A mobile laboratory is a laboratory that is either fully housed within or transported by a vehicle such as a converted bus, converted truck or tractor-trailer. Mobile labs can serve a variety of functions in Science Education, Health care, Science research, soil analysis, monitoring Biosafety, as well as in teaching vocational and technical skills.
FMobile Laboratory and Entrepreneurial Intentions of Technical Vocational Education and Training Studentss
Mobile Laboratory and Entrepreneurial Intentions of Technical Vocational Education and Training Students
Sometimes, Mobile laboratory is driven to schools, museums, and other community organizations, providing the schools with educational resources which they otherwise lack.
Factors Affecting Entrepreneurial Intentions of TVET Graduates
Rasli, Khan, and Malekifar (2013), defined entrepreneurial intention as the state of one’s mind to foster the new business or venture creation. Previous research on entrepreneurial intention has identified that three factors dominate entrepreneurial intention. One is the individual’s demographic profile that includes age, sex, previous experience, an influence of role model. The second one is personality traits that include self-efficacy, confidence, autonomy, a locus of control, risk-taking tendency, professional attraction. The third factor is contextual that includes education and environment (Wärneryd, 1988).
According to trait theory of entrepreneurship- entrepreneurial intentions are dictated by some particular traits. Those are: High need for achievement; which means a need to always achieve new bold goals, risk-taking propensity; which is defined as a willingness to take financial risks, tolerance for ambiguity; which refers no fear of the unknown, innovation; which is an ability to create new or modify existing business concepts, intuition; which is synonymous of make decisions based on ‘gut feelings’, internal locus of control which is synonymous to a belief that the future is determined by their own actions and also pro-activeness; which is making plans for events before they occur (Boyd &Vozikis, 1994).
The Place of the Mobile Lab in TVET
Mobile Labs are used for hands-on learning experiences especially in schools that do not have adequate facilities for teaching and learning TVET courses. Guse (2017) stated that one of the most popular uses of mobile labs is educational classrooms, providing community organizations and schools with educational courses for families and children in regions that are unable to maintain state-of-the-art instruction. Mobile laboratories have their own physical facilities that often include laboratory benches, equipment, supplies, fume hoods, electricity, water and other specialized gear to facilitate an engaging, hands-on learning experience in different Vocational and Technical Education Courses (Guse, 2017).
The use of Mobile Laboratory in teaching and learning is still at its early stages in Nigeria, as not many Mobile Labs exist in Nigeria. The Centre for Technical Vocational Education, Training and Research (CETVETAR), University of Nigeria Nsukka is about the only popular centre with some Mobile Labs in Nigeria.
The CETVETAR, University of Nigeria, Mobile Labs have contributed a lot in promoting skills training among TVET students in Nigeria. This has resulted in many students having the intention of acquiring skills that will enable them to become successful entrepreneurs in the future. With the use of Mobile Labs, students are eager to learn practical skills in different trades provided in the mobile lab. They are usually motivated by the desire to learn inside the mobile lab.
The CETVETAR, UNN mobile labs have been used to provide training in the following trades:
Soap making, auto-mechanics, building construction, electronic repairs, electrical installation, plumbing and sewing and embroidery, ICT instructional packages among others.
Boyd, N. G. &Vozikis, G. S. (1994). The influence of self-efficacy on the development of entrepreneurial intentions and actions. Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice,18(4).
Guse, L. (2017). 7 Important Applications for Mobile Laboratories. Retrieved 16/12/18 from http://info.lifelinemobile.com/blog/7-important-applications-for-mobile-laboratories
Rasli, A. M., Khan, S. U. R., Malekitfar, S., &Jabeen, S. (2013). Factors affecting entrepreneurial intention among graduate students of university technology in Malaysia. International Journal of Business and Social Sciences, 4(2), 182-188.
Wärneryd, K. E. (1988). The Psychology of Innovative Entrepreneurship. In: van Raaij, W. F., van Veldhoven, G. M., and Wärneryd, K-E. (eds.), Handbook of Economic Psychology. Dordrecht: Kluwer.
Lucubrate Magazine Issue 56, April 5th 2019
The Picture of the top: Soap Making, Photo: karitè
Categories: Education, Magazine, Enterpreneurship, TVET