Climate Change Awareness And Attitude Of Senior Secondary School Students

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Climate Change Awareness And Attitude Of Senior Secondary School Students


Abstract


This study was carried out on the climate change awareness and attitude of senior secondary school students in Ekeremor Local Government of Bayelsa State. The survey design was adopted and the simple random sampling techniques were employed in this study. The population size comprised of senior students of some selected secondary schools in Ekeremor Local Government of Bayelsa State. In determining the sample size, the researcher conveniently selected 200 respondents and 150 were validated. Self-constructed and validated questionnaire was used for data collection. The collected and validated questionnaires were analyzed using frequency tables, while the hypotheses were tested using chi-square statistical tool. The result of the findings reveals the senior secondary school students in Ekeremor Local Government of Bayelsa State possessed high awareness of climate change. The study also reveals the senior secondary school students does not have adequate knowledge of the environmental impact of climate change in Ekeremor Local Government of Bayelsa State. Therefore, it is recommended that Since there relevant subjects that could be use to promote students climate change awareness and attitude in secondary school, concerted efforts have to be made in order to ensure that the subjects are adequately used to promote climate change awareness and attitude. To do this effectively, government and other relevant non-governmental organizations should organize and or support conferences, workshops and seminars directed at exposing the teachers on the need to reflect climate change causes and effect effectively each time environmental relevant contents in their subject are being taught. The exposure could also include teaching methods that could enhance inculcation of climate change contents to the students.


Table of Content


  • Title Page
  • Certification
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Table of Content
  • List of Tables
  • Abstract

Chapter One:

Introduction

  • 1.1 Background of the Study
  • 1.2 Statement of the Problem
  • 1.3 Objective of the Study
  • 1.4 Research Questions
  • 1.5 Research Hypothesis
  • 1.6 Significance of the Study
  • 1.7 Scope of the Study
  • 1.8 Limitation of the Study
  • 1.9 Definition of Terms
  • 1.10 Organisations of the Study

Chapter Two:

Review of Literature

  • 2.1 Conceptual Framework
  • 2.2 Theoretical Framework
  • 2.3 Empirical Review

Chapter Three:

Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research Design
  • 3.2 Population of the Study
  • 3.3 Sample Size Determination
  • 3.4 Sample Size Selection Technique and Procedure
  • 3.5 Research Instrument and Administration
  • 3.6 Method of Data Collection
  • 3.7 Method of Data Analysis
  • 3.8 Validity of the Study
  • 3.9 Reliability of the Study
  • 3.10 Ethical Consideration

Chapter Four:

Data Presentation and Analysis

  • 4.1 Data Presentation
  • 4.2 Analysis of Data
  • 4.3 Answering Research Questions
  • 4.4 Test of Hypotheses

Chapter Five:

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendation
  • References
  • APPENDIX
  • QUESTIONNAIRE

Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

The earth’s climate is dynamic and always changing through a natural cycle. However, what the world is more worried about is that the changes that are occurring today have been speeded up because of human activities (Okebukola & Akpan 2009). Similarly, Uzochi (2009a) remarked that human have been changing their environment in very significant ways ever since they learnt how to hunt with weapons, domesticate animals and farm crops, in addition to human modernized transportation and industrial system, which facilitate easy movement and production.

The impact of these human activities to the climate change comes as a result of excessive emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs) into the atmosphere. According to Sjoberg (2002), greenhouse gases mean the gases that contribute to the greenhouse effect by absorbing infrared radiation. The gases include carbon dioxide, methane, chloroflorocarbon, water vapour, and nitrous oxide. Igwe (2003) explained that a greenhouse gas is a gas in the atmosphere that absorbs and emits radiation within the thermal infrared range. This process is the fundamental cause of the greenhouse effect. Greenhouse effect is the rise in temperature that the earth experience because certain gases in the atmosphere like carbon dioxide, methane, water vapour, nitrous oxide and chloroflorocarbon trap energy from the sun and retain greater part of the trapped energy which caused the warming and changing of the global climate experienced in the world today.

