This paper attempts to explain three approaches to educational planning. The approaches considered are: social demand approach; manpower requirement approach; and cost benefit analysis. This paper went further to make an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of each approach.
Educational planning is concerned with the problems of how to make the best use of limited resources allocated to education in view of the priorities given to different stages of education or different sector of education and the need of the economy. According to Adesina (1982), there are three rival approaches to educational planning. The three rival approaches are: 1. The social demand approach –
2. The manpower requirement approach
3. The cost benefit analysis
The Man-Power Requirement Approach
The focus of this approach is to forecast the manpower needs of the economy. That is, it stresses output from the educational system to meet the man-power needs at some future date. The approach focuses on 3 main elements, namely: 1. Specification of the composition of manpower need at some future date e.g. 2015-2020. 2. Specification of man power availabilities e.g. in 1995. 3. Specification which reconciles the former specification with the later.
Advantages of Man-Power Approach
1. Man-Power could usefully call attention to extreme gaps and imbalances in the education out-put pput pattern that need remedy. This does not need elaborate statistical studies. 2. It gives educators useful guidance on how roughly educational qualifications of the labour force ought to be developed in the future. That is, the relative proportion of people who would have primary education, secondary education and various amount of post-secondary training. 3. The unemployment and underemployment which may result from some over-emphasis on man-power approach may become a challenge to move towards the right kind of education which may be development-oriented, and thereby creating its own job.
Weaknesses of the Approach
1. It gives educational planner a limited guidance in the sense that it does not tell what can be actually achieved in every level of education e.g. primary education, secondary education, etc 2. The approach says nothing about primary education, which is not considered to be work connected. By implication, manpower approach suggests the curbing of the expansion of primary education until the nation is rich enough to expand it. Hence, attention is focused on the cream of education that will contribute to manpower development in the society. 3. Most manpower needs are mostly needed in the urban employment. Thus, the planner who may be called to plan is not given any useful clauses about education requirements to those people like semi-skilled and unskilled workers in the cities and vast majority of workers that live in rural areas. 4. The employment classifications and manpower ratios such as desirable ratio of engineers to technicians; doctors to nurses etc. and the assumed education qualifications corresponding to each category of job borrowed ideas from industrialized countries or economy. This does not fit into the realities of less developed countries of Africa. 5. It is impossible to make reliable fore-cast of manpower requirements far enough ahead of time because of many economic, technological and other uncertainties which are involved.
Manpower Planning which is also called as Human Resource Planning consists of putting right number of people, right kind of people at the right place, right time, doing the right things for which they are suited for the achievement of goals of the organization. Human Resource Planning has got an important place in the arena of industrialization. Human Resource Planning has to be a systems approach and is carried out in a set procedure. The procedure is as follows: 1. Analysing the current manpower inventory
2. Making future manpower forecasts
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