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Assessment of availability and usage of CBET instructional materials

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Rabson Cbet Paper

  1. 1. An analysis of Instructional materials for Modular Competency Based Education and Training Programmes in Technical Colleges Rabson Killion Mgawi and Vanwyk K.M. Chikasanda Technical Education Department, Malawi Polytechnic ABSTRACT The paper reports on a study that was conducted to analyse teachers’ and students’ views on the availability and use of instructional materials for modular competency based education and training programmes in Technical Colleges. Data was generated using unstructured face to face interviews with 14 instructors (ten male and four female). A structured questionnaire was administered to 66 students (41 male, and 25 female). The data was analysed using descriptive statistics. The study revealed inadequate supply and non availability of instructional materials for the Technical, Entrepreneurial and Vocational Education and Training Authority (TEVETA) programmes. The study also revealed a lack of creativity, design and pedagogical skills for effective use of available instructional materials. The study therefore recommended for teacher professional development to enhance their skills for designing, developing and using modular competency based education and training (MCBET) instructional materials. TEVETA should also ensure an adequate supply of instructional materials in order to attain the MCBET goals of enhancing apprentices’ competences. Further research is needed to understand the principles and best practices towards implementing competency based systems. Key words: Instructional material, Competency based education, Technical and Vocational Education and Training
  2. 2. An analysis of Instructional materials for modular competency based education and training programmes in Technical Colleges Talking, listening are but some of the activities that take place during a teaching and learning process. However, Mills (1982) argues that talking is not teaching and neither is listening learning. For effective learning, the teacher, subject matter, know-how, nature of the learner and pedagogy form a critical interface. Teaching takes place only when learning has occurred. The teacher performs the teaching activity with the purpose of helping learners of diverse personalities and backgrounds to assimilate planned content. Therefore, the teacher has to select appropriate content and activities, synthesize the desired conduct of the learner, decide on methods to use, emphasis to make, values to prefer, conditions to strive for, changes to advocate, and make efforts to accomplish the purposes of education. Good teaching or instruction is basically good communication between people, no matter at what level or on what subject (Mills, 1982). In a learning situation, communication is an essential feature of the relationship between instructors and trainees. According to Hango (2004) instructional materials play an important role in the communication process for effective learning. Therefore, systematically prepared instructional materials enhance communication leading to effective teaching and learning. The Technical Colleges were offering Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) programmes using Traditional Instruction (TI). Instruction in this mode is often teacher centred where the trainer overall authority of all classroom activities while the learners are mere passive listeners. Further, the content is loaded with chapters of theory and less practice. The model resulted in high failure rates and also poor performance of trainees in industry. Following complaints from industry and after an understanding of the quality of college product, it was found necessary for TEVET programmes to adopt learner centred modular competency-based education and training (MCBET). It was believed that with MCBET learners would master both theory and practice and hence enhance their expected work performance. Colleges have adopted the MCBET programmes since 2001. To date some Technical Colleges have graduated students in, for example, Carpentry, Joinery, Brick-laying, Automobile Mechanics and Fabrication and
  3. 3. Welding. In the new model, the trainer guides or facilitates learning and the students are responsible for their own learning. Instructional materials assist teachers or instructors to teach effectively and assist learners to grasp content and practice easily. As effective implementation of MCBET depends on instructional materials, it was especially necessary to investigate their availability and usage in order to inform teaching practices and management of the programmes. Instructional Media Instructional media are carriers of information that are selected to help learners achieve their objectives (Hango, 2004). These can include film, printed matter, television, and computers. This group of media can be called instructional materials in broader terms. Trainers use instructional materials during instruction to help them teach more effectively and help learners to understand what they are being taught more easily. Teaching and learning aids help both the trainer and the trainee in the process of teaching and learning (Mtunda & Safuli, 1998). However, the aids must be carefully designed, selected and skilfully used in order to bring about effective teaching and learning. There are several types of teaching and learning aids categorized as projected and non-projected (Hango, 2004). Projected aids are media formats where still images are enlarged and displayed on a screen. Examples would be overhead projectors, cinema projector, opaque projector, slide projector and LCD projector (Brown, 