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The delivery of the Clothing and Textiles curriculum has been marred by a myriad of challenges, and this has not spared universities. The relationship between universities and the world of work has been the most contested issues in Technical Vocational Education. The sample was made up of 60 respondents. Interviews, questionnaires, focus group discussions, document analysis and observations were employed as data collecting instruments. Quantitative data was analysed using the SPSS Statistical package and qualitative data was analysed thematically. The mixed method design which is rooted in the post-positivist research paradigm that integrates concurrent procedures in the collection, analysis and interpretation of the data was used. The study established that there was no collaboration between universities and industries. The study concluded that the lack of a clear link between universities and industries was a major contributory factor to the type of students universities were producing; students who lack the qualities needed by the world of work. The researchers recommended that there should be collaboration among University management, lecturers and the industry during curriculum design and monitoring to improve their attachment and sense of ownership of these programmes. Time for attachment should be lengthened so that students leave the industry well equipped with relevant skills and knowledge. There is need for the universities in liaison with industries to come up with policies that focus on student attachment. DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n16p409
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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences
MCSER Publishing, Rome-Italy
Vol 5 No 16
July 2014
Skills Lecturers Possess for Quality Delivery of the Clothing and Textiles Curriculum
Verity Muzenda
School of Further and Continuing Education, University of Fort Hare, South Africa
Ntombozuko Duku
School of General and Continuing Education, University of Fort Hare, South Africa
The delivery of the Clothing and Textiles in Zimbabwean universities has been marred by a lot of challenges and lecturer
competency is one of the crippling factors. This study sought to establish how lecturer competency impact on the delivery of the
Clothing and Textiles curriculum. The study employed a mixed method research paradigm. The sample comprised 60
respondents (32 lecturers, 2 Heads of Department, 24 students and 2 Operations managers). Questionnaires, interviews, focus
group discussions, observations and document analysis were used as data collection instruments. Qualitative data was
analysed through the use of themes and quantitative data was analysed using the SPSS software. Findings revealed that
lecturers were finding difficulties in teaching the core courses in Clothing and Textiles due to incompetency. This study
concedes that although lecturers have the suitable minimum requirements to teach in universities, that is Masters and PhD
academic qualifications; it is the professional aspect on the delivery of Clothing and Textiles which is a source of the concern.
The study recommended that in order to accurately inform early recognition, intervention and training programmes for lecturers
who are not competent enough to deliver Clothing and Textiles, their areas of weakness should be identified first so as to
enable university administrators to plan accordingly. The quality of the existing lecturing force must be improved mainly through
extensive staff development training programmes, including those lecturers who trained long back to acquaint them with
technical skills that are in line with the new technologies and global trends.
Keywords: Quality, delivery, Clothing and textiles, Curriculum, competency
1. Introduction
The quality of lecturing staff is a major determinant of the quality of graduates the universities produce and their eventual
impact on the world of work and economic development (Nonaka, 2002). There is generally shortage of qualified lecturers
in Zimbabwean universities. The few universities that offer Technical Vocational Education (TVE) lack qualified lecturers.
Matoti (2010) asserts that the incompetence of lecturers as the chief implementers of curriculum can be a barrier to
effective learning. The shortage has led to the use of unqualified lecturers which perpetuates the vicious circle of poor
lecturers producing students who do not meet the standards required in the world of work. In Zimbabwean universities,
many lecturers have left the teaching profession to escape the worsening economic situation with hyper-inflation having
turned their salaries into pittances (Makochekanwa & Kwaramba, 2010). This problem was also observed in some African
universities (SARUA Handbook, 2009). Key to the success of a vocational programme is lecturers’ competence and
attitude. In support of this view, Rogan and Grayson (2003) stipulate that, lecturer capacity is a critical factor if quality
results are to be realised in universities.
The Nziramasanga commission (1999) also found out that in universities, the lecturers were under qualified for
their jobs. This is a big challenge to quality assurance in the delivery of TVE in universities, for qualifications fall at the
heart of the link between economic demand and social demand, or between livelihood creators and livelihood seekers
(Matoti, 2010). While the university curriculum is diversified to include vocational courses, frequently the teacher training
curriculum has continued to emphasise on academic courses (Access Economics, 2010). This creates a knowledge gap
between the lecturer and the curriculum in universities and ultimately, with the world of work. According to Stronge (2004)
qualities of an effective lecturer entail his or her educational coursework, verbal ability, content knowledge, certification
and teaching experience. For lecturers to be competent there is need for them to have good communication skills.
