Background to the Study
A country‟s level of development is determined largely by its level of scientific, technological and industrial advancement in addition to other development indices such as life expectancy, literacy levels, income levels, good governance, etc. (World Bank, 2008). Based on the aforementioned, countries of the world are categorized as either developed, emerging or developing. Nigeria, tagged a developing country, wants to become one of the world‟s top 20 economies by 2020 (FRN, 2008). Consequently, concern over her technological and industrial development as Africa‟s second largest economy has become rife in recent times. This concern formed the major plank of Nigeria‟s discussion at the international conference on technical and vocational education (TVE) held at Abuja in 2007. The Vision 20:2020 Initiative of the Federal Government is one of the ways by which the Federal Government tried to give expression to her socio-economic and technological aspirations, with the aim of transforming the country into a developed economy. Such medium to long term plans should take cognizance of the human resources required to transform the various sectors of the economy. Management scientists have posited that the most important resource of a nation or production unit, whether small or medium scale enterprise (SMEs) or multinational is the human resource otherwise known as Human Capital. Human capital is at the centre of economic strength and growth, as the development of any organization (including nations) is driven by skills and competencies of its human resources (Oguntoye, 1998). The implication here is that the wealth of a nation rests largely on its human energies and talents. 2 Nigeria needs quality middle level manpower (technicians and technologists) to pull through her industrial and technological aspirations. The realization that human resources among other indices is a critical factor in a nation‟s overall development and effectiveness has made a great deal of attention to be directed towards the growth, direction and dimension of human capital development. Education remains the panacea through which effective human resource development can be achieved. In line with the above, Technology Education (TE) also known as Technical and Vocational Education (TVE) provided at the tertiary level in polytechnics and colleges of technology, is central to the training and production of competent and skilled technicians and technologists needed for industrial development. One of the major reasons for the series of reforms in Nigerian higher education since 1959 was the need to prepare our graduates for the world of work. The birth of polytechnic education in Nigeria was sequel to the Ashby Commission‟s Report of 1960 which noted a major defect in the Nigerian education system as being too strongly biased towards the traditional literary and academic subjects at the expense of technical oriented programmes that would produce technicians and technologists for industrial development (Yakubu, 2006).
Technology Education by design is expected to expose students to the practical aspects of their courses, thus making them functional and self reliant on graduation. It then follows that whoever chooses to acquire Technology Education must of necessity be well grounded in technical, manipulative and innovative skills coupled with intellectual capabilities and training adequate for transforming the industrial sector (Okey, 2007). Nwagwu (2000) agrees as much when she noted that industrialization and technological breakthrough are solely accomplished through a systematic functional and vocational education. Kadri (2002) confirmed the significance of polytechnic education when he averred that “education, especially of the technical nature is indispensable to rapid and sustained development. It is inevitable that for a nation to move forward it must make constant efforts to develop and introduce new knowledge and skills into production activities as is done in polytechnics so as to achieve sustainable rapid growth.”
Statement of the Problem
There has been noticeable increase in the number of polytechnics and monotechnics in Nigeria but many of the graduates turned out from these institutions are said to be unemployable (Lukman, 2002). With about One hundred and one of such institutions, the country still lags behind in technological advancement. Graduates unemployability constitutes societal challenge which must be addressed. Programme accreditation is a huge requirement in the establishment of tertiary institutions. There are approved standards of availability and adequacy of inputs (lecturers, facilities, curriculum contents, student entry qualification etc) for the accreditation of programmes in polytechnics as established by NBTE. According to NBTE, 70-80% availability is considered adequate.
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