Background of the study
The National Directorate of Employment (NDE) was established in 1986 with a broad mandate to combat mass unemployment and alleviate poverty in Nigeria (NDE Annual Report, 2003). At the apex of the organizational structure of the NDE is the management board that is charged with the responsibility of formulating policy for the directorate with headquarters at Abuja. The Honourable Minister of Labour and Project ivity is the chairman of the board and an appointed director general oversees the daily operations of the directorate. The Federal Ministry of Labour and Project ivity serves as the supervising ministry of the directorate that has offices in: the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria, all the 36 state capitals and a desk officer in all the 774 Local Government Council areas in Nigeria. In all the NDE works to:
- combat mass unemployment and alleviate poverty,
- articulate policies with labour intensive potentials,
- generate data bank of employment vacancies and link job seekers to them in collaboration with other government agencies,
- implement any other policies that are assigned to it (NDE Annual Reports, 2003 and 2006, 2010).
The NDE targets interested unemployed women, youths and men that include: persons without formal and non-formal education, school drop outs, artisans, school leavers, the physically challenged, graduates of tertiary institutions and retirees in the implementation of its four key programmes of activities. The four key programmes of activities are: Employment Counseling Service (ECS), Provision of Transient Jobs (PTJ), Enterprise Creation (EC) and Vocational Skills Acquisition Training (VSAT). The ECS is part of all the training programmes of the NDE. It provides social skills, ethical and moral foundations needed in the world of work to trainees who should also see opportunities for work in their environments including coming to terms with self-actualization through self-employment. The programme on PTJ targets unemployed tertiary institutions’ graduates. Through the programme, they are attached to work in ministries of: works, housing, transport, and environment and in private sector establishments in acquiring relevant work experiences with monthly stipends (NDE, 2010). The EC programme provides access to credits to beneficiaries of NDE programmes for them to start their own small scale business enterprises. The VSAT programme involves use of owners of workshops in informal sector. The workshops serve as training outlets for the unskilled interested unemployed people, who are attached as apprentices to learn occupational trades of their choice in both rural and urban settings. Each of the four programmes has so many schemes under them (NDE Brochure 2006).
The brochure further details schemes under the VSAT programme as: Waste to Wealth Scheme (WTW), Resettlement Loan Scheme (RLS), Saturday Theory Class (STC), National Open Apprenticeship Scheme (NOAS), and the School–on-Wheels (SOW) scheme. The WTW aims at equipping unemployed persons with skills of turning wastes into useful household ornamentals among others. The RLS provides business start-off equipment to participants of different schemes under VSAT on completion of their trainings for them to establish their own self-employed business enterprises. The STC scheme provides quality basic and functional education to illiterate and semi literate trainees enrolled in over ninety occupational trades using master trainers, otherwise called instructors under the SOW scheme. The STC scheme prepares beneficiaries of different vocational skill trainings of the NDE for trade test examinations and certifications in low and middle level jobs. The NOAS exclusively recruit unemployed people in urban and semi-urban areas and attaches them as apprentices to accredited master trainers’ workshops for a period that ranges from three to twenty-four months for them to acquire the desired occupational skills.
The SOW scheme conducts vocational skill training programme in many occupational trades including in tailoring from one rural community to another targeting interested unemployed individuals that lack skills for gainful employment. Records from Anambra State office of the NDE show that the scheme has trained 328 persons in basic tailoring from 1991 when it was introduced in the state up till 2013. The scheme operates a maximum of six months vocational skills training in many occupational trades including in tailoring and uses one Mobile Training Workshop (MTW) truck to transport training resources to venues of training. The truck equally serves as training platform when stationed at a place. In addition, accredited workshops of master trainers that partner with NDE in the training beneficiaries are also used in the training. According to the brochure, the SOW scheme has three different training modules that are namely:
- mechanical trades module. This include training on;, auto mechanic, foot wear/shoe repair, and other service trades among others;
- building trades module. This include training on; carpentry, masonry, painting, and plumbing among others.
- domestic trades module. This include training on; hair dressing, cosmetology, catering and fashion designing otherwise called basic tailoring among others
Objectives of the SOW scheme with special reference to tailoring as contained in the brochure and NDE Annual Reports (2003, 2008, 2010) are to:
- provide beneficiaries of the scheme with vocational skill training for employment in fashion designing or basic tailoring among others,
- equip beneficiaries of the scheme with skills of managing tailoring businesses as self-employed individuals or employees and as a result earn income and alleviate their poverty and those of their household members among others.
- provide beneficiaries of the scheme with: credits, grants or equipment to start their own self- employed tailoring businesses as employers of labour.