Furthermore, the concentration of the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere caused ozone layer depletion. The ozone layer forms a thin shield high up in the sky and is located in the stratosphere. It protects life on earth from the sun’s ultra violent rays. In the 1980s, scientists began finding clues that the ozone layer was going away or being depleted. This ozone depletion allows more ultra violent radiation to reach the earth’s surface and it increase the rate at which the global climate changes.

The increase rate of climate change has severe consequences associated with it such as desertification, drought, temperature rise, low agriculture yield, drying up of water bodies, flooding among others (Oruonye, 2011). Similarly, Igwebuike, Odoh, Ezeugwu, Okparaku and Opkaraku (2009) enumerated the effects of climate change to include melting of the polar ice which could lead to rise in sea level. The rise in sea level could cause flood disaster (which can wash away farmland and crops, in addition to rendering the affected people homeless). Ekezie (2010) stated that the rise in temperature as a result of climate change could lead to drought, desertification, declining water table, lost of some plant and animal species, low crop yield and outbreak of climate related diseases like malaria and meningitis. These consequences of climate change according Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2007) could persist for longer time as a result of human continuous emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. In view of the above, Omotosho (2007), Ishaya & Obaja (2008), Anyadike (2009), and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP, 2010) argued that human continuous perpetuation of acts that caused the excessive emission of greenhouse gases such as bush burning, indiscriminate cutting down of trees (deforestation), constant burning of fossil fuel among others, depends to the extent to which they are aware that their activities contribute to climate change.

In relation to the above discussions, attempt has been made to increase students’ awareness and attitude towards climate change in secondary schools. For example, climate and general environmental related contents like our environment, physical environment, sanitation pollution, natural and man made environmental hazards, deforestation, population, effects of industrial concentration, composition of atmospheric gases, weather and climate, classification of climate, major climate types of the world, were infused in most secondary school subjects like Geography, Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Agriculture, and Social Studies. These contents and subjects are veritable means of promoting climate change awareness and attitude of secondary school students in Nigeria. With respect to the above, Ishaya & Obaja (2008) noted secondary school teachers have been inculcating climate change contents infused into their respective subjects to the students with the intention of increasing their knowledge of climate change as well as influencing their attitude positively towards solving the problems of climate change. Againde (2006) added that schools through classroom instructions are making effort to create awareness on major environmental problems like climate change. Similarly, Chinedu (2008) and Ofoebe (2009) shared the view that the curriculum contents of most secondary school subjects could be effectively used to promote awareness of environmental problems as well as positive attitude towards solving the environmental problems.

In determining students’ level of awareness and attitude towards climate change, considerations need to be taken on the influence of gender and location on students’ climate change awareness and attitude. Few studies have been done to determine the students’ awareness and attitude towards climate change. For instance, Ishaya & Abaje (2008) studied indigenous people’s perception on climate change and adaptation strategies in senior secondary schools in Jema Local Government Area of Kaduna State. The study found out that the students’ possessed low awareness and poor attitude towards climate change. Oruonye (2011) carried out assessment of the level of awareness of the effects of climate change among students in Jalingo Metropolis of Tabara State. The study found that the students used for the study are not aware of climate change and that they possessed low attitude towards climate change. Furthermore, related studies have been done on environmental education awareness and attitude of students by Ofoebe (2009), Chinedu (2008) and Agiande (2006) in Okigwe Education Zone, Imo State. Owerri Education Zone, Imo State. Ogoja Education Zone, Cross River State respectively. Even though related studies have been done with respect to secondary school students’ climate change awareness and attitude, none of the studies were carried out in Bayelsa State. Thus, at present the status of secondary school students’ awareness and attitude in Bayelsa State is not known. This gap is what the present study tends to fill by determining the climate change awareness and attitude of senior secondary school students in Ekeremor Local Government of Bayelsa State.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

The inherent danger of climate change at present constitutes one major global problem. In Nigeria, the consequences of climate change have started manifesting in form of desertification, drought, temperature rise, low agricultural yield, dry up of water bodies, flooding among others. To curtail these climate change consequences, climate related contents were infused into most secondary school curriculum. This infusion strategy was meant to create awareness and positive attitude towards environmental problems like climate change. However, the worry is that notwithstanding, the instructional effort in school to promote awareness and positive attitude towards climate change, people tend to continue in perpetuating the acts that increase the rate of climate change. Indeed, studies have been done in some parts of Nigeria like Kaduna, Imo and Cross River states to examine students’ awareness and attitude towards climate change as a result of school instructions. The major worry of the study is that it appears that such crucial contemporary study has not been done in Bayelsa State. This gap is what the present study intends to fill.

