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  1. 1. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011 Perceived Readiness of Teachers for Online Instruction in Nigerian Universities Nwokike Obinna (Corresponding Author) Information Resources Management, Babcock University, Ilishan Remo. Ogun State, Nigeria Tel; +234-080-36738913, Email; onwokike@gmail.com Ihekeronye Promise Educational Technology Department, University of Ibadan , Oyo State, Nigeria Email; dzbond@yahoo.com stReceived: October 1 , 2011Accepted: October 11th, 2011Published: October 30th, 2011AbstractThe necessary skills and a good understanding of information and communication technologies is requiredfor designing and implementing any appropriate policy for the use of online education in teaching, learningand research in the university. This study investigated the perception of teachers toward online instructionin faculty of Education, University of Ibadan. The findings revealed that teachers have a positiveperception toward online instruction due to their perceived value of online instruction. Also factors foundto affect the teachers’ perceived readiness include his facilitation skills, enthusiasm, confidence, manpowerskills, perceived benefit/drawback, time constraint, obsession, ease of use and perceived usefulness whileother factors such as social pressure, classroom culture and inadequate facilities had no significant effect onteachers’ perceived readiness. The study indicates that there is the need for appropriate review ofinformation and communication policies, training programmes and infrastructural support our teachers inexploiting the use of online instruction in their faculty.Keywords; perceived readiness, teachers, online instruction, Nigeria University 1. Introduction Among Nigerian-Universities the level of information and communication technologies acquisitions isquite high as observed from massive empirical reports. But to dismay studies by Hopkins (1996) pointedout that in acquiring ICTs, universities exhibit blind faiths in technology, a sort of technologicaldeterminism seeming to suggest that merely installing a machine will lead to its efficient and rational use.This perception of technological determinism seems to prevail in the process of acquiring and providingaccess to ICTs in Nigeria universities. There have been reports of department and faculties that acquirecomputers before deciding what to do with them. Information and Communication equipment arepurchased but never used and internet access have never been personally utilized by academic staff for avariety of reasons (Adagunodo & popoola, 2003 as cited in Ihekeronye 2010) This paper seeks to investigate the teachers’ perceived readiness for online instruction in the faculty ofEducation University of Ibadan so as to enable the university authorities to formulate policies that willenhance the process of quick adoption and use of ICTs at their disposal for online instruction. 2. Review of Literature 1
  2. 2. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011A survey of universities by Mbawonku (1987), in Ihekeronye (2010) investigated the determinants of useand non use of instructional media by lecturers in two selected Nigeria universities and found a significancerelationship between discipline and use of instructional media (including computer assisted instructionCAI) and positive correlation between perception and use of media. She, however, found no significantrelationship between academic status and use of media. In another study Klowu (1997) examined the use of computerized information system in Nigerianuniversity and research institute libraries. Results from the study revealed that librarians were highlypositive in their attitudes towards the use of computers. The gender, age, length of service and type oflibrary were not significantly related to the attitudes of librarians towards computers. Frequency of use ofcomputer and previous training experience in the use of computers were however significantly related topositive attitudes towards computers. In addition, frequency of use of computers has no significantrelationship with place of training as librarians, type of library where they worked, and subject backgroundof the librarians. (Ihekeronye 2010) A similar study by Jumba (2000) found no relationship between attitudes towards online education byScientists in six Nigerian agricultural research institutions and the value they derives from ICTs use. Theyalso found no significant relationship between accessibility to ICTs and research productivity of theScientists. However, there was a significant association between the value derived from frequency of ICTsuse and research experience of respondents in his study. A University of Ibadan-based study investigated prevalence and correlation of computer anxiety,phobia, obsession and work stress among students and staff of the University of Ibadan. Among theirfindings, they reported an inverse correlation of computing experience with information anxiety, computerphobia and obsessive computing, they also found that discipline, occupation and self-esteem weresignificant factor for explaining computer experience while age, locus of control and personality types wasnot (Tiamiyu, Ajayi and Olatokun, 2002). Ehikhamenor, (2001) investigated the use and non-use of internet facilities by scientists in ten NigerianUniversities and found 4.4% of the scientists had computers at their disposal while 50.4% had access to,and were using the internet. His study attributed non-use of the internet to problems of accessibility, ease ofuse and cost. He also reported that the university in which a scientist worked might have had the greatesteffect among the background factors that influenced the data in his study. In addition, he found significantdifferent in internet use by scientists in different age groups, academic ranks, and disciplines. (Ihekeronye,2010) In another university of Ibadan-based study, Sangowusi (2003) investigated the impact of informationand communication technologies on scholarly publications of scientists of university of Ibadan. He foundthat even through 76% of the lecturers were computer literate and 33.5% have been using ICTs for overfive years, only 32.8% owned a personal computer. He also found that ICTs had made very little impact onthe productivity of scientist, especially those in the rank of professor. He concluded that professors in hisstudy seemed to be overwhelmed by teaching and administrative chores which allowed them very littletime for research (and by implication, for using ICT). (Ihekeronye, 2010) In an international study sponsored by the United Nations, Adeya and Oyeyinka (2002) comparedinternet use by academics in four Nigerians and six Kenyan Universities with a view to understanding thedynamics of ICT use in academic research, teaching and information dissemination. They found that 87.7%of the Nigerian respondents in their study used computers while the figure for the Kenyan respondents was98.2%. In addition, they found that computer use among Nigerian University academics had only becomerampant in the last five years while most respondents from Kenyan Universities had been using computersfor between five and ten years. Also, more Kenyan (96.9%) than Nigerians (55.9%) received formaltraining in the use of computers and the internet.Among the two study groups, word-processing was more widely used computer application followed by e-mail. Kenyan University academics also used computers for a wider variety of tasks than their Nigeriancounterparts, use of, and access to the internet also differed among the two groups. Kenyans tended to 2
  3. 3. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011access the internet more from their offices while Nigerians accessed the internet more from either otheraccess points within their universities or from cyber cafés. In addition, unlike the Nigerians, none of theKenyans respondents accessed the internet from their homes or from friends/colleagues’ places. The studyconcluded that even though academics in the two universities had access to the cluster of technologies thatmake up the internet, there were differences in the speed, ease and quality of access to the internet.Constraints to internet use also varies, Cost was the highest constraints to the Nigerians while availabilityof affordable internet connection was the highest constraints to the Kenyans. Due to the focus and comparative nature of Adeya and Oyeyinka (2002) study, only four Nigerianuniversities, all from the south-western part of the countries were sampled; this creates a knowledge gap asto what obtains among academics in universities in other parts of Nigeria. Their research also did notinvestigate perception (as an attitude) as a factor that can affect adoption and use of ICT by academics. Other existing studies of ICT use in Nigerian Universities are not detailed enough to enable one makegeneral conclusions about factors that significantly influence ICT adoption and use by individuals. Forexample, a study by Agbonlahor (2005) revealed that (Ogunleye, 1997; Ojo-Igbinoba, 1997; Ehikhamenor,1993; Idowu Mabawonku, 1999; Oduwole, 2000) the use of ICTs in Nigerian University libraries exploresthe potentials of ICTs for the development of Nigerian universities and their libraries. Even though thesestudies found the level of ICTs use to be quite low, there were no attempt at finding out individual-levelfactors that could account for the level of ICT use and rate of adoption in the University libraries. 