ASSESSMENT OF SKILL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMMES OFFERED TO SPECIAL NEEDS LEARNERS IN VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION CENTRES IN SOUTH WEST OF NIGERIA.
The major purpose of the study was to assess the skill development programmes in woodwork and building trades offered to special needs learners in vocational rehabilitation centre in South West of Nigeria. The study employed a survey research design. The population of the study consisted of 216 respondents made of 131 woodwork and 85 building teachers, teaching woodwork and building trades in 12 vocational rehabilitation centre. Six research questions were answered and five null hypotheses were tested at 0.05 level of significance. Mean standard deviation and percentages were employed to answer the research questions; t-test was used to test the null hypotheses. A questionnaire containing 162 items was designed and used for data collection. A five point rating scale was used for the purpose of collecting data for the study. The instrument was subjected to face validation by three lecturers from Department of Vocational Teacher Education, University of Nigeria, Nsukka and two directors from Ministry of Sport and Social Development in Oyo and Lagos states. The reliability coefficient of the instrument for the study was 0.793 using cronbach alpha reliability tests. It was found out that: (1) the contents used for the training in woodwork and building trades are appropriate to a great extent. However, in view of teachers who hold contrary opinions contents planners should understand and improved the perceived areas; (2) the methods adopted by teachers in delivery of lesson should be through practical and active involvement of rehabilitees, to include discussion, project and demonstration teaching methods; (3) the most important facilities are inadequate like current books and periodicals in library, health clinic, machines and materials which marred the effectiveness of the programme.(4) among major constraints militating againrst effectiveness of programme are; employment of rehabilitees not guaranteed after graduation, lack of funds on the part of rehabilitees to start their business after graduation and improper integration of rehabilitees by social agencies ;(5) suggested strategies that could be used to improve skill programme in woodwork/building trades include enabling environment, provision of necessary facilities and rehabilitees being properly assisted. The implication of the study to all stakeholders of skill development in vocational rehabilitation centre- federal, states and local government, administrators in rehabilitation centre, teachers, special needs learners and NGO is that if the strategies of improving skill programmes are adopted, the needs of special needs learners and the macro society would be achieved. It was recommended that skill development programmes in rehabilitation centre should be well funded by government and NGO through Ministry of sports and social development to help address the problems of inadequate facilities and necessary services. To enhance the objective of vocational rehabilitation centre, effective monitoring team should be set up to monitor the activities of vocational rehabilitation centre in order to ensure effective implementation of skill development programmes in woodwork and building trades.