Background of the Study
The success of any programme is a function of the availability of resources to carry-out the programme. Office Technology and Management (OTM) programme, as an academic programme that is ICT-based, can only be effectively implemented with adequate ICT resources (Ugwuanyi and Eze, 2008). Rodriquez and Wilson (2000) define Information and Communication Technology as the set of activities or materials facilitated by electronic means for the processing, transmission and display of information.
Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP, 2000) refers to ICT as technologies people use to share, distribute and gather information and to communicate through computers and computer networks. In the view of Akunyili (2006), ICT is the ability to use electronic means to capture, process, communicate and store information. In the context of this study, ICT is any electronic device/resource that can be utilized by people to enhance or improve teaching and learning process together with the administrative activities required for implementation of the OTM programme standard in polytechnics in Delta State. To implement OTM programmes with the desired standard in the polytechnics in Delta State of Nigeria, ICT resources are invaluable. In mastering and understanding ICT basic skills that are involved in OTM programme, there is the need to know the ICT resources that are involved in the teaching and learning of OTM curriculum that is ICT-based.
Agwumezie (1999) stated that resources are the things that stimulate a learner and bring about the understanding of the curriculum content of any programme. ICT resources are the important aids which are needed for the implementation of OTM programme in the tertiary institutions that is ICT-based. These include hardware, software and telecommunications in the form of personal computers, scanners, digital camera, phones, faxes, modem, teleconferencing, compact disk, digital video disk player, recorders, radio and television and programs such as database systems used in education (Onah and Okoro, 2010).
The Federal Government of Nigeria has made some effort to enhance ICT resources in teaching and learning in its tertiary institutions of learning. Two of such efforts are the partnering with Afrihub-Zinox to provide ICT sustainable intervention, and the Commissioned Digital Awareness Programme (DAP) in tertiary institutions in Nigeria (Ndukwe, 2007). This programme involves the provision of ICT resources in as many educational institutions as possible across Nigeria. Under the programme, the selected institutions were equipped with computer laboratories; fully installed with computers and computer networks, furniture and internet facilities. These facilities were backed-up with structural renovation of buildings and supply of air conditioners and power generators.
The provision of adequate and appropriate learning experiences which generate effective or meaningful learning requires adequate resources in the implementation of such learning (Ugwuanyi, 2012). Ironically, many tertiary institutions were not beneficiaries of the partnering. Ojukwu (2006) attributed this lack of not reaching all the tertiary institutions with this programme of ICT resources provision to poor funding of the programme.
The design of the OTM programme curriculum appears to be a response to a global initiative with an objective that portends new academic direction in favour of ICT. It is interesting to note that because of the changes both in the curriculum and the name of the programme, emphasis is now placed more than ever before on the practical aspect of teaching which involves Word Processing and other ICT-related courses (Baba and Akarahu, 2012). The proper execution of practical work on ICT-related courses will mean adequacy of ICT resources will be place.
Office Technology and Management (OTM) programme in Nigeria was designed by the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) to replace the Secretarial Studies programme offered in Nigerian colleges of education and polytechnics. Office Technology and Management is now the new name for the former Secretarial Studies. This was approved in 2004 by NBTE, the supervising body for Polytechnics in Nigeria. This approval was accompanied with a mandatory new curriculum (Atueyi, 2010). The new objectives, theoretical and practical contents of the new curriculum are geared towards integrating graduate students of OTM programme into the evolution of technology.
According to Adelakin (2009), the OTM programme was designed for two major reasons; first, as a response to the yearnings of the secretarial studies students and practitioners on the need to change the name of the programme as their products are only suitable for the traditional office environment. Secondly, and most importantly, as a result of the change in curriculum with more emphasis on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and management so as to enrich the knowledge of the students and equip them with necessary skills needed in today’s office environment. The aim of the OTM programme, according to Dolor (2002), is to impart skills, knowledge and competencies, which makes the beneficiaries self-reliant.
Ntukidem (2000) observed that the wind of change heralded by technological advancement has enveloped business education especially secretarial profession and its training programme. Ntukidem further observed that the secretarial profession is faced with impressive array of telecommunication tools and facilities based on modern technology. It is imperative to observe that OTM is facing technological changes which demands that graduates should acquire both practical and theoretical skills in order to fit into this era of technological innovations.
The new curriculum of the programme was designed to equip students with vocational skills in Office Technology and Management and socio-psychological work skills for employment in various fields of endeavour and this is in line with the provision of the National Policy on Education (FRN, 2004) with the aim of acquiring appropriate skills, abilities and competencies; both mental and physical, as equipment for the individual to live in and contribute to the development of the society (Aquah and Obi, 2001). The new name, Office Technology and Management programme is used as a comprehensive term referring to those aspects of the educational process involving general education, the study of technologies and related sciences, and the acquisition of practical skills, attitudes, understanding and knowledge relating to occupations in various sectors of economic and social life.
It is interesting to note that because of the changes both in the curriculum and the name of the programme, emphasis is now placed more than ever before on the practical aspect of teaching which involves Word Processing and other ICT-related courses (Baba and Akarahu, 2012). The proper execution of practical work on ICT-related courses will mean adequacy of ICT resources will be place.