EFFECTIVENESS OF PLACEMENT PROCESSES OF STUDENTS OF BASIC EDUCATION ON TECHNICAL AND VOCATIONAL EDUCATION AND TRAINING IN SOUTH-SOUTH NIGERIA
Education is a major instrument of social economic transformation and change in the society. In a developing country like Nigeria, great efforts are been directed towards using education for economic growth and development. This is evidenced by the number of changes in educational policies that have occurred since after the end of the civil war in 1970. The Universal Basic Education which is the extant National Policy on Education established in 2004 is a part of these policy attempts for rapid social economic development, improvement of the well-being of citizens and the overarching desire to catch up with the development in the rest of the world. The reality is that, the education system is still weak and slow in bringing about this expected change. The living condition of the citizens remains appalling. Poverty is still vicious with majority living below poverty line and unemployment soaring at alarming proportions. These situation leaves over 65million youths unproductive and further stress the economy through high dependency and social menace. The blame by most experts and public analysts is on the unemployability of the products of the education system which has sterilized national economy and the well beings of individuals. The implementation of the present policy on education like others in the past seems to slant against hand -on-skills training that has high and direct employability, impact on productivity, personal and national income, immediate short term and long-term gains of poverty reduction, and economic growth and development. The study hypothesized that Basic Education does not have effective process for the placement of its products on technical and vocational education and training (TVET). With six sub variables of availability, accessibility, receptivity, attitude, personality traits and adaptability to TVET, the study adopted a survey design. The population was made up of policy makers in education, guidance counselors, stakeholders, JSS 3 students and graduates of Basic education in Akwa Ibom, Cross River and Rivers States of South-South Nigeria. The sampling techniques used was the multistage technique including purposive and incidental techniques for small specialized units. The sample size was 920 subjects drawn across all the units of the population. The instrument used was a 30 item Placement Processes Questionnaire (PPQ) developed and validated with a Crumbach Alpha Reliability Co-efficient of r = .76 to .88. On administration of the questionnaire, data was generated, collated and analyzed using percentage, independent t-test, Parson Product Moment Correlation and Analysis of Variance statistical techniques. The result showed that Placement Processes of basic education were not significantly effective in placing students on TVET. There was low availability, accessibility, receptivity of the placement processes; and the attitudes of the students towards the programmes were also poor. However, the findings also showed that placement of students exposed to placement programmes on technical and vocational skill training was based on their ability, aptitude and interest; and that students indicated high adaptability to TVET. The study recommends intensive guidance programmes in career development and talent exploration based on hand-on–skills of basic education; gender equity in placement programmes; and inclusiveness in selecting students into TVET programmes.