Volume 10 Issue 2 (2021)
1

Laboratory Technology: A “Neglected” but Unique Interdisciplinary Tool helping to Enhance Scientific Research and Development in Academic and Research Institutions in Africa

pp. 99-115  |  Published Online: December 2021  |  DOI: 10.22521/unibulletin.2021.102.1

Albert Koomson, Jonathan Ntow, Prosper Dordunu, Emmanuel Birikorang, Douglas Tetteh Ayitey

Abstract

Background/purpose – Laboratory Technology has helped to enhance teaching, as well as scientific research and development worldwide. This review aims to reveal why there is “neglect” and a “disconnect” between laboratory technologists/technicians in academic and research institutions with their respective management and higher authorities regarding their roles and responsibilities, and puts forward suggestions to some of the challenges faced.

Materials/methods – The review was conducted by briefly adopting both Arksey and O’Malley’s (2005) framework and the PRISMA item checklist with some modifications. Information was obtained from the Web of Science Core Collection (WoSCC), JSTOR, and the China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI) bibliographic databases, as well as via Google Scholar and the Google search engine.

Results – The review highlights that the unique interdisciplinary nature of laboratory technologists/technicians’ roles should be afforded greater attention according to their diverse working environments. The challenges currently faced could be addressed through the formation of national regulatory and representative bodies for efficient governance in this area, to enhance both quality and performance, to create and implement a governance framework and associated policies, to bolster capacity building and training, consolidate self-administration and enhanced awareness of the role, quality assurance, accreditation, and regulations as well as to conduct high quality research related to laboratory operations.

Conclusion – This review suggests that a salient multifaceted approach could help foster a harmonic nexus among university laboratory technologists/technicians in scientific research and development. Finally, the paper reveals that academic and research institutions both in Africa and worldwide could meet today’s essential needs and champion sustainable development if laboratory staff were afforded appropriate and commensurable recognition.

Keywords: Academic, Africa, interdisciplinary, laboratory technology, scientific research.

2

Soft Skills: Connecting Classrooms with the Workplace—A Systematic Review

pp. 116-138  |  Published Online: December 2021  |  DOI: 10.22521/unibulletin.2021.102.2

Mohammed El Messaoudi

Abstract

Background/purpose – Recent evidence concedes that the modern workplace has recently undergone a tremendous change. Emerging workplace exigencies shifted the pendulum towards soft skills, a new [old] set of skills significantly required (from employees) by employers. In response, the “Bachelor System” has been adopted by the Moroccan Ministry of Education and Training as a panacea to accoutre university students with these on-demand skills.

Materials/methods – This systematic review was geared towards retrieving, synthesizing, and appraising the literature on soft skills development and workplace readiness attributes desired by stakeholders in the Moroccan context. The study shed light on (20) journal articles (as the main unit of interest) published over a decade, ranging from January 2011 to February 2021 on soft skills in both higher education and the business sector.

Results – Key results (generated via NVivo) accentuated the omnipresence of a soft skills gap (a mismatch) between academia and business, the extreme importance of soft skills in today’s local economy, and the urgent need to embed a specific set of soft skills in higher education curricula in order to prepare graduates for future jobs.

Conclusion – Based on the systematic review and analysis of 20 articles, there is solid evidence that building a stronger Morocco requires building a more soft-skilled workforce.

Keywords: Soft skills, workplace readiness, skills gap.

3

Pre-primary Education for Children who Experience Disabilities in Tanzania: Practices and Constraints

pp. 139-156  |  Published Online: December 2021  |  DOI: 10.22521/unibulletin.2021.102.3

Juhudi K. Cosmas

Abstract

Background/purpose – There is consistent evidence that children who experience disabilities benefit from being included in pre-primary programs and other levels of education. This study focused on assessing the practices and barriers of pre-primary education for children who experience disabilities in two districts in Lindi Region, Tanzania.

Materials/methods – The study was a qualitative inquiry underpinned by collective case study design. A sample of 20 participants was purposefully involved. The data were collected through individual in-depth interviews and focus group discussions.

Results – While pre-primary education was provided to children who experience disabilities, macro- and micro-exclusion persisted because of ableism practices within the education system. Efforts towards upholding the rights of all children were impeded by ableism thinking which resulted into macro- and micro-exclusion. Additional barriers included lack of identification and assessment practices, lack of nutrition and medical services, negative and discriminatory practices, shortage of qualified teachers, inappropriate instructional materials, lack of professional and parental support, and inaccessible school environment.

Conclusion – Notably, pre-primary education for children who experience disabilities was provided within a difficult environment that requires immediate intervention. Critical to addressing all barriers is recognizing and disestablishing ableism thinking within the education system.

Keywords: Ableism, disability, exclusion, inclusive education, pre-primary education.

4

Motivational Factors that Influence Choosing Teaching as a Career: A FIT-Choice Study of Preservice and Inservice Teachers in India

pp. 157-170  |  Published Online: December 2021  |  DOI: 10.22521/unibulletin.2021.102.4

Varda Sardana, Shubhangi Verma, Shubham Singhania

Abstract

Background/purpose – This study examines the validity of the Factors Influencing Teaching (FIT) Choice Scale, developed by Watt and Richardson (2007), in the Indian context, by understanding the influential factors that motivate individuals to choose teaching as a profession.

Materials/methods – The study uses an exploratory research design. Purposive sampling technique is employed to obtain a sample of 184 inservice and preservice teachers from India, using a structured questionnaire for data collection. The study further makes use of descriptive and inferential statistics in analyzing the collected data.

Results – The findings suggest that the factors which motivate students to go into teaching as a profession are their perceived teaching abilities, social utility values such as ability to make a social contribution as well as shaping the future of the youth/young minds, and intrinsic career value.

Conclusion – The study provides suggestions to policymakers and recruiting institutions to consider certain factors whilst designing job descriptions for roles within educational institutions. It also emphasizes the importance of budding teachers to recognize factors that play a crucial role in their career choice decisions.

Keywords: FIT choice, teaching, motivation, education, career choice.

Announcement

UNIBULLETIN News!

► New issue coming soon! (Volume 11 Issue 1, 2022)

Call for Papers

UNIBULLETIN is calling for submissions. Authors are invited to submit papers from the all fields of the Education (General) and Social Sciences (General) in the international context. All submissions should be presented only in English.