2.1 Distance Education and Online Education: With the advent of the information communication revolution fuelled by advances in computer,networking technologies and World Wide Web, the world is witnessing an expansion in distance education.As seen in the provision of a broad range of options for its implementation.Information revolution, brought about by the convergence of telecommunication and computertechnologies has enabled academics institution in several parts of the world to provide a flexible and openlearning environment for students, via online distance learning. It has given rise to concepts such asElectronic University and Virtual University, which are emerging at a fast space. This indicates thatdistance learning as a means of providing higher education will continue to grow. In view of this trend,online education via the web (e-learning) as a means of approaching distance learning in Nigeria must notbe overlooked, since it is a cost –effective and quick method of communication between learners and theteachers. (Ahmed, 2006). Online training was classified as an all encompassing term that refers to training done with acomputer over a network, including an Organization’s intranet, local area network and the internet (Autzen,2007). He mentioned that online training is also known as net-based training. Moron & Kim (2001) arguedthat online learning constitutes just one part of online instruction/education and describes learning viainternet, intranet and extranet. They added that levels of sophistication in online learning vary. It can extendfrom a basic online learning program that includes text and graphics of the course, exercises, testing andrecord keeping, such as test scores and book marks to a sophisticated online learning program.Sophistication would include animations, simulations, audio and video sequences peer and expertdiscussion groups, online mentoring, links to materials on corporate intranet or the web, andcommunications with corporate education records. Like Hubona & Geitz, (1997), Autzen (2007) purportedthat online learning is any technology-based learning and added that this usually implies linkage to acomputer. Given the broad definition of online instruction, it would seem safe to assume that web-basedtraining is online instruction. Hall (1997) defined web-based training as instruction that is delivered overthe internet or over a company’s intranet. Accessibility of this training, related Hall is through the use of aweb-browser such as Netscape Navigator. Hall and Snider (2008) define e-learning as the process oflearning via computers over the internet and intranets. Hall and Snider extended that e-leaning is alsoreferred to as web-based training, online training, distributed learning or technology for learning. Distancelearning, was not included in the e-learning definitions and was defined as its own entity as a learning 3
  4. 4. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011process meeting three criteria: a geographical distance separates communication between the trainer andparticipant; the communication is two way and interactive and some form of technology is used tofacilitates the learning process. Hall (2000) contends that e-learning will take the form of complete courses,access to content for just-in-time” learning, access to components and services, and the separation of“courses” to acquire and test knowledge Vs. content as an immediate, applicable resource to resolve animmediate, perhaps, one time only problem. Learning is and will continue to be a lifelong process, thatcould be accessed anywhere at any time to meet a specific need or want. Hall added that more links to realtime data and research would become readily available. Thus, web-based training, online learning, e-learning, online instruction, distributed learning,interest-based learning and net-based learning all speak of the same thing (Hall and Snider, 2000; Urbanand Weggen, 2000). Similar also to e-learning and it related terms are technology-based learning (Urbanand Weggen 2000). Urban and Weggen shared that e-learning covers a wide set of applications andprocesses, including computer-based learning, web-based leaning, virtual classrooms, digitalcollaborations. For the purpose of their report, they further customized their definition to the delivery ofcontent via all electronic media, including the internet, intranet, extranets, satellite broadcast, audio/videotape, interactive TV and CD-ROM. They warned, however, that e-learning is defined more narrowly thandistance learning, which would including text-based learning and courses conducted via writtencorrespondence. Like Hall and Snider 2000), Urban and Weggen (2000) have set apart distance learningand e-learning in their glossaries, making in their glossaries however, online education inclusive andsynonymous to all computer-related applications, tools and processes that have been strategically aligned tovalue-added learning and teaching processes. Berge (1998) explained the difference between distance education and distance learning. Distanceeducation was seen as the formal process of distance learning, with information being broad in scope forexample, college courses. While, distance learning was seen as the acquisition of knowledge and skillsthrough mediated information and instruction, encompassing all technologies and other forms of learning ata distance. This may be why most educational institutions used the term distance education. Institutional definition of distance education which the main tenets: training offered to learnerswho are in a different location than the source or provider of instruction. Berge (1998) went on to say thatthe technologies used in distance learning, the structure of a course or program, and the degree ofsupervision for a distance learning course can be varied to meet a particular’s group’s needs or interests. Reverting to Halls (2000) online education in all-inclusive form, distance learning plannedinteractive courses, as the acquisition of knowledge and skills at a distance through various technologicalmediums would seem to be one of online education possible disguises. Interestingly Urban and Weggen(2000) saw e-learning as a subset of online learning. With this review of terms, ‘Subset’ does not appear to be the most likely word to describe therelationship among the words and their forms. The definitions show a great depth of interdependenceamong themselves. While one scholar narrowly defines a term, another could give it the all encompassingpower. This communicates that e-learning, if given the all encompassing form, can be the larger circle ofwhich all other terms would be overlapping at different times and extents given their used intention.Another rationale is that “just-in-time” learning is a major advantage of e-learning but not of distancelearning. Distance learning purports planned courses or planned experiences. E-learning does not onlyvalue planned learning but also recognizes the value of the unplanned and the self directedness of thelearner to maximize incidental learning to improve performance. Online instruction is a continuum from basic use of technology in or around the conventionalphysical classroom (e.g. use of a course management system to distribute materials and track grades) towholly online delivery. Online instruction is the art of using internet; computer and other technologies toenhance teaching process or learning process. Online technologies such as computer and the internet can beused creatively for collaborative learning at anytime and anywhere. It enables sharing of knowledge, lessonplan, research project and notes. Apart from teachers and students, it also involves parents, field experts,international students, teachers and society via the internet, anytime and anywhere. New technologies 4
  5. 5. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011associated with e-learning have created opportunities and threats to the institutional structure of highereducation, the learning patterns of individual and learning certification systems. E-learning or onlineinstruction is offering the potential for more accessible, flexible and cost-efficient (and even superior)higher education. Online instruction is viewed by some as central to fashioning higher education systems that are fit-for-purpose in the 21st century. A negative view (e-learning as threat) pictures e-learning as unproven,disrupting legitimate public control of higher education (e.g. enabling students in one country to takeprovision from another and undermining national quality assurance) and is incapable of replicating thedisciplinary breath and socialization of “traditional” Higher Education. Apart from these threats, there areothers affecting online instruction. Factors investigated in this study included inadequate facilities,classroom-culture, social pressure manpower skill, confidence, perceived ease of use, time constraint,obsession, perceived usefulness and enthusiasm. 2.2 Limitation; This study did not explore actual online teaching and learning practices. Responses were related torecent issues that may or may not be sustainable. In addition, we did not survey students for theirperceptions of online learning trends and possibilities.3.0 Method This study adopted an ex-post-facto survey design covering a cross-section of teachers in all thedepartments of faculty of Education, University of Ibadan. Data collected were subjected to factor analysis; which is a statistical approach that can be used toanalyze interrelationship among a large number of variables and to explain these variables in term of theircommon underlying dimension (factors).4.0 Results4.1 Research Question OneWhat perceived values are associated with teachers’ use of online Instruction?Table: Teachers Perceived Values for Use of online instructionS/N Statement SD D SLDA SLA A SA Mean Std.D1. I believe the computer 7 - - - 9 76 can be useful tool for teaching & learning (7.6) (0.0) (0.0) (0.0) (9.8) (82.6) 4.52 1.342. I don’t think there is 60 32 - - - - need for me to explore (62.5) (34.8) (0.0) (0.0) (0.0) (0.0) 0.35 0.48 any concept through computer and internet 5
