The study sought to find out the method of improving students performance in technical schools in Niger State Central Educational Zone Of Niger State. The specific purposes of the study were to identify the level of students performance in technical schools, determine the availability and quality of human resources in technical’s schools, determine the environmental factors affecting students performance in technical schools and identify strategies for improving students performance in technical schools. Four research questions were design and used to guide this study. The population of the study was 970 of which 153 was sampled. The study adopted descriptive survey research design and the area of study is Niger State Central Educational Zone Of Niger State. The test retest method was used to establish the reliability of the instrument and the Pearson Product Moment Correlation coefficient was used to calculate the reliability coefficient. Mean statistics was employed to analyze the data. The summary of the findings for this study revealed that there is inadequacy of instructional materials available for the teaching and learning of Technical subjects technology, Lack of modern text books, Inadequacy of teaching materials, Lack of maintenance culture, Insufficient time allocated for practical among others are the factors affecting the teaching and learning of Technical subjects in technical colleges of Kaduna State, Lecture method, Demonstration method, Lesson method, Practical method among others are the appropriate methods used in teaching and learning of Technical subjects technology in technical colleges and adequacy of tools for practical, Adequacy of maintenance culture, Adequacy of Technical subjects textbook, Adequacy of qualified teachers among others are strategies to improve the performance of students in Technical subjects in technical colleges. Based on the findings, recommendations were made which include: that technical education curriculum planners for technical schools should review the curriculum to suit the needs of the society based on model that will adopt to the changing needs of the Nigerian society, the federal ministry of education policy makers in the state should formulates and adopt a policy that only qualified and well trained technical teachers with the relevant teaching qualification should be employed to teach in our technical schools, libraries in Niger state should be built in the schools and adequate Technical school textbooks should be stored in the libraries among others.
Background of the Study
Technical Education is that aspect of education which leads to the acquisition of practical skills in metal construction, foundry, interior decoration, carpentry and joinery etc, as well as basic scientific knowledge. Technical and vocational education could be define as that aspect of education involving in addition to general education, the study of technologies and related sciences and the acquisition of practical skills, attitude, understanding and knowledge relating to occupation in various section of economic and social life (Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2004). The national policy on education has placed a premium on vocational and technical education in view of its important role in technological and industrial development of Nigeria. The Federal Government therefore recognized technical education as an aspect of education which leads to the acquisition of practical and applied skills as well as basic scientific knowledge (FRN, 2004).
The nature of the demand for skills both in the quality and quantity help in promoting the need for vocational and technical education. Curriculum of technical education is therefore designed to offer students chance to test their abilities so that they can become self reliant in their choice of career.
Technical/vocational education can provide the individual students gainful employment in recognized career such as semi-skilled workers or technicians or sub-professionals(Oni, 2007). According to Audu et al (2013) any form of education that is geared towards teaching technical skills and attitudes suitable to such skill can be regarded as technical vocational education. Tilak (2002) emphasized that quality of technical vocational education is well planned and coordinated will guarantee student with skills, increasing production processes resulting from technological advancement. The nature of the demand for skills both in terms of quantity and quality inform the need in promoting vocational and technical education.
Technology (TVET) programs are available at the elementary, Junior Secondary School, Senior Secondary school level. At the elementary level it focus on technological awareness with classroom activities. While junior level the focus of technology education programs is on exploring the application of technology to solve problems and exploring the various technological careers. Senior secondary level, technology education programs are designed to give students experience related to scientific principles, engineering concepts and technological system (UNESCO 2012). The international objective of technical education are:
1. To equip the countries with workforce with the new skills that the labour market demands
2. Developing TVET to be a top priority in the quest to build greener societies and tackle globe unemployment’s
3. It helps in the social assimilation of various social groups (Patiniotis & Starroulakis 1997).
The National Policy on Education (2004), stated the goals and objectives of vocational and technical education as follows:
i. to provide trained manpower in applied science, technology and commerce particular at sub-professional grades.
ii. to provide technical knowledge and vocational skill necessary for agriculture, industries, commercial and economic development.
iii. to give training and impact the necessary skills leading to the production for craft-man, technicians and other skilled personnel who will be enterprising and self-reliant.
iv. enable our young men and women to have intelligent understanding of the increasing complexity of technology.
v. to give an introduction to professional studies in engineering and other technologies.
Yole (1986) reported that occupational areas within which vocational and technical educational subjects fall largely are Agriculture, Home economics, Business and mechanics, capacity, countering, Arts etc.
Since the introduction of TVET in Nigeria educational system in 1973, enrollment in its programmes has remained low(Aina, 2006). This development according to Aina posed inherent danger to technological and national development. However, at the current annual turnout rate of the junior secondary schools in Nigeria is about 4million with an expected enrolment in technical colleges to be 800,000 (20%). From this, it is shown that there is low enrolment in technical in technical education programme.
Technical colleges in Nigeria are responsible for training people to become craftsmen and technicians. Training qualifies students for jobs both in the public and private sectors of the economy. Both sectors, according to Ndomi (2004), require well trained and competent technicians who can operate and maintain the available technical equipment. Therefore, there is an ardent need for quality technical college for acquiring the desired knowledge and training to produce graduates that can perform competently in their chosen vocation without a need for pre-employment training. The major goal of vocational institutions is to prepare students for successful employment in the labour market (Finch and Crunkicton, 2009). This condition can be met through a curriculum that is relevant and comprehensive. With relevant training of students in skills acquisition in their trade areas is the key in order to meet the basic needs of electricity, roads and machinery among others. Technology courses such as welding and fabrication are an important in economic development, but a supportive school environment is a fundamental requirement for the successful implementation of the curriculum (Bybea & Loucks-Horsley, 2000) . This curriculum can only be implemented where facilities in the workshops are adequate and relevant. Availability of appropriate faculties enhance student learning by allowing them to be involved in demonstrations, and practice will continue to build their skills. According to Leighbody and Kidd (2008), there are certain things the trainer or teacher must do as well as the student which may involve careful planning of his activities for effective learning.