THE ROLE OF TECHNICAL TEACHER EDUCATION IN THE REALIZATION OF THE MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS IN NIGERIA By Ehud Yakubu Garba [email protected] com Federal College of Education (Technical) Potiskum, Yobe State Abstract Countries of the world are classified as developed or under developed based on the level of education of its citizenry and their ability to use knowledge, skill and attitude to translate scientific ideas in attending to the problems of mankind.
Technical education is the right kind of education that is capable of training individuals to translate ideas into products that will assist mankind to do things with ease. The teaching of technical subjects is conducted by the technical teacher. This paper is of the view that the technical teacher who is properly trained and is working under ideal environment can train younger generation that will be free of poverty, achieve universal basic education, empower women, reduce child mortality, combat HIV/AIDS and develop global partnership, thus achieving the MDGs target.
The paper made recommendations among which is for the MDGs to adopt the bottom to top mode of funding and the need for the MDGs to integrate provision of funds particularly for purchase of training tools, equipment and infrastructure for technical teacher training. Introduction Education is seen as an agent of development in any society of the world, that is why societies that are educated are looked at as developed societies and less educated as underdeveloped societies. This is so because the developed societies use education to develop things that will solve prevailing problems of mankind in the form of products of technology.
These products are developed by citizens of these countries using skills, knowledge and attitudes acquired through training in sciences and technical based subjects. It is in realization of these facts that the Federal Republic of Nigeria (FRN) (2004) stressed that, science and technology shall continue to be taught in an integrated manner in the schools to promote in the students the appreciation of practical application of ideas. This type of education if acquired will provide students with sellable skills that can be used to generate job opportunities and alternatively reduce poverty.
It should however be noted that, training cannot take place unless there are teachers that are properly trained in technical teacher training institutions to impact the required skills, knowledge and attitudes in the students. That is why Olaitan (1986) sees the teacher as an agent of changing people attitudes, beliefs and values using the right technique. Similarly Adeoye (2008) noted that the teacher is the king-pin of quality in education and development of the society.
In the same light Garba (2002) posits that the success of technological development of any nation begins with the quality of technical teachers as no education system can rise above the quality of its teachers (FRN, 2004). The millennium development goals (MDGs) is a global strategy aimed at reducing poverty, hunger, insecurity, gender inequality, achieve universal basic education, reduce child mortality, improve maternal health, combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, ensure environmental sustainability and develop a global partnership for development.
This paper is of the opinion that the achievement of the MDGs can best be aimed at if the right quality and quantity of technical teachers are produced. The paper therefore discusses technical teachers preparation and production in Nigeria, the MDGs and the objective relating to education, the role of technical teacher education in realization of MDGs target, Factors affecting technical teacher education in realizing the goals of the MDGs and recommendation were offered. Technical Teacher Preparation and Production Programme in Nigeria.
There is always the need to create an awareness of the problems, which arise in a particular profession and to improve on the level of competencies for dealing with such problem (Adetunji and Victor (1997) that is why the National Policy on Education (2004), indicates that, teacher education shall continue to be given major emphasis in all educational planning and development, it further stated that teacher education shall be structured to take cognizance of changes in methodology and the curriculum, by ensuring that teachers are fully exposed to innovation in their profession.
This is most needed by the technical teacher because of the dynamic nature of the world of technology and its effect on the teaching of technical subjects. Ali (1992) stressed that with the advert of the 21st century technologies, the requisition of sound academic knowledge and professional skills are fundamental in the training of teachers, especially in the use of modern methods and technologies for teaching their subject area.
Foel and Fritz (1998) noted that teacher education is experiencing new formats that combine conventional (Traditional education delivery system) with evolving technology in order to transfer knowledge to students. That is why Goro (2000) call for a new look at the training of teachers, especially the technical teachers because the present educational system’s particular concern is that teachers must be oriented towards development of practical skills in the trainees.
The technical teacher is he who is a master of the trade, in the same manner is able to impart the correct and up-to-date skills (Olaitan 1986), in a similar view Dambe and Garba (2007) looked at the technical teacher as a teacher who posses practical and theoretical knowledge of his vocation, has clear understanding of the student he teachers, and ensures that he increases in the knowledge of his field at all time. The training process of a technical teacher therefore calls for a balance of theoretical and practical knowledge.
In a bid to train teachers that will posses the required knowledge that Ali (1992) looked at training the technical teacher, by using the concurrent cause approach, where professional trade skills and academic content are pursued in parallel. This mode of training is the most popular approach used for technical teacher training. However, another school of thought was that the technical teacher should first be practically skilled in that subject matter before embarking on pedagogical skill acquisition.