Based on the above gap, the problem of the study put in question form is what is the climate change awareness and attitude of senior secondary school students in Ekeremor Local Government of Bayelsa State?


1.3 Objective of the Study

The main objective of this study to examine the climate change awareness and attitude of senior secondary school students in Ekeremor Local Government of Bayelsa State. The study will specifically focus on the aims listed below;

  1. Ascertain the level of awareness of climate change among senior secondary school students in Ekeremor Local Government of Bayelsa State.
  2. Assess the knowledge of secondary school students on the environmental impact of climate change in Ekeremor Local Government of Bayelsa State
  3. Ascertain the attitude of senior secondary school students towards climate change in Ekeremor Local Government of Bayelsa State.
  4. Determine whether gender and school location affects senior secondary school students awareness and attitude towards climate change in Ekeremor Local Government of Bayelsa State.

1.4 Research Questions

The following research questions guided this study:

  1. What is the level of awareness of climate change among senior secondary school students in Ekeremor Local Government of Bayelsa State?
  2. What are the environmental impact of climate change in Ekeremor Local Government of Bayelsa State?
  3. What is the attitude of senior secondary school students towards climate change in Ekeremor Local Government of Bayelsa State?
  4. Does gender and school location affects senior secondary school students awareness and attitude towards climate change in Ekeremor Local Government of Bayelsa State?

1.5 Research Hypothesis

  • Ho: Senior secondary school students awareness of climate change in Ekeremor Local Government is very poor.
  • Ha: Senior secondary school students awareness of climate change in Ekeremor Local Government is adequate.

1.6 Significance of the Study

The study will also be significant to the students, government, society and curriculum planners. The students stand a chance of benefiting from the study as it will present them opportunity to appraise themselves particularly on their level of awareness and attitude towards climate change. This will be possible because as the students will be actively involved in the study through responding to the items of the research instruments, they will understand (as they read through the items) the issues in climate change such its meaning, causes, effects as well as the positive attitudes needed for cautioning further increase and effects of climate change.

For the government and other environmentally focused non-governmental organizations, the findings of the study will help to show the students’ awareness and attitude towards climate change. This findings will enable the government and other concerned non governmental organizations to ascertain if environmentally relevant school subjects like Chemistry, Biology, Geography, Physics, Social studies and Basic science have actually promoted students’ awareness and attitude towards climate change. Again, non school based programmes like radio jingles, television programmes and newspaper articles are really creating awareness on climate change and influencing peoples’ attitude towards climate change positively.

Furthermore, the society which could be seriously affected as a result of the increasing change in global climate will benefit from the present study. The society will benefit because when the study successfully assessed the students’ awareness and attitude towards climate change, the result will serve as a base on which both government and other environmental concerned organizations will either choose to intensify their awareness and attitudinal change campaign or choose to re-strategize their campaign approach towards saving the environment. This by implication will help to increase individual members of the society’s awareness and positive attitude towards climate change thereby reducing human activities that contribute to climate change and by extension save the society and its people from destructive effect of climate change.

The curriculum planners will also benefit from the present study. This is because the successful completion of the study will enable the curriculum planners to have the knowledge (through the students mean scores) of the climate change awareness and attitude of senior secondary school students. This knowledge will help the curriculum planners to determine if the senior secondary school curriculum needs to be revisited so that more contents that could help to raise the level of awareness and attitude of senior secondary school students on climate change will be added if necessary.


1.7 Scope of the Study.

The focus of this study is to examine the climate change awareness and attitude of senior secondary school students. Hence the study will be delimited to Ekeremor Local Government of Bayelsa State.


