Instructional Needs and Their Use in Preservice Training in Polytechnics in Isiolo, Meru, Embu and Machakos Counties, Kenya
The desire to expand education to all as an investment for economic and human resource development has been reinforced by several studies in the field of educational economics. In least developing countries, large numbers of graduates graduating from formal school system are unemployed despite existence of employment opportunities within the economy. This situation has brought into sharp focus the mismatch between training and labour market skill demands. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to gather information about relationships between training resources used by trainees and instructors at YPs as per training policy and the expected acquisition of knowledge and skills by trainees for gainful work or self-employment. The objectives of the study were to: explore ways of curriculum implementation and assess instructors‟ and trainees‟ perceptions about instructional methodologies used at YPs by instructors in giving instructions. Instructors‟ and trainees‟ perceptions about training tools, equipment and materials they used were sought besides strategies that would help improve instructional delivery mechanisms. Finally, trainees‟ career prospects were investigated and whether parents and trainees valued vocational training. The study adopted functionalist theory on education and division of labour by Emile Durkheim which states that education teaches individuals specific skills necessary for their future occupations. The study adopted survey design taking an explanatory approach. The study population was 2911 respondents. Census and purposive sampling techniques were used to draw a sample of 33.56% (977) informants. These were YP second year trainees and instructors in the trades of masonry, tailoring and carpentry/joinery; parents, BOM members, YP managers, SCYTO and director for youth training. The study employed questionnaires, interview schedules, focus group discussions, document analysis and checklists to collect data. Through piloting and using split half method questionnaires statistical analysis yielded reliability value of r equal to 0.80. Data were analysed using SPSS computer software programme that yielded percentages, pie charts, frequencies, bar graphs and ratios. A major study finding was that none of the sampled YPs offered agriculture as a trade but was offered as common a course to first years only. Community‟s negative attitude towards vocational training (consumers of vocational services) discouraged youths from enrolling at YPs. The study found that 72.8% respondents said there were poor trainees‟ enrolments at YPs. The study established that 100% instructor informants were not aware of ISCO-08 vocational training standard guidelines developed by ILO. Besides, 79.9% trainees reported while instructors employed demonstration methods during theory lessons, trainees explained those skills. During practicals some trainees shared tools because they were not enough. Majority (93.1%) sampled instructors were ICT illiterate. The YPs could not afford most automated tools/equipment and workshops were poorly equipped and were shared among trades. The study concluded that YPs were in dire need of instructors, adequate training tools/equipment, consumable materials and workshops. Secondly, lack of clear policy guidelines on implementation of vocational training is long overdue. The study recommended that County Governments put up comprehensive policies on financing and staffing of YPs as well as erecting model YPs in every location within the county.