Strategies for Promoting Vocational Orientation and Skill Development among Street Kids of Northern Nigeria
Implications for Sustainable Development
AbstractThe menace of the ‘Almajiris’, pan-handing street kids, should be of the greatest concern to development planners interested in social economic growth and poverty alleviation in Northern Nigeria. In almost all major Northern Nigerian cities, hundreds of teenagers roam the streets during school hours, pan in hand, idle, begging for alms, making do with crumbs thrown at them. These hordes of unemployed and un-engaged youth have helped to fill the ranks of the different insurgent groups, including Boko Haram, currently devastating parts of Northern Nigeria. These youths are known to seize on every political crisis to riot, loot and cause mayhem. This study seeks to identify strategies for promoting vocational orientation and skill development among this population. A mixture of quantitative and qualitative designs was used. Descriptive survey was the quantitative design employed. The study population comprised vocational teachers in TVET institutions in Northern Nigeria, vocational skill practitioners and street kids. 120 subjects were selected from the three groups using purposive sampling technique. Three research questions and one hypothesis guided the study. A 40-item questionnaire developed by the researcher was the major instrument used for the study. The researcher and his assistants also took time to observe three groups of Almanjiris to gain insight into their motivation and lifestyles. The instrument was validated by three experts; two in vocational education and one in sociology. The research questions were answered with descriptive statistical instruments of percentage and mean ratings while the hypothesis was tested using the one way analysis of variance. The reliability test yielded a reliability coefficient of 0.83 using the Kuder Richardson formula. The findings revealed that seeds of vocational and entrepreneurial orientation can be built in the street kids using film shows, Quranic talks, and meal incentives among others. The paper posited that the poverty-bred insurgency currently infesting the region can be ameliorated if street kids are weaned away from the streets into vocational training and entrepreneurial engagements.
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