Goro (2000) shares the same view as he indicates a support for post graduate training in education after a professional training in trade. Whatever the approach, the emphasis should be on striking a balanced knowledge that will enable the teacher impart the required skills in an appropriate manner. This is necessary because the success or failure of technological development of a society begins with the quality of manpower (teachers) responsible for training the technology teachers.
Olaitan (1996) looked at the technical teacher training in Nigeria to include the formal and informal training. The informal is done at the home or family level, and the apprenticeship level, the graduates of which will be serving as masters to train others. However, the formal training of teachers is in three stages, the Nigeria certificate in education (NCE) which prepares teachers for teaching in junior secondary schools. There is also the graduate and postgraduate technical teacher education programme.
In the same view Abdullahi and Sa’i (1998) pointed out that technical teacher training is provided in three stages namely the postgraduate, the bachelor and the Nigerian Certificate in Education (Technical) levels. There are however two modes of preparing technical teachers at the NCE level for teaching in the junior secondary schools’ the two modes are in agreement with two vocational administrative theories of dual and single controls (Olaitan 1996).
Accordingly, the single control is a situation whereby technical teacher education is housed in institution that are offering purely technical teacher education courses e. g. Colleges of Education (Technical), whereas the dual control is when technical education Porgramme are run in the same institution with other courses like arts, social studies, history, pure science as obtains in conventional colleges of education.
Students of Technical Education Programmes at the NCE level are expected to take courses from general area in Technical/Vocational Education, general Education, Education and Entrepreneurship Education, and are later expected to specialize in one area before graduation. Students are further expected to spend twelve (12) weeks of industrial attachment (NCCE 2002) after graduation; the products are expected to teach introductory technology at the junior secondary school level. As of now there are twenty five (25) Colleges of Education offering NEC (Technical) courses in Nigeria. NCCE, 2007). At the graduate and post graduate levels, the training of vocational technical teachers take place in the Universities. As at now the five Universities of technology namely, Federal Universities of Technology, Akure, Bauchi, Minna, Owerri and Yola are running degree and postgraduate programmes in Technology Education and other Vocational areas. Other Unversities such as Ahmadu Bello Unversities Zaria, Benin, Calabar, University of Nigeria Nsukka, Uyo, and Ibadan run degree and postgraduate programmes in vocational technical education.
It should be noted however that, some colleges of education are currently running programmes leading to the award of a bachelor degree in Technical and vocational Education as affiliate colleges of Universities (NCCE 2002). The millennium Development Goals (MDGs) The vision of developers of the MDGs was on the general concern to do away with problems affecting the citizens of their nations. That is why they aimed at creating strategies towards reduction of poverty, hunger, diseases, increase access to education, health, housing and sustainable management of the environments resource.
In the development of the MDGs and strategies for achieving the goals, 189 countries of the world met in New York in September 2000, and signed the millennium declaration which has come to be globally known as the millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The primary goal of the leaders of these nations in developing the MDGs is to address the problems facing fellow men, women and children such as abject poverty and dehumanizing conditions to which more than a billion people across the world are subjected to. (Umar, Suleiman & Adamu, 2009).
Accordingly Dung-Gwon (2009), noted that the MDGs have 8 goals, each has one or more targets and several indicators. He further report that, in 2002, there were 18 targets and 48 indicators. In 2007, 4 more targets were added. To this effect, countries of the world have also added their own targets and indicators to meet their aspiration. This is so because the levels of development of various nations are not the same, so also prioties vary among nations. The MDGs is therefore, a general blue print for development of nations of the world.
Dung-Gwom (2009) states that the general MDGs goals statement across the nations are as follows: 1. Eradication of extreme poverty and hunger 2. Achieving universal primary education 3. Promote gender equality and women empowerment 4. Reducing child mortality 5. Improve maternal health 6. Combat HIV/AIDS 7. Ensure environmental sustainability 8. Develop a global partnership The general goals of the MDGs have within it three that are education related. Iyortyer (2010) noted that, the three goals that mainly impacts on the education sector are:
Achieving Universal Basic Education (Goal 2) Promotion of gender parity or equality (Goal 3) Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases (Goal 6) Three goals out of eight focusing on education surely indicates that a priority to education is a step towards the attainment of other objectives, as stated by Iyortyer (2010) that education is an instrument for development of any nation, an antidote to poverty and the key for unlocking natural resources. In spite of these and the laudable goals and strategies towards achieving the MDGs in Nigeria, records still reveals that much is desired.