Lecturers communicate with students through the use of verbal utterances as well as action. Competent lecturers know
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the type of students they are teaching, slow learners or fast learners. This enables them to pitch their pedagogy and
methodology to the level which will enable students to understand what is being taught since if the lecturer uses the same
methodology to all the students in a learning situation, it may not be as effective on one student as it can be to another
student for students have different learning styles (Rani & Shukla, 2012). Rani and Shukla, (2012: 33) affirm that:
Every student has his or her own learning style, for instance, some students enjoy listening to lectures, other prefer to
read in library some like to be given specific assignment, others to define a problem for themselves and search for
solutions, some prefer verbal interaction other like laboratory or other learning experience requiring manipulation .
It has been observed that when there is a discrepancy in the learning styles, students may become disoriented,
restless and perform poorly. Therefore, a competent lecturer has to be skilled in choosing the suitable teaching methods
for the subject he or she teaches.
Abott (2009) comments that competent lecturers have one distinct quality in the manner in which they plan their
work, design and implement instruction and the way they assess students’ work. What makes teaching and learning
exciting is the fact that students have different learning styles which calls on the lecturer to be in a position to make use of
different methodologies so as to meet the individual needs of the students for a method which makes learning to one
student may not necessarily make learning come to another student (Higher Education Bureau, 2010). There is need for
the lecturer to be well prepared so that he or she is able to control the class. This is also applicable to Clothing and
Textiles (CT) in which instead of students designing and making patterns manually, the lecturer can expose students to
the use of computer software that enables them to design and make patterns using the computer.
Stronge (2004), states that it is impossible for a lecturer to teach what he or she is not familiar with. According to
Nel (1992), teacher training programmes must be designed in such a way that after the training, the teacher will be
equipped with adequate knowledge which will enable him or her to deal with students with diverse needs. According to
Wenglinsky (2000), lecturers who have specialised in a specific subject area are likely to produce good results in their
subject areas. This is also the case with CT. A study in California avowed that lecturers who have specialised in
Mathematics had their students attaining high marks in their achievement tests, (Fetler, 1999). Competency entails
knowing the type of pedagogy one has to use as a lecturer in a learning situation and this enables one to determine the
fundamental concepts and skills needed for the mastery of the subject (Langer, 2001). This, however, helps lecturers to
link the content to the real life situations which enhances better understanding of the content. According to Wenglinsky
(2002), lecturers with a better content knowledge enjoy the subject they teach which makes it easy for them to deliver the
curriculum in a manner which makes it easier for students to understand.
Stronge (2004) strongly feels that without adequate educational coursework preparation, lecturers cannot exert
themselves fully in their work. According to Stronge (2004: 11), educational coursework entails “courses teachers took as
part of their preparation programme for teaching or as part of post graduate work to earn their certification.” Darling-
Hammond (2000:98) in agreement affirms that:
Despite longstanding criticisms of teacher education, the weight of substantial evidence indicates that teachers who
have had more preparation for teaching are more confident and successful with students than those who have had little
or none.
Teacher certification varies from country to country. In most countries, proper lecturer certification entail that one is
a highly competent lecturer. However, some renowned lecturers revel that if a lecturer is certificated, it does not follow
that he or she is competent enough to deliver (Goldhaber & Brewer, 2007; Laczko-Kerr & Berliner, 2002). These authors
claim that certification does not make a difference, but it is just one part that completes the puzzle of lecturer quality.
Wayne and Youngs (2003) are of the opinion that for certification to be more acceptable, lecturers should be made to
teach in their areas of specialisation. This applies more to CT where the lecturers need to show the ability to demonstrate
knowledge in hands on skills. In a study of 359 learning institutions, carried out by Ross, Cousins, Gadalla and Hannay
(1999), it was discovered that lecturers had decreased competency level when they were made to teach in an area they
did not specialise in. This finding illustrates the impact on educators when they are assigned to an area they did not train
in. In concurrence, Darling-Hammond (2001) claim that lectures who teach in their areas of specialisation produce better
results than those assigned to areas they did not specialise in. This means that for lecturers to cater for students
individual differences and abilities and to impart skills to students, they should be well trained and well versed with their
subject areas. Wong (2009) asserts that for students to achieve academically, there is need to change the way an
institution is organised, but there is need to change the way lecturers teach. The same author further alludes that
institutions that have good pass rates are those that have lecturers know the best instructional practice to employ in a
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learning environment and thus they will use them to achieve intended goals that is students’ academic achievement.
