Scholarly article on topic 'Employability Skills in TVET Curriculum in Nigeria Federal Universities of Technology'

Employability Skills in TVET Curriculum in Nigeria Federal Universities of Technology Academic research paper on "Educational sciences"

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Abstract of research paper on Educational sciences, author of scientific article — Sarimah Ismail, Dahiru Sale Mohammed

Abstract In the 21st century, employability skill is the most required skill besides technical knowledge in an attempt to compete for employment and sustain job at the industrial global market. However, Nigerian TVET graduates are not equipped with the employability skills needed by the industries and as a result, they are not ready to enter into workforce. This concept paper is written to discuss how the curriculum of one of TVET programmes at the Federal Universities of Technology in Nigeria, which is Electrical Technology Education has contributed to this issue. Analytical review on Electrical Technology Education programme curriculum showed that the curriculum gave less attention to practice based courses that provide skills of the programme than theory based courses and no course in the programme curriculum that directly teaches good attitudes and traits. As a result, there is lack of incorporation of employability skills such as Problem solving and decision making, Lifelong learning and Competencies amongst the graduates. Other issues discussed are the need of employability skills in TVET curriculum of Nigeria, employability skills, Electrical Technology Education in Nigeria, and the analysis of Electrical Technology Education curriculum in Nigeria The last part of this paper is recommendation for the curriculum of Electrical Technology Education to be designed with equal number of theory and practice courses by giving emphasize on all eleven generic skills, good traits and attitudes.

Academic research paper on topic "Employability Skills in TVET Curriculum in Nigeria Federal Universities of Technology"

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Procedía - Social and Behavioral Sciences 204 (2015) 73 - 80

4th World Congress on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (WoCTVET),

5th-6th November 2014, Malaysia

Employability Skills in TVET Curriculum in Nigeria Federal Universities of Technology

Sarimah Ismaila*, Dahiru Sale Mohammedb

aDepartment of Technical and Engineering Education, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81310 Skudai, Johor, Malaysia Department of Science and Technical Education, Northwest University, Kano Nigeria

Abstract

In the 21st century, employability skill is the most required skill besides technical knowledge in an attempt to compete for employment and sustain job at the industrial global market. However, Nigerian TVET graduates are not equipped with the employability skills needed by the industries and as a result, they are not ready to enter into workforce. This concept paper is written to discuss how the curriculum of one of TVET programmes at the Federal Universities of Technology in Nigeria, which is Electrical Technology Education has contributed to this issue. Analytical review on Electrical Technology Education programme curriculum showed that the curriculum gave less attention to practice based courses that provide skills of the programme than theory based courses and no course in the programme curriculum that directly teaches good attitudes and traits. As a result, there is lack of incorporation of employability skills such as Problem solving and decision making, Lifelong learning and Competencies amongst the graduates. Other issues discussed are the need of employability skills in TVET curriculum of Nigeria, employability skills, Electrical Technology Education in Nigeria, and the analysis of Electrical Technology Education curriculum in Nigeria The last part of this paper is recommendation for the curriculum of Electrical Technology Education to be designed with equal number of theory and practice courses by giving emphasize on all eleven generic skills, good traits and attitudes.

© 2015PublishedbyElsevier Ltd.Thisisanopenaccess article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.Org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

Peer-review under responsibility of Faculty of Technical and Vocational Education, University of Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia. Keywords: Analysis; curriculum; Electrical Technology Education; employability skills; integrations; needs

1. Introduction

Communication skills, problem solving skills and interpersonal skills are three most important employability skills than hard skills in developed countries like UK, USA, Japan, Hong Kong, Australia, Canada and European

1877-0428 © 2015 Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.Org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

Peer-review under responsibility of Faculty of Technical and Vocational Education, University of Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia. doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.08.111

Union and developing countries like Singapore and Malaysia (Zaharim et al., 2009a; Zaharim, et al., 2009b and Common Wealth of Australia, 2002). Numbers of studies have shown the importance for graduates from higher education institutions to possess employability skills Candy, and Crebert, (1991); Billing, (2003); Crebert et al., (2004); Hewitt, 2005; and Dunne and Rowlins, (2000) and able to apply those skills and technical knowledge learned to the workforce (Crebert et al., 2004).

However, in Nigeria, studies have indicated that TVET graduates at entry level of employment are not equipped with the employability skills needed by industries and therefore they are not ready to enter into labor force (Robinson, and Garton, 2007; Rasul, 2010; Idris and Rajuddin, 2012; Oresanya et al., 2014; and Mohammed and Ismail, 2014). The common perception of the industries is that higher education institutions especially Federal Universities of Technology in Nigeria should equip their graduates with the employability skills to compete for employment and success at their workplace (Robinson, and Garton, 2007). Therefore there is a need for those universities to have curriculum paradigm shift for each program offered from providing the graduates only with technical skills Evers, Rush, and Berdrow, (1998); and Robinson, and Garton, (2007) to equip them also with employability skills.

2. The Needs of Employability Skills in TVET Curriculum of Nigeria

There are five Federal Universities of Technology that offers Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) programmes in Nigeria to provide high technological educations and skills for employment. They are Abu Bakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU), Bauchi, Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA), Federal University of Technology Minna (FUTM), Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO) and Modibbo Adama University of Technology Yola (MAUTECH).

The TVET programmes offered at these universities are Electrical and Electronics, Automobile and Mechanical Productions, Agriculture and Business Education and Building and Woodwork. However, unemployment rate that based on educational levels and gender in Nigeria are still high (refer to Table 1).

Unemployment rate of university bachelor degree graduates that equivalent to polytechnics HND graduates was (24.6%), higher than those who had below primary education (22.7%) and NCE, OND and Nursing (22.2%). This high rate of unemployment also promises to the unemployment rate among Electrical Technology Education graduates of Federal Universities of Technology in Nigeria.

Table 1: Unemployment Rate by Educational Level and Gender in Nigeria (2012)

Educational Level Male Female Both Gender

Below Primary 21.5 23.7 22.7

Primary 15.6 21.9 18.7

JSS 19.5 24.2 21.7

Vocational/ Commercial 15.2 22.4 18.7

SSS 21.2 23.4 22.1

NCE/ OND/ NURSING 21.9 22.7 22.2

BA/BSc/Bed/HND 22.6 28.8 24.6

MSC/MA/MAdm 12.6 17.5 13.7

Sources: National Bureau of Statistics, 2012

The main reason of the TVET graduates in Nigeria lacking of employability skills was due to no incorporating employability skills in the curriculum of Nigerian tertiary institutions (Oresanya, 2014). Idris and Rajuddin (2012) investigated the level of importance and competencies of employability skills among the final year students of automobile, electrical installation, electronics and mechanical departments in Technical Colleges of Kano State, Nigeria. The research instrument, questionnaire was adapted from employability skills for Australian Small and Medium Enterprises. Findings of the study indicated that all final year students employability skills components were rated high and perceived their competency low, significant difference among the final year students in terms of their age, no significant difference between the final year students in the area of competency. Findings of these two authors indicated the employability skills in Nigeria has not been incorporated into tertiary education system of the

country (Oresanya, 2014), there is a the need for integration of employability skill with general skills in higher education curriculum of Nigeria, and the need for employability skills model in Nigerian education system.

3. Employability Skills

An employability skill are set of skills, knowledge and attributes that likely make individual to gain, maintain and excel in employment; obtain new employment; move between roles within the same organization and to get promotion (Candy and Crebert, 1991; Dunne and Rowlins, 2000; Billing, 2003; Crebert, 2004; Hewitt, 2005; and Rasul et al., 2010). There are three categories of employability skills stated in the literature across the globe, namely Core Skills, Generic Skills and Personal Attributes (Australian learning and Teaching Council, 2011; Zaharim, 2009a, and Zaharim, 2009a). Those skills of the employability are listed in Table 2.

Table 2: Employability Skills

Category Employability Skills

Problem Solving and Adaptability Skills

Professionalism

Lifelong learning

Team work skills

Generic Communication skills

Skills Information Communication Technology and Computer Skills

Initiative and Enterprises Skills

Leadership Skills

Personal Organization and Time Management Skills

Goal setting Skills

Self-Awareness and Self- Learning skills

Knowledge of Sciences, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) and Education Principles

Core TVET Electrical Technology Education System Approach

Skills Knowledge of contemporary issues

Problem solving and decision making skills

Lifelong learning

Competency in Electrical Technology Education Discipline

Personal Attitudes

Attributes Traits

4. Electrical Technology Education Programme in Nigeria

The aims of the Electrical Technology Education (ETE) programme are to equip students with depth understandings of electrical and electronic knowledge and skills through the integration of theoretical and practical courses. Courses offered in the programme are first aid and safe work practices, good housekeeping and workshop practices, interpreting circuit diagrams, sourcing circuit components and constructing circuits, taking measurements, installation, testing and troubleshooting of circuits (National Curriculum Statements, 2011).

