THE CHALLENGES AND PROSPECTS OF TEACHING HOME ECONOMICS IN SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS (A CASE STUDY OF ORU EAST L.G.A)
There is a need to apply knowledge fromHome Economics to many areas of our life endeavors in other to benefit society the achievements of the objective necessitates an understanding of the basic teaching of Home Economics. We are not going to attain national objectives in the light of poor average performances in examinations and lack of application of Home Economics to the life of students. This study will enable our educational administrators to see the need to have qualified home Economics teachers who are ready to teach effectively for the benefit of the students and the society at large. Therefore, this study investigates the challenges and prospects of teaching Home Economics in senior secondary schools in Oru East Local Government Area of Imo State, Nigeria.
1.1 Background to the Study
The introduction of formal education in Nigeria has partially neglected vocational and technical education. Despite all efforts made to recognize it, yet little or no attention was given to it. No meaningful development was made in the area of vocational education until 1981 when the National Policy on Education was published. Due to this partial neglect in our educational system, vocational and technical education has suffered a major decline in quality, policy, and directive in the country. It was after the oil boom era 1970s that it dawned on the nation that there was an acute scarcity of skilled manpower. Osuala (1999) emphasized that the term either technical or vocational education has no single universally accepted definition but what is common is the various definitions is its goals and objectives that remain the same. Technical education has been defined as that phase of education that seeks to help the people, students, and the populace acquires specific mechanical or manipulative skills required in industrial arts or applied science.
Home Economics is one of the vocational subjects taught in both secondary and higher institutions in Nigeria and is a compulsory part of the curriculum in secondary schools. It is taught as an integral core subject, which comprises food and nutrition, clothing and textile, and home management. The importance of exposing learners to Home Economics curriculum for individual and societal development has been widely acknowledging and revealed that the knowledge and skills gained with Home Economics make a considerable contribution to young people’s personal and social development as well as prepare them for the world of works in a wide range of area. It provides learners with opportunities to develop knowledge and in both theoretical and practical aspects of livelihood (Federal Ministry of Education, 2012). A strong background in Home Economics curriculums is crucial for many careers and job opportunities in today’s increasingly technologically society.
In order to help the various areas and skills in Home Economics and to prepare Nigerian students for self-reliance, self-employment, and self-independence after school, the Nigerian Educational Research, and Development Council (NERDC, 2008) reviewed and reoriented its curriculum to have a broad scope that covers virtually all aspects of human daily living. According to the NERDC (2008), the reviewed upper basic Home Economics curriculum is built on the 9-year basic education philosophy that seeks to provide quality learning experiences and pay attention to the all-round development of the individuals. Among the aims of the curriculum is to provide students with changes in a technological, socio-economic and multi-cultural society, contemporary societal issues have been integrated into the curriculum more practical lesson are introduced, and lessons are organized in modules with specifications on a variety of instructional material including instructional technologies for teaching. It is expected that if properly implemented the curriculum would cater to a diverse range of students' abilities help the students to learn practical skills which would be useful to them in higher education or enable them to get jobs in industries or other formal sectors of the economy.
However, it has been observed that there are many problems confronting the teaching and learning of Home Economics in secondary schools as revealed by many writers on problems of Home Economics in Nigeria. Some of them are lack of finance to buy needed textbooks, inadequate teachers, lack of well-equipped laboratories in schools, inappropriate and ineffective method of teaching, lack of control over the attitudes of students and teachers, poor management of schools, and others which have contributed to low level of teaching Home Economics in secondary schools.
Effective teaching to take place, the skillful teacher needs to use the many effective method and techniques effectively because in them his successes and failure depend. He furthermore emphasized that the success in the use of methods depends on the intelligent analysis of educational purposes, a pupil in the class, and the curriculum content of the moment. A few moments of reflection is sufficient to reveal that every society faces crucial issues and problems in education which have very serious Home Economics benefits that cannot be overlooked easily, for instance, the production of education as well as the acquisition of education both require the use of large qualities of scare resources (production of education require conducive classrooms, administrative blocks, personal, librarians, laboratories of education require expenditures on tuition, books, travels, uniform, lodging, etc and students time.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Home Economics is being taught in both junior and senior secondary schools in the whole state of Nigeria. But it has been observed in Oru East Local Government Area of Imo State that students in government schools are performing poorly in this subject which is now posing some challenges to the educational system of the state. The problem statement stated in question form, therefore, is "could the classroom learning environment in Home Economics be so discouraging to the extent that students are no longer encouraged to participate in the Home Economics lessons?"
1.3 Research Questions
These are some of the questions the study is designed to answer:
i) what is the prevalence of effective teaching and learning of Home Economics among secondary school students in Oru East Local Government Area of Imo State?
ii) what are the attitudes of teachers in teaching Home Economics in secondary school in Oru East Local Government Area of Imo State?
iii) what are the factors affecting students of secondary schools in Oru East Local Government Area of Imo State towards learning Home Economics?
1.4 Objectives of the Study
The objective of the study is to investigate the challenges and prospects of teaching Home Economics in senior secondary schools in Oru East Local Government Area of Imo State, Nigeria, and the specific objective is to:
i) to establish the prevalence of effective teaching and learning of Home Economics among secondary school students in Oru East Local Government Area of Imo State
ii) to identify the attitudes of teachers in teaching Home Economics in secondary school in Oru East Local Government Area of Imo State
iii) to inquire the factors affecting students of secondary schools in Oru East Local Government Area of Imo State towards learning Home Economics
1.5 Research Hypothesis
The research hypotheses to be tested include:
i) there is no significant relationship between teachers and effective teaching and learning of Home Economics in secondary schools in Oru East Local Government Area
ii) there is a significant correlation between students and effective teaching and learning of Home Economics in secondary schools in Oru Local Government Area
1.6 Significance of the Study
This study will help to sensitize the educational administrators to appreciate the need to make available the necessary materials, for example, chalkboard, laboratories, audio-visual materials, etc that will enhance effective learning of Home Economics if they are not available. This study will if need be direct theHome Economics teachers’ attention to the need for them to adopt a more appropriate teaching method in order to bring about a desirable experience in the students.
1.7 Scope of the Study
The study investigates the challenges and prospects of teaching Home Economics in senior secondary schools in Oru East Local Government Area of Imo State, Nigeria. It, therefore, covers secondary school students in selected secondary schools in the Local Government Area.
1.8 Limitation of the study
The researcher was faced with time constraints as their researcher was involved in other academic works at the time this study was carried out..