INFLUENCE OF AGE, GENDER AND SCHOOL LOCATION ON MOTIVATION FOR OCCUPATIONAL PREFERENCE AMONG SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN AKWA IBOM STATE

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1     Background to the Study

One of the most insistent series of problems confronting young people today is that of preferring a career, preparing for it, finding a job, liking it and keeping it. Perhaps the most crucial sequence is liking the occupation since it constitute on one hand a test of rightness, and on the other hand indication of the likelihood of keeping the job. In addition since an employed person would spend most of his alert part of his life at work, liking the occupation and getting satisfaction are important motivation considerations. Motivation is a drive that energizes an individual to act, behave and take decisions. The end product of schooling life is work, ands what motivates an individual to prefer an occupation include human needs. Since human needs vary from person to person, their motivation on occupational preference would be different. In Africa and indeed Nigeria, societies view individual‘s age with importance and associate certain developmental tasks to it. The same goes for gender (male/female), (Edet, 2010). Many studies on occupational preference, choice, aspiration etc mostly involved graduates either from secondary schools or tertiary institutions (colleges of education, polytechnics, monotechnics, and universities.) but little is known of the likely motivation that would influence senior secondary school students concerning occupation and the world of work, little wonder then why most of them readily accept any job available irrespective of their interest, potentials, needs etc. after completing school. Presently, there is an assumption that secondary school students would prefer scientific oriented occupation (medicine and surgery, nursing, pharmacy, etc) than conventional

–oriented occupation (book-keeping, agriculture etc), this is an issue because the type of occupation people engage upon determines many thing in that society, Sandra, (2002).

When an individual is stable, well-adjusted and satisfied in his or her preferred occupation, the society experiences less tension. This is because an individual‘s motives for preferring and
subsequently choosing a career directly or indirectly models his lifestyle and attitude thereby affecting his core-values, ethics and goal in the society, Synder, (2002). Another issue of note is the saying that environment influences people. It means that people who live in rural communities might think, act, or prefer differently from those who live in the urban areas. Does this assumption include secondary school students? Do students who live and attend school in the rural areas have different motives from those who live and attend school in the urban areas concerning preference for occupation? Daniel, (2003) added that educators, parents and other stakeholders in children education have a duty to educate the young people in an engaging and realistic format especially on issues concerning life-long occupation, rather than leave them to their own devices. Secondary school students (youths) are still in their formation stage when individual suppose to mature physically, mentally, socially, emotionally and intellectually. Some adolescents and young adults gradually mature with a sense of self-perception, identity and personality. Some do establish social norms and patterns of behavior through self-exploration and inter-relationship with peers.

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INFLUENCE OF AGE, GENDER AND SCHOOL LOCATION ON MOTIVATION FOR OCCUPATIONAL PREFERENCE AMONG SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN AKWA IBOM STATE