FACTORS IMPACTING STUDENT PERFORMANCE IN INTRODUCTORY TECHNOLOGY AT THE JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL LEVEL IN NIGERIA
1.1 INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY
Education is the panacea for any nation’s technological advancement. The progress of any nation is heavily reliant on its technological know-how. The National Policy on Education (1977), revised (1981), recommended expanding technical institutions in the country in recognition of the fact that only technical education can free us from the western economic and technological slavery. In 1979, all secondary schools in the country were required to offer Introductory Technology as one of the compulsory subjects at the Junior Secondary School Level, alongside other subjects.
Prior to the implementation of the 6-3-3-4 system, the curriculum in our schools was too academic, theoretically oriented, and failed to address the needs and aspirations of the nation. The system produced job seekers rather than job creators.
The 6- 3- 3-4 system emerged in 1982 as a result of the search for a functional curriculum that would address the nation’s needs and desires. The curriculum includes pre-vocational subjects such as introductory technology, as well as Home Economics and Business Education, which are required in Junior Secondary Schools.
As an integrated subject, introductory technology included woodwork, metal work, basic electricity/electronics, building construction, technical drawing, plastic and rubber technology, and auto/mechanical work. Introductory technology lays the groundwork for the acquisition of fundamental technological skills and knowledge. The skills and knowledge gained at this level will prepare students to be self-sufficient if they are unable to continue their education beyond the Junior Secondary School Level.
“The new system would ensure that the basic foundation is easily laid for the acquisition and utilization of knowledge and skill on which the country’s technological program would continue to rely,” Nnadi (1988) writes. The program is intended to usher Nigeria into the technological new world order.
It is unfortunate to note that resources are grossly inadequate for the teaching of this important subject in our schools, particularly in Calabar, Cross River State, where buildings to house the equipment / machines do not exist in some places, while in others there are buildings, equipment, and machines but no electricity or workshop, making it difficult for the equipment / machines to be installed.
Not only are material resources in short supply, but so are human resources and ideologies.
According to Adigin (1974:137), “evidence abounds to show that the supply of introductory technology teachers is grossly inadequate in both number and quality.” Although the literature has shown that there is an acute shortage of resources for teaching the subject, it is equally important to ascertain the extent of the factors militating against student performance in introductory technology in Cross River State, specifically in the Calabar Municipal Council Area of the state.
1.2 DEFINITION OF THE PROBLEM
After graduating from the Junior Secondary School Level of Education, students rarely exhibit simple technological skills, and thus fail in the majority of the challenges they face in the labor market. Lack of tool knowledge and poor workshop arrangement, lack of competent instructor, poor guidance and counseling, and a large curriculum are all factors that work against students’ performance in Introductory Technology at the Junior Secondary School Level.
The following questions are addressed:
1. What impact does the curriculum have on the performance of students in Introductory Technology?
2. What effects do the available resources for teaching introductory technology have on the students?
3. What impact does the motivation of technical teachers have on students’ performance in Introductory Technology?
4. How does effective guidance and counseling affect the performance of Introductory Technology students?
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The study’s purpose is to investigate the factors influencing students’ performance in introductory technology at the junior secondary school level in the Calabar Municipal Council Area of Cross River State. More specifically, the study tends to:
i. Identify the factors that contribute to students’ poor performance in Introductory Technology.
ii. Evaluate the state of technical teachers’ services.
iii. Address the need for school-based student guidance and counseling.
iv. Determine the effectiveness and efficiency of introductory technology teachers.
1.4 THE IMPORTANCE OF THE STUDY
The study’s findings will make education policymakers in government, school administrators, classroom teachers, industries, and society at large aware of the problem of students’ poor performance in introductory technology in the Junior Secondary school level of education, which, if not addressed carefully, can stymie the country’s technological advancement.
The study’s findings will assist technological teachers in adjusting and correcting their flaws, as well as improving on their previous efforts for improved performance.
Most importantly, students will greatly benefit from the findings of this study in that they will seek appropriate counseling for purposeful progress in their respective career paths in life.
Finally, the findings of this study will be extremely beneficial to aspiring technical education teachers.
1.5 QUESTIONS FOR RESEARCH
1. Do teachers actually cover the introductory technology scheme of work?
2. What resources are available in Nigerian secondary schools for teaching and learning introductory technology?
3. What is the utilization rate of resources in the teaching/learning of introductory technology for national development?
4. What efforts are school administrators and the government making to encourage technical teachers to participate effectively in Nigerian schools?
5. What are the effects and relevance of guidance and counseling in secondary schools in Nigeria for technological development?
This Research Project‘s findings were confirmed to twelve (12) secondary schools in Cross River State’s Calabar Municipal Area.
Three of the twelve schools are private, while the other nine are government-run secondary schools.
1.8 THE STUDY’S ASSUMPTIONS
It was guaranteed with genuine attestation to this study that:
i. The information gathered from respondents is authentic and genuine.
ii. The teachers who participated in the study are ideal respondents.
iii. The computation for data analysis is correct.
iv. The population sample used is large enough to be representative of the total population given the limited time available.
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