1982). Projected aids are said to be more effective because they assist in clarifying meanings, which words cannot portray (Hango, 2004). Mills (1982) asserts that one picture is worth a thousand words. With projected aids past and far away events can be studied more meaningfully; tiny things, and fast events can be enlarged or slowed down respectively for scrutiny or in depth study; they are flexible as they can be repeated/enlarged accordingly. Students can use them on their own too; one large group to study individual pictures for as long as possible. The atmosphere surrounding such pictures aids interest and anticipation, and this reduces distractions. While we appreciate these many merits, projected aids are very expensive in capital out lay and maintenance; they also need some training for development and correct use. With the above factors, for these materials to be available,
  4. 4. would require planning and huge investments on the part of the administrators and the users too. Non-projected aids are the back bone of the whole range of classroom visual aids. They are very useful and effective and instructors would have to generally appreciate their value. Some examples of non projected aids would be boards, display materials, printed and duplicated materials, Audio aids such as radios, record players and tape recorders, Electronic aids such as television, video and computers. The aids do not require power or electricity; they can be prepared in infinite sizes, shapes and colour. They are cheap in capital outlay and maintenance and they give the learner a chance to participate in their creation (Hango, 2004). Competency Based Education and Training. Competency based education and training (CBET) sounds new concept in education (Blank, 1982), but its practice dates long way ago. Blank cites an example of the way skills were transmitted from a master to a novice, as was done with apprentices long ago. Other terms used in this kind of training, include: Competence Based Education (CBE), Competence Based Instruction (CBI), Performance Based Education (PBE), Modular Competency Education and Training (MCBET), Mastery Learning (ML), Criterion Referenced Instruction (CRI), Learning for Mastery (LM), Individualised Instruction (II), Programmed Instruction (PI). The list is exhaustive, and this serves to indicate that, there are a lot of perspectives in the subject matter. The key term in the above terminology is “Competence”. It has in it, some kind of demonstration of performance, and this means that knowledge alone is inadequate: but that it must be translated into overt action. As with many terms, the varying definitions of competence indicate how wide the topic is. Inspite of the frequent use of the term “competency” it is not always easy to describe it. Blank (1982) alludes that competences are those worthy accomplishments that make the employee valuable to the employer and those that make the employer valuable to the customer. Further, Burke (1989) says, “Competence pertains to the ability to perform the activities within a function or an occupational area to the levels of performance expected in employment.” Whatever the description, the underlying thought is that acquired knowledge should be applied in the
  5. 5. hands and the heart for the benefit of the employee and the employer. What is important is the fact that there is no stone cast definition for the term “Competency” and that any definition should provide room for change. The learner, assumes responsibility of their own learning, manage their own time for learning, evaluate their own progress, assume responsibility for obtaining, caring, and replacing instructional materials and work with peers if necessary. Therefore, it can be said that CBET is learner centered, as the individuals are responsible and accountable for their own learning. Content for the CBET training programme is developed through a dynamic process that involves all stakeholders in the concerned programmes. As a process it includes policy and direction, subject experts, the employer and all those concerned with the occupation. Traditional Instruction Traditional approach to training is also called Common Programme (CP), or Teacher Centred Instruction (TCI). In this mode of delivery, learners are not sure what will be learnt, and usually concentrate on chapters and a lot of theory that is not directly related to the work situation. The trainers usually, tend to deliver materials using lecture methods and therefore the learners have little or no control in the teaching and learning process as they receive little or no feedback of their performance. The class or group proceeds to the next topic or chapter at the same time, and when the trainer decides to do so. This situation creates a problem in that slow learners are left behind and fast learners tend to get bored and loose interest. In this training approach, learners usually write tests and individual student performance is compared to the rest of the class. Learners often move on when only partially competent and sometimes even after failing (the “may try” syndrome). One of the worse characteristics of TI is that practical field experiences are limited especially for technical skills. In conclusion it will be seen that TI and MCBET are different in what the person learns, how the person learns, when learners proceed from module to module, section to section, and finally how decisions are arrived at, on learners’ achievement. Critiques of Competency Based Education and Training
