Analysis Of Academic Qualification Of Extension Field Staff And Their Training Needs
Keywords: academic qualification, extension field staff, training needs
AbstractThe study analyzed academic qualifications of field extension staff in Abia and Akwa-Ibom States of Nigeria. The sample comprised of all the 647 ZEOs, SMSs, BESs and EAs on the roll of the two ADPs at the time of data collection. Analysis of data revealed that: (1) high percentage of staff positions have been filled in the extension services in Abia (80.1%) and
Akwa-Ibom (85.4%) States. (2) About 14.4% of staff does not have the minimum entry qualification of OND even as their highest academic qualification is the First School Leaving Certificate or West African School Certificate. Staff with OND are 17.3%. Only 12.2% holds Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE) while 20.7% and 32.6% holds HND and B.Sc respectively. The remaining 2.8% holds PGD, M.Sc or Ph.D. It was argued that the OND minimum requirement for employment of EAs and HND for BESs and SMSs are inadequate because these staff is like teachers who must not only be masters of what to teach, but also of how to teach it. The curriculum for OND, HND, BSc, MSc and PhD in Agriculture does not
prepare graduates for teaching. If the Federal Ministry of Education has insisted that possession of at least, a certificate in education should be a condition for recruitment of new and retention of old teaching staff, much more would EAs, BESs, and SMSs require adequate training and skills in methodology for teaching. Teaching, informing and advising farmers,
who are largely illiterates requires greater skill in the art of teaching. It was recommended that the minimum entry qualification for EAs would be NCE in Agricultural Science or in other science subjects. The policy of holding a minimum of NCE or a certificate in education or Adult education by all field staff in the extension system should be put in place for its obvious implications for effective technology transfer.
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