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Comparing students' enrolment and graduate output in home economics with other vocational subjects in Colleges of Education in Nigeria.
Article Type:
Report
Subject:
College attendance (Research)
Home economics (Study and teaching)
Vocational education (Research)
Author:
Arubayi, D.O.
Pub Date:
09/01/2009
Publication:
Name: College Student Journal Publisher: Project Innovation (Alabama) Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Education Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2009 Project Innovation (Alabama) ISSN: 0146-3934
Issue:
Date: Sept, 2009 Source Volume: 43 Source Issue: 3
Topic:
Event Code: 310 Science & research
Product:
Product Code: 8240000 Vocational Education; 9105117 Vocational Educatn Programs NAICS Code: 6115 Technical and Trade Schools; 92311 Administration of Education Programs
Geographic:
Geographic Scope: Nigeria Geographic Name: Nigeria Geographic Code: 6NIGR Nigeria

Accession Number:
206687062
Full Text:
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.

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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 disciplines.

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 in Nigeria.

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.

Results

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 investigated.

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 difficult courses.

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.

Recommendation

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.

References

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) 56-62.

Arubayi, D. O. (2003) An Evaluation of the current Research Efforts in Science Curriculum in Nigeria, Journal of Education and Society. 6(1) 96-103.

Federal Republic of Nigeria (2004), National Policy on Education, 4th Education.

Federal Ministry of Education (2004), Nigeria: Education Sector Analysis-Sector Diagnosis. Draft Report, Abuja.

Federal Ministry of Education (2003) Education Sector Status Report: Abuja

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 1996-2002. Abuja.

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, Nigeria.

P. O. Box 192, Abraka, Delta State, Nigeria.
Table 1
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,
2005

Table 2
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,
2005
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