Ornstein and Hunkins (2004) argue that lecturers need to continually develop themselves within the education system to
acquire different knowledge and teaching skills so as to face the new challenges, purpose and scope of the new CT
curriculum. However, Grollmann (2008) postulates that promoting the quality of vocational lecturers rests on high level of
education and preparation of individual lecturers. This needs to be complemented by policies which acknowledge some
of the specific challenges in this field, such as the very specific nature of vocational knowledge and the need for
cooperation between different profiles of vocational lecturers and the surrounding community in the world of work.
Another issue pertaining lecturer competence is the issue of their experience in the teaching field. There is no firm
agreement on how many years makes a lecturer experienced (Stronge, 2004). This depends on the policies of the
ministry in charge. Earl (2010) states that a lecturer’s years of experience in the teaching field have an impact on how
one delivers learning programme. Earl (2010) further alludes that lecturers who are just entering institutions face
challenges in the delivery of learning programmes because they lack confidence. Darling-Hamond (2000) states that
experience enables lecturers in colleges and universities improve throughout their careers. As a result, education must
not end after one gets the certificate and signing a contract with the ministry. There is need for lecturers to continuously
develop themselves by attending refresher courses and workshops. As a result, there is a mandate put in place by the
Zimbabwe Council of Higher Education (ZIMCHE) to drive the change process, by helping identify and shaping the new
competencies lecturers need. ZIMCHE has given all universities a mandate that by 2015 all lecturers in Zimbabwean
universities should have registered for a Doctoral degree with an accredited university. This is against the backdrop that
lecturers in universities were lagging behind in as far as upgrading themselves is concerned which adversely affect their
delivery of the curriculum. Lecturers involved in the delivery of the CT curriculum in TVE should be given the opportunity
to update their technical information, knowledge and skills through special professional development courses, practical
training periods in enterprises and any other organised form of activity involving contact with the world of work (UNESCO,
2008). European Union, (2010) observes focusing on high quality teaching as key pre-requisite for high quality education
and training in Institutions of Higher Learning.
Makochekanwa and Kwaramba, 2011 reiterate that lecturers should have the capability to interpret the national
curriculum. Failure to do so results in poor lecture delivery for if the lecturer does not understand the syllabus; it is an
obvious case that lecture delivery will be a nightmare. In essence, lecturers should be individuals of high calibre, who are
able to deliver content and make learning come for students. Without well qualified and committed lecturers, learning
becomes difficult because students of diverse abilities need different levels of attention. The researcher thus deems it
necessary for the lecturers to be staff developed on syllabus interpretation, so that they may have confidence before the
students when delivering a lecture. Although Centralised models of curriculum development have been put in place in
universities, these have often neglected the most important variable in successful curriculum change that is the lecturer.
For example, in Zimbabwe where ambitious departures in curriculum policy have been declared, there has been little
evidence of the required training or repositioning which would translate these objectives into practice (Kanyongo, 2005;
Mungazi 1985).
Due to lack of knowledge of the part of the lecturer, lecturer -pupil interaction is non-existent. This is as a result of
fear of being asked questions they would not be able to answer due to lack of subject content as well as lack of
confidence in themselves.
According to Earp (2010) lecturers should view students as active participants who can also contribute
meaningfully to the learning process than to view themselves as the fountain of knowledge. The same author further
alludes that this scenario is commonly practiced in northwest Europe, Scandinavia, Australia and Korea, southern
Europe, Brazil and Malaysia. In support, Evans (1993:143) acknowledges that “If there is lack of public confidence in
lecturer’s professional knowledge, there will be a parallel crisis of confidence in lecturers’ professional execution of
duties”. In the same line of thought, Wentzel (2002) postulate that lecturers’ personal qualities and intelligence influence
the way they handle lectures, and teaching aids (resource materials). Thus, the lecturer’s level of professional
competence can adversely influence effective curriculum delivery.