  6. 6. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.org ISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online) Vol 2, No 7, 2011 Table shows that the lecturers strongly agree that they believe the computer can be useful tool for teaching and learning ( X =4.53). They also strongly disagree that they do not think there is need for them to explore any concept through the computer and internet ( X = 0.35). From these, it can be inferred that the teachers perceived values are: (i) computers are useful tools for teaching and learning, (ii) There is need for them to explore concepts through computer and internet. 4.2 Research Question Two What is the influence of prior computer use experience on teacher in the current online instruction usage? Table: Summary of T-test Statistics shows Differences between those with prior knowledge in computer and those that do not have prior knowledge in Computer compare to their level of computer usage. Variable (Computer N Mean Standard T Degree of Sig/P Remark usage) Deviation Freedom Those without Not Significant Prior knowledge of 7 21.0 4.8.6 -1.662 89 .100 computer Those with prior Knowledge of computer 84 26.3 8.27 Table shows that there is no significant difference between lecturers with prior knowledge and those without computer experience in their level of computer usage. (t=-1.662); df = 89; p > 0.05. This implies that prior knowledge has no significant influence on the computer usage of lecturers or prior computer experience of teachers has no significant influence on their online instruction usage. 4.3 Research Question Three What is the perceived influence of Organizational culture toward online instruction usage? Table: Perceived influence of Organizational culture towards Online Instruction Usage.S/N Statement SD D SLDA SLA A SA Mean Std.D1. Educational culture in the 10 13 10 5 46 8 faculty is ready for online (10.6) (14.1) (10.7) (5.4) (50.0) (8.7) 2.96 1.59 instruction2. Online instruction can be - 9 - 16 35 22 easily implemented in my (0.0) (9.8) (0.0) (17.4) (38.0) (23.9) 3.55 1.24 department3. The University Authority - 7 - 29 41 15 6
  7. 7. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.org ISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online) Vol 2, No 7, 2011 plays an important role in (0.0) (7.6) (0.0) (31.5) (44.6) (16.3) 3.62 1.01 support of the use of online instruction4. There are no technical 14 7 6 9 33 23 supports for teacher to use (15.2) (7.6) (6.5) (9.8) (35.9) (25.0) 3.18 1.76 online instruction in the faculty Table shows that the lecturers slightly agreed that the culture in the faculty is ready for online instruction ( X =2.96); they also agreed that the online instruction can be easily implemented in the department. ( X =3.35); they agreed that the University Authority plays an important role in support of the use of online instruction. ( X =3.62) and slightly agreed that there are no technical supports for teacher to use online instruction in the Faculty ( X = 3.18). This shows that (i) Online instruction is welcomed in the departments (ii) adequate support of the University Authority for online instruction (iv) Availability of Technical supports for teacher to use online instruction. 4.4 Research Question four What is the perceived benefit/drawback of using online instruction for teaching/ learning and research among teachers? 4.4.1 Table: The Perceived Benefit of Using Online InstructionS/N Statement SD D SLDA SLA A SA Mean Std.D1. Online instruction has - 7 - - 61 24 potential of practicing team (0.0) (7.6) (6.0) (0.0) (66.3) (26.1) 4.03 0.98 work and sharing knowledge2. Online instruction is able to 7 - - - 54 31 promote the acquisition of (7.6) (0.0) (0.0) (0.0) (58.7) (33.7) 4.03 1.25 skills (e.g. communication skills, computer skill, problem solving skill etc) Table shows that the lecturers agreed that online instruction has potential of practicing team work and sharing knowledge ( X = 4.03); they also agreed that online instruction is able to promote the acquisition of skills ( X = 4.03). This implies that the perceived benefits are: (i) The potentials of practicing teamwork and sharing knowledge (ii) promoting the acquisition of skill (e.g. communication skills, computer skill and problem solving skills). 4.4.2 Table: The Perceived drawbacks of using online instruction for teaching & learning.S/N Statement SD D SLDA SLA A SA Mean SLD1. There are insufficient number of 5 3 7 12 42 23 computers in my department for (5.4) (3.3) (7.6) (13.0) (45.7) (25.0) 3.65 1.32 teaching and learning2. There is insufficient internet 7 - - 3 36 46 access in my department for (7.6) (0.0) (0.0) (3.3) (39.1) (50.0) 41.6 1.32 teaching and learning 7
  8. 8. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011Table shows that the lecturers agreed that there are insufficient number of computer in their departmentsfor teaching and learning ( X = 3.65). They also agreed that there is insufficient internet access in theirdepartments for teaching and learning. This implies that the perceived drawbacks for using onlineinstruction in Faculty of Education, University of Ibadan are: (i) insufficient number of computer forteaching and learning in the departments (ii) Insufficient internet access in the department.4.5 Research Question fiveWhich of the following factors affect the perceived readiness of teachers for online instruction? enthusiasm,classroom culture, social pressure perceived usefulness, confidence, time constraints obsession, ease of use,inadequate facilities and manpower skills.Table: Factors affecting perceived readiness of teachers for online instructions. CoefficientsModel Non-standardized Standardized T Position Sign. Coefficients Coefficients Β Std.err or BetaConstants -2.958 .620 - -4.769 .000Enthusiasm 1.236 .120 .352 10.316 3rd .000 SignificantClassroom -6.22E-02 .164 -0.052 -0.380 8th .705cultureSocial pressure -0.122 0.104 -0.32 -1.182 9th .241Perceived .168 .068 .072 2.458 5th .016 SignificantusefulnessConfidence -338 .084 -.206 -4.034 4th .000 SignificantTime .227 .106 .067 2.152 6th .034 SignificantconstraintObsession -.162 .065 -.062 -2.478 7th .015 SignificantEase of use 1.623 .306 .414 5.299 2nd .000 SignificantInadequate -4.34E.02 .069 -.020 -.628 10th .532facilitiesManpower 772 .149 .573 5.185 1st .000 SignificantskillsThe table above shows that manpower skills, has the highest significant contribution (β=0.573; t = 5.185; p<0.05); followed by ease of use (β=0.414; t=5.299; p <0.05); followed by enthusiasm (β=0.352; t = 10.316;p <0.05); followed by confidence (β= -0.206; t = -4.034; p <0.05); followed by perceived usefulness(β=0.072; t = 2.458; p <0.05); followed by obsession (β=-0.062; t=-2.478; p<0.05). Other i.e., classroomculture, social pressure and inadequate facilities have no significant contribution.5.0 Findings; 8
  9. 9. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011 The findings show that the following factors affects the perceived readiness of teachers for onlineinstruction: Enthusiasm, Manpower skills, perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use obsession,confidence, time constraint, classroom culture social pressure, inadequate facilities. It also shows factors affecting teachers perceived readiness and have significant contribution as;manpower skill, confidence, perceived ease of use, time constraint, obsession, perceived usefulness andenthusiasm while those factors with no significant contribution are; inadequate facilities, classroom-cultureand social pressure.5.1 Implication of the Findings;The findings from this study bring a number of issues to light. • There is an obvious need for Universities to adopt a proactive approach to the issue of integrating online instruction into the job functions of our Nigeria University lecturers. The current technological deterministic approach is obviously flawed as this study has shown that by simply providing computers or internet access does not ensure that the equipment will either be used at all or used effectively by these lecturers. • Organizational facilitation especially towards the use of online instruction by lecturers is important. Their needs have to be catered for in the University especially the need to provide functional resource centers where lecturers who have problems (with information and communication equipment or software) can go and receive prompt attention whenever they run into problems with using online instruction. • Another implication of this is the need to ensure that academics are equipped with the skills to effectively, search, retrieve and evaluate materials from the internet and they can also serve as role models of effective internet use and help train peers, aside from formal training programmes that might be organized by the University.Over all, the findings indicates the need for a review of existing policies, training programmes andinfrastructural support, to help lecturers fully exploit online instruction in teaching, learning and research.6.0 Conclusions; It can be concluded from this study that the teachers have the right perception for onlineinstruction as they are aware of the perceived benefits and usefulness of online instruction in theeducational system. Time constraints, perceived usefulness, poor confidence, perceived ease of use, andlow enthusiasm are a relatively common phenomenon among lecturers in the faculty of Education,University of Ibadan, Nigeria. Therefore awareness, seminar and workshop should be provided toencourage the use of online instruction among lecturers in Nigeria Universities.ReferencesAdeya, C. N. and Oyelearan-Oyeyinka, B. 2002. The Internet in African Universities: Case studies from Kenya and Nigeria. Study carried out for the Institute of New Technologies (INTECH), United Nations University, Maastricht, The Netherlands: UNN / INTECH 100 – 109p.Agbonlahor, R. O. 2005. Utilization levels and Attitudes towards Information Technology among University lecturers. (Doctor of Philosophy) Africa Regional Centre for Information Science, University of Ibadan, Nigeria. Thesis 102 – 181p.Ahmed, H. 2006 “The impact of erectness on e-Government in Developing Nations – case study of Egypt” proceedings of the 17th Information Resources Management Association International Conference on Emerging Trends and Challenges in Information Technology Management. Washington DC, USA, 21 – 24 May 2006. 9
