Factors which influence decisions towards vocational education
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Vocational education enhances an individual’s chances of finding gainful employment and equips individuals with knowledge and technical skills as well as behavioural competencies needed to increase the chances of gaining and remaining in employment. Despite all these qualities, vocational education has continued to witness low engagement in Plateau state, especially in Jos-North which has witnessed bursts of conflicts since 2001. With a 74.1% rate of poverty resulting in a large population of unemployed youth from poor background, Jos-North being the largest local government, records the largest percentage of unemployed youths. One of the problems identified is that parents are not enrolling their children in vocational education, evidenced by the low enrolment rate into vocational education which was less than 3% as at 2009/2010 and as at 2016/2017, out of the expected 800,000 enrolments into vocational and technical colleges, only 74,299 students were enrolled. Guided by five objectives, this research set out to explore the factors which influence the decisions of parents towards vocational education; the factors which influence the decisions of parents more than others, parent’s preferences for vocational or general education, and the circumstances under which parents would change their preference. The research adopted the interpretivist philosophy and a mixed method approach. 400 semi-structured questionnaires were distributed using stratified and snowballing techniques. Using saturation method, 41 responses were selected for thematic content analysis and discussions. The Social Ecological Model was used as a key theoretical position to build towards the rationale and purpose of the study. Result shows that the decisions of parents in Jos-North are influenced by several factors which includes socio-cultural, socio-economic, socio-political, and environmental factors. Results also reveal that some factors influence the decisions of parents more than others and that more parents are willing to change their decisions if some factors change.
PhD Thesis - School of Education and Social Policy
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