There is a general agreement that that teaching methods that involve students actively result in students
performing well in their academic work and this makes it possible for all students to be part of the learning activities thus
no one will feel to be an outcast (Crosling, Heagney & Thomas, 2009; Parker etal., 2005; Thomas, 2002; Bamber & Tett,
2001). Active learning is often associated with experiential, problem-based and project-based learning, and other forms of
collaborative learning, endless reliance on the large lecture format. A lecturer exuding high levels of competency must
have high expectations for the students he or she teaches (Higher Education Bureau). It is of paramount importance for a
lecturer to be impartial when treating his or her students. A consistent lecturer treats students fairly and in the same way
in any learning situation. Students are quick to pick on an unfair practice by the lecturer. For example, students complain
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of unfairness when lecturers treat one group of students differently or when they give preferential treatment to other
students (Higher Education Bureau). If a lecturer expects less effort from students he or she is teaching, he or she will
receive less effort in turn. As an effective lecturer one should portray an attitude that impresses on the students that he or
she knows they can perform up to the level of the lecturer’s expectations. This also gives students a sense of confidence.
In CT a lecturer should ascertain students that they can produce artifacts which are up to the level of workmanship he or
she expects. However, caution should be taken not to create unrealistic expectations for expectations for these will be the
enabling factors to students’ academic achievement.
2. Research Methodology
2.1 Research Paradigm
The post-positivism paradigm is a knowledge claim that challenges the absolute reliance on one knowledge claim as
advocated by interpretivists and positivists (Maree, 2007; Creswell, 2003). The Post-positivism approach was relevant to
this study since the researcher was interested in using different data collection instruments gathering evidence that could
be used to examine the competencies of lecturers in the delivery of CT in universities.
2.2 Research Design
In this study, the Concurrent triangulation design was used which involves collecting both quantitative and qualitative data
at the same time during the study (Cresswell, 2003). According to Kelly (2006) triangulation involves the use of different
types of instruments in a single research study. This enhanced the researcher’s understanding of the competency of
lecturers for she would be looking at the phenomena from various angles.
2.3 Population
According to Walliman (2006) a population defines the total quantity of cases which are subject to one’s study. Zimbabwe
has a total of twelve universities, 8 of which are public universities and 4 private universities respectively. This study
targeted all the 4 public universities that offer CT at degree level. There are 4 Clothing and Textiles industries which are
fully operational in Harare. , so the researcher targeted 2 industries.
2.4 Sample and Sampling Procedures
From the above population, a sample was selected since it was not possible to carry out the study in all the universities
and industries. Two universities and 2 Clothing and Textiles industries were selected in the study. The sample comprised
32 lecturers, 2 Head of Departments, 24 students and 2 Operations managers from the Clothing manufacturing
industries. The sample was made up of 60 respondents. To come up with this sample, purposive sampling was used.
2.5 Data Collection Methods
Questionnaires, interviews, focus group discussions, document analysis, observations were used to collect data.
2.6 Research Instruments
Interviews aim at collecting rich descriptive data that help the researcher to understand the participant’s construction of
knowledge and social reality. In this study, 2 Heads of Department from both universities were treated to face-to-face
interviews, 16 lecturers and 2 Operations managers from the Clothing Industries. Probing allowed the researcher to solicit
for more information from the respondents as well as getting clarifications on some aspects pertaining to the delivery of
the CT curriculum in universities.
Focus groups were also employed in this study. Twenty for students made up the 4 focus groups. According to
Patton (2002) the use of focus groups enables the researcher to obtain meaning from the students’ point of view in an
open way. A focus group interview was based on the assumption that group interaction would be productive in widening
the range of responses, activating forgotten details of experience and realising inhibitions that may otherwise discourage
participants from disclosing information on the delivery of the CT curriculum (Maree, 2007).
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Self- administered questionnaires were also used in this study. This was an advantage for it ensured a 100%
response rate. To some extent, this overcame the problem that usually arises with the use of questionnaires, which is that
a large number of respondents might not return the questionnaires (Maree, 2007). In this study, questionnaires had the
advantage of soliciting different views from respondents and allowed for anonymity and privacy so that the researcher
would get more truthful responses from lecturers on sensitive issues on the competency of CT lecturers in Zimbabwean
universities (Babbie, 2008).
Documents were also analysed in this study. Such documents included schemes and plans of work, students log
books, university policy documents, files from industries, policy circulars, minutes of meetings and letters. When one uses
documents as a data gathering technique, one will focus on all types of written communications that may shed light on
the phenomenon that one is investigating (Maree, 2007). Borg, Gall, and Gall (2003) posit that qualitative researchers
often study written communication found in natural settings as data sources.
Observations enabled the researcher to understand the framework of the programmes. According to Cohen,
Manion and Morrison (2007) observations enable the researcher to discover phenomena that participants might not freely
talk about, for instance in interview situations. In this study, it enabled the researcher to collect data on the physical
setting organisation of the universities’ laboratories or workrooms, as well as well as the work rooms in the Clothing
manufacturing industries.
2.7 Data Analysis
Data analysis is a process which involves the application of techniques to describe and illustrate, condense and evaluate
data (Shamoo and Resnik, 2003). In this study both quantitative and qualitative data were interpreted together and
analysed concurrently.
2.8 Measures to ensure Validity/ Reliability and Trustworthiness
Validity in quantitative data is a critical issue and might be improved through careful sampling, appropriate
instrumentation and appropriate statistical treatment of the data. In this study, the researcher ensured that the
instruments were designed in such a way that they measured what they were supposed to measure, that is the
competency of lecturers in the delivery of the CT curriculum. This means that the data must accurately describe what it is
targeted to describe. Guba and Lincoln (1985) argue that a qualitative study cannot be called transferable unless it is
credible. Verbatim statements were used to enhance accuracy and trustworthiness.
2.9 Ethical consideration
In this study, the researcher made sure that the names of the universities and industries remained anonymous.
Participation in the study was voluntary. Information about the participants was kept private from the public so as to
ensure the participants’ right to confidentially.
3. Results and Discussions
In response to the question on whether or not lecturers specialised in CT, it emerged from the interviews with lecturers
that all the lectures had specialised in CT. However, data gathered from questionnaires with lecturers revealed that not all
of them had specialised in Clothing and Textiles. All lecturers in university A 16(100%) had specialised in CT. From
university B, 5(31.25%) had specialised in CT and 3(18.75%) of the lecturers highlighted that they had specialised in Art
and Design. After further probing on why they were teaching CT yet they did not specialise in it, the lecturers stated that
they were teaching other courses with Clothing and Textiles components which were different from their specialisation as
revealed by lecturers in interviews. For instance lecturers were offering just a module or course in CT, for instance fabric
dyeing, fabric printing but as time went on they were given more courses in CT due to staff shortages. They accepted the
offer due to fear of losing their jobs. Thus it can be observed that in some universities, although lecturers had specialised
in other subjects, they were teaching CT. A fact that cannot be denied is that these lecturers could lack both content and
pedagogic skills since they were not necessarily tailored to teach CT.
In this study, it was indispensable to establish whether or not lecturers were adequately trained to deliver CT for
lecturers are the channel through which information passes to the students in the learning situation in universities.
According to Narvaez (2006), lecturers’ main task is to plan what is to be learnt by students, that is the curriculum. This is
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done by drawing from the goals of education and then lecturers get to execute them in a professional manner. Data from
the interviews with the lecturers unearthed the fact that they were adequately trained to deliver CT. The reason provided
by lecturers as deduced from their explanations was that they were producing good results or high pass rates in CT. For
example respondent UAL said:
all the years we have had high pass rates in Clothing and Textiles.
In support of this claim respondent HOD-B explained:
Yes, l have a Masters degree which is higher than the degree the university is offering. (HOD-B)
There were mixed feelings here for some respondents alluded to the fact that they felt they were not adequately
trained to deliver CT since the content they have was now out-dated because of so many years in the teaching field.
Respondent UAL remarked:
Our content is out-dated since we trained more than 13 years ago. Trends in Clothing and Textiles have changed so
many times because of the new technologies so we need staff development.
Respondent HOD-A concurred with the view that the content or information they have from colleges and
universities is out-dated, commenting:
I feel not adequately trained since there are so many changes that have taken place as a result, l need more training to
keep at par with the changes in the Clothing and textiles arena.
One of them stated that:
When I started, I was teaching Art and Design as a module in Clothing and Textiles, but due to manpower shortages in
the department I was completely absorbed in teaching all the modules. I could not deny for fear of losing my job.
There was also evidence to the fact that besides being qualified, lecturers lacked some experience to handle
practical skills in CT for most lectures were done theoretically. It was also evident that lecturers did not know how to go
about the practical part because of lack of enough training in colleges and universities. It is of concern that when some
aspects of the curriculum are done in a different manner from the way they are planned, it is the responsibility of the
Heads of Departments and lecturers to ensure the programmes do not depart from the set objectives of the curriculum.
Schweizer and Kelly (2005) espoused that competent lecturers are masters of their subject matter, exhibiting great
expertise in the subjects they teach. They are able to present material in an enthusiastic manner and instil a desire in
their students to learn more. For example, it is not expected for curriculum to feature theory only and not cover practical
work, if the latter was part of the planned work. If that happens, it becomes a serious disparity that will stand as a new
curriculum altogether. Practical lectures are a major element of the CT curriculum and if they are not taught in lectures,
this represents a major deviation from the planned route. This implies that curriculum delivery is enormously determined
by lecturers’ ability to make it happen with expertise.
It was also thought that university lecturers had areas of strength in CT. Thus, these areas of strength were
considered important in further illuminating the problem under investigation. In order to bring out what was going on in
curriculum delivery, respondents were asked to detail their areas of strength in the CT curriculum. Qualitative and
quantitative data gave indications that most lecturers’ areas of strength were Wardrobe planning, Grooming,
Experimental design in clothing, Cultural context of clothing and the society, fabric construction and product development.
Through triangulation, the study established that lecturers had difficulties in delivering some areas or courses in CT.
From the overwhelming evidence of the greatest percentage 16(100%) in these courses, Organic chemistry,
Textile science and Technology, Garment construction, Pattern making and fabric printing and dyeing, the study
established that this would be a crippling factor in the delivery of the CT curriculum in universities since all the lecturers
who participated in the study unearthed that were finding difficulties in these courses.
This study established that universities had academically qualified lecturers who were lacking professional
qualifications. The lecturers and the Heads of Departments had the minimum required qualifications. Although these had
strengths in areas like Wardrobe planning, Grooming, Experimental design in clothing, Cultural context of clothing and the
society, fabric construction and product development, they were not fully professionally qualified in the area. This is
evidenced by the courses they highlighted as posing some challenges in their teaching which are very fundamental if one
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is to excel in CT.
Views of lecturers were sought on the issue of what challenges they were encountering in the delivery of CT in
universities. Of great interest is that the findings of the study from both qualitative and quantitative data unearthed that
capacity to teach, machinery and resources and relationship with industries were considered a serious concern by
lecturers and Heads of Departments and were thus the most contested issues of all the challenges in the delivery of CT.
These were followed by the attitude of students, inadequate time for lectures and attitude of management. The findings
unveiled that from both university A and B, 22 (65%) lecturers exposed that lecturers are not well capacitated to deliver
CT and 22 (65%) sited shortages of machinery/ equipment as one of their challenges. Ten (29%) lecturers felt their
challenge lay mostly on the university’s relationship with the industry. Six (18%) lecturers sited students’ attitudes.
Inadequate time for lectures and Attitude of management each had a frequency of 1(3%) lecturers. Data captured from
questionnaires also portrayed the same picture. The majority of the lecturers from university A, 8(100%) sited machinery
as a challenge and 6 (18%) sited capacity and relationship with industries respectively. From university B, 8 (100%)
revealed that the greatest challenge lecturers faced in the delivery of CT was incompetence, followed by 8 (100%) who
sited machinery and resources. Six (18%) sited relationship with industry whilst 1 (3%) sited inadequate time for lectures
and attitude of management respectively. Assessment did not seem to be posing a challenge to lecturers.
As a follow up on challenges lecturers were encountering in the delivery of CT, the lecturers responded to what the
universities have done to respond to these challenges through interviews and the questionnaire. It emerged from their
responses that the universities were purchasing machinery at a very slow pace and in lesser numbers. Nothing has been
done regarding staff development and the relationship between universities and industries. In response, lecturers had this
to say:
Universities are trying to purchase machinery and other resources but at a very slow pace. Nothing has been done on
staff development. Currently not much has been done. Support in provision of some machinery and its maintenance is
given but it is not adequate. (UAL)
Equipment is very expensive such that universities cannot afford. Most of this machinery are manufactured abroad, as a
result, the university has to liaise with some industries with this machinery, but students just see the machinery. They
don’t have the chance for hands- on. (UBL)
It emerged from the study that although universities were willing to purchase the machinery and equipment, lack of
enough funds remains a major deterring factor. Purchasing of machinery and equipment is being hampered by the high
cost of machinery on the market and the fact that some machinery has to be imported from overseas countries. The
researcher reasons that adequate machinery and equipment is a prerequisite for effective delivery of the CT curriculum,
hence lack of adequate machinery incapacitates them. Furthermore, poor resources and conditions hinder lecturers from
performing to their best levels. The aims of the curriculum in vocational education is on enabling students to become
operational by acquiring relevant skills which will make it possible for them to make a smooth transition from universities
into the industries (Tribe, 2005; Tribe, 2002).