  10. 10. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011Ajayi, A., Olatokun, W. M. and Tiamiyu, M. A. 2001. Computer anxiety, phobia, obsession and Work stress at the University of Ibadan: part 1 – prevalence and correlates. African Journal of Libraries, Archives and Information Science, 11 (2), 167 – 183p.Auzten, B 2007. Quality of usage as a neglected aspect of information technology acceptance. Retrieved May 30, 2010 from http://wifol.bwl.uni-mannheim.de/fileadmin/files/publications/working paper 2007 Quality of usage.pdfBerge, Z. L. 1998. Conceptual frame works in Distance Training and Education. In Schreiber, D. A. and Berge, Z. L. (eds.), Distance Training: How innovative Organizations are using technology to maximize learning and meet business objectives. (Pp.13 -36). San Francisco: Jossey – Bass.Hall, B. (2000). New Study seeks to bench-mark enterprises with world-class e-learning in place. E- learning 1(1)18-29.Hall, B., and Snider, A. (2000). Glossary: The hottest buzz words in the industry.Hopkins, J. D. (1996). Information Technology and the Information Society in Europe: expectations and barriers to the Implementation of New Media in Higher Education and Research Sector. Deploy project summary Report, August 1996. Prepared for the Confederation of European Union Reactor’s Conference. Retrieved January 4, 2000 from http://www.uta.fl/FAST/JH/iteurope.htmlIhekeronye. C.P. (2010), factors affecting teachers readiness for online instruction, A case study of faculty of Education, University Ibadan. M.ED Thesis. Unpublished.Moron, J.W. and Kim, Y.G 2001. Extending the TAM for a world-wide context. Information and Management. 38, 217 – 230.Urban, T. A. and Weggen, Z. 2000. Corporate e-learning: Exploring a New Frontier Webber, C. G. et al. Journal of Software, Vol. 2 No. 1. Retrieved on 18th August, 2010 from http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/51877042809004601.on. 10
  11. 11. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011 Relevance of Competency Based Training in Polytechnic Education for National Development Emmanuel Amankwah Email: trustee7a@ yahoo.comReceived: October 2nd, 2011Accepted: October 11th, 2011Published: October 30th, 2011AbstractThe educational system in Ghana has undergone various forms of transformation over the last few decades.These transformations aim at improving the educational system to produce the right caliber of graduates fornational development. The Ministry of Education in 1987 introduced new educational system whichgradually replaced the British-based G.C.E Ordinary and Advanced level systems. In September 2007, thecountry gave birth to another educational reform which emphasized on Science, Mathematics, Technology,and Technical & Vocational Educational Training (TVET). This is to provide employable skills forgraduates and help reduce the high rate of unemployment in the country. Over the years, TVET has beenlimited to the apprenticeship, vocational and technical institutions. Learning at the tertiary level has alwaysbeen the acquisition of theoretical knowledge with very little hands on training. Industries have no otheralternative than to give their employees many weeks of “on the job training”. Introduction of CompetencyBased Training (CBT) at the polytechnics which aims at providing graduates with the employable skills istherefore welcoming news and must be cherished and sustained by all. CBT is the acquisition ofappropriate knowledge, attitudes, personal traits and skills to efficiently perform work place roles inindustry, commerce, management and administration. This paper highlights the need for polytechnics torun their programmes on the principles of CBT. It outlines the importance of CBT in polytechniceducation, gives overview of the structure of the CBT curriculum, its development and implementation inagricultural engineering, assessment criteria and challenges. It was concluded with some recommendations.Keywords: competency based training, curriculum development, polytechnic education, competency andskills1.0 IntroductionThe growing need of Technical and Vocational Educational Training for national development has broughtseries of educational reforms over the last few decades. In 1987 the Ministry of Education introduced a neweducational system which gradually replaced the British-based ‘O’ and ‘A’ level system. After 20 years ofit existence, it has become necessary to introduce another reforms which could address pertinent nationaland international challenges. The current reform which was introduced in September 2007 focuses on therole of science, mathematics, technology, technical and vocational training and ICT. The goal is to impartgraduates with essential skills needed for personal growth, community development and exploitation ofeconomic opportunities. The herald of Competency Based Training (CBT) into the polytechnic educational system will provide thenecessary skills and competencies in graduates for sustainable development (Gasper, 2005). ThePolytechnics have been mandated to train graduates for industry, commerce, business and administration.This is indeed a challenge to our educational system. The concept and principle of CBT in the educationalparadigm could be connected to the 3Rs: learn what is relevant; learn far more rapidly; and learn forredistribution. This statement emphasizes on the acquisition of basic skills and knowledge to produce the 11
  12. 12. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011desired outcome. Competency Based Training has been found to be an appropriate training instrument forindustry and business (Delker, 1990).1.1 DefinitionsCompetency: A competency is a combination of knowledge, skills, personality traits and attitude forproper functioning of a professional situation.Skill: A task or group of tasks performed to a specific level of competency or proficiency through the useof instrument, equipment and other tools.Competency Based Training is therefore a way of approaching (vocational) training that places primaryemphasis on what a person can do as a result of training (the product), and as such represents a shift awayfrom the emphasis on the process involved in training (the inputs). It is concerned with training to industryspecific standards rather than an individuals achievement relative to others in the group (Wolny, 1999).A practical example of competency is that “when medical doctor is to persuade an overwrought andheadstrong patient to rest fully and take the proper medicine, the doctor will need the following to managethe situation:Knowledge: must be able to identify or diagnose the symptoms leading to overwrought (e.g. stress andsleeplessness) and also prescribe the right medicine for the patient.Skills: must be able to handle basic equipment such as stethoscope and communicate effectively. Forinstance, he must be able to communicate unpleasant news to the family of a patient in a reassuring way tomake them accept the news with ease.Personality traits: everybody has an innate trait which might be essential to the profession. The doctorneeds patience, exactitude, honesty and other characteristics to enable him persuade and convince hispatients that he is a good doctor.Attitudes: every profession has standards, ethics and values. The doctor must work within these principlesand exhibit the right attitudes towards the profession.Also a mechanical engineer must acquire all the above competencies in addressing a problem insomebody’s vehicle. He must be able to diagnose a fault in an engine and fix that fault without difficulty(Grit et al. 2006)In summary, CBT= Do It Yourself (DIY) = Knowledge + Skills + Attitudes + Personality Traits1.2 Principles of Competency Based Training Student Centred The student is the active player. The student generates the learning goals and is responsible for his or herown learning activities in terms of time and rate. The lecturer as a coach guides the student to develop these competencies. Task Based Learning activities are directed towards performing the professional task. This ensures active learning instead of passive learning. Competence OrientedLearning tasks are formulated to develop competencies that are needed to perform the professional tasks of the student’s future working environment.1.3 Diagrammatic representation of the development of CBT curriculum of Agricultural EngineeringThe development of Competency Based Training curriculum was quite strenuous and very expensive.Below is a flow chart which represents the development of CBT. 12
  13. 13. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011 Professional task Personal Development Plan Task Analysis Who am I What are my capabilities? What do I want to become/achieve Where do I fit in there? Learning Task How do I get there? Readers Assessment Lessons Practical Routines Demonstrations Trainings Individual studies Figure 1: Flow chart of CBT curriculum development1.4 Methodology and Expansion of the various items in the curriculum development of CBTProfessional Task: the Professional tasks are basically the modules of each course and was developedusing the results of job market survey undertaken by staff of the Agricultural Engineering Department ofBolgatanga, Ho, Tamale and Wa Polytechnics. The staff was divided into 7 groups of 3 participants each.They visited various industries, irrigation schemes, organizations and civil services in Tema, Ho, Accra andthe surrounding communities to find out the roles of agricultural engineers. The results were grouped andsimilar jobs were combined and others were critically analysed. The professional tasks were thenformulated from the outcome of the job market surveyed. 13