Electrical technology is offered as vocational course at technical college and as technical course at higher education level. The ETE is a double degree programmes that combining the element of electrical technology and educational principles. In Nigeria, the programme is taught at college of education (technical) and universities of technology.

5. The Analysis of Electrical Technology Education Curriculum

Curriculum refers to educational goals (sequence of skills to be achieved), methods (specific instructional methods for teachers), materials (tools and media for teaching and learning) and assessment (measuring the progress of students) (Universal Design for Learning Guidelines, 2014). The ETE curriculum in Federal Universities of Technology, Nigeria, consists of courses offered as shown in Table 3.

Table 3: ETE Curriculum Structure of Federal Universities of Technology, Nigeria

Course Title Credit Unit Types of Skills Course Mode

Basic Electrical Engineering I 2 Core Skill Theory

Basic Electrical Engineering Lab I 1 Core Skill Practice

Electrical Installation I 2 Core Skill Theory

Electrical/Electronic Technology 3 Core Skill Theory

Instrumentation and Measurement 2 Core Skill Theory

Basic Electrical Engineering II 2 Core Skill Theory

Basic Electrical Engineering Lab II 1 Core Skill Practice

Electrical/Electronic Drafting I 1 Core Skill Practice

Basic Electrical Power 2 Core Skill Theory

Basic Electrical Machines 2 Core Skill Theory

Electrical Installation II 2 Core Skill Theory

Technical Drawing 2 Core Skill Theory

Material Science 2 Core Skill Theory

Applied Mechanics I 2 Core Skill Theory

Applied Mechanics II 2 Core Skill Theory

Circuit Theory 2 Core Skill Theory

Electrical/Electronic Drafting II 2 Core Skill Practice

Energy Conversion 2 Core Skill Theory

Power System Engineering I 2 Core Skill Theory

Strength of Materials 2 Core Skill Theory

Strength of Materials Lab 1 Core Skill Theory

Control Theory I 3 Core Skill Theory

Maintenance and Repairs 2 Core Skill Practice

Power System Engineering II 3 Core Skill Theory

Electrical Machines I 3 Core Skill Theory

Workshop Practice and Technology 2 Core Skill Practice

Electrical Properties of Materials 2 Core Skill Theory

Control Theory II 2 Core Skill Theory

Electrical Power I 2 Core Skill Theory

Electrical Machines II 2 Core Skill Theory

Power System Distribution 3 Core Skill Theory

Power System Protection 2 Core Skill Theory

Electrical Power II 3 Core Skill Theory

Tariff and Economic Consideration 2 Core Skill Theory

Independent Study 1 Core Skill Practice

Students Work Experience Scheme 4 Core Skill Practice

Safety Technology 2 Core Skill Theory

Quality Control 2 Core Skill Theory

History and Philosophy of Science 2 Core Skill Theory

Seminar 1 Core Skill Practice

Project I 2 Core Skill Practice

Project II 4 Core Skill Practice

Teaching Methods and Micro Teaching 1 Core Skill Practice

Measurement and Evaluation I 2 Core Skill Theory

Educational Technology 2 Core Skill Theory

Psychology of Education I 2 Core Skill Theory

Psychology of Education II 2 Core Skill Theory

Research Methods I 2 Core Skill Theory

Measurements and Evaluation II 2 Core Skill Theory

Sociology of Education 2 Core Skill Theory

Research Methods II 2 Core Skill Theory

History and Philosophy of Education 2 Core Skill Theory

Introduction to Technology Education 1 Core Skill Theory

Vocational Guidance 2 Core Skill Theory

Special Methods in Sc. & Tech. Educ. 2 Core Skill Theory

Teaching Practice 6 Core Skill Practice

Comparative Education 2 Core Skill Theory

Contemporary Issues in Tech. Educ. 2 Core Skill Theory

Management of Tech. Educ. Lab 2 Core Skill Theory

Industrial Psychology 3 Core Skill Theory

Curriculum Dev. in Sc. & Tech. Educ. 2 Core Skill Theory

Educational Planning and Administration 3 Core Skill Theory

Computer Programing for Physical Sc. & 3 Core Skill Theory

Engineering

Statistics for Physical Sc. & Engineering I 2 Core Skill Theory

Statistics for Physical Sc. & Engineering II 2 Core Skill Theory

Technical Mathematics I 3 Core Skill Theory

Technical Mathematics II 3 Core Skill Theory

Technical Writing 2 Generic Skills Theory

Communication Skills 3 Generic Skills Theory

Use of library 1 Generic Skills Theory

Nigerian People and Culture 3 Personal Theory

Attribute

Sources: Academic Planning Units, Federal Universities of Technology, Nigeria, 2014 5.1 Core Skill

