Institutional Factors and Technical Skills Acquisition in South-West Nigerian Polytechnics
The polytechnics focused on the acquisition of technical skills so as to prepare students for employment or self-reliance. However, many polytechnic graduates appear not to possess the technical skills required in the labour market. To acquire the technical skills required for employment, there should be certain institutional factors (physical and human resources) for such acquisition. This study examined the relationships among resource availability, adequacy, utilization, curriculum contents and technical skills acquisition in selected South-West Nigerian polytechnics. The study was anchored on systems theory. The descriptive survey research design was adopted for the study. The population of the study comprised 5,960 Higher National Diploma (HND) II full time students of the nine sampled polytechnics in South-West Nigeria. Stratified random sampling technique was applied to select 596 students in Mechanical, Civil, Electrical/Electronics and Computer Engineering Departments. The research instruments used for data collection were “Institutional Factors and Technical Skills Acquisition Questionnaire (IFTSAQ)” and “Polytechnics’ Resource Profile Checklist (PRPC)”. The seven hypotheses postulated for the study were tested at.05 level of significance. Data were analyzed using Pearson Product Moment Correlation, One Way Analysis of Variance, Regression Analysis and Independent t-test. The tested hypotheses showed that there were significant relationships among resource availability, utilization; curriculum content adequacy, gender and technical skills acquisition in the polytechnics, hence, the null hypotheses for those variables were rejected. There were no significant relationships among resource adequacy, students’ programmes, institutional ownership and technical skills acquisition; hence, the null hypotheses for those variables were accepted. The study recommended more practical work to complement theories in polytechnics; provision of modern resources and qualified staff for impartation of technical skills, the curricula of polytechnics should be reviewed to align with labour market’s demands and the gap between school and work place should be bridged through Students’ Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES).