Factors Militating Against The Teaching And Learning Of Science And Technology In Secondary Schools
It is a survey of the Government/Public Secondary Schools in Enugu Education zone. The study was carried out among 10 secondary schools, the population size is 200 (Two hundred) students. Questionnaires were distributed to the students and they filled these questionnaires in the presence of the research support personnel. The questionnaire included questions on the students personal and family characteristics, their aspirations, attitudes to science, technology and mathematics, their performance in science, technology and mathematics, factors affecting their attitudes and performance and their assessment of their science, technology and mathematics teachers. The data collected in this study was tabulated and analyses using mean and standard deviation. The study revealed that some of the factors militating against the teaching and learning of science and technology in secondary schools are: Phobia attitude for Mathematics, science and technology by students owing to their academic background, the career aspirations of the students and the academic background and attitude of the teachers among other things. Based on the researcher’s findings, implications were highlighted and recommendations were made.
1.1 Background to the Study
The role of science and technology in a nation’s development can not be over-emphasized. Science and Technology have become the basic tools for the development of modern society; a measure of the development of a nation can be ascertained from the quantity and quality of its basic and applied scientific output J.C. Amazigo (2005).
The development of a nation depends largely on the level of scientific and technological literacy (Ivowi 1993, Okebukola 1999 and Ukpene (2005). Science is indispensable to the technological development of any nation. According to Okecha (1993), science has helped in the development of Modern technology through the application of its principles to Modern invention.
A nation that neither develops a scientifically literate citizenry nor attracts its best minds to the basic sciences and technology is doomed to remain underdeveloped no matter its natural resources. Any nation with ambitions for development must have its home grown expertise in science and technology.
Nigeria’s policy makers and scientific and technological communities appear to understand and may be accept these basic axioms but they have not taken adequate evolutionary steps to identify, solve and address the major factors militating against the teaching and learning of Science and Technology.
For about two decades now, it had become clear that Nigeria’s educational system had been deficient in the production of adequate number of competent man power in science and technology to man Nigeria schools, colleges, universities and industries.
Students’ performance in sciences in both Junior School certificate examination (JSCE) and senior school certificate examination (SSCE) results for more than 20 years have persistently been poor in public examinations conducted by examination bodies like NECO, WAEC, NABTEB and JAMB.
A number of teaching methods have been used by science and technology teachers in the past. Such methods as discussion, questioning, guided discovery, exposition, etc. studies have shown that these methods have not yet yielded expected results (Abimbola and Okebukola 1998 and 2001, Inomiesa and Unuero 2003, Ukpene 2004 and WAEC Chief Examiners’ report 1998, 1991, 2002 and 2003.
Efforts must be made by the science teachers and technology teachers to make students acquire meaningful learning in science and technology by making the teaching of science and technology subjects exciting, purposeful and participatory. This calls for the use of an instructional method that would make students develop adequate assimilation and understanding of the concept taught and acquire process skills in science and technology.
1.2 Statement of the Problems
Common observations indicate in alarming rate the certification of unemployable science, technology and mathematics graduates who prefer paper certificates to knowledge and skills required for the survival of an individual and the entire society. This trend has really caused the phobia for and lack of interest in Mathematics, Science and Technology and led to uncontrollable examination mal practice in our total school system.
Conspicuous gross incompetence of the science, technology and mathematics teachers in handling science, technology and mathematics mislead the students and the society at large to think that it is very difficult to study sciences, technology and Mathematics. This incompetence has led to the certification of people better referred to as Ignoramuses since no one can give what the one does not have. This condition if not checked in any society threatens to destroy completely society order, man power and national development among other things and replace them with social crime, underdevelopment and other vices.
1.3 Objective of the Study
The study aims at determining the factors militating against the teaching and learning of science and technology in secondary schools.
Specifically, the objectives of the study include;
- To assess the attitudes of students to mathematics, sciences and technology and the reasons for the poor performances in mathematics, sciences and technology among secondary school students.
- To find out the reason for the apparent irrationality on reaction to mathematics, science and technology and the students’ rating of Mathematics, sciences and technology.
- To assess the impact of the background of mathematics, science and technology teachers on the students’ performance in science subjects.
1.4 Research Hypotheses
- Ho: teachers’ academic background has an effect on students’ interest and performance in science subjects.
- Hi: teachers’ academic background does not have an effect on students’ interest and performance in science subjects.
- Ho: students’ performance in science subjects is poor
- Hi: students’ performance in science subjects is not poor
1.5 Significance of the Study
The findings of the study will be useful to a number of people in different parts of the country. The beneficiaries of this study will include: the learners, teachers, parents, the ministries of education, policy makers in science and technology education matters who would want to produce outstanding personalities, the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN), colleges of Education, Universities and industries among others.
The society at large will actualize the goals and aims set in education if the hypothesis of this study is supported by the findings and the recommendations implemented by the government, school authorities and other necessary bodies.
1.6 Scope and Limitation of the Study
This study is primarily concerned with factors militating against the teaching and learning of science and technology in secondary schools. This study covers 10 selected secondary schools in Enugu educational zone. The researcher encountered some constraints, which limited the scope of the study. These constraints include but are not limited to the following.
a) Availability of Research Material:
The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study
The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.
1.7 Definition of Terms
Teaching is an instruction or delivering a particular skill or subject or something that someone tells you to do
Learning is the process of acquiring new, or modifying existing, knowledge, behaviors, skills, values, or preferences.
The intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.
Technology refers to methods, systems, and devices which are the result of scientific knowledge being used for practical purposes
1.8 Organization of the Study
This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows
- Chapter one is concerned with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study.
- Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature.
- Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study.
- Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.
- Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study
Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation
It is important to ascertain that the objective of this study was to have a critical analysis of factors militating against teaching and learning of science and technology in secondary schools.
In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given. In this chapter, certain recommendations are made, which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefitin addressing the challenges of teaching and learning science and technology in secondary schools.
This study aimed at having a critical analysis of factors militating against the teaching and learning of science and technology in secondary schools. Three objectives were raised to guide this study. These objectives include: To assess the attitudes of students to mathematics, sciences and technology and the reasons for the poor performances in mathematics, sciences and technology among secondary school students, to find out the reason for the apparent irrationality on reaction to mathematics, science and technology and the students’ rating of Mathematics, sciences and technology, to assess the impact of the background of mathematics, science and technology teachers on the students’ performance in science subjects.
Based on the above findings pertaining to the objectives of the study the following conclusions are drawn.
The results from the study revealed that; the students have poor foundation in Science and Technology from their primary School, lack the commitment and willingness to learn, teaching and learning environment are not conducive, most Science and Technology teachers have poor teaching foundation, several Science and Technology teachers do not plan moderately for the Science and Technology class as a result of much work load. Therefore, Science and Technology teachers need regular training to make them competent in preparing the 21st century students to face global contest in their chosen fields. If the needed effort is put in place, these problems will become history.
From the findings of this research, some recommendations are suggested, they are;
- The government should sponsor Science and Technology teachers for training for improvement in Science and Technology teaching in junior secondary schools.
- Science and Technology teachers should strive to relate their Science and Technology teaching to real life situation so as to limit the abstract nature of the subject.
- The government should make available the needed equipment and facilities in order to encourage Science and Technology teaching and learning.
- The government should endeavour to motivate and reward hardworking teachers and students with honorary packages.
- The government should also employ more qualified Science and Technology teachers so as to reduce their work load.
- The parents should endeavour to employ home lesson Science and Technology teachers for their children and ensure proper monitoring.
- The responsible bodies for the supervision of teachers and students should be made to live up to expectation
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