1.1 Background to the Study
The mechanics of autotronics entails the conglomeration that posed the complexity of autotronics working operations and consequently a challenge to mechanics and auto-electricians, towards troubleshooting – finding faults and diagnosing automotive electronic problems. This is as a result of industrial revolution in the automobile industry with sophistication in car designs. The rapid changes and increased complexity in the automotive industry present new challenges and put new demands on the education system. Generally, there has been a growing awareness of the necessity to change and improve the preparation of students for productive functioning in the continually changing and highly demanding environment. This shift for a change has allowed for new insight on how students accumulate knowledge as they relied on the teacher as passive listener, while the teachers act as a director and a transmitter of knowledge. The computer literacy knowledge requirement by the technical college students as a servicing strategy for automobile is of great importance for the development of the automotive industry and the nation.
The modern automated cars are highly computerized and require the knowledge of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to handle the highly sensitive computerized diagnosing devices/equipment for troubleshooting, and analysis. With the advent of ICT equipment, there has been an explosion in the advances of computer-related technologies in teaching and learning in the classrooms and laboratories. The computer is an electronic device which is designed to accept an ordered sequence of instruction given to it in an appropriate language and to carry out these instructions with great speed and accuracy. Ozoagu (2007) asserted that, recent advances in communication technologies and their use in science and technology education provides an opportunity for educators to take a critical look at how these tools are being integrated into the classroom and laboratory.
There is urgent need to assess the academic training and students’ knowledge in autotronics servicing strategies of auto-mechanics students of technical colleges. Most significantly, close attention must be paid to the assessment on the use of tools in ways conducive with cognitive processes of how students effectively learn and acquire knowledge and skills in auto-mechanics technology.
Technology is the complex integrated organization of men and machines, ideas, procedures and management. It includes processes, systems, and management and control mechanisms both human and non-human. Technology could be seen as the systematic application of scientific or other organized knowledge to practical tasks. It is a complete integrated process for analyzing problems, controlling and evaluating the solution to those problems.
Auto-mechanic technology is one of the courses for the students of technical colleges which enable students to acquire knowledge and skills for gainful employment in various aspects of auto-mechanic technology which includes: auto-mechanic technicians, auto-body, mechanics, spare parts dealers, wheel balancing/alignment, auto-electricians and vulcanizers. The increasing and more sophisticated automobile, the more difficult it is to repair or service those exported to developing countries like Nigeria.
The success of integrating the knowledge of autotronics servicing strategies into the students of auto-mechanics in technical colleges depends largely on the skills, knowledge and competence of teachers. Although situational assessments tend to emphasize application of learning, and applications are built on a disciplinary foundation. The success of assessment of content learning will depend on the expertise demonstrated in the design of the applied assessment.
An assessment of the output of the technical college who have undergone auto-mechanics without a sound knowledge of autotronics constitutes a waste. Brimor and Paul (2001) in Nkasiobi and Ejimaji (2010) defined waste in science education as the degree to which actual educational output fails to correspond with the stated educational goals within a given period of time. Inadequate resource allocation which in turn, leads to failure in the attainment of a nation’s educational goals and objectives may be classified as waste in education. Therefore, the concept of waste in technical education refers to those constraints which make it impossible for the nation’s educational goals to be achieved in relation to the resources invested. Waste in education affects all levels of educational institutions such as pre-primary, primary, secondary and tertiary institutions. Olaitan (2002), viewed waste as the degree to which human and material resources developed and made available are grossly under utilized or neglected. This means that the output of an educational programme will be incongruent with the nation’s educational goals.
Onifade (2005) asserted that, most graduates are not properly prepared for work, especially for the industries. He maintained that, there is growing concern among industrialists that products of technical institutions do not possess adequate work skills necessary for employment in industries. Nevertheless, it is expected that the knowledge acquired in schools, laboratories, Field Trips/SIWES to the industries will prepare the students and equip them with the necessary competences that will enable them secure and maintain relevant jobs on graduation, but this is hardly being achieved. In view of this, it is obvious that, industrial growth and development will stall and continue to be delayed, if students are not fully equipped with the required knowledge. This however, consequentially creates concern and the crave for assessment of the students’ knowledge of autotronics servicing strategies in technical colleges.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
However plausible an educational policy appears to be, and at whatever level, its success is a function of an assessment of students’ knowledge in theory and practice. Technical education programmes generally, require appropriate assessment towards facilitating maximum attainment of the set objectives. For Nigeria to attain automobile technological excellence, it requires an assessment of students’ knowledge of autotronics servicing strategies (SKASS) in technical colleges. This means that their interest and performances in the area of autotronics must be assessed for greater achievement in relation to resources available. The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO, 2003) reported that the provision of basic resources as well as the effective utilization are the important issues in science education programmes. The reason is based on the fact that resources for setting up a standard service station for automobile servicing are costly and needed for its successful implementation.