  14. 14. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011Learning task: the learning tasks were generated from the Professional tasks after a critical task analysishad been carried out. The learning tasks were all geared towards the realization of the professionalassignment. Lesson plans (lectures), practical lessons, demonstrations and routines were prepared for thestudents to enhance their acquisition of theoretical knowledge and practical skills. Time is also allocatedfor their individual studies. The learning task is concrete, authentic and whole task experience. They areorganized in a simple to complex sequence of task classes. This implies that the learning tasks increase indifficulty as the student progresses. It also enjoys high level of support at the initial stages and the supportdisappears at the end of the task class. This process is referred to as scaffolding (Merrienboer et al. 2002).Readers: readers are reference materials prepared for the students to facilitate their learning processes.They contain all relevant information required to accomplish the professional task. References to specificbooks, journals, magazines and reports are also given to the students to enhance their studies at the library.Assessment: students are then assessed in theory and practical including industrial attachment. Thestudents must pass both the theory and practical assessment before they can progress to the next stage oftheir studies.Personal development plan is also prepared for the students and run concurrently with the professionaltask. This is all about students’ goals, ambitions, and aims and how to realize them in relation to theprofessional task and future career. Students are guided to develop their work on their development plan byasking certain questions about their personality. This is to help shape their attitudes and personal traits.They ask questions such as: • Who am l? • What are my capabilities? • What do I want to become / achieve? • Where do I fit? • How do I get there?Students will continue to manage and review their personal development plans until they complete theirprogramme of study.2.0 Structure of Competency Based Training CurriculumThe structure of CBT involves the development of formats for the professional task, learning task whichcomes with the various items as depicted in figure 1. The sample formats where were designed anddeveloped by the lecturers of the four polytechnics are presented at the annex. The curriculum also comeswith teaching guide which contains all the materials and information needed by the lecturer (coach) tofacilitate the learning process of the student andlearning guide, which also contains all materials and information required by the student to perform theprofessional task.3.0 Assessment in Competency Based TrainingStudents are assessed on knowledge, skills and attitudes but emphasis is on the acquisition of skills.Assessment involves both internal and external assessors. During the assessment, a person from theindustry or any other organization with an in depth knowledge in the topic is invited to take part in theassessment. Examinations are conducted to test students knowledge acquisition but do not form the basisfor progression. Assignments are based on the formulation of real life situation and the use of simulations.A combination of ORCER (Observe, Record, Classify, Evaluate and Report) and LSD (Listening, 14
  15. 15. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011Summarising and Deepening) methods are also used during the assessment of students in practicalexamination sessions to assess the competencies of the students. List of generic competencies and theirdescriptions are presented in the annex.3.1 RubricsTo avoid or reduce the temptation of awarding marks based on the lecturer’s opinion and judgment, Rubricis used in assessing the students as well as the assessment criteria. Rubric is a set of criteria and standardslinked to the learning objectives. It makes grading simpler and more transparent. Sample of the rubric formis presented in the annex.3.2 Industrial AttachmentIndustrial attachment forms an important component of CBT curriculum. It forms 16 credits of the totalcredit hours. Various job profiles have been identified where students are expected to have their attachmentand possible placement after graduation. It is designed to help students to learn and familiarize themselveswith real life situation at the industries. It also helps students to network and make contacts so as to get jobeasily after graduation. It also guides students to make appropriate choices in terms of career development.Sample industrial attachment assessment form is presented in the annex.4.0 Uniqueness of CBT in Polytechnic EducationWhile the new educational reform emphasises on science, mathematics and technology as well as technicaland vocational education and training to position the country for accelerated development, polytechnics areto structure all their programmes to conform to the principles of CBT. Polytechnics unlike the universitiesare mandated to provide tertiary education in the field of manufacturing, commerce, science, technology,applied science and arts. The polytechnics therefore have a herculean task of training graduates to fill themiddle level man power needed for industry, commerce, business and administration. Competency BasedTraining however, seeks to address the above challenges through the principle of “do it yourself”.Nonetheless, CBT programme should be executed in an environment that duplicates or simulates the workplace (Norton, 1987).Unlike the traditional method of teaching which results only in passive learning, CBT ensures that studentsengage in active learning because the unit of progression is mastery of specific knowledge and skills. Thetraditional system is associated with information or memory overload, inadequate time for real learningprocess but rather memorization, lecturer directed and time bound; even though the traditional system alsohas some advantages such as large students’ enrolment, large amount of information delivered per lectureand the lecturer having command over the learning process.Among the things which make CBT more relevant to polytechnic education are: • The student requires less training on the job and acquires working experience more rapidly • Industrial attachment forms a major component of the programme thus graduates fit more easily into the job market after graduation. • The students develop their own learning goals and time frame and learning experiences are oriented by continuous feedback. • The student develops competencies and skills relevant for the job market • Learning is flexible but challenging, and does not require traditional examinations to determine the progress of the students. • Learning guide, practical manuals and readers (reference materials) are made available to students. • CBL does not require detailed study of subjects that are irrelevant to the performance of the Professional tasks. • It makes teachers prepare thoroughly and in advance and respect the choice of the students. • The curriculum is flexible in terms of study time per student. This means that students progress at their own pace and not at the pace of the teacher.4.1 Challenges 15
  16. 16. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011CBT is very expensive and comes with its own challenges both in curriculum development andimplementation (Agodzo & Songsore, 2005). Already, there are plans to convert most of the polytechnicprogrammes into CBT. The challenges outlined below and many others are to be considered seriouslybefore new CBT programmes are introduced by all polytechnics. The National Accreditation Board (NAB),National Commission for Tertiary Education (NCTE) and National Board for Professional and TechnicalExamination (NABPTEX) should therefore work together to address some of the pertinent challenges toensure the successful transition of polytechnic programmes into CBT. These challenges are likely toimpede the successful implementation of CBT programmes: • Commitment of polytechnics to provide adequate resources, training materials and consumables for CBT. • Too much work load on lecturers thus they work beyond the recommended teaching load. • Conflict of CBT time tabling and the traditional time table • Difficulty in getting industrial attachment places for CBT students • Lack of adequate equipment for CBT programmes • Cost of photocopies of readers (reference materials) put too much financial stress on CBT students5.0 Conclusion and Recommendations5.1 ConclusionThe CBT emphasises on the product students demonstrate after their training period and focuses onpractical training in ensuring that students acquire the necessary competencies and skills. It begins with aclear identification of competencies and skills students need to master and state clearly the criteria andconditions by which performance are assessed which are made available to the students in advance(Norton, 1987)Competency based system may be new to most of the polytechnics but the concept and approach have beenaccepted worldwide in industries and many training organizations. Industrialists, scholars and opinionleaders are all emphasising on technical and vocational training thus the polytechnics are challenged tocome out with new modalities and teaching methodologies that address the training needs of the nation.Competency Based Training has therefore come at an appropriate time to ensure that graduates acquire thenecessary knowledge, skills, attitudes and personal traits to efficiently perform professional roles. This is inline with the old Chinese proverb: “I hear and I forget; I see and I remember; I do and I understand.”5.2 RecommendationsTo ensure the success and sustainability of CBT, the following are recommended: • There should be enough funding necessary for CBT training and purchase of equipment • Stronger links and collaboration with industry and private sector for industrial attachment • Commitment and support from all stakeholders in polytechnic education is necessary for sustainability of CBT • Trainers/lecturers should be motivated so as not to slip back to the traditional system of teaching • Training materials and consumables should be made available by the polytechnicsAcknowledgementI would like to thank the facilitators of the NUFFIC-NPT project which resulted in the replacement of thetraditional curriculum of the Agricultural Engineering programme into CBT. I want to also thank thevarious Rectors of the four polytechnics (Bolgatanga, Ho, Tamale and Wa) for the leadership role theyplayed during the design, development and implementation of the CBT programme. I would like say bravoto all my colleagues for the team work and the commitment exhibited to get the work done. I wish to alsothank the various authors whose works were used as references. Thank you all. 16
