The purpose of this study was to compare students' enrolment
and graduate output in Home Economics with other Vocational subjects in
the Colleges of Education in Nigeria. The target population included
twenty (20) Federal Colleges and twenty-seven (27) State Colleges of
Education offering eight Vocational and Technical disciplines during the
2001/2002, 2002/2003 academic sessions. Two research questions were
formulated. The design of this study was ex-post-facto and descriptive
in nature. The instrument used was the data got from the digest of
statistics on Colleges of Education in Nigeria for 2001/2002, 2002/2003.
The data was analysed using means, frequencies and percentages. Findings
revealed an increase in students' enrolment from 39426 to 43168 in
the eight Vocational/Technical subjects for the years under review.
55.9% (24115) of the students were females. Findings also revealed that
Business Education, Agricultural education and Home Economics ranked
first, second and third respectively. Woodwork ranked last, with Metal
Work, Electrical Electronic, Secretarial Studies and Technical Education
in that order. Findings also revealed an increase of 1710 (14%) NCE
graduates in the period under investigation. Finding revealed a 96%
female graduate output in Home Economics in the two years under review,
followed by 76% for Secretarial Studies. The last was Metal Work with an
average graduate output of 09%. Following these findings some
recommendations were made.
Access in terms of students' enrolment in tertiary education
is a major area of concern in Nigeria today. A look at the demand for
and the supply of places at the university level revealed that only
10.75% of the 467,490 candidates who applied for admission during the
2000/2001 school year were granted admission (Edu. Sector Status Report,
2003). The same report revealed that only about 25% of the 130,000
applicants were offered admission at the Polytechnic level. The
situation was remarkably better at the College of Education level where
about 75% of the 6,672 applicants were admitted. From this report it
becomes clear that University Education is the first choice of most
Nigerian students seeking admission into Tertiary Institutions in
Nigeria. The second choice is Polytechnic Education and College of
Education is the third choice.
At the College of Education level, low participation of men is
reflected in pronounced gender inequity to the disadvantage of men. This
has been supported by data provided by Joint Admission and Matriculation
Board (JAMB, 2004) from 1996 to 2002. At the University and Polytechnic
levels of education, the reverse is the case, what we find is a low
participation of women as against men in most of the academic
In Colleges of Education in Nigeria, Home Economics is one of the
Vocational and Technical subjects offered. The other subjects include
Agricultural Education, Business Education and Secretarial Education.
Others include Electrical Electronics Education, metalwork, Technical
Education and Woodwork. The first three subject areas including Home
Economics are referred to as the "soft" areas of Vocational
Education while the other four subject areas are best described as the
"hard" Vocational subject areas, (Arubayi, 2003). In terms of
gender access, there appear to be more female representation than males
in the "soft" Vocational subject areas while the reverse is
the case in the "hard" Vocational subject areas.
This assertion is supported by the fact that women are predominant
only in the non-scientific and non-technical disciplines in the
universities (Educ. Sector Report, 2004). This is also the case at the
Colleges of Education level. Even amongst the "soft"
Vocational subject areas, Home Economics stands out as a discipline with
high gender barrier to male entrants when compared to other subjects,
(Arubayi, 2004). This therefore creates a real educational development
challenge to curriculum experts and educational planners in Nigeria.
Graduate output at the tertiary level of Education in Nigeria is
today a topical issue. The public is concerned about the quality and
indeed the quantity of graduates from Universities, Polytechnics and
Colleges of Education. At the College of Education level, it was
reported that about 25% of the graduates were of fair quality while
another 25% were reported to be of poor quality (Edu. Sector Report,
2004). The report further showed that about 15 % of employers of labour
rated the performance on the job of Science and Technology graduates as
good. It is important to mention at this point that the minimum entry
qualification into the teaching profession in Nigeria is the Nigeria
Certificate of Education (NCE), (National Policy, 2004). Graduates
possessing such qualifications are normally produced by Colleges of
Education in the country. The programmes offered in these Colleges
include academic subjects taught in Primary, Secondary School, Technical
Colleges and professional courses in Education.
It is against the problem of gender access in terms of enrolment of
students and graduate output in Home Economics in comparison to other
Vocational Technical subjects in Colleges of Education in Nigeria that
has led to the formulation of the following research questions.
1) What is the pattern of students' enrolment in Colleges of
Education in Home Economics and other selected Vocational technical
subjects, when sex is taken as an independent variable?
2) What is the pattern of students' enrolment in Colleges of
Education in Home Economics and other related Vocational Technical
subjects, when graduate output is taken as an independent variable?
It is the hope of the researcher that answers to the above
questions will throw light into the problem of gender disparity in terms
of students' enrolment and graduate output in Colleges of Education
This study is delimited to students enrolment and graduate output
with gender as an independent variable. Another delimitation is that the
study focused on Federal and State Colleges of Education in Nigeria
during the 2001-2003 academic years. Home Economics and seven other
Vocational Education subjects namely; Agricultural Education, Business
Education, Secretarial Education, Electrical Electronic, Woodwork,
Technical Education and Metalwork were within the delimited boundaries
of the study.