The 328 people trained on tailoring under the SOW scheme are called beneficiaries in this study. Tailoring is the act of sewing dresses or making apparels for people including household articles and is interchangeably called fashioning and designing in the NDE context and in this study. The fashion and designing training manual on basic tailoring training of the NDE (see appendix J in page 161) stipulates content of training under the course as; taking of body measurements and recording, pattern illustration and drafting, cutting, stitching, production of different types of dresses (e.g. shirts, gown, blouses, shirts, shorts / knickers, native wears, children’s wears, and bridals), use and care of sewing tools and equipment. Others include: identification of basic sewing tools and equipment; their functions, usage, care and safety including application of first aid and business management practices in tailoring enterprises among others. The training manual listed training strategies to be adopted by instructors and NDE staff who are administrators in the implementation of the scheme as: discussion, practical demonstrations, observations, on-the-job-training and monitoring and evaluation among others.
The NDE specifically stipulated minimum quantities of basic tailoring facilities (see appendix J page 169) that should be available in a tailoring workshop of an instructor for it to be accredited for use in training for mastery of the needed skills by beneficiaries under the scheme. Mastery of basic tailoring skills would make beneficiaries of the scheme sew different acceptable dresses for their customers and as a result earn improved income as successful entrepreneurs in tailoring enterprises. Unfortunately, no one knows whether these expectations are being met as there is dearth of empirical evidence on the achievements of the scheme hence the need to carry out this assessment study.
Assessment is the systematic collection, review and use of information for estimating worth, quality or effectiveness of a training programme for purposes of improvement of a programme. (Palomba and Benta, (1999), cited in Asuequo (2011). In the views of Salawu, Tukur, Olude, Maja, Adeyanju (2006), assessment of a training programme can be a component of evaluation which can help to determine progress made towards achievement of training objectives. Evaluation is the determination of the worth of a thing and includes obtaining information for use in judging consequences of; a programme, an intervention, a procedure or an approach in attainment of specified objectives (Worthern and Sanders (1973) quoted in Ezeji (2001)). There are many models of evaluation that include: goal evaluation, goal free evaluation, Context-Input-Process-Project (CIPP), countenance of evaluation and responsive evaluation among others. However, the evaluation models relevant to this study are: goal evaluation, goal free evaluation and Context-Input-Process-Project (CIPP). Goal evaluation provides feedback on the extent to which the set goals of a training programme are achieved. Goal free evaluation examines all training outcomes without limiting them to set goals or objectives of the training programme (Tyler as cited in Olaitan and Ali, 1997). The SOW scheme training on tailoring has set goals; hence goal evaluation model is applicable to this study. The tailoring programme of the SOW scheme might have produced unintended outcomes which this study will equally provide information on as required in the goal free evaluation. The CIPP model is used to arrive at four types of decision in different stages of programme implementation. The context evaluation provides information on setting of a programme that could cover; geographical, political, organizational, social, environmental, cultural and instructional considerations (Bhola, 1990). The obtained information when appropriately linked up is useful in judging responsiveness to goals of a programme. In this regards, for example, the determination of level of content coverage in basic tailoring training under the SOW scheme programme is an aspect of context evaluation model in this study. Input evaluation model according to Olaitan, Nwachukwu, Igbo, Onyemachi, and Ekong (1999) is a technique that provides information on resources available in the course of executing a programme and how they affect the expected end. Input evaluation in this study will be seeking to ascertain the adequacy of personnel, facilities, and other resources used in carrying out the SOW scheme training on tailoring as a factor that would have impacted on the attainment of set goals of the scheme. Process evaluation provides feedback on the quality of methodologies used in implementation of a programme (Okoro, 2000). In this study, process evaluation will assist in determining competency levels of administrators of the scheme in terms of their; knowledge of the subject matter, possessed pedagogical skills, ability to embark on monitoring and evaluation of the scheme among others. Project evaluation measures the overall goal attainments at the end of the project cycle (Pophan, 1990). The 328 beneficiaries trained on tailoring are the products of the scheme that have ended their cycle of training under the scheme. This study sets to ascertain their possessed tailoring competencies and improvement in their income earnings as a result of participating in the scheme. In applying the above three models of evaluation, the study eventually sought information on the overall effectiveness of the scheme as information concerning all the scheme’s phases of activities would be provided. Thus the bottom line information for making decision on whether to continue, terminate or modify the scheme would be available. The goal and CIPP evaluation models are very relevant and will be applied in this assessment study of the tailoring programme of the SOW scheme of the NDE in alleviating poverty among its beneficiaries in Anambra State of Nigeria.
Statement of the Problem
The School-on-Wheels (SOW) scheme was launched in 1991 as an integral part of the NDE programme to reduce rural unemployment and poverty in Anambra State. It is expected that after more than 20 years of implementation of the scheme in the state, there would be remarkable progress and improvement in employment generation and poverty reduction in the state. It is further expected that beneficiaries of the scheme would be in self-employment in tailoring enterprises or alternatively be employees in the sector.