  6. 6. Like all systems, innovations and/or change have their pros and cons. Any choice of training approaches will also have its own pros and cons. A chosen approach is a compromise after careful consideration of prevailing conditions, such that, what may be the best approach in training for Malawi today may not be the best approach in ten years to come. Inspite of the advocating of CBET approach in TEVET, it has its weaknesses too. Houston (1979) argues that CBET requires more work and more management than non-CBET programmes. The CBET curriculum development and implementation is rigorous and requires change of policy, heavy capital outlay, coordination and efficient educational systems, change of attitudes in training institutions by trainers and students and the involvement of industry (TEVETA, 1999). Comparatively, traditional instruction, which advocates norm-referenced classes, would for example have a mid term and a final exam once a term. This means the student would only get busy few days before the exam. Unfortunately, this is regardless of how good or bad the previous performance was. But self management courses or learner centred approach is seen to be difficult because the learner must ensure that they attend all learning experiences as this input will improve their rate of learning and achievement of competencies. It was discussed above that in CBET; the learner must coordinate all activities and manage their time too: this scenario takes the student from a passive recipient to someone who must become involved in decision making. This can only work well if the student is highly motivated and very objective. In CBET, the student is not allowed to choose the degree of achievement in those courses they are not interested in. The learner must or is supposed to achieve all competencies required, if they fail, they will recycle the teaching and encounter the assessments again. This calls for the trainer to be more creative and innovative so that instructional methods and materials are alternated to make learning interesting and participative. The grading system of CBET is non-discriminating in that all learners are expected to perform to the same standard or level. If a number of graduates of the same qualification applied for the same job, what criteria would the recruiters use? Further, if students from another college with non-CBET grading criteria e.g. 70%, 90% or ‘distinction, credit’ were called for the same interview, would not the panel likely favour those students with As’or Bs’ as they know these criteria better than CBET? CBET assumes that students are motivated, interested and open minded.
  7. 7. However, careful designing and developing of instructional materials and offering of quality instruction can improve this aspect (Houston, 1979). Inspite of the criticisms leveled against CBET, the approach when applied in TEVET ensures graduates that are capable of performing work according to standards at their level. It can also be seen that CBET other than giving the student skills and knowledge, builds the personality of the student in terms of responsibility and habits that enrich performance. Therefore the adoption of this mode of training is envisaged to benefit both the student in training and the graduate at work. Background of Technical and Vocational Education in Malawi Technical education was introduced in Malawi by various missionary organizations in the late 19th century as it is said in the Holy Bible (1983) that faith without works is worthless (James 2 verse 17). So in their process of spreading the Gospel, the missionaries had to establish mission stations thereby creating the need for some learning situations that were job oriented. The technical work available in the local communities required skills and so to meet this demand formal basic and technical schools and colleges were instituted mostly within mission stations. In these schools and colleges the mode of delivery was traditional; it did provide training to trades like Building, Carpentry and Joinery, Electrical Installations, Printing, Plumbing and Motor Vehicle Mechanics. Later in the 1950’s the Ministry of Works and Malawi Railways maintained departmental trade test services. In 1956 the first trade school was opened in the country, and in the same year Soche Trade School was opened in Blantyre (MoG, 2005). Six years later, Lilongwe Trade School opened as the first trade school in the central region. The Trade schools at Namitete and Livingstonia were opened and run by the missionaries earlier than the Soche and Lilongwe trade schools. After independence in 1966 the trade testing services were incorporated into the apprenticeship scheme. By 1985 Trade test services were managing thirty vocational education-training trades from Trade Testing programmes, Technician programmes and Craft and Advanced Craft programmes. Currently, Technical and Vocational Colleges in Malawi admit about 600 candidates annually Training centres of parastatals, private organizations and Ministries take in 400 of these. The majority of these candidates participate in the apprenticeship
  8. 8. scheme. In the Trade Testing programme training is based on self-learning focusing on practical and on the job training, while those in TECs learn technologies, sciences, communication and practicals in training colleges and at the industry as well. This was done through Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training (MoLVT) providing a syllabus for three stages and awarding Grade 3, Grade 2 and Grade 1 certificates. The implementation of formal TVET was the responsibility of Ministry of Education (MoEST) and Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training (MoLVT). Both ministries were responsible for management and running of Soche, Lilongwe, Mzuzu, Livingstonia, Namitete and Salima technical colleges There are several Technical Colleges offering technical and vocational programmes of study. Some are fully supported by Government and others are run by Missionary organizations