1.8 Limitations of the Study

The researcher encountered minor obstacles when conducting the study, as with any human endeavor. The significant constraint was the scarcity of literature on the subject due to the nature of the discourse, so the researcher incurred more financial expenses and spent more time sourcing for relevant materials, literature, or information and in the data collection process, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size. Furthermore, the researcher did this investigation alongside other academic activities. Furthermore, the sample size was limited because only a few respondents were chosen to answer the research instrument, therefore the results cannot be generalized to other secondary schools outside the state. Despite the constraints encountered during the research, all elements were minimized in order to provide the best results and make the research effective.


1.9 Definition of Terms

Climate Change:

Measurable shifts in traditional climate patterns of a given place outside the normal range of natural climate variability attributed to anthropogenic factors.

Climate Change Awareness:

Teachers’ common knowledge and understanding of climate change.

Climate Change Education:

The type of education targeting attitudes and behaviour change towards sustainability, and which is able to help learners understand and interpret impacts of climate change


1.10 Organization of the Study

The study is categorized into five chapters. The first chapter presents the background of the study, statement of the problem, objective of the study, research questions and hypothesis, the significance of the study, scope/limitations of the study, and definition of terms. The chapter two covers the review of literature with emphasis on conceptual framework, theoretical framework, and empirical review. Likewise, the chapter three which is the research methodology, specifically covers the research design, population of the study, sample size determination, sample size, abnd selection technique and procedure, research instrument and administration, method of data collection, method of data analysis, validity and reliability of the study, and ethical consideration. The second to last chapter being the chapter four presents the data presentation and analysis, while the last chapter(chapter five) contains the summary, conclusion and recommendation.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations:

5.1 Introduction

This chapter summarizes the findings on the climate change awareness and attitude of senior secondary school students in Ekeremor Local Government of Bayelsa State. The chapter consists of summary of the study, conclusions, and recommendations.


5.2 Summary of the Study

In this study, our focus was to examine the climate change awareness and attitude of senior secondary school students in Ekeremor Local Government of Bayelsa State. The study was specifically set to ascertain the level of awareness of climate change among senior secondary school students in Ekeremor Local Government of Bayelsa State; assess the knowledge of secondary school students on the environmental impact of climate change in Ekeremor Local Government of Bayelsa State; ascertain the attitude of senior secondary school students towards climate change in Ekeremor Local Government of Bayelsa State; and determine whether gender and school location affects senior secondary school students awareness and attitude towards climate change in Ekeremor Local Government of Bayelsa State.

The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 100 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent are senior students of some selected secondary schools in Ekeremor Local Government of Bayelsa State.


5.3 Conclusions

In the light of the analysis carried out, the following conclusions were drawn.

  1. The senior secondary school students in Ekeremor Local Government of Bayelsa State possessed high awareness of climate change.
  2. The senior secondary school students does not have adequate knowledge of the environmental impact of climate change in Ekeremor Local Government of Bayelsa State.
  3. The senior secondary school students in Ekeremor Local Government of Bayelsa State possessed negative attitude towards climate change.
  4. Gender and school location affects senior secondary school students awareness and attitude towards climate change in Ekeremor Local Government of Bayelsa State.

5.4 Recommendations

Based on the conclusion drawn, the following recommendations were made:

  1. Since there relevant subjects that could be use to promote students climate change awareness and attitude in secondary school, concerted efforts have to be made in order to ensure that the subjects are adequately used to promote climate change awareness and attitude. To do this effectively, government and other relevant non-governmental organizations should organize and or support conferences, workshops and seminars directed at exposing the teachers on the need to reflect climate change causes and effect effectively each time environmental relevant contents in their subject are being taught. The exposure could also include teaching methods that could enhance inculcation of climate change contents to the students.
  2. There is need for stakeholders in education curriculum planning particularly for the senior secondary school education to consider, as a matter of necessity, the infusion of more contents that could help the students to understand the causes and effects of climate change into the relevant subjects in senior secondary schools.
  3. Government and non-governmental organization should ensure that quality education activities are carried out in rural areas as it is obtainable in urban areas. To achieve this, there is need to ensure that qualified teachers are employed to teach in rural secondary schools. Rural schools should be adequately equipped with every necessary teaching and learning facilities such as library, classrooms, administrative blocks among others.

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