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According to Dr Masudu Adamu Kazaure The overall aim of technical education in Nigeria is to produce highly skilled, competent and self-reliant middle level manpower for the nation's economic and technological growth. This education is of great benefits for both the trainee and his/her nation. It prepares students for jobs in specific industrial skills involving applied science and modern technology in different areas of human endeavour. Technical education evolved from the non formal apprenticeship programme to a more sophisticated formal training in skills acquisition. Despite its importance and provision, the impact of philosophy and sociology of technical education is not yet felt in our society. The low technological level of this nation is depicted in the high importation rate of the items we use both in residential and industrial sectors. Right now there are nineteen, one hundred and ten, and three federal, state and private technical colleges respectively approved by National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) currently in operation in Nigeria (Omoh, 2012) all to help revitalize the economy of the nation, contribute towards poverty reduction through human resources development and improve access to quality skills training and vocational education in the country. Vocational technological education has remained a subsidiary discipline in terms of societal recognition and parental/children choice. This is a constituent of many factors which includes instructional approaches, qualified teachers, adequate teaching-learning resources, good learning environment, training facilities, students, societal recognition, etc.
People are attracted or repelled to something by their views concerning that thing. What determines whether one will be attracted, get the best out it and make good representation of an experience is attitude. Student's attitude is an integral part of learning. It influences one's behaviour, inner mood and therefore learning. Both positive and negative attitude have a strong impact on the success of a subject learnt (Mordi, 1991). Attitude towards a particular knowledge be it positive or negative has its own implication. According to Evans (1972) attitude and interest can be learned; what form they take is not determined at birth or earlier, but depends on the environment in which the child grows up and the treatment he or she receives. Attitude develops and changes through life. The process of development and change is facilitated by the interaction with the environment (Sabellah, 2010). Attitude will change positively if the conditions are favourable or negatively if they are unfavourable. Its development is also influenced by practice, readiness and effect on the part of the learners (Thorndike, 1932). Thorndike (1932) showed that attitude development depends upon the surrounding conditions of an individual. Once the attitudes develop, they give regularity to moods of reaction and also regulate social adjustment (Bell, 1980). Attitude is an important factor that influences participation and success in technical career. It is logical that students who have a positive experience in a technology education program will develop a positive attitude toward technology and the pursuit of technological careers, and would therefore be more interested in studying about technology (Richard et. al., 1998). Among the results obtained from questionnaire revised on pupils' attitudes towards technology use in the United States showed that students are interested in technology (Bame et al., 1993). Njuguna (1998) established that there is positive significant relationship between students' attitude and their academic achievement. The project titled pupils' attitudes toward technology sought to determine students' attitudes toward technology and their understanding of technological concepts by Raat and de Vries, 1985 concluded that students had only a vague concept of technology. Attitude is an inner or deep witness of what one believes and necessitates the level of compliance. The research carried out by Boser et.al. 1998 showed that interest of students in technology may not be affected through any form of instruction approach but their belief in difficulty of working with and studying technology is reduced significantly. The students' involvement in their studies is seen as the level of participation and intrinsic interest that a student shows in school. This involves both behaviours such as persistence, effort, attention etc and attitudes such as motivation, positive learning values, enthusiasm, interest, pride in success and many others (Connel and Wellborn 1991). Therefore, engaged students or active students seek out activities inside and outside the classroom that lead to success in their learning. They display curiosity, adhesive to know more and positive emotional responses to learning and hence positive attitude towards the area of study.
In relation to attitude development and change, attitudes develop as one develops a perception and continues to interact with the environment. They change depending on the prevailing conditions. Therefore in relation to the study, if the learner develops a negative opinion towards technology, the chances of performing better are minimal since there is nothing good that is motivating the learner to work hard in the area. This in turn leads to poor achievement. When the learners develop favourable feelings towards the subject, they dedicate much of their time in studying the subject and this also leads to better performance in the area.
Don Bosco Technical Institute, Onitsha serves to supply competent technical officers to most industries in Onitsha and environs. The alumnae of this institute are known to be proficient in the discharge of their duty as technical personnel. This study serves to investigate the correlation between students' attitude and performances in technical skill acquisition.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Attitude held towards a school subject is very important in the learning of the subject
(Ndonga, 1986). The attitudes held by students towards chemistry are of great importance
either as an educational outcome of intrinsic importance or a determinant in chemistry
What is the best method of teaching. What shows the degree to which what has been passed is carried out that what is passed on..
Every facet of the nation's economy needs qualitative skilled technicians, either for construction of new products, modification of existing ones or for their maintenance. Technical knowledge grants practical and applied skills needed to build life and put technology in the service of man, and national building. The over-riding requirement for practical is ability of the learner to be able to do the job rather than talk about it only (Odu, 2011). The concept of technical education to help revitalize the economy of the nation is good but it is subject to many factors, which includes provision of the necessary instruction materials, qualified teacher, good learning environment, students etc.
Good intention is only felt when purpose is achieved. In an academic setting there many factor that determines the performance of students in written and practical test.
No meaningful development could be achieved by a nation without sound and qualitative technical education (ADERONKE ARANSIOLA) . contribute towards poverty reduction through human resources development and to improve access to quality skills training and vocational education in the country".
This paper presents data on the educational performance of technical students from electrical and mechanical engineering departments of Don Bosco technical institute Onitsha and examines its contextual factors.