In line with this Ibrahim (2006) states that, Nigeria Millennium Development Goals Report for 2004 and 2005 shows that Nigeria is far off the mark in terms of implementation of many goals of the MDGs. Similarly Igbugo in Umar, Suleiman and Adamu (2009) asserted that, there is a serious doubt if Nigeria can achieve the MDGs by the target 2015. So also Igbuzor (2007) reported that even though Nigeria is a signatory to the MDGs, it is yet far from achieving the MDGs, furthermore he maintained that it is lack of political will that is the greatest stumbling block to the achievement of the MDGs, in Nigeria.
Based on the MDGs report and personal observations of the indices it is clear that much is desired. This paper is of the opinion that provision of training that equip the individual with saleable skills will greatly lead Nigeria to the achievement of the MDGs. Role of Technical Teacher Education in Realization of the MDGs Technical teacher education programme is a programme that train teachers of technically based trades who are expected to teach in junior secondary schools and technical colleges. The product of which are the country futures engineers and inventors.
The role of technical teacher in the achievement of MDGs will be discussed in line with the eight MDGs as follows: 1. Eradication of extreme poverty and hunger. Even though report of MDGs 2005 shows slide decline in poverty from 65. 5% in 1996 to 54. 4% in 2004. Much is still desired as the 54. 4% is still high and should attract concern bearing in mind that Nigeria is a rich country with poor citizenry. With a technical teacher programme that is able to produce highly trained technical teachers. The teacher should be able to train future generation of students that will possess the required skill in various trades.
The skill acquired will create jobs that will make the individual either self employment or be employed by any employer of labour. Federal Republic of Nigeria (2004) indicates that, technical education is a means of preparing for occupational field and a means of alleviating poverty. 2. Achieve Universal Primary Education The MDGs report 2005, shows that there is great improvement in literacy level, however, Iyortyer (2010) revealed that the target of the MDGs indicators maintain that adult literacy rate for 15-24 years will improve to reach 89% in 2015.
While gender equity and equitable access to basic and continuing education for adult will be pursued towards meeting up the target. To achieve this target, there is the need for teacher that will be responsible for teaching of craft, poetry and the Basic technology. The teacher that is trained for such is the technical teacher. 3. Promote Gender Equality and Empowerment One of the targets of the MDGs is to ensure that gender disparity is eliminated, and equal access to education is same for both boys and girls. However Dung- Gwom (2009) indicates that the percentage of boys is 82% in 1990 and 79% in 2004.
This shows that boys still account for greater percentage of primary school pupils. Much is still desired, and it is one of the responsibilities of the teacher to sensitize parents as they live in the society with the parents and the pupils. 4. Reduce Child Mortality With more educated mothers who have acquired skills for employment, mortality rate of the child will be highly reduced, as most of the causes of child mortality are poverty related. Similarly with a generation of young talents equipped with technical skill, the skill can further be used in the rovision and maintenance of medical equipment that will be used in reduction of child mortality. 5. Improve Maternal Health The MDGs report 2004 shows that maternal mortality was 74 per 1000. This rate is high and can only be reduced if mothers are equipped with skill to earn a living. The skills of the technical teacher can be directed to the mothers for empowerment. 6. Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other Diseases In Nigeria the incidence of HIV/AIDS has been on upward trend since the diseases was discovered in the country 1. 8% 1999, to 5. 8% in 2000 (Nigeria, MDG Report 2005).
A good number of the infected persons are equally, living under poverty, with no job and so they could not afford the feeding requirements even if the drugs are free. The situation would have not been the same if they have learnt technical skills to provide services for pay. 7. Ensure Environment Sustainability To sustain the environment, there is the need to have the knowledge, skills and attitude of doing such. Umar, Suleiman and Adamu (2009) reports that about 70% of the urban dwellers in Nigeria live below poverty bench mark and their condition is not bound to improve much between now and 2015.