Core skills are technical competencies that comprise specific knowledge and capabilities to perform related specialized tasks with the use of equipment and tools efficiently (Zaharim, 2009b). Courses listed in Table 3 indicates the inclusion of knowledge of electrical technology system, contemporary issues in education, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) and Education as a Core Skills courses of ETE curriculum.

Those courses are also indicated lack of incorporation of problem solving and decision making skills, lifelong learning skills and competencies in electrical discipline because of attention has been given more on theory based courses rather than practice based courses. For instance, out of 67 Core Skills Courses (145 credits), 54 Core Skills Courses (117 credits) (81%) of them are theory based while 13 Core Skills Courses (28 credits) (19%) are practice based course. Even, out of the 28 credits of practice based courses, 17 credits involve students' independent studies, which are Independent Study (1 credit), Students Work Experience Scheme (4 credits), Teaching Practice (6 credits), Project I (2 credits) and Project II (4 credits).

This means only 11 credit of practice based courses that taught in Federal Universities of Technology, Nigeria are hugely inadequate to produce competent electrical educators with the core skill as listed in Table 3. Since technical courses are essential, it means poor practical orientations will lead to poor understandings of technology no matter how good the instructional methodology is employed.

5.2 Generic Skill

Generic Skills are non-technical competencies involving little or no interactions with machines, equipment and tools within and across different occupations that help individual to obtain positive social relationships and contributes to the work environment (Australian learning and Teaching Council, 2011). The Generic Skills courses that are incorporated in ETE curriculum as listed in Table 3 are as follows: Communication Skills (for Oral Communication), Technical Writing (for Written Communication to technical people only) and Library Usage (for Information). These can be summarized as Information and Communication Skills because the use of library is taught to inform student on how to use the library effectively while Communication Skills and Technical Writing for oral and written communications respectively. It means out of 10 generic skills, only one of them is generic skill that incorporated in ETE Curriculum of the Federal Universities of Technology in Nigeria.

5.3 Personal Attribute

Personal attributes are good attitudes and traits of an individual that are used to get, maintain and succeed in employment (Zaharim, 2009a). The Personal Attributes course that incorporated in ETE curriculum has the element of good attitudes and traits to learn different cultures of different tribes and ethnic groups for unity. However, there is no course that directly teaches good attitudes and traits in ETE curriculum of the Federal Universities of Technology in Nigeria.

6 Conclusion

Despite the numerous research findings and integrations of employability skills into education systems of Asians, Americans, European as well as Australian; the concept of employability skills has not been incorporated into the curriculum of the Federal Universities of Technology specifically ETE curriculum in Nigeria. The core skills in the curriculum lacks of incorporation of problem solving and decision making skills, lifelong learning skills and competencies in specific TVET discipline (Electrical) where the curriculum has given attention more on theoretical courses rather than practical courses. There is only one restricted generic skill out of 10 is incorporated in the ETE Curriculum while no course is directly teaches good attitudes and traits.The employers of labour in Nigeria have indicated the need of graduates' employee to possess core skills, generic skills and personal attributes.

7. Recommendations

This review paper recommends:

a) A research should be conducted to identify components of employability skill and their indicators for ETE curriculum.

b) Course outline of each course of the ETE programme should be designed in such a way where those employability skills are assessed

c) It is observed that ETE Curriculum in Nigeria is like general education curriculum where theoretical courses are predominant. It is recommended that the practical and theory based courses should be equal, 50% each.

d) all eleven generic skills should be addressed and evaluated in the ETE curriculum

e) good traits and attitudes courses should be included in the ETE curriculum. This may be achieved through guidance and counselling course, moral lessons and lectures (words of wisdoms) from respected and distinguished local and international.

Acknowledgements

Acknowledgement is addressed to University Technology Malaysia for close supervision in writing this article and Northwest University, Kano Nigeria for funding this study.

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