FACTORS OPPOSING STUDENT PARTICIPATION IN SIWES AT COLLEGE OF EDUCATION
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
The students’ industrial work experience scheme (SIWES) is a program funded by the Industrial Training Fund (ITF). It is a skills training program that is extremely beneficial to vocational and technical education students. The SIWES is intended to expose students to relevant industrial work situations that they may encounter after graduation.
The scheme is also intended to expose students to work methods and necessary experience in handling equipment and machinery that are not typically available in educational training fund (ITF) Act of 1971, and later Decree No. 47 of 1971, which was later amended in 1990, which gave rise to the scheme’s inception.
The scheme’s scope and content have grown over time. Initially, only Technical College and Polytechnic students were eligible. Later, students from the University and the Advance Teacher College (ATC), the College of Education (COE), and the National Universities Commission (NUC) are invited to participate.
At present, many students of various departments in the school of vocational and technical education (College of Education), benefit from the programme, these include students in Accounting Secretarial, Home Economics, Agricultural Science, etc. an ITF survey in 1974 showed a great disparity between students knowledge and their ability to apply it in relevant jobs.
The result of this survey led to the establishment of SIWES programme with eleven institutions, involving seven hundred and eighty four students. During the first period of its operations in 1974-1978, the ITF solely funded the scheme but due to huge financial involvement when the participating institutions rose to 32 with 4,714 students in 1978, it found it difficult to continue.
As a result of this development, the Federal Government was involved in the funding of the scheme for five years from 1979-1984 through the national Universities commission (NUC) who cater for University students and the National Board for Technical education (NBTE) who is responsible for the Polytechnics and Colleges of Technology (Galadimwa, 1977). NBTE also caters for Colleges of Education who offer courses in vocational and technical education areas.
According to the presentation by the collaborating agencies (NUC & NBTE) at ITF 1990, there are forty-eight (48) eligible courses for SIWES. These include University Degree Programme, Engineering and Technology, National diploma and NCE Programme. The objectives of SIWEs are to:
1. Prepare students for the work situation they are to meet after graduation.
2. Provide an avenue for students in institutions of higher learning to acquire industrial skill.
3. Expose students to work methods and techniques in handling equipment and machinery that may not be available in educational institutions.
4. Provide students with the opportunity to apply their knowledge in real work situation thereby bridging the gap between college work and actual practical.
5. Enhance students contact for later job placement. SIWES programme generally ranges from two (2) months to one year of industrial attachment. During this period, the ITF institutions employers as well as students have their roles to play. The ITF is responsible for the organization of conferences and seminars on SIWES-informing the students about what they are expected to do so as to prepare them for industrial training.
They are also to send supervisors on surprise visit to assess and grade students’ performance. The employers are expected to accept students and assign them to relevant work, attach experienced staff of students for effective training and supervision. The students are expected to be punctual at the place of attachment. They are to comply to employers’ rules and regulations and keep records of training activities and other assignments.
It has been observed that many students on SIWES are not given sufficient opportunity to handle equipments and machineries during the period of attachment. Even when experienced staff to which they are attached gives them job to do and customers see students handling their jobs, they often quarrel and refuse to accept “students job” and want the experienced staff to do it.
Employers are also very careful to safeguard equipment and machineries from possible damage by inexperienced hands. It has become very important that students’ participation in SIWES programme need to learn fast enough to complete given jobs satisfactorily, that is the only way they are likely to get more jobs from the experienced staff to which they are attached.
Some firms lack facilities that will enhance the experience of students in their area of study. Students serving in such firms are at a disadvantage professionally in the area of study for example, an engineer that is attached to do clerical jobs or as a receptionist, such as attachment will not further his engineering experiences. The study will try to answer the following questions:
i. What are student’s attitudes towards this programme?
ii. Is there any relationship between work done during the programme and school work?
iii. Are there adequate facilities in the establishment where these students carryout their programme?
iv. Are the students allowed to use the equipment?
v. Apart from being helping hands, have students made any academic impact towards improving the work process in the establishment they are attached?
vi. Does the programme influence student’s performance?
1.3 PURPOSE OF STUDY
This study is intended to look into the factors militating against student’s effective participation in SIWES taking Colleges of Education Ekiadolor as a case study. It hopes to find out the impact of students industrial work experience scheme (SIWES) on Vocational and Technical Education Students.
1.4 SIGNIFICANT OF STUDY
This study is significant in reviewing the problem and prospering of the SIWES Programme to make it more efficient so that employers, students and the society will benefit maximally from the scheme. The study has become necessary because of the trends on development of human resources which is said to be the ways of achieving economic growth and development, and the much talked about self-reliance and technological breakthrough for the country.
This study will also help to solve problems faced by the students, institution and the ITF. It will also buttress the place of SIWES in this our jet age in the society. Therefore, the study intends to investigate how well the students are exposed to the facilities that will enhance there performance in the academic, whether their establishment of posting have adequate facilities, whether the students performance are satisfactory and to ascertain how the programme influence their academic performance.
1.5 SCOPE OF STUDY
This project is designed for the vocational and Technical Education students of the College of Education, Ekiadolor, Benin information will be drawn from year 2 and year 3 students of the school of Vocational and Technical Education of the college.
1.6 DEFINITION OF TERMS
SIWES: Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme.
Orientation: A type of training or information which is given to a person or a group of persons before starting a new course or job.
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