Data were also elicited from respondents intended to find out teaching methods which lecturers use in the delivery
of CT lectures. From students’ interview data, it emerged that research and presentations and group work were dominant
methods used by lecturers during programme delivery in University A. This data correlates with what the two focus
groups from university B stated in their responses. However, through triangulation of data, results from document
analysis revealed that when scheming and planning what to teach, lecturers list different teaching methods, like whole
class demonstrations, group demonstrations, spot demonstrations, question and answer, but when it comes to the actual
lecture delivery, they did not use these methods. Thus findings of the study revealed that there were vast differences
between the methods lecturers planned to use in lectures from the ones they actually used in lectures. Research
suggests that improving student's performance can be implemented by changing teaching methods. The lecturer must be
willing to change in order to initiate an effective program (Schneider, Gruman, & Coutts, 2012). Students had this to say:
They use group work, research and presentations. We are given a topic to research on in groups and one of us
presents on behalf of the group. Individual work- the lecturer gives us a task and we work individually. (FGA1)
Research and presentations, where we are given a topic to research on individually, or in pairs or groups and one
presents it to the whole class. Discussions-the lecturer gives the class a topic and we discuss as a class. (FGB2)
Still on teaching methods, students responded to whether there were any other teaching methods they would
prefer their lecturers to use. Students commented:
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Spot demonstrations -As we are doing practical lectures, lecturers should do spot demonstrations, because we learn
more when a lecturer spot demonstrates a process to us in groups rather than just explaining. (FGDA1)
Field trips- We visit textile companies and see how they do their work. We learn better by seeing the actual processes
being done, e.g weaving than for the lecturer to explain it in class. One has to write a report on every company visited
on how they do their work, management structure. (FGDB2)
From students’ revelations, it emerged that students were yearning for teaching methods that allowed the lecturer
to interact with them so that learning became alive when students understood better. On the same aspect, it was also
revealed that students preferred teaching methods which allowed them to marry the theory they got in class with practice
in the industries as they advocated for field trips.
4. Conclusions
It was established that the delivery of CT in universities has been marred by an array of problems. Lecturers were finding
difficulties in teaching the core courses in CT due to incompetency. This has been aggravated by the fact that the training
the lecturers received in Teachers’ Colleges no longer matches with the pedagogy they have to deliver to CT students.
This acts in detriment to the students who are at the receiving end for they are not equipped with the necessary hands on
skills when they leave the universities. Findings affirm that the dearth of equipment and machinery, dampened morale
and negative perceptions further intensifies this challenge. However, this study concedes that although lecturers have the
suitable minimum requirements to teach in universities, that is Masters and PhD academic qualifications; it is the
professional aspect on the delivery of CT which is a source of the concern.
5. Recommendations
In order to accurately inform early recognition, intervention and training programmes for lecturers who are not competent
enough to deliver CT, their areas of weakness should be identified first so as to enable university administrators to plan
accordingly, having these areas in mind.
The quality of the existing lecturing force must be improved mainly through extensive staff development training
programmes, including those lecturers who trained long back to acquaint them with technical skills that are in line with the
new technologies and global trends. University lecturers should upgrade their knowledge and skills so as to keep abreast
with the dynamic fashion, clothing trends and technology so that when students come on attachment, the industrial
personnel will just refine the skills not to start from scratch, teaching the students basics they should have done at
university level. This will enable them to produce students with the required competence.
There is need to increase support (both material and financial) towards staff development programmes that focus
on lecturer competence since they are an important approach that can upsurge lecturer competence. However, such
programmes should be differentiated according to the level of education of the lecturers in order to cater for variances in
pedagogy and methodological requirements.
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