n Gender and Behaviour - Self-perceived competencies on soil and crop sciences tasks among graduating diploma students in a South African university : a gender perspective




This paper examined the self-perceived competencies on soil and crop sciences tasks among graduating Diploma students in a South African University using a gender perspective. This is predicated on the fact that graduating job marketable graduates is the mission of every institution of higher learning. From a population of 500, 268 graduating students were selected randomly and a structured questionnaire comprising 7 personal demographic information and 33 crop and soil sciences tasks was administered. A Likert-type response scale (1= not competent, 2= slightly competent, 3= competent and 4= very competent) was used to measure competencies. The SPSS 17 statistical software data analysis package was employed to analyze the data using frequency counts, percentages, mean and standard deviation. The study results reveal that majority of students were between the ages of 18 to 25 years; 52.9% males and 70.5% females. Both male and female students were competent in 11 and 8 program tasks respectively. Students lacked competency (male 22 and female 25) in tasks related to pathological, GIS, and heavy mechanization manipulation areas. The authors recommend that the curriculum of these areas be reassessed for its strategic objective needs and that students be exposed to more practical hands-on experiences through internships to enhance competency in program tasks.


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