are based in manual or practical activities, traditionally non-academic and totally related specific trade occupation or vocation in other words it is education designed to develop occupational skills. In traditional African society, vocational training was based on the cultural role individuals were expected to perform. For this reasons, the men were taught the trades of their father while the women were giving training that would enable them to perform their cultural functions such as home management (Osuala, et al, 1987).
In traditional societies, it is right to say that the aim of education was character training and job orientation. Many people have the impression that vocational education is for the drop-out of the formal education system but the National Policy on Education (2004) emphasized the development of knowledge, attitude and manipulation of skills. The policy envisaged that training occupation at the junior and senior secondary schools should basically be pre-vocational, that is, preparing students for entry into vocational skills programmes in the future. Many people have begun to appreciate the significance of vocational education. This system of education givens individuals the skills to live, learn and work as a productive citizens in a global society. The vocational education has many prospects; it can be used as a catalyst for creating employment opportunities. Thus, it is a panacea for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGS). The impact of vocational education in community development cannot be overemphasized. It provides relevant training to individuals to be self-supporting and independent through one’s own labour, thereby contributing economically and socially to the development of such communities. With the current imbalance in the educational system and the resultant effects of mass unemployment of school lavers, the National Policy on Education envisages that vocational education would bail us out of the problem. Vocational education exists in various forms which includes formal, informal and non-formal education.
The formal education is the most popular in contemporary educational practice. Instructional programmes and learning strategies take place within the four walls of the school system. It runs from the pre-primary school to the tertiary institutions. In addition to general academic studies, a variety of specialized programmes and aimed at serving a particular age group. It is for a specific period of time and certificate are awarded to the graduants. In the sphere of informal section, vocational education is seen as a system in which every individual acquired attitude, value, skills and knowledge from daily experiences and educative influence and resources in his or her environment from family and neighbours, from work and play, from the market place, the library and mass media. for instance through informal education, a son picks up skill from his father like farming, fishing, drumming, carving, mat weaving, cloth weaving from the mother in the home through observation, it is not systematic and not certificate oriented.
The National Policy on Education (2004) stated that non-formal education consists of remedial, continuing vocational, aesthetic, cultural and civic education for youths and adults outside the formal school system. There is no age restriction, non-formal education is skill oriented. It is based on open apprenticeship system. Nigeria is a classical example of a country that practice the non-formal education. The period of apprenticeship varies from one vocation to another. After an appreciable period of training, the master put to test the level of skill acquired by the apprentice. The apprentice pays the master for his training services and become fully initiated into the chosen vocation. He will then establish himself in a trade or associate with his form master or another master as a join-man, he is entitled to regular wages, which is paid monthly. Regardless of the difference in the opinions among educators, education can generally be regarded as an aggregate to all the processes by which a person develop abilities, attitude and other forms of behavioural, values in the society in which he lives. In other words, education is the process that helps to develop the whole man physically, socially, morally, mentally, politically sand technologically in any environment in which he may find himself.
The success of a nation’s economy and community development depends on the quality of its workers. Therefore, the programmes of vocational education is designed to meet the educational and training needs of adults. It also provides the adults with attitudes that will enable them to choose, enter into and progress in any occupation of their choice. The programmes of vocational education are also designed to provide qualified and well-equipped personnel to apply scientific knowledge to the improvement and solution of environmental problems for use and convenience of man. It also provide training to impart the necessary skills leading to the production of craftsmen, technicians, technology and the role technology plays in the world around us (Dr. Olatunde A. Aworanti).
Vocational education is needed by adults who have left a full-time school career, those employed and those who have been rendered unemployable due to technological changes. Vocational education is also needed by person who because of academic, social-economic background “handicaps” who cannot succeed in the formal school programme. According to Wenrich and Wenrich (1974) vocational education is the education that prepare youths and adult for employment in a specific occupation or family of occupation by providing competencies needed for such employment, vocational education prepared youths for employment in industries, commerce and other enterprises by exposing those qualified for it. It is also to provide experience for adult who are already employed and whose skills have become absolute and then, require updating their skills (Uwameiye, 1998). While its objective is to encourage the maintenance and expansion of programmes and services, which are designed to meet the occupational needs of the demands.
Vocational education may be full-time or part-time and it is certificate oriented. It refers to all aspect of the educational process involving the acquisition or practical skills with which to start a life of work to earn a living (Osuala, 1987). Vocational education is characterized by its more specialized nature. Its purpose is to prepare the individual for an economic role in his society. It is directed at inculcating specific skills which will enable the individual render certain specialized services of economic value (Imhabekhia, 1992). The major occupation areas of vocational education include vocational agriculture, health occupation, trade and industrial education, business and office education (Osuala, 1987).
In Ovia South West Local Government adults are equipped with vocational education which enable them contribute to the welfare and social well-being of the society. The participants for the vocational services are between twenty three to forty five years old, who have sufficient strength, intelligence and emotional stability to work without excessive absenteeism and have a sincere desire to work. Also, the centres serve as a functional literacy centers for the adults who do not possess the first school leaving certificate. The vocational centre facilitates the cooperative relations and placement of graduates of the centres in local industries. In essence, community therefore is primarily a social group occupying a more or few defined geographical area and for one another (Anyanwe, 1987). Kidd (1978) sees development as the power of people to solve their problems, experience and resources, pestilence and starvation. We can deduce from this definition that development amounts in the optimum realization of the well being of individuals in their community. Anyanwu (1981), sees community development as the process in the life of a community by which people plan and get together for the satisfaction of their felt need. He emphasized further that community development is seen as a weapon of mobilization through which social change could be engineered through citizen’s participation. Vocational education on the other hand has been described as a training which is given in school or classroom under public supervision and control. It also refers to systematic learning experiences which are designed to fits individuals for gainful employment in recognized occupations as semi-skilled workers or technicians or sub-professionals (Osuala, 1987).
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEMS
Nowadays, a number of factors have filled increasing demand for education and skills training. This include the increasing consciousness regarding the quality of life, changing role and life pattern, growth in technology among others. The changing role of adults and the need to encourage them to participate more meaningfully in national development has led to the establishment of a training centre. It is expected that the adults will take advantage of the situation to enlist in the programmes to better their lost. Study by Omoruyi (1998) revealed that the level of adults literacy and continuing education programme is far from being satisfactory. It is generally believed that the level of adult’s educational programme is still low throughout the country.
It is therefore, seemingly certain that adult are yet to adequately and fully take advantage of the numerous educational programmes designed for them. Beside, not much is known abou6t the few of them who have benefited from the programme in terms of the impact that they produced on the social milieu in which they live. It will be improper to assume that vocational training offered adults in the area that have impacted significantly on the development of the beneficiaries in particular, their immediate community in general without any deliberate efforts to explore the situation. In other words, it is difficult to assume that the skill training or vocational training programmes have impacted greatly on the people and their communities without any conscious effort to systematically study the situation with a view to ascertain the state of things. It is against this background that this study was designed. Hence, the problem of this study therefore, is to investigate the impact vocational education has on community development programmes in Ovia South West Local Government Area; a case study of Iguobazuwa community..