BENEFITS AND CHALLENGES ENCOUNTERED BY WORKING STUDENTS
1.1 Background to the Study
In Nigeria, before the establishment of the National Open University of Nigeria which takes into cognisance the students who are working and schooling simultaneously, the tertiary institutions hardly design their calendar and curriculum to favour undergraduate students who are putting themselves through school. Most times the working students miss lectures and cumulative assessments which affect their grades and academic performances not necessarily because of indifference and carelessness but because of the unruly nature of the academic calendar where things aren’t done with their schedules and where so much attention is given to students attendance to classes than performances. The result is that working students hardly perform well in terms of grades.
However, there are not only challenges involved in being a working students. There are also numerous benefits involved. These benefits are at the heart of our economic relief as they bear positively upon the issue of unemployment and unemployability of graduates. With the educational situation in Nigeria where companies have to begin afresh to train graduates in their fields, working students stand to gain better perspectives of the labour market with an extensive honing of their skills and gaining of experience. This often helps in helping them focus better, know the courses and electives that would serve them better in their areas of expertise and focus on them better than none working students who seem to be groping through the Nigerian educational system which to them seems more like an rite of passage than a conscious endeavour.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The economic demand on parents and wards hasn’t been going up hand in hand with the educational demands on students so that even the very affluent parents are only able to provide the basic needs of students like school fees and accommodation. However, the case is quite different when the student has to work their way through school. This research work enquires into the possible benefits and also the challenges peculiar to working students in Nigeria.
1.3 Research Questions
1.3.1 what are the benefits of working students
1.3.2 What are the visible and direct challenges of being a working student in Nigeria.
1.3.3 What are the measures to be put in place to ameliorate the situation and create an enabling environment and better academic conditions for working students in Nigerian institutions.
1.4 Objectives of the Study
The purpose of this research work include among other things:
- The identification of the benefits and challenges of working students in Nigerian institutions with a focus on the tertiary institutions.
- Compare the situations of learning between the working students and the nonworking student. In comparing them the advantages and disadvantages for each will be briefly discussed in order to better make recommendations for the working students and by extension, the nonworking regular students.
- The research will briefly estimate the implications of these challenges in the careers of the working students especially those who practise the courses of their disciplines.
1.5 Significance of the Study
The present research is deeply important to every Nigerian secondary and tertiary institutions especially the latter as it throws considerable light on the challenges and benefits of working students. In doing this, the institutions can better put measures in place to alleviate these conditions and challenges so that these working students can better live up to their potentials and be on an equal footing with their counterparts who do not work.
The findings of this research work will be of great significance to prospectives students of Nigerian tertiary institutions as it will be a source of education on the challenges that face working students. This way, the ones that are considering working while in school will be better informed to make a good decision in that regard.
1.6 Research Hypothesis
The assumption which has informed both the scope and tone of this research work is one that recognizes a range of benefits and challenges for working students in Nigerian institutions of higher learnings.
1.7 Scope of the Study
Firstly, the focus of the present research work is on both the benefits and challenges of working students. However, in as much as it isn’t stated outright in the statement of the problem, the research will focus totally on Nigerian tertiary institutions namely the universities, polytechnics and colleges of education with the exception of the National Open University of Nigeria whose curriculum and calendars are designed with the view to be conducive for workers.
1.8 Limitations of the Study
A research work such as this required both a questionnaire development, up close interaction with the students of selected Nigerian institutions and a thorough review of the data got. In terms of to time effort and the other resources involved, the researcher found it difficult grappling with the volume of work to be put into it in that regard.