Method and Procedures
The design of this study was ex-post-facto and descriptive in
nature. In this design, no variable was manipulated since the events
(enrolment and graduate output) under investigation have already
occurred. Explanation will be offered after the fact.
The target population included twenty (20) Federal Colleges of
Education and twenty-seven (27) State Colleges of Education offering the
eight Vocational and Technical subjects during the 2001/2002 and
2002/2003 academic sessions. In all there were a total of 47
institutions used for this study. Since all the institutions were used,
the need for sampling was no longer necessary.
The data for this study were adequate, computed and analysed from
the digest of statistics on Colleges of Education in Nigeria 2001/2002,
2002/2003 (National Commission for Colleges of Education, 2005). The
data published as volume 7, were provided by each of the Colleges of
Education as requested by the National Commission for Colleges of
Education (NCCE). It is pertinent to mention at this point that NCCE is
a parastatal of Federal Ministry of Education backed by decree No 3 of
1989, to ensure the effective administration control of Colleges of
Education in Nigeria. Consequently, the assumption is that the data
provided are reliable and valid for a descriptive study of this nature.
The data were analysed using simple non-parametric descriptive
statistics. Specifically, means, frequencies and percentages were
utilized in the course of analysis of the data. The results of the
analyses have been summarized in Table 1 and 2 in the appropriate
section of the report.
The data presented in Table 1 is a summary of the pattern of
students' enrolment by sex in Home Economics and seven Vocational
subjects of Education in Nigeria. The result provided answer to the
first question raised in the aforementioned section of this report.
Specifically, the data revealed a total of 39,436 students in all eight
Vocational/Technical subjects in the report during the 2001/2002
academic year. Twenty one thousand eight hundred and twenty eight
(21,828) were reported to be females. This accounted for 55.4% of the
total number of students. In the 2002/2003 school year, a total of
43,168 were enrolled in all the eight subjects with 24,115 found to be
females and a 55.9% female representation. The result revealed an
increase of 3,732 (4.5%) students' enrolment between the two
sessions of which 2287 were females. One thing that is apparent is that
there were more females then males students enrolled in the eight
Vocational Technical subjects consistently for the two years.
Detailed analysis and cursory look at the data in Table 1 showed
that Business Education ranked first, while Agricultural Education
ranked second and Home Economics came third in terms of students'
enrolment consistently for the two years under investigation. Woodwork
was at the bottom for the two years, closely followed by Metalwork,
Electrical Electronics, Secretarial Studies and Technical Education in
that order. In terms of sex representation, Home Economics had the
highest percentage of female students (98%) for both years when compared
to the other seven subject disciplines. In Woodwork, Metalwork and
Electrical Electronics reported about 1.4%, 03% and 15% female students
for an average enrolment in the two years respectively.
Shown in Table 2, is a summary of graduate output by sex in Home
Economics and seven Vocational/Technical subjects in Colleges of
Education in Nigeria during the 2001/2002 and 2002/2003 academic years.
The result showed a total of 4,943 and 6,653 NCE graduates in all the
eight disciplines during the 2001/2002 and 2002/2003 academic session
respectively. Between the two sessions, there was an increase of 1,710
(14.7%) NCE graduates of which 1,033 (60%) were reported to be females.
Another revelation was that in the 2001/2002 session, 2,763 (55.9%) were
female graduates while in the 2002/2003 academic year, 3,795 (57.0%)
represented female graduates from all the eight subjects that were
The highest number of graduates as revealed in table 2 was in
Business Education for both years. This was followed by Agricultural
Education, Home Economics and Secretarial Studies in that order. The
smallest number of NCE graduates was in Woodwork, followed by Metalwork,
Technical Education and Electrical Electronics Education. When graduate
output for females in Home Economics is compared with the other seven
Vocational/Technical subjects, the result revealed an average graduate
output for the two years was 96%. This was followed by Secretarial
Studies with an average graduate output for females of 76%. The least
was Metalwork with an average output of about 09%. This was closely
followed from the rear by Woodwork with a percentage of 10%. From the
results there was an increase in graduate output between the two years
in each of the disciplines except Woodwork where there was a decrease.
When sex was taken as an independent variable, there were increases in
graduate output of females in disciplines except in Metalwork.
Discussion of Results
The results of this study lend itself to an interesting discussion.
First of all, there appears to be a trend in the enrolment of students
into Home Economics and the other seven Vocational subjects in
Nigeria's Colleges of Education. Although education at the Colleges
of Education level is not the best choice among students seeking
admission, enrolment was on the increase in all disciplines except in
Metal Work. When the sex variable was introduced, there were fair male
and female representations in Agricultural Education for the two years.
There was however, gender bias in favour of females in enrolment into
academic disciplines like Home Economics, Business Education and
Secretarial Studies. This finding was not a surprise since these
discipline are traditionally dominated by females.
