Strategies To Improve The Performance Of Students In Science Subjects: A Case Study Of Selected Secondary School In Egor Local Government Area Of Edo State
This research work is designed to find out the strategies or ways of improving the poor performance of students in science subject in some selected secondary schools in Egor Local Government Area of Edo State. The research instrument used was the questionnaires; hundred respondents were used for the study. Problems were raised and the results obtained were used to answer the research questions.
The result of the investigation revealed that;
- Lack of science equipment in the school affect the studying of science hence lead to poor performance.
- Inadequate time table also affect science teaching leading to poor performance.
- Lack of library and science textbooks was another cause of the poor performance.
The result also revealed that though there are qualified teachers teaching science subjects in secondary schools in Egor Local Government Area of Edo State but their methods of teaching affect students performance in science.
Poor payment of teachers and lack of motivation also affect the performance of science subjects.
The following stated hypothesis were used which are;
- Teachers in secondary school in Egor Local Government Area are not professionally and academically qualified to teach and students does not do practical work in science.
- Secondary school teachers and students does not do practical work in science.
- Secondary schools teachers do not allocate enough periods for science.
- There are no laboratory facilities in secondary schools.
Based on these findings the following recommendations were made;
- Government should evolve principles and policies that would help to enhance science education.
- Qualified science teachers with a least B.Ed. certificate should be employed to teach the basic science at secondary school level. They know the key concepts in science.
- Emphasis should be laid on practical aspects of science.
- Teachers should endeavour to make use of local materials required for effective teaching of science.
- The students on their part should try and pay listening ears during science teaching
- Government should ensure regular allowances for science teachers, pay them well so that they can be motivated to impacts the best knowledge at their disposal.
1.1 Background of the Study
Science was the last major subject that was introduced in the school curriculum. It was introduced in some few schools in form of nature study and the emphasis on getting information about our environment from first hand observation rather than from books. In Nigeria curriculum,. Science education first appeared in 1859 when the church missionary society (CMS) grammar school Lagos introduced the rudiment of nature study. This introduction was done by people who were both specialists in science and master teachers, they were able to make the study of nature of science a dynamic and unforgettable learning experience for students. Baja (1982) in Igwe (2003) described it as the learning of the environment and hygiene other schools like Saint Gregory’s College Lagos, Hope Waddle institution Calabar and Baptist training College Ogbomoso followed later in teaching nature study. By this time according to Abdulahi (2000) a rural science syllabus was formulated for science teaching at primary schools and other biology related subjects were introduced such as botany, physiology and agriculture at secondary school level. However once entrusted to teachers with little or no background in science and with varying degrees of teaching effectiveness, the study on nature of science in the schools deteriorated bodily.
Simply, the world science came from Latin “Scientia” meaning knowledge. It refers to a system of acquiring knowledge. This system uses observation and experimentation to describe and explain natural phenomenon. In other words the term science also refers to as an organized body of knowledge people have gained using that system, less formally. The word science often describes any systematic field of study or the knowledge gained from it. The education attainment of the student in science is inevitable and should be looked into with a lot of invention in both teaching on side of student at all level. The training of the students most especially, children in primary schools is very important since the extent of a nation future labour force, leadership, political stability and strength of technical knowledge all lies in their hands. The importance of science and its implementation to the social and environment of the people is well recognized by every nation. Some scientific knowledge is needed by everyone in other to have an idea of the ways in which one is fed, entertained clothed and sheltered to ensure a more profitable exploration of scientific and technological potentials, it is therefore necessary to lay emphasis on scientific knowledge. In respect of this integrated science subjects was introduced into the school curriculum by science teachers association of Nigeria about few decades ago and was made compulsory in the junior secondary school level.
Ebina (2010) observed that the cooperative arrangement between the science teachers association of Nigeria (STAN) and the defunct comparative educational research and adaptation centre (CESAC) now merged into the Nigeria educational research and development council (NERDC) heralded by the first national effort at science curriculum development to improve science education in Nigeria in 1969. The result of this 1969 curriculum conferences was the information of two major science projects (NISP) and the Nigerian Secondary Schools Sciences Projects (NSSSP) later the National Primary Science and Mathematics Projects (NPSMP) were developed. Presently there are the basic science and technology projects (BSTP) for primary schools. In order to achieve good results in the science curricular projects government policies were specially geared towards encouraging science teaching and learning at all level. Ivowi (2000) observed that government science policies have aimed at boosting and improving science education.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Science teaching in secondary schools in general has so many problems associated with it, for example lack of qualified teachers teaching science subjects, lack of science equipment to carry out practical’s in science classes, lackadaisical attitude on the part of the students towards science subjects. The government has tried to put more effort to put an end to these problems yet their effort has proved abortive due to one reasons or the other.
Thus the researcher has decided to make an in-depth study into the factors that contributes to these problems despite the effort put by the successive government with a quest of finding solution to these problems.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The purpose of the research is to study the behaviour and attitude of students towards the studying and teaching of science. The researcher also wants to find out the general view held by the public as to the causes of student’s poor level of achievement in science. To examine the ways of science in some selected secondary schools and how to improve and better the performance of the students.
