1.0                                                INTRODUCTION
1.1       Background of the Study
            Vocational education are among the vital tools an individual can use to be developed. It has played a vital role in tertiary institutions in Nigeria. Vocational education is about work and training for useful employment in trade, industries, agriculture, business and home making etc. the emphasis on vocation is to prepare one for self reliance.

            American vocational association (1971) sees vocational subjects as those designed to develop skills, abilities, understanding, attitude, work habit and appreciation compassing knowledge and information needed by any workers to enter and make progress in employment on a useful and productive basis. Vocational education contributes to the production of good citizens by developing their physical, social, civic, cultural and economic competencies.
            One of the goals of the technical and vocational education as documented in the National policy on Education (2004) is to give training and impart the necessary skills to individuals who shall be self-reliant. When this goal is adequately achieved, it would lead to a sustainable technological development. Raymond, (2007). Suggested  vocational education and training should be made interesting by gearing the students towards self reliant to discourage unemployment syndrome. Vocational education is an important part of the education system with one element of increasing employment opportunities it is an essential component of strategies to reduce and prevent child labour. Many children drop out school because they do not see the relevance of education to their lives. In many cases, the decision not to send a child to school is taken by the parent, who would rather have their children enter the workplace as they do not see how learning to read, write, and do sums can help put bread on the table (source). In order to influence the decisions of at – risk children and their parents, education should have a tangible end, particularly in terms of improving future employment prospects. In such circumstances and where older children are concerned, the focus should be on the transition from school to work, either through vocational education or skills training programs.
Vocational subjects are instructions intended to equip person’s for industrial or commercial occupations. It may be obtained formally either in trade Schools, technical secondary schools or in on-the job training programmes or more informally by picking up the necessary skills on the job. Technological development and advancement revolved around a sound vocational education programme as citied by Otuage, Mayes (2010) in (Bulus, 1991) vocational skills in schools is a relative modern development. Akaniwor (1988) observes that the bed rock of any technical break through is the existence of appropriate skills, abilities ad competence both mental and physical as equipment for the individual to live in the society is a dynamic instrument of change. According to Bulus (1991) vocational education involves the acquisition of skills and competences that can help individuals to function productively in industries and commercial occupation.
Self-reliant is one’s own efforts and abilities (Merrian, 2006). When somebody acquires skills in any occupation, such person can establish his or her own business and even employ others. Igweh (2008) such person is self-reliant. Bassey (2009) declared self-reliance as that which pre-supposes the attainment and autonomy without unnecessary resorting to begging or browning. He opined that “a self-reliant individual is one that achieves steady supply of his needs, one that diversifies his resources to reduce dependency on other assistance. Self reliance emphasizes growth development and development in the life of a citizen, politically, socially and economically. Igweh (2008), stressed that the most suitable definition development in terms of reduction in the levels of poverty, illiteracy, and unemployment and income inequality. However, Faladum, Omeogiafor and Ezeaku (1999) in Nwogu (2009) remark that National development compasses social and political development as well as economic development as well as economic development which is defined as the attainment of a number of ideas of modernization such as a rise in productivity social and economic equity improved institution and values”. Economic development is an important part of general development in any society.
The influence of parents in the development of students interest in vocational subjects cannot be over emphasized. This is because parents seem to have much influence on children’s choice of educational career. The socio-economic status of parent of a child determines the type of career one choose to do, some parents have biased and rigid thoughts regarding the occupational choices of a child/children. Parent forget  that every type of work, once it is beneficial to the individual and society, is worthy sign of potential success in students vocational pursuits requires the identification of the students interest aptitudes, abilities, values and judgments, if these will be discovered, it requires a guidance counselor who will give the appropriate occupational information to the student with proper exposition to various opportunities available in the would of work.
It is not surprising that students are not interested in vocational subjects. Osuala (1992) opined that, At the heart of our society and economic problem is a national attitude that implies that vocational subjects are designed for somebody else’s children and is mean primarily for the children of the poor. This same attitude is shared by students. Thus, it makes the students lack interest in the study of vocational subjects particularly Home economics.
The skill that teachers exhibit in teaching influences the student enrolment in vocational subjects. Onwuka, (1981) postulated that the method of approach is very vital in any teaching/learning situation. The way the teacher presents the subject matter to the learner may make a student like or dislike a subject. Nwogwugwu (1989) pointed out the need for blending  theoretical and practical work in teaching of subjects as to stimulate students interest more especially in vocational subjects. No technique, no method, no device, no gadget can guarantee success, but only an effective qualified teacher can adequately execute these Okafor, (1987). Thus the greatest motivating device year discovered is the highly motivated teacher of teacher of students are to be involved actively in teaching and learning process in a way of projects, field trips, directed field activities etc, note learning and subject centered orientation should be changed to a more practical and child centered out-look. The increase in qualities and quantities of outputs should be primarily due to improvement in the quality of the teacher and strategies of teaching and learning adopted.
Statement of Problem
            In spite of the importance of vocational education to the development of both individuals and the society at large, there is not muct emphasis placed on the effective strategies of teaching and learning vocational subjects in Nigeria. The frequent occurrence of low students’ participation in vocational education courses has been a great concern to all-well-meaning individuals, institutions and industries. Despite all efforts made to recognize it, yet little or no attention has been given to it. No meaningful development was made in the area of vocational education Unitial 1981, when the national policy on education was published. Due to total neglect, vocational education suffered a major decline in quality, number, policy and directive in Nigeria.
            Vocational subjects ought to attract many students because of it laudable importance but reverse has been the case. The reasons for this probably due to people’s perception that it does not require specialized kind of training the students have the feeling that even if one is at home the requests skill to cook, farm, etc can be acquired without formal training.
            People are ignorant of the importance of the vocational subjects which could help males and females students receive formation and be able to work solution to problems. Also, it enables the students to acquire skills, abilities essential for independent life meet up with personal and family needs more especially in this economic difficulties.
1.4       Significance of the Study 
            It  is hoped that this study would provide valuable insight to the government, head teachers of secondary schools, teaching and learning approach that will improve vocational education subjects  in Abakaliki L.G.A Ebonyi State. The findings of the study could provide the ministry of Education with data on how secondary school head  teachers  can implement the strategies for improving teaching and learning of vocational subjects. With investigations, the government is likely to be in a position to come up with strategies to improve the managerial skills of head teachers in order to be more effective in teaching and learning of vocational subjects.
1.3       Purpose of the Study.
         The study meant to investigate the strategies for improving the teaching and learning of vocational subjects in secondary schools in Abakaliki L. G. A. Ebonyi State Nigeria especially to
1.         Determine the influence of students interest towards the study of vocational subjects
2.         Determine the qualify of the vocational subjects and the instructions used.
3.         Ascertain the availability and use of teaching aids in teaching           and learning of vocational subjects.
4.         Identify the student and teacher factors that might inhibit the effective teaching and learning of vocational subjects in secondary schools.
1.5       Research questions.
                        For the purpose of this research, the following research questions are posed.
1.         What are the level of students interest in the study of vocational subjects.
2.         What are the influence of teachers qualification on the attitude o      f vocational subjects.
3.         What are the teaching facilities available for teaching of vocational subjects in secondary school?
4.         What are the factors that might inhibit the effective teaching and leaning of vocational subjects?
1.5       Scope of the study.
      The study is strictely restricted to five secondary schools in Abakaliki urban area of Ebonyi state.