and partially Government supported. Soche and Chimwalira Technical Colleges are both in the Southern Region of Malawi and located in Blantyre city and Chiradzulu District respectively. Soche Technical College has been offering apprentice programmes since 1963 while Nasawa Technical College, which was originally, called Nasawa Training Base has been offering apprentice training from 1964 to date. Nasawa Technical College was offering courses in technical skills in several trade areas, agriculture and youth leadership courses for the Malawians who were not able to go for further studies in colleges or the university. Establishment of Technical, Entrepreneurial and Vocational Education and Training Authority (TEVETA) Due to poor funding and unavailability of attachments for learners the apprenticeship scheme graduates lacked practical on-the-job skills, and hence an out cry by industry for a better system to train the technical skills (TEVETA, 1999). Coupled with less practical skills was the lack of business skills, so most of the graduates ended up just staying at home or changing from technical skill areas to business or commercial courses. In 1999 the Government of Malawi, through the Vision 2020 Paper, enacted a new TEVET system (GoM, 1999). This system of training is integrated, demand driven, sustainable, independent and autonomous, which responds in a flexible way to personal development needs as well as the labour market. The system is supposed to improve
  9. 9. Malawians’ knowledge, skills and attitudes through improved access to training, improved quality of instruction and increased equity in terms of gender and inclusion of vulnerable groups. Further, the training incorporates entrepreneurial skills towards self- reliance after training. Technical Entrepreneurial Vocational Education and Training Authority (TEVETA), was established and mandated to manage this new system (MoG, 1999). TEVETA is therefore mandate to promote an integrated demand driven competency-based modular technical, entrepreneurial, vocational education and training; to monitor the skills gap in the labour market and to support the adoption of appropriate technologies Research Design The study adopted a mixed methods survey design (Creswell, 2003) and generated both quantitative and qualitative data. Data was generated using unstructured face to face interviews with 14 instructors (ten male and four female). A structured questionnaire was administered to 66 students (41 male, and 25 female). The data were analysed using grounded theory and descriptive statistics that were computed using the Statistical Package for Social Scientists (SPSS) (Babbie, Halley, & Zaino, 2000; Strauss & Corbin, 1998). Findings and Discussion The instructors were asked to state their age, sex and the number of years they had worked as instructors. Table 1 above illustrates the qualifications of the instructors at both colleges. The table indicates that the population of instructors in colleges is dominated by male counterparts {10 (72 %) men and 4 (28%) women}. This may indicate that technical jobs are still male dominated, but the number of females is increasing at a reasonable pace towards the government recommendations of 30 % female representation in all circles of employment. The age and training experience ranged from 24 – 42, and 1 – 15 years respectively. This indicates that currently there are young instructors who are adequately qualified for training in the colleges. It can be noted that about 8 (62 %) of the instructors hold a bachelors degree, therefore instructors may have skills to design, develop and use instructional materials during delivery of the
  10. 10. programmes. But 38 % of the instructors are under qualified and thus may not be able to develop and use instructional materials effectively. Induction of Instructors on CBET The instructors were asked to indicate whether they were inducted in CBET programmes. Table 3 below illustrates that 10 instructors went through an induction on the CBET programmes. But 4 instructors did not go through the induction because they were not included on the induction programme. However, some instructors complained that the induction was not adequate as the induction programme was allocated less time but had so much to be covered. A full orientation of instructors in MCBET would provide a chance for the instructor to know their role in the process of teaching and learning. It answers questions like who does what? Who provides what? All those involved in delivering TEVETA programmes have a part to play in the availability and supply of instructional materials. Training Programmes The instructors were asked to indicate their training area in TEVETA programmes. Table 2 below illustrates the programmes of study and number of instructors in each programme who responded to the questionnaires. The last item, entrepreneurship, is a fundamental course which all students must study to complement their training with business skills. There is one respondent each in Plumbing and Entrepreneurship because these are new courses and the Colleges have no capacity yet. Availability of Instructional Materials The instructors were asked to tick from a list which instructional materials were available for the TEVETA programmes. Table 3 below illustrates that only 3 instructors agreed that instructional materials were available. While 11 instructors were of the view that instructional materials were not available. However, individual results of items 1 and 3 {textbooks 8 (57 %) instructors and Modules 9 (64 %) instructors}, thus indicate that there are few textbooks and modules which the instructors are using. This is an unhealthy situation, as progress of student learning depends on the availability of such materials.