Unfortunately, it seems that the reverse is the case, and that unemployment and poverty are on the increase in the state judging by available public information. For example, report of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) (2010) has it that unemployment rate in Anambra State was 21.3 %. This is more than the national average of 21 % in 2010 even as the report explained that unemployment is more in rural areas. Furthermore, Anambra State Ministry of Youth and Sports (2012) reported that 6,234 youths were registered as unemployed persons in 2011 which suggests that many households are living in poverty. Earlier, NBS (2006) has it that 74 % of the households in the state are poor with 37.4% of them having difficulties in meeting their basic needs of food, shelter, clothing and education. Moreover, the NBS maintained that 64.4%, 36.6% and 41.3% of the households do not have access to primary and secondary education including health care services for their children respectively in 2006. In another report, the European-Support to Reforming Institutions Programme (SRIP), (2009) stated that 85.3% of rural households in Anambra State are living in different categories of poverty with 32 % of them wallowing in extreme condition of poverty of not being able to meet their basic needs that include security and social inclusion.
The implication is that beneficiaries of the SOW scheme trained on tailoring could be among the teaming unemployed and poor individuals in the state. This became a source of worry to the researcher. The worry extends to the fact that many resources must have been ploughed into the scheme without achieving commensurate results. Moreover, there is apparent little empirical evidence on the performance and challenges facing SOW scheme tailoring programme of the NDE. There is therefore need to carry out an assessment of the tailoring training scheme of the NDE focusing on SOW, especially with regards to its effectiveness in alleviating poverty among its beneficiaries trained on tailoring occupational trade.
Purpose of the Study
The general purpose of the study was to assess the tailoring programme of SOW scheme of NDE in alleviating poverty among beneficiaries trained on tailoring in Anambra State. Specifically, the study:
- determined the extent of content coverage in training beneficiaries on basic tailoring under the SOW scheme of NDE programme
- found out the adequacy of available facilities used in training beneficiaries on basic
tailoring under the scheme
- found out the functionality of available facilities used in training beneficiaries on basic tailoring under the scheme
- identified the level of competencies of instructors and NDE staff in performance of
their roles in training beneficiaries on basic tailoring under the scheme
- determined the acquired competencies of beneficiaries trained on basic tailoring
- ascertained earned incomes of beneficiaries before and after training on basic tailoring
- identified challenges faced by the scheme in training beneficiaries on basic tailoring
- identified strategies for improving the scheme in training beneficiaries on basic
tailoring under the scheme.
Significance of the Study
The findings of the study will be of significance to the followings: policy makers that design SOW scheme tailoring training of the NDE, staff of the NDE that administer the tailoring training, instructors and owners of tailoring workshops that train beneficiaries on tailoring for NDE under the SOW scheme, beneficiaries of SOW scheme of NDE trained on tailoring, other practitioners in vocational skill training on tailoring including future researchers in clothing and textile branch of Home Economics. The findings will be equally of significance to vocational training theory.
The findings of this study will be of immense benefit to policy makers that design SOW scheme’s tailoring training of the NDE. The determination of extent of content coverage in training beneficiaries on tailoring under SOW scheme by the study will guide policy makers, beneficiaries, instructors, NDE staff as to whether to redesign basic tailoring training syllabus or not.
Furthermore, the findings of the study will make NDE and its staff to improve on their administrative roles in the implementation of the scheme if inadequacies would be identified in the implementation of the SOW scheme tailoring programme. Similarly, the findings of the study will be of immense benefit to instructors as levels of their subject matter knowledge and pedagogical competencies would be ascertained which will be used to decide on whether their capacities should be improved upon or not.
The findings will assist beneficiaries of the SOW to acquire more tailoring skills by proffering solutions on how to deal with possible challenges that might be identified as hindrances in their possession of basic tailoring skills.
Furthermore, the findings will also serve as reference literature to practitioners in vocational skill training on tailoring and to researchers in the field of study under Home Economics.
The findings will be of significance to vocational skill theory of environmental habit by either confirming or disagreeing with the theory on the bases of the facilities that are used in training of beneficiaries on tailoring vis-a-vis the ones they use in their tailoring employment. Finally, information to be generated by the study will serve as evidence base advocacy tool for social development work as it would assist them in designing, implementing, and evaluation of effective poverty alleviation programmes in pragmatic ways.
The study sought answers to the following research questions.
- What is the extent of content coverage in training beneficiaries on tailoring under the SOW scheme of the NDE?
- What is the adequacy of available facilities used in training beneficiaries on tailoring under the SOW scheme of the NDE?
- What is the level of functionality of available facilities used in training beneficiaries on basic tailoring under the scheme?
- What is the level of possessed competencies of administrators (instructors and NDE staff) of the scheme?
- What is the level of acquired competencies of beneficiaries trained on basic tailoring under the scheme?
- What are the income earnings of beneficiaries before and after participating in basic tailoring training under the SOW scheme of the NDE?
- What are the challenges facing the scheme in training beneficiaries on basic tailoring?
- What are the strategies for improving the scheme in training beneficiaries on basic tailoring?
The following null hypotheses were formulated and tested at 0.05 level of significance.
- There is no significant difference in the mean responses of SOW beneficiaries trained on tailoring and their instructors on the extent of content coverage in training on basic tailoring under the scheme.
- There is no significant difference in the mean responses of beneficiaries and instructors on the adequacy of other resources used in training beneficiaries on basic tailoring under the scheme.