However, of concern is Home Economics where over 96% of the
students were females with only 4% representation of males. One may add
here that Home Economics is not exclusively for females. Since it is a
Vocational subject, the male sex should be encouraged to show and take
interest in the subject. Also, worrisome is almost no representation of
female students enrolled in Technical subjects such as Woodwork and
Metalwork for the two years in question. This finding goes to support
the earlier assertion of male dominance in these "hard"
Vocational subjects in the introduction portion of this study. One thing
that is clear from the findings is that when enrolment in all the eight
subjects were compared for the two years, the gender gaps in favour of
females (56%) was this case. This finding came as no surprise since in
terms of number, there were far more females than males enrolled in the
subject disciplines like Home Economics, Secretarial Education, Business
Education and Agricultural Education.
The data in tables 1 and 2 showed some relationship between the
number of students output enrolled in each of the eight academic
disciplines and the number of graduate output. Even when sex of students
was introduced, the situation was the same. For instance Home Economics
that had about 96% female students enrolled, graduated about 98% of
females over the two years under investigation. A discipline like
Woodwork painted a different picture. There were far less female
students graduating when compared to those enrolled. While about 10% of
females students were enrolled, only about 2% of the graduates were
females. The reasons for this apparent alteration of female students
from Woodwork and similar "hard" core disciplines may be due
to the abstract and difficult nature of the subject. This may have
occasioned the withdrawal or transfers of female students to less
One question that becomes pertinent as we discuss the results of
this study is whether the Colleges of Education in Nigeria are able to
supply enough NCE graduates to meet the demand of the Primary and Junior
Secondary institutions in Nigeria? Considering that only about 800 NCE
graduates are produced annually and about 6500 are produced annually in
all the eight Vocational and Technical subjects, these will not be
enough to meet the demand of about 25,765 primary and another 10,570
Secondary Schools in Nigeria (Statistical Information on Basic
Education, 2003). The situation even becomes more precarious when we
further consider that a number of the NCE graduates leave the system
either through death, retirement, upgradement to the Secondary School
service or mobility to other more lucrative careers.
Based on the findings of this research study, the following
recommendations are made:
1) The issue of gender disparity in all the eight
Vocational/Technical subjects should be addressed by educational policy
planners and developers in Nigeria.
2) More male students should be encouraged into disciplines like
Home Economics, Secretarial Studies and Business Education.
3) More female students should also be encouraged into disciplines
such as Woodwork, Metalwork and Electrical Electronics Education.
4) Modalities should be worked out to radically increase graduate
in Woodwork, Technical Education and Metalwork.
Arubayi, D. O. (2004), A Case study of teaching area preference of
Home Economics part time degree students in Delta State University,
Abraka Journal of Research and Development in Education (JORDE) 11 (1)
Arubayi, D. O. (2003) An Evaluation of the current Research Efforts
in Science Curriculum in Nigeria, Journal of Education and Society. 6(1)
Federal Republic of Nigeria (2004), National Policy on Education,
Federal Ministry of Education (2004), Nigeria: Education Sector
Analysis-Sector Diagnosis. Draft Report, Abuja.
Federal Ministry of Education (2003) Education Sector Status
Federal Ministry of Education (2004), National Policy on Education
(Revised edition), Abuja
National Commission for Colleges of Education (2005), Digest of
Statistics on Colleges of Education in Nigeria. Vols. 6 and 7 Abuja.
Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (2004). JAMB Annual Reports
University basic Education Commission (2004) Statistical
Information on Basic Education in Nigeria, 2003, Abuja.
D. O. ARUBAYI (PH.D)
Vocational Education Department, Delta State University, Abraka,
P. O. Box 192, Abraka, Delta State, Nigeria.
Summary of Students' Enrolment by Sex in Home Economics and Seven
Vocational Subjects in Colleges of Education in Nigeria
Areas of specialization 2001/2002 2002/2003
MF F %F MF F %F
1 Agric Education 13566 6094 44.9 13193 5909 44.7
2 Bus. Education 17384 10187 58.6 20901 12722 60.9
3 Elect/Elect 472 78 16.5 588 84 14.3
4 Home Econs 4228 4145 98.0 4326 4218 97.5
5 Metal Work 134 4 3.0 161 4 2.5
6 Sec Studies 1078 860 79.8 1561 758 48.6
7 Tech. Education 2515 459 18.3 2349 419 17.8
8 Woodwork 39436 21828 55.4 43168 24115 55.9
Total 39436 21828 55.4 43168 24115 55.9
Adopted from digest of Statistics on College of Education in Nigeria,
Summary of Graduate Output by Sex in Home Economics and Other
Vocational Subjects in Colleges of Education in Nigeria
Areas of specialization 2001/2002 2002/2003
MF F %F MF F %F
1 A is Education 1646 737 44.8 2543 1244 48.9
2 Bus. Education 2128 1306 61.4 2495 1441 57.8
3 Elect/Elect 137 13 9.5 181 33 18.2
4 Home Econs 595 556 93.4 786 778 99.0
5 Metal Work 105 14 13.3 141 6 4.3
6 Sec Studies 185 120 64.9 311 273 87.8
7 Tech. Education 119 15 12.6 173 17 9.8
8 Woodwork 28 2 7.1 23 3 13.0
Total 4943 2763 55.9 6653 3795 57.0
Adopted from digest of Statistics on Colleges of Education in Nigeria,