  17. 17. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011References: Afeti, G., Kantey R.A., Ibrahimah, M.Z. & Agodzo, S.K. (2006), Proposal for a new curriculum in Agricultural Engineering at the polytechnics in Ghana based on Competency Based Learning. Unpublished Agodzo, S.K. & Songsore, J. (2005). Competency Based Learning; the Case of Wa Polytechnic of Ghana. Proceedings of the Commonwealth Association of Polytechnics in Africa (CAPA) Seminar on the Role of Technical Education in Africa in the Post Secondary Millennium Era)’ Qualitype Limited, Accra. Delker P.V. (1990), Basic Skills Education in Business and Industry: Factors for Success or Failure. Contractor Report, Office of Technology Assessment, United States Congress. Gasper, O.A. (2005), Competency Based Science, Technology and Engineering Curriculum for Human Capital Development in Nigeria. Proceedings of the Commonwealth Association of Polytechnics in Africa (CAPA) Seminar on the Role of Technical Education in Africa in the Post Secondary Millennium Era)’ Qualitype Limited, Accra. Grit, R., Guit, R & Sijde N.V. (2006), Managing Your Competencies; Personal Development Plan. Wolters-Noordhoff Groningen / Houten. Netherlands Merrienboer, J.J.G., Clark, R.E. & Croock, B.M. (2002), Blueprints for Complex Learning: The 4C / ID-Model. Vol. 50, No. 2 Norton R. E. (1987), Competency-Based Education and Training: A Humanistic and Realistic Approach to Technical and Vocational Instruction. Paper presented at the Regional Workshop on Technical/Vocational Teacher Training in Chiba City, Japan. ERIC: ED 279910. NUFFIC CBT workshops (2005-2008), Curriculum design, development and implementation. Bolgatanga, Ho, Tamale and Wa Polytechnics. Wolny, M. (1999), Competency Based Training in the Aviation Environment. Appendix Structure of Competency Based Training CurriculumProfessional Task format: Course AE 141: Irrigation Water ManagementShort DescriptionTimeLT 1LT 2LT 3LT 4LT 5LT 6L.SOURCESSupportiveinformation 17
  18. 18. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011Total MaterialsGeneral CompetenciestrainedAssessmentLearning Task Format: LT 131.1: Estimating the water requirement of the cropShort DescriptionSupportive InfoJIT-infoLevel of SupportMaterials Steps Ex Activities Attend Lecture Individual Study Supporting learning activities Group Work Attend Demo Do Practical Acquire skills-routine Participate in workshop Train Competency Hrs TotalLesson Plan Format: L 1.1 Introduction to water management in irrigationSubjectSpecific ObjectivesTime Phase Resources120min Remarks20 min Orientation50 min Exploration 18
  19. 19. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 201130 min Evaluation20 min TransferField Practical Format: P 141.1 Taking Field Data on the SoilStudent instructionPractical subjectTimeLearning objectivesContextDescription of assignmentInstructionReflectionLecturer instructionOrganizationActivities of lecturer NUFFIC Workshop, 2007Format of Competency AssessmentAssessment form task AE131 scoreAssessment criteria Fail Pass Good Excellent Has the student: 1. PLAN AND ORGANISE Students organize work in an appropriate sequence 1. Clear statement of the objective. {level 2 No 1} 2. Written presentation of sequential arrangement of things to be done. {level 2 No 2} 3. Good time plan with respect to the sequence of things to be done. {level 2 No 3 4. Adequate organizational skills. {level 2 No 4} 2. TO GATHER INFORMATION On appropriate materials, tools, and methods. 1. Has the student been using the right toolsequipment in getting the information? {level 2 No 1} 2. Has the student been using the right approach? {level 2 No 2} 19
  20. 20. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011 3. Is the information gathered relevant to the PT? {level 2 No 3} 4. Has sufficient information been gathered? {level 2 No 4}Total Grade Rubrics for competencies Competency Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 INDUSTRIAL ATTACHMENT ASSESMENT FORM Please complete this confidential assessment form and give it to the student in a sealed envelope. Kindly sign across the envelope before giving to the student.NAME OF STUDENTINDEX NUMBER / YEAR OF STUDENT HND PROGRAMME/COURSENAME & ADDRESS OF ORGANIZATION(name, addr, tel, mail)DEPARTMENT ASSIGNEDDURATION OF ATTACHMENT 0 = Void 1 = Weak 2 = Minimum 3 = Average COMPETENCIES 4 = Good 5 = Outstanding 0 1 2 3 4 5 COMMENTS SPECIFIC TASKS1 0 1 2 3 4 52 0 1 2 3 4 53 0 1 2 3 4 54 0 1 2 3 4 5 GENERAL EMPLOYMENT SKILLS1 Ability to complete work on schedule 0 1 2 3 4 52 Ability to follow instructions carefully 0 1 2 3 4 53 Ability to take initiative 0 1 2 3 4 54 Ability to work with a little bit of supervision 0 1 2 3 4 5 20
  21. 21. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 20115 Ability to work with other staff 0 1 2 3 4 56 Adherence to organization’s rules & regulations 0 1 2 3 4 57 Adherence to safety and environmental rules 0 1 2 3 4 58 Resourcefulness 0 1 2 3 4 5 ATTITUDE TO WORK1 Attendance to work 0 1 2 3 4 52 Punctuality 0 1 2 3 4 53 Desire to work 0 1 2 3 4 54 Willingness to accept new ideas and suggestions 0 1 2 3 4 5 HUMAN RELATIONS1 Relationship with subordinates 0 1 2 3 4 52 Relationship with colleagues 0 1 2 3 4 53 Relationship with superiors 0 1 2 3 4 54 Ability to control emotions when provoked 0 1 2 3 4 5Additional Comments Total score Name of Supervisor: General remarks ………………………………………. (TO BE COMPLETED BY HEAD OF DEPARTMENT) Signature and StampNumber of credit hours …………………………..Recommended score / grade Place: Date:Signature: Date: ……………………., ……………….Source: CBL – NUFFIC Workshop, 2007List of generic competencies and their descriptions .Generic Competencies Description To Observe Observe and identify with respect to the task the signal, problems, trends, needs and opportunities in the performance of a whole job. To Reflect Describe properly own behaviour and performance and make an analysis to detect points for change or improvement. To Train Provide a participatory training using different teaching methods. To Coach Coach and guide workers and learners. 21
  22. 22. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011 To Record/Report Prepare a report, arranging the topics / chapters oriented on specific target groups of readers. To Work methodically Work in a methodical way using appropriate tools at the right moment, using adequate procedures. To Gather information Gather information relevant for optimization of the analysis. To Plan/Organize Derive a plan from the objectives to be achieved and plan / organize the work within the standard schedule for execution. To Implement/Execute Implement by following strictly the supplied instructions.To make Oral presentation Give an understandable presentation in very clear, orderly, logical well structured way. To Optimize Optimize the performance of people, materials and other inputs by following instructions. To Assess Assess the analysis following the standard instruction and map out standard strategies to provide solutions. To cooperate Ability to work with others (peers, known people) without difficulties in the group. A requirement for associates with people, group work, listening ability, devotion and confidence in people. To Control Control the quality and quantity of the materials and product, by comparing at recommended acceptable standard. To Analyse Analyze the gathered information, by comparing the standard instruction and information.Source: Afeti et al. Proposal for a new CBL curriculum in Agric. Eng., 2006. 22
  23. 23. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011 Parliamentary Committee System in Bangladesh: Functional Analysis of different Parliamentary Committee. Md. Ruhul Amin (Corresponding Author) Lecturer, Department of Public Administration, Comilla University. Bangladesh. Cell: +8801712290298; E-mail: rubel_2008iu@yahoo.com Mohammad Maksudur Rahman, MBA Deputy Registrar, South East University, Dhaka, Bangladesh. Cell: +8801715702222; E-mail: Maksud927@yahoo.com Mst. Saria Sultana M.Phil (Researcher), Islamic University, Kushtia, Bangladesh. Cell: +8801719185130; E-mail: sariasultana_kst@yahoo.comReceived: October 1st, 2011Accepted: October 12th, 2011Published: October 30th, 2011Abstract:“Parliamentary Committee System in Bangladesh: Functional Analysis of different ParliamentaryCommittee.” this article examines the patterns and performance of Parliamentary Committees inBangladesh. Committees are ubiquitous. They are found in all types of parliamentary old or new, large orsmall, The Jatiya Sangsad, as the parliament is called in Bangladesh, is no exception. The evidencepresented in this paper clearly shows that the committees set up by recent parliaments have fared far betterthan their predecessors in almost every function, including scrutinizing legislation and exercising oversightover executive departments. The creation of an elaborate committee system is necessary, but is notsufficient to ensure that it will work unless some other conditions are met. Comparative experience showsthat the recommendations of Parliamentary Committees are generally honored. But Bangladesh appears tobe a deviant case.Keywords: Jatiya Sangsad (JS), Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Committee on Government Assurance(CGA), ad hoc.1. Introduction:Bangladesh is a small but resourceful country of South Asia. Despite years of military and autocratic rule,Bangladesh enjoyed a popular familiarity with parliament that was much deeper than in many othercountries in the Third World. The parliament in Bangladesh is called Jatiya Sangsad (JS) and it is aunicameral parliament patterned after the Westminster model.In modern democracies, parliament has numerous duties. As a key state organ it examines the legislativelegislative proposals in the process of their passage and is entrusted with overseeing executiveresponsibilities and keeps an eye on government activities. Parliamentary committee system is the most vitalstructure that permits the legislators to divide up their labor and specialize in particular areas ofactivities. It is therefore the most significant legislative mechanism and is often referred to as“miniature legislatures” or “microcosms" of their parent bodies. Parliamentary committees in Bangladeshowe their origin to and gain legitimacy from two sources: the Constitution of the People’s Republic of 23