Technical education particularly at the secondary level recently received significant recognition by the Federal Government. The degree of its commitment in practical terms however is still unclear. Also, a deeper view seems to reveal a low students’ interest in technical education, a deplorable state of technical colleges and a low quality products of these colleges offering and their employability, which sends dangerous signals for the system.
It is these unclear circumstances of technical education at the secondary level that have motivated this study; an assessment of students’ knowledge of autotronics servicing strategies in technical colleges in Benue State.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of this study is to carry out an Assessment Of Students’ Knowledge of Autotronics Servicing Strategy (ASKASS), in technical colleges in Benue state to ascertain the extent of state-of-the-art in their use of testing and diagnostic equipment for the modern car. Specifically, the study will:
- Identify the activities performed by students that will influence their knowledge of autotronics servicing strategies.
- Identify the facilities/equipment used in the colleges that will enhance the students’ knowledge of autotronics servicing strategies.
- Assess the facilities/equipment used in the colleges, that will enhance the competences of students’ knowledge of autotronics servicing strategies.
- Assess the extent of skills acquisition in autotronics servicing strategies.
- Find out what is responsible for low interest and low quality output of auto-mechanic in autotronics servicing strategies.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following are the research questions formulated for the study:
- What are the activities performed by students that will influence their knowledge of autotronics servicing strategies.
- How does acquisition of students’ knowledge of autotronics skills enhance servicing strategies in automobile?
- What are the facilities/equipment used in laboratories/workshops for training that will influence students’ knowledge of autotronics servicing strategies (SKASS) in automated cars?
- What is the effectiveness of the facilities/equipment used in laboratories/workshops that will influence SKASS in the modern cars?
- What is responsible for the low interest and low quality output of auto-mechanics that will influence SKASS in today’s cars?
1.4 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
The following null and alternate hypotheses which will be tested at .05 level of significance will guide this study:
H0: There will be no significant difference in the mean responses of the auto-mechanics teacher and the students on the nature of activities perform by the students that will influence SKASS.
H1: There will be a significant difference in the mean responses of the auto-mechanics teacher and the students on skills acquisition in autotronics by students to enhance SKASS.
H0: There will be no significant difference in the mean responses of auto-mechanics teacher and the students on facilities/equipment used in the schools. Laboratory/workshop to influence SKASS.
H2: There will be a significant difference in the mean responses on the effectiveness of facilities/equipment in schools laboratory/ workshop to influence SKASS.
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study will be of immense benefit to auto-mechanics teachers as it will help them to be aware of the identified short-falls inherent in students’ knowledge of fault diagnosis in automobile. It will also help them to improve their instructional delivery techniques in autotronics servicing strategies as well as enhance accuracy in trouble-shooting, diagnosing, maintenance and servicing of the modern cars.
The study will reveal whether the skills imparted unto the students of auto-mechanics in colleges are relevant to the automobile industries or the world of work in general.
The findings of the study will help improve auto-mechanics at the technical college level in Nigeria. Both government administrators of technical colleges, organizations/industries, society, future researchers, parents and individuals will benefit from the findings of the study.
Since the solution to whatever problem lies first in its assessment and identification, the study will promote teachers effectiveness and consequently students’ knowledge and achievement both in theory and practice of autotronics servicing.
The study will not only add but also stand as the foundation for subsequent literature in autotronics an area of automobile technology.
Moreso, the findings of the study will provide information which will be utilized by the curriculum developers for update or adjustment in the curriculum. The information will hopefully influence future trend in automobile technology curriculum development for rapid economic development.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study is strictly concerned with an assessment of students’ knowledge of autotronics servicing strategies (ASKASS) in Technical Colleges in Benue State.
It is however the view of the researcher that, since the operating environment, its set-up and circumstance of the technical college are identical across the various states in Nigeria, findings of this study can apply at this level throughout Nigeria.