Chapter two
2.1       Concept and Definition of Vocational Subjects
2.1       Vocational training are instructions intended to equip person’s for industrial or commercial occupations. It maybe obtained-formally cither in trade schools, technical secondary school or in on-Job training programmers or more informally by pack up the necessary skills on the Job.
            Technological development and advancement evolved ground a sound vocational educational programmed as cited by Otuaga Mayes (2010) in (Bulus 1991:41) vocational skills in schools is relatively modem development.
              Akaniwor (1988: 41) observed that the bed rock of any technical breaker through is the existence of appropriate skill, ability or abilities and competence both mental and physical as equipment for the individual to live in the society is a dynamic instruction of change”?  According to Bulus (1991:30) vocational education involves the acquisition of skills and competences that can be of help to the individual to function productively in industries and commercial occupation. Until the 19th century such education, exept for the professions, was provided only by apprenticeship. This situation was partly due to the low social status associated with such instruction as opposed to a classical curriculum which was considered “necessary for a youth with growth of individualization during the 19th century. However, several European countries, notably Germany, began introducing vocational training in education in great Britain, however, opposition to vocational education persisted into the 20th century.
Although a few trade and junior vocational schools and technique schools were established by local authorities before the world war II by the 19th century, public (common) vocational schools in the united state consisted of manual training and practical arts. These programmers were generally expanded until 1917 when federal aid was provided to public schools for trade and industries, therefore, vocational education, also catted career and technical Education, prepares students for jobs and careers that are based on mostly manual or practical activities.
According to (Okoro, 1993). It has also been explained as the sum total of all educational experiences systematically organized and presented by an institution to enable the learner acquire basic productive and practical skills (Oharisi, 2007) therefore state that vocational subject also called career and technical Education, prepares students for jobs and careers that are based on mostly manual or practical activities. The term does not apply to the development of profession acquired via tertiary institutions. Vocational education is low in theoretical or academic activities and is generally related to related to learning a specific trade or occupation.
Vocational education teaches procedural knowledge for auguring a skill or trade concentrates on research, theory and abstract knowledge. Prior to the Indus trial revolution, the apprenticeship system and the home were the principal sources of vocational education and training. Since the society has been forced by the decline of handwork to develop institutions vocational education. Today, vocational education can be at the secondary or postsecondary level and can make appreciable use of apprenticeship or mentorship. Under the British colonial government, vocational education in Nigeria initially developed independently of the state, with bodies such as the RSA and City & Guilds setting examination and offering certificates in vocation Technical education focuses on specific trade such as automobile repairs or mechanic, welding, plumbing, electrical craftsmanship  or electrician, hair dressing tailoring and barbing etc, and has until recently been associated with the activities of lower social class of people. As a result it attracted a level of stigma in the past.
            However, with economics advancement and the demand for higher levels of productivity and efficiency, the place of vocational subject has become better appreciated. The labour market has become more specialized and nations are demanding higher levels of skills at different levels. Government and businesses are increasingly investing in the future of vocation education through publicly funded training organizations and subsidized apprenticeship (Source) At the post- Secondary level, vocational education is typically provided by polytechnics, institution of technology or trade schools.(Source)
Vocational education has diversified over the 20th century and now exists in industries manufacturing, retail, tourism, information technology, Agriculture, Cosmetics and Cottage industries etc.
According to Igwebuike (2007) these are some vocational fields and their related occupations, in the table below.
Educational field 

Occupation categories Agribusiness, Agric marching food processing, horticulture Distribution and marketing of textiles foods, gore rat merchandize.   

Health Occupation
Nursing, Medical equipment operators, dental assistants, medical records technicians  
Home Economic
Clued care, Clothing service, clearing, Nutrition, home management.
Office occupation
Date Processing, Computer and Office machine operators, book keeping, stenographic services, printing
Technical and Industrial 
Constructor trades, building trades, manifesting mainframe and repines    
Information Technology
Electronic, computer programming, telephony, machine tool design.

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