  24. 24. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011Bangladesh, and the Rules of Procedure of Parliament (rules). The constitution makes it mandatory forparliament to set up a Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and a Privileges Committee, and empowers it toconstitute as many standing committees as it considers necessary. Committee members enjoy immunity forwhatever they say and/or the way they vote. Thus, parliamentary committees in Bangladesh formally enjoyimportant status and extensive powers.The Jatiya Sangsad (JS) has traditionally setup three types of committees: standing committees, selectcommittees, and special committees. The main difference between the different committees centre’s on theirnature of appointment. Standing committees are relatively permanent; they are normally constituted for theduration of the parliament. Special and select committees are ad hoc bodies; they cease to exist when theirjob is completed. Standing committees are generally classified into a number of categories, the mostimportant of which are DPCs. The other categories are scrutinizing committees, financial committees andhouse committees.2. Objectives of the Study:Focusing on the following issues this article attempts to assess the parliamentary committee system inBangladesh: An Analysis of its working, Bangladesh Parliaments with necessary Example and illustrations. 1) Formal arrangements of the committee system including composition, structure and functions of the committees. 2) Institutional mechanism affecting the functioning of the committee system in Bangladesh. 3) Performance of the committees of the Jatiya Sangsad regarding the legislative and overseeing processes. 4) The parliamentary committees and the society nexus focusing on the role of the media and the civil society.In today’s political systems, the legislative organ as the national representative body is consideredindispensable for proper governance. In democratic framework the working of the parliament andparliamentary structures in establishing responsible government can hardly be overemphasized. It istherefore argued that of all political institutions, none is more vital to the process of linking governors andgoverned in relationships of authority, responsibility, and legitimacy, than the modern legislature.3. Methodology of the study:The methodology applied in this Article is a combination of qualitative & quantitative approaches. Adoptingthe above approaches present Article intends to identify the role of historical forces and factors in theevolution and development of parliamentary committee system in Bangladesh.The Present Article analyzes working of the committees in the Bangladesh Jatiya Sangsad (JS) by bringingtogether new information and data, most of which were unavailable in the existing literature. Data andinformation for this are collected from two sources: primary and secondary. The secondary source includesbooks, articles published in various journals, working papers and study reports which are found relevant forthe study. Seminar papers and publications of different political parties are also taken into consideration. Inaddition to the secondary sources, information and data are also collected from the primary sources. Much ofthe analyses are based on the examination of the parliamentary proceedings, committee reports and Rules ofProcedure of the JS. The socio-political characteristics of the committee members are calculated throughparliamentary records. Information is also gathered from the discussion with prominent political leaders,civil servants and academia.4. Literature Review:The role of parliamentary committee system can be understood in the contexts of its emergence andworking. Here, a review of the existing literature about various issues of the committee system will bediscussed. In the age of parliament, Committees, however, are referred to as working horses of theparliament. Until 1950s, parliamentary committee system was not studied deeply and extensively by the 24
  25. 25. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011scholars. A pioneering comparative research on committee system was carried out in 1979 by a group ofscholars, titled Committees in Legislatures: A Comparative Analysis, edited by John D. Lees and MalcolmShaw. The Journal of Legislative Studies published a special issue in 1998, with some of these papers andagain appeared in a book in 1998 titled. The New Roles of Parliamentary Committees, edited by LawrenceD. Longley and Roger H. Davidson. In this book, scholarly works illustrate changing pattern of ninecommittee structures. They show that in many ways parliamentary committees have emerged as vibrant andnerve centre of democratic parliaments and have begun to define new and changing roles for themselves.Bangladesh Institute of Parliamentary Studies (BIPS) has taken a significant step in doing some researchworks on the Bangladesh parliament from different aspects. With the assistance of UNDP, BIPS haspublished nine monographs. This section reviews some of these monographs, particularly, which includedparliamentary committees in their discussions. Riazur Rahman Chowdhury analyses the parliamentary dutiesof the CAG in ensuring public sector accountability in the monograph titled Parliamentary Duties of theComptroller and Auditor-General in Bangladesh. This monograph examines the relationship between CAGand parliamentary committees (particularly PAC). In the monograph Women, Democracy and Parliament,author Barrister Rabia Bhuiyan analyses women representation in the parliament from historical aspects. Theauthor also examines their position in different political parties. In this research, the author gives a detailedaccount about women participation in the committee proceedings. She noted that during the seventhparliament, although the opposition Members boycotted the parliament, they were regular in the committeesessions. As a result the Members in the committees exerted more power and control over the Executive thanin the parliament. It is worth mentioning that during the seventh parliament women members have beenincluded in all committees. The author also identifies barriers to women’s participation in legislative process.Al Masud Hasanuzzamn in his Role of Opposition in Bangladesh Politics exclusively studies oppositionpolitics in Bangladesh from the first parliament to the seventh parliament. The writer in his research workshows that some of the important standing committees became moribund due to lack of legislativecompromise between the Treasury Bench and the opposition both in the fifth and the seventh legislatures.After the election of the fifth JS, committees were given greater emphasis in making the parliamenteffective. From this aspect, this article analyzes the performance of the committees. Similarly Nizam Ahmedgives a detailed account of the committee structure and procedure in his article, “Parliamentary Committeesand Parliamentary Government.” From this brief survey of the sources referred to above it is evident thatpartially they may shed Luster on some points or aspects of the research to be undertaken. They may come touse for the clarification of some ambiguities pertaining to the work. It is, therefore, reasonable to assume thatthis work will fit in the gap and ventilate or the materials relating to this work.5. Parliamentary Structure in Bangladesh: A Historical Account:Until the promulgation of martial law in 1958, there were two legislative assemblies constituted in theprovince of East Pakistan. The first Legislative Assembly was constituted in 1947 and continued untilMarch 1954. The second Assembly was elected in March 1954 and was dissolved in October 1958, whenthe military took over the state power. The parliamentary procedure, devices and committee structure wereinherited from the Bengal Legislative Assembly in accordance with the section 84(1) of the Government ofIndia Act 1935. The Assembly first appointed a Rules Committee on October 2, 1956 to make a draft Rulesof Procedure for the Assembly that appeared in 1958. But the Assembly was dissolved before itspresentation to the House. Like the National Assembly, there were two types of committees: the standingcommittees and the ad hoc select committees. The select committees were either selected by the Speaker orelected by the House. The Select committees were elected in the Assembly on the spur of the moment toscrutinize a particular bill as referred to them by the plenary. Such committees were ad hoc in nature astheir terms of reference were limited to examine and report on the referred bill. The Committee wasconstituted with not more than 17 members representing various parties and was chaired by the Minister incharge of the concerned department. At the committee stage, bills were discussed clause-by-clause. Expertsand representatives of special interest groups were called for gathering or for gaining opinions. Most of thebills passed by the Assembly were not sent to select committee. These were mostly non-controversial innature or ordinary amendment bills. 25