This can be better if a good number of Nigerians are equipped with skills in technical trades such as Building maintenance, Design and plumbing, Vehicle maintenance etc 8. Develop a Global Partnership for Development The world is becoming a global village, this is much so because of the advent of technological product especially in the area of information and communication technology (ICT). With ICT information is obtained and utilized. However to do that one need the basic training to understand the technology and the kwon how of applying it. Challenges of Technical Teacher Education in Realizing the MDGs
Technical teacher education can do a lot in the realization of the MDGs, but the followings have stood as a barrier. 1. Lack of adequate funding Technical teacher education being a technical oriented programme requires tools equipment and infrastructure without which technical education cannot be said to be offered. It is however clear that general funding to education in Nigeria is far from the expected. Onyidoh (2006) noted that, the money allocated to education falls short of the UNESCO’s recommended 25% of annual budget; he further noted that the allocation from 2003 to date is barely in the range of 1. 3-5% allocation to education. This might surely not be enough to cater for the funding of institutions that are characterized by, leaking roofs, unpaved floors, unsanitized conditions and general picture of neglect. This situation cannot guarantee training of technical teachers with the needed skills for the training of younger generation in our junior secondary schools that are expected to pave way for the technological advancement of Nigeria 2. Administrator’s attitude.
Even with the low level of funding in the budget, other agencies such as the Education trust fund (ETF) do intervene. It is however regrettable that a lot of institutions of higher learning cannot accesses the fund due to stringent conditions for accessing the ETF money which does not give much room for diversion of the fund. And for the fact that most of these administrator are not there because they have interest in the system,. they prefer to forfeit the ETF than follow due process to access it.
Speaking on the administrator’s attitude Onyidoh (2010) noted that administrators have little interest in institution they are heading, because vice chancellors, provost and rectors appointed in Nigeria today are politicians in the academic robes. 3. MDGs approach to funding Due to corruption and non-commitment of leadership of institutions they have found the MDGs money easy to grab than the ETF, because the MDGs money do came directly to them in the name of so call desk officers who in most cases are the good boy and girls of the leaders of the institution.
That is why in many cases projects already financed through other means are tagged MDGs project and after inspection, tags can be replaced, that is the game as usual. 4. Absence of infrastructure Technical teacher education require infrastructure such as workshops, classrooms and the needed equipment. This infrastructure is absent or not enough in most of the institutions that are responsible for training the technical teachers. The situation will make the teacher unable to provide the right training to the junior secondary school students who are expected to be the future engineers, technician etc that will move Nigeria forward. . New Technologies The training to be given in junior secondary schools by technical teachers should be to introduce them to the world of technology and arose interest of the students in choice of vocation and to lead students to have intelligent understanding of the increasing complexity of technology (FRN, 2004). The continuous inventions of new technological products that most of the institutions teachers are not familiar with the operation principles of the new technologies.
For the training to be relevant, it must bear a direct relationship with that in the industries, firms or business required to enable students fit into their vocations after graduation (Aguisiobe, in Garba and Nuhu, 2007). The existing situation in institution is far from the state of art as some of the machines were in existence since the 1970s or 1980. They cannot provide any training on new technologies of whatever level. 6. In-sincerity of Nigerian leaders. Most policy statements in Nigeria sound good, but when it comes to implementation the problem arises.
This is so because as policies are implemented those in authorities will begin to skim for what to personally get out of it. Take for instance the issues of universal basic education programme, it has a policy that pupil will be provided meals during school hours and that primary school teachers salaries will be 5 times through 2015. At the beginning skeletal feeding was provided but as it is, the whole money targeted for that purpose are in peoples pocket or used for purchase of expensive vehicles. Secondly there is no record apart from the 27% increase which some states are even yet to pay that teacher have ever experienced.
But yet these governors and their agent are part of the agreement and receive much for such. Recommendations In order to address the challenges the following recommendations are provided. 1. There is the need for the MDGs to integrate provision of fund particularly for the provision of training tools, equipment and infrastructure. 2. The attitude of the administrators needs to be checked by the involvement of host communities and various trade unions in the execution of all MDGs projects through close monitoring and evaluation. 3.
MDGs approach to funding should adopt the bottom to top approach, just as is done by the ETF. This will reduce the rate of corruption. 4. There is the need to re-train the technical teachers on ground, in the area of new technologies, and the integration of the new technologies, such as phone repairs, computer circuit design etc in the curriculum of technical teacher training institutions by so doing the curriculum will be functional and relevant. 5. Leaders should be honest in handling issues to do with the MDGs target, for the programme to succeed. Conclusion
The paper was of the focus that, to achieve the MDGs in Nigeria, there is the needs to have a kind of education that will enable the learner acquire skills, attitude and knowledge that will lead to job creation. And that kind of education can be provided by the properly trained technical teacher. However challenges abound for the technical teacher training and the teaching of Basic technology at the junior secondary schools. REFERENCES Adullahi, M. L. & Sa’I, H. R (1998). Strategies for improving vocational and technical teacher Preparation in Nigeria.
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