  11. 11. Instructional material in MCBET programmes are guides for both instructors and students, therefore their unavailability has an adverse effect and puts the learning back to the traditional instruction mode. Adequate Supply of Instructional Materials The instructors were asked to tick from a given list the instructional materials which were supplied adequately. Table 4 below shows that, on average 12 (86%) instructors agreed that instructional materials were inadequately supplied, while only 2 (14%) instructors were of the view that instructional materials were adequately supplied. The analysis reveals that instructors were of the view that instructional materials were in short supply for delivery of the new programmes. This situation will cause stress on the instructor and other resources. This may involve the trainer himself/herself using their own personal resources to get few copies for distribution among learners. Certainly this will have an effect on the progress, and defeat the purpose of modular competency based training. Skills for Design Development and usage of Instructional Materials The instructors were asked to indicate whether they use instructional materials, how often they use the materials and if they had skills for designing and developing the materials. They were also asked to comment on the progress each student was making and indicate if the instructors needed training. Table 5 below illustrates that 12 (86 %) instructors indicated that they were able to use instructional materials while only 2 (14 %) rarely used instructional materials. The table further revealed that 9 (64 %) instructors were not trained in the designing, development and use of CBET instructional materials and that 5 (36 %) were trained to design, develop and use instructional materials. Despite these skills gaps the instructors were of the view that their students were making good progress. The results revealed that 5 (36 %) instructors agreed that students were making Very fast progress, 5 (36 %) instructors were of the view that the students were making fast progress, 1 (7 %) instructor was of the view that the students were making moderate progress while 4 (28 %) instructors were of the view that the students were making slow progress. The Table further illustrates that all (100%) instructors were interested to
  12. 12. continue training and development. The instructors were of the view that the instructors use whatever instructional materials are available, and that 9 (64%) instructors had never had some kind of training. The analysis also reveals that all the instructors were interested to go for further training. This is a healthy situation which needs to be addressed as people’s needs are motivating factors to effective teaching and learning (Hoy, W. K. & Miskel, C. G., 1996). This is also asserted by UNEVOC protocol that technical instructors must be well qualified. Further training for Instructors The instructors were asked to indicate their interest area for further training. The analysis in Table 6 below reveals that those without a first degree wanted to go for Bachelors’ degree training while those with Bachelors’ degrees wanted to go for Masters’ degrees training. Among the many programmes, the analysis revealed that the highest number of instructors would like to go for a Bachelors degree in Technical Education {4 {29 %)} while 3 (21 %) instructors would like to go for a Masters degree in Education. 7 (50%) instructors would like to go for a Bachelors Degree in their field of specialisation. The Bachelors degree in Technical Education would certainly expose the instructors to designing, development and usage of instructional materials since the curriculum includes teaching methods and instructional media (Technical Education Curriculum, 2004). The Masters’ degree programme would give instructors a chance to refresh and improve in certain aspects of skills and knowledge. This could assist the instructors to recover and be able to design, development and use instructional materials. Attitudes of Instructors towards TEVETA programmes The instructors were asked to explain their attitude towards the TEVETA programmes. Generally the attitude of instructors towards TEVETA programmes was positive; as can be seen from the data, all (100 %) instructors responded positively. The 13 (93 %) instructors also felt that their students had a positive attitude towards TEVETA CBET programmes. However, several observations and comments were made. For example some instructors said:
  13. 13. “Good programme but seems TEVETA started the programme without enough materials. The teachers are not well trained to handle CBET. There is need to train Trainers and supervise them to check if they are really doing the right thing on the ground. Otherwise this programme will flop.”(IR3) The new programmes are very good and encouraging to the instructors and students. But, they are being poorly managed by the stakeholders. As alluded to earlier, this training mode is vigorous and very involving; there is therefore need for an efficient and effective management system that will be able to monitor the training programmes and provide supervision for the trainers. The trainers need to be motivated and adequately trained (NICTVE, 2001) so that they can handle the programmes competently. On instructional materials some trainers said: “Fundamentals have been condensed. TEVETA should produce comprehensive reference materials rather than leaving some topics open (range of variables is sometimes left unbounded)” (IR6). “TEVETA should also assist with the purchasing of equipment for training. Since Technical Colleges do not have adequate training equipment. Otherwise CBET programmes will be a pipedream.”(IR8) The instructors indicated that instructional materials and equipment was not available and this was affecting the teaching and learning process. Although the students were making progress, the availability of instructional materials and equipment would improve the communication process as asserted by Hango (2004). Some instructors expressed fears that these new programmes were a flop. For example they said: “I wish more time was given to piloting and evaluation of the system. Better still was not to introduce the system but rather improve on existing structures/programmes.” (IR10) While there were fears due to the teething problems, the programmes were on course and the challenges along the way were stepping stones to success. The ideal competency based education and training would not be the best for Malawi, but a modified competency based education and training technical system will be ideal for Malawi.
  14. 14. Therefore, all concerned stakeholders should brace up and work towards the success of the programmes. Views of the Students Availability of Instructional Materials The students were asked to tick from a given list instructional materials. The analysis in Table 7 below indicates that on average 8 (12 %) students were of the view that the ticked instructional materials were available while 56 (84 %) instructors were of the opinion that the ticked instructional materials were not available. With these results it can be said that instructional materials are not available for delivery in the TEVETA programmes. However, individual results for item 1 and 3 indicated that Textbooks and Modules were available {(21 (32%) and 36 (36 %) students} in small quantities. This situation poses a great challenge to both students and instructors during teaching and learning process. If the process is affected, the progress of students in attaining competencies is also affected. Therefore, there is need to know who and how instructional materials will be made available for use at the colleges. This situation, demands that some materials be designed and developed within the colleges. This idea, therefore, brings in the need for in-house training. Adequate Supply of Instructional Materials The students were asked to tick on the available list which instructional materials were adequately or inadequately supplied for use during the delivery of the TEVETA programmes. The Table 8 below indicates that on average 6 (9%) students agreed that the ticked instructional materials were adequately supplied. But 54 (82%) students disagreed with the notion that the ticked instructional materials were adequately supplied. This analysis reveals that there is a huge shortage of instructional materials for students. Certainly, this calls for immediate action, as it will affect the progress of teaching and learning. However individual results indicate that textbooks are available in small quantities {20 (30 %) students agreed to this fact}. This analysis reveals that while there were no instructional materials, whatever materials available were also in short supply.