  26. 26. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011Among the standing committees the PAC was set up for each financial year with nine members includingthe Finance Minister as an ex-officio member. The committee members were elected by the assembly andthe chairperson was elected from among its members. The committee composition was roughlyproportional to the party strength in the Assembly. Its responsibilities were to scrutinize and report onappropriation of accounts of the provincial government by examining the report of the Auditor General.The experiences reveal that such a potential and powerful watchdog weapon could not work properly. Thereasons that made the committees dysfunctional are as follows: firstly, the Auditor-General’s office did notsubmit audit report to the Assembly duly; and secondly, the PAC meetings were not called regularly. Forexample, between 1948 and 1953, committee did not call any meeting. Explaining the delay the ChiefMinister accused the Auditor-General’s office for not submitting any appropriation statement since 1947.Despite all of these limitations, the PAC attempted to find out the irregularities in various governmentagencies and criticized some of them for lack of proper control of expenditure.61 Comparatively, PAC ofthe Second Assembly was far more active. It met more frequently and scrutinized more audit reports. FromAugust to December 1957, the PAC met nine times and examined the audit reports up to the period from1951-52.The House Committee was constituted with the Deputy Speaker as the chairperson and with six members.This committee looked after all the matters connected with the comfort of the members. TheAccommodation Committee was added to the Second Assembly to deal with any matter affectingaccommodation of the members in or out of the session. This committee consisted of six members with theChief Minister as the chairperson. The committee members were elected on the basis of proportionalrepresentation of the party. The parliament and the committee structure that were transplanted in Pakistandid not function properly. The legislators failed to develop necessary skill to compromise as solutions toconflicts. The parliaments at the central and provincial level could not resolve a wide variety of conflictsand differences within the society. In fact, the political elites who were in the government did not try toaccommodate the ideas of the opposition in the decision-making process. House was regulated by the oldROP and from July 22, 1974 onwards by the new ROP. According to the provisions of the old ROP (Rules77 to 233A), the JS had set up seven standing committees and the new ROP provided for four morestanding committees. The first parliament constituted eleven standing committees including three financialcommittees; two investigative committees (i.e. the Petitions Committee and the Government AssuranceCommittee) and six domestic committees. According to the ROP, the House appointed select committeesonly three times for the scrutiny of bills.65 It is observed that the first parliament could not ensure itssupremacy over the executive due to overwhelming majority of the government party and their refusal torecognize the opposition party officially. Soon, the parliamentary form of government was replaced by oneparty presidential form of the government in 1975.In a sweeping change, Bangladesh was placed under military rule in August 1975 and remained undermilitary dominated civilian regimes until December 1990. It is important to find out the nature of themilitary, which ruled over Bangladesh for such a long time. The political scientists observed that theprocess of politicization of armed forces in Bangladesh was linked with the tradition of colonial rule.During the colonial rule the British-Indian Army was not politically neutralized. They were trained with aview to promoting imperial interest. They were by nature anti-national, anti-political and anti-democraticand they kept themselves away from the mass peoples. After the independence in 1947, the Indiangovernment did not follow the methods of training, recruitment and motivation applied by the colonialrulers. On the contrary, the structures and regulations of the Pakistan army in many ways developed a closeresemblance to those of the British Indian Army. Hamza Alavi argued that the Pakistan army, which wasthe predecessor of the Bangladesh army, remained culturally and physically distanced from the civiliansector. This was reflected in their attitudes towards the political institutions. Regarding this aspect, thepolitical scientists analyze that the ambition of the army to capture political power was one of the mainreasons for the declaration of martial law in Pakistan in 1958. It is also argued that the Bangladesh army,which is the lineal descendant of the British-Indian and Pakistan Army, has inherited its orientation againstcivilian rule and its sensitivity to state power. Most of the military officers who led military coups since1970s were recruited and trained under the shadow of Ayub Khan’s martial law regime. The Ayub regime 26
  27. 27. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 7, 2011had affected them in many ways: they became confident that the military could play important rule in thepolitical system and they became sensitive to political power. Since the independence, the Bangladesharmy was in state power directly and indirectly about 15 years. During these periods, three parliamentshave been formed to civilianize the civil military government. It was expected that parliament would play aproper role in establishing parliamentary supremacy over the executive. But none of them had any realscope to minimize the executive dominance. In the real sense, the public did not have positive image ofthese parliaments. The legislative power of the parliament passed into the hands of the executive. Theparliament was frequently used as a tool for endorsing policies and granting legitimacy to rulers whoassumed power through unconstitutional means. The parliamentary image began to change after the fall ofthe military dominated civilian government in December 1990 by a mass upsurge. After the fall ofauthoritarian regime, the parliamentary system of government was reintroduced in 1991. From thebeginning of the democratic set up, committee system has gained importance for strengtheningparliamentary democracy in the country.6. Parliamentary committee’s formal-legal frame work:Parliamentary committees in Bangladesh owe their origin to and gain legitimacy from two sources: theConstitution of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, and the Rules of Procedure of Parliament (Rules). Theconstitution makes it mandatory for parliament to set up a Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and aPrivileges Committee, and empowers it to constitute as many standing committees as it consider s necessary.The Rules, on the other hand, specify the actual number of committee s to be set up and delineate theirformal scope of operation. These also specify the composition of different committees and prescribe someother important matters, such as the way(s) decisions are to be taken, the procedures to be followed toconvene meetings of a committee and the methods used for examining witness. A committee can sit whilethe parliament is in session. Normally, the sittings of a committee are held within the precincts of the House.However, if it becomes necessary to change the place of the sitting outside the House, it can be done with thepermission of the Speaker. Committee meetings are held in private and are not open to the public. Except forcommittee members and staff, no outsider s may attend when a committee is deliberating. A committee canregulate its sittings and the way it conducts its business. It can obtain cooperation if deemed necessary. Acommittee may appoint as many subcommittee s as it considers necessary. Each subcommittee has the powerof the main committee. The Rules, however, require that the order of reference to a sub-committee mustclearly state the point(s) for investigation. A committee has the power to send for persons, papers andrecords. No document submitted to a committee can be withdrawn or altered without its knowledge. Theconstitution also authorizes parliament to confer on committee s powers for enforcing the attendance ofwitness and examining them on oath, as well as for compelling the production of documents. Paradoxically,parliament, rather than taking measures to give effect to these provisions, has empowered the government todecline to produce a document on the grounds that its disclosure would be prejudicial to the safety or interestof the state. Committee members enjoy immunity for whatever they say and/or the way they vote. Thus,parliamentary committee s in Bangladesh formally enjoys important status and extensive powers.7. Working of different parliamentary committee system in Bangladesh:Parliamentary Committees formed exclusively of members of the Jatiya Sangsad (JS) (Parliament) for suchpurposes as to evaluate legislative proposals and scrutinize activities of the executive government. In effect,these committees in most democracies provide a means of keeping the parliamentarians busy and feelinguseful and remaining watchful on the policy-management processes.The Constitution of Bangladesh provides provisions for establishing various parliamentary committees.The Bangladesh Jatiya Sangsad (JS) is empowered through Article 76 of the Constitution to appoint anumber of standing committees, including the Public Accounts Committee and the Committee ofPrivileges, for the purposes of examining legislative proposals, considering bills, inquiring or investigatinginto the performance of the ministries, and reviewing measures for enforcement of laws for propergovernance. The rules of procedure framed by the Jatiya Sangsad (JS) itself guide and regulate functionaldetails, overall operation and terms of reference of these committees. There are provisions also for the 27