STRATEGIES FOR IMPROVING LABORATORY MAINTENANCE AND VOCATIONAL AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION EQUIPMENT FOR EFFECTIVE SERVICE DELIVERY IN TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS
Vocational and technical education is a type of educational training that includes knowledge, skills, competencies, structural, activities, abilities, capabilities, and any other experiences gained through formal, on-the-job, or off-the-job training that can improve recipients’ job prospects (Okolocha, 2006). In the National Policy on Education document, the Federal Republic of Nigeria (2004) outlined the following goals for Vocational and Technical Education (VTE):
Provide skilled labor in the applied sciences, technology, and business, especially at the craft and technical levels.
Give people the technical knowledge and vocational skills they need to succeed in agriculture, commerce, and economic development.
Provide training and skills to individuals who will be economically self-sufficient while attending a postsecondary (tertiary) technical institute such as Polytechnics or colleges of education (technical) and universities.
To achieve this goal of vocational technical education, adequate instructional facilities such as laboratories and equipment for teaching and learning of vocational and technical education skills, knowledge, and competencies at the tertiary level are required.
Engineering courses such as Electrical, Mechanical, Welding and Fabrication, Agricultural, science laboratory, computer science, and other courses such as office technology, food technology, hospitality, business administration, and accounting are examples of vocational and technical education. These courses are taught at educational colleges, polytechnics, and universities.
Because these courses necessitate a high level of practical skill acquisition, functional workshops or laboratories are required.
Â Laboratories in VTE may not be adequately financed or funded, but appropriate maintenance culture must be practiced in the laboratory for long-term acquisition of practical skills. As a result, the purpose of this research is to identify strategies for improving the maintenance of vocational and technical education laboratories and equipment in order to provide effective service delivery in tertiary institutions.
Statement of the Issue
One of the primary roles of vocational technical education institutions is to promote skill acquisition among youth through training, which is a sure step toward achieving vocational technical education goals. Skill acquisition leads to self-reliance and self-employment among vocational technical education graduates. According to Uzoagulu (1993), theoretically influencing manipulative skills is ineffective, and laboratories, equipment, and tools are essential in training for practical skill acquisition.
Ogbuanya (2004) observed that the government has provided funds for tools, equipment, and laboratories at secondary and tertiary institutions in Nigeria, recognizing the importance of tools, equipment, and laboratories in skill training and scientific knowledge.
Despite the government’s large financial investment in providing laboratories, tools, and equipment, Anyakoha (1992) stated that these equipment, tools, and laboratories are not well maintained.
Â The unfortunate and regrettable state of equipment tools and laboratories has been attributed to the operators’ inability to apply preventive and total maintenance culture on the equipment tools and laboratories when due. The purpose of this paper is to address the issue of poor maintenance culture in tertiary vocational technical education institutions.
The problem of this study is thus to identify the necessary strategies that will enhance and promote a high maintenance culture of laboratories, workshops, and equipment in tertiary vocational technical education.
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