  15. 15. Instructors also said that this situation adversely affect the teaching and learning process. For the learners it means delayed progress, reducing motivation and quest to seek for more knowledge. Use of Instructional Materials by Instructors during delivery The students were asked to indicate whether their instructors used instructional materials during delivery of TEVETA programmes. The analysis in Figure 2 below indicates that 57 (86 %) students were of the view that the instructors used the few instructional materials during delivery of CBET programmes while 9 (14 %) students indicated that their instructors did not use instructional materials during delivery of CBET programmes. The usage of instructional materials will have contributed to the progress that students have made so far as Hango (2004) asserts that use of instructional materials enhances communication. This shows commitment by the instructors that, despite the challenges they have been facing, they continued to teach. Degree of use and Effect of Instructional Materials on student learning The students were asked to specify how often instructional materials were used during lesson delivery. Figure 3 below indicates only 6 (9 %) students agreed that instructional materials were often used during lesson delivery. And 16 (24 %) students were of the view that instructional materials were rarely used during lesson presentations and that 17 (26 %) students were of the view that instructional materials are not used at all during lesson presentations. From the analysis it can be seen that 33 (50%) students were of the view that instructional materials were not being used at all during delivery of lessons. This could be attributed to the shortage and unavailability of the materials. This situation certainly affected the quality of the teaching and learning process and progress of the students. But 27 (41%) students did not respond to this question may be because they feared that this would affect the jobs of their instructors. Suggested Instructional Materials
  16. 16. Students were asked to list any other instructional materials their instructors should use to improve their learning. The analysis indicates that 4 (6 %) students responded that they did not know other instructional materials, while 62 (94 %) students responded as listed below: Textbooks, Workbooks, Tools/equipment, Handouts, Computers, News Paper Clippings, Wall Charts, Television, Modules, Radio, CD ROMs, Projectors,, Floppy Diskettes, Slide presentations, Models, Technical Drawing, Equipment, Specialised Computer, Software/ Internet, Video/Audio Tapes. The list above includes materials that can be designed and developed at institution level. Therefore all those concerned with progress and quality of delivery during lessons would have to consult and see the way forward so that students do not suffer much. In the analysis above the students were of the view that if their instructors used these instructional materials, it would improve their understanding and hence progress in their studies. Attitude of students towards TEVETA programmes The students were asked to state their opinion towards TEVETA programmes. Data from random sample of 22 students (33 %) was analysed. The Table 10 below reveals that the TEVETA programmes have generally been positively accepted as 17 (77 %) students’ sampled indicated positive response. However, 3 (28 %) students of the sample had a negative attitude towards the programmes. Although the programmes received a positive response, the new system has several areas that need to be addressed by all the stakeholders to ensure progress for students and success of the programmes. The students had differing views on competency based education and training. Some students said: “TEVETA MCBET has an advantage because when we finish an outcome we write exams, so it is good for a student to write exams before we forget it. And it helps us to work hard to get 100 %.”(SR1) From the above, it can be said that the new training system is good in that students are continuously assessed and that both theory and practice are fully covered. However, it was being affected by the lack of instructional materials. As earlier alluded, retention of knowledge is increased when people read, hear and see. So the absence of instructional
  17. 17. materials does affect the teaching and learning of the skills, knowledge and attitudes. But some students felt that the programmes were a waste time, for example one student said: “It is a waste of time because the student will not find jobs which will require levels because there is no company which will need levels.” (SR7) Conclusion From the results and discussions above it can be seen that the colleges generally have instructors who are well qualified to train in the CBET programmes. Secondly, there is a serious lack of instructional materials, and that textbooks and modules are available in short supply. The instructors at colleges are not involved with the designing and development of other instructional materials because they were not trained to design and develop instructional materials. Generally the instructors use whatever instructional material is available. The lack and short supply of instructional materials affects the quality of the teaching and learning process. Finally, the attitude of both instructors and students towards CBET programmes is positive, although others still have reservations. It has been observed that management, instructors and students are all in the learning process and that these programmes require a lot of resources. Therefore TEVETA, the training institutions and instructors should all own these programmes and play a part in trying to provide the students with quality training which will enhance achievement of competencies and progress. REFERENCES Babbie, Eal, Fred Halley, & Jeane Zaino. 2000. Adventures in Social Research: data analysis using SPSS for windows 95/98. Thousand Oaks, California: Pine Forge Press Blank, W.E, 1982, Handbook for developing competency –based training programs, Prentice Hall, New Jersey Burke, J. 1989, Competency based education and training, Farmer Press, Massachusetts. Corder, C. 1990. Teaching Hard Teaching Soft, Aldershot, Gower. Creswell, John W. 2003. Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications. Hango, R. 2004. Instructional Technology. Domasi, Malawi: Malawi Institute of Education.
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