1.4 Significance of the Study
The significance of this study lies in the fact that the performance of students in science subjects over the years facilitates an assessment for mapping out strategies that will improve the performance in the nearby future especially in Egor Local Government Area of Edo State and Nigeria as a whole and this is done to pinpoint to science students that learning science through reading is important because it helps them to;
- Think and learn
- Teach students how to use reading materials effectively
- Know that there are several sources of information available on different reading level
- Know that learning through self discovery is the best way to science
- Assist students in developing their science vocabularies
- Teach science students how to apply what has been learnt to new situation which will serve as an evaluating techniques
- Assist students studying science subjects to improve their interest of studying science through raising questions that can be solved in the class.
- Know the aims at signifying the important of experience or demonstration and by bringing challenges to slow and rapid learning through oral written test.
1.5 Research Questions
This research questions is to find out the strategies that when applied will improve the performance of students in science subjects in Egor Local Government Area of Edo State. In doing this, the following questions arte guide;
- What are the qualifications of teachers?
- What are teacher’s competencies and self0efficiency in their instructional delivery?
- What method of teaching do the teachers use in teaching science subjects?
- Are the teachers paid well by the government?
- What effort is the government and community making to solve the government?
- Do the schools have science equipment?
- What is the behaviour of students towards the learning of science subjects?
- What is the content of science curriculum and its implementation?
The researcher is of the view that the answers to the above questions would help to identify the ways of improving science in our schools.
1.6 Scope of the Study
The study will involve the performance of students and teachers towards the study of science in some selected secondary schools in Egor Local Government Area of Edo State. This project deals with the causes of students poor performance in science subjects and how it affect them. And also the remedies to this problems will be highlighted.
1.8 Definition of Terms
An accumulated body of knowledge and skills about nature.
It is a building where scientific purpose of carrying out practical work, also laboratory can be seen as a room or building used for scientific research, experimentation, testing etc.
These are sets of teachers that are trained in institutions and are certified as professional teachers eg. TC II, NCE, B.Ed etc
To force somebody to do something or behave in a particular way or to restrict somebody or something.
An action that is successfully failed.
Something that shows that something else is going to happen soon
Not showing enough care or enthusiasm
Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations
The study was embarked upon to analyze the strategies to improve the performance of science students in science subjects in Egor Local Government Area of Edo State. the use of questionnaires was very instrumental in eliciting responses from the respondents. The questionnaire was prepared and administered to students and teachers in Egor Local Government Area of Edo State. The responses made by various participant were collected, arranged in tabular forms and analyzed by simpler percentage. Depending on the results of the analysis of data the research findings showed that;
- Despite the qualification of teachers more effort still need to be added in teaching science subject.
- Lack of practical work due to inadequate science equipment and also lack of laboratories in our schools.
- Lack of libraries and science textbooks.
- Poor teaching methods on the part of the teachers and also lack of use of instructional materials (chart or model) to illustrate in science classes.
- Lackadaisical attitude on the part of the students towards science subjects and
- Poor payment of teachers by government and lack of motivation were found to affect the performance greatly.
The issues raised in this study are crucial and need to be taken seriously by the government, teachers, parents and other stakeholders in education sector. The issues of funding of education training programme for science teachers in Nigeria. Provision of infrastructure, quality admission of students into education courses, science curriculum and its implementation and examination malpractice in Nigeria need to be addressed if the performance of science students in our schools must be achieved.
This study reviewed the critical issues in science education and education in general. These issues need to be tackled urgently in order to achieve meaningful development. To tackle the issue raised the researcher made the following recommendations;
- Issues concerning education should be borne out of principles. That is the government should evolve principles and policies that would help to enhance science education.
- Government should not play policies with science education, money meant for education should be provided to schools authorities or ministry of education for proper development of our schools
- Government should make policies that should serve as guideline in the provision of science education, facilities and equipment for schools and on a sustainable basis without which no school would be recognized or approved for the senior secondary school certificate examination (SSCE) and national examination council (NECO)
- There is need to redefine the focus of science education at the basic primary education level. Where the foundation of science education is adequately provided for other levels.
- There is need to use sound education objectives, because it has been identified to be an indispensable component of curriculum development. They provide basic communication devices between the developers on one hand and the teacher and students on the other.
- Qualified science teachers with at least NCE and B.Ed certificate should be employed to teach the basic science at secondary school level. They know the key concepts in science.
- Emphasis should be laid on practical aspects of science, as little is comprehended through theoretical learning positive and permanent impression would create in the students in what they have learnt and practice, because of learning by doping.
- Teacher should endeavour to make use of local materials required for effective teaching of science, because students will comprehend more when what are in their environment are used to demonstrate learning activities.
- The students on their part should try and pay a listening ear when the science teacher is with them, and they should have a good interest towards the teaching of science subjects.
- Government should ensure regular allowances for science teachers, pay them well so that they can be motivated to impacts the best knowledge at their disposal./
- Finally, for those who may wish to carry out further study on the topic, should endeavour to carry such research to other local government area of Edo State. More also these factors responsible for the poor performance should be highlighted apart from those already in this work.
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