IMPROVEMENT NEEDS OF AGRICULTURAL SCIENCE TEACHERS FOR EFFECTIVE TEACHING OF ANIMAL HUSBANDRY IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN ENUGU STATE
Animal Husbandry is the branch of agriculture concerned with animals that are raised for meat, fibre, milk, eggs, or other products. It includes day-to-day care, selective breeding and the raising of livestock.
Husbandry has a long history, starting with the Neolithic revolution when animals were first domesticated, from around 13,000 BC onwards, antedating farming of the first crops. By the time of early civilisations such as ancient Egypt, cattle, sheep, goats and pigs were being raised on farms.
Agricultural science students need a good understanding of Animal Husbandry and management techniques in choosing it as a Trade Subject. Animal Husbandry requires well trained and experienced teachers. These teachers are saddled with the responsibility of imparting knowledge to students who will like to take up Animal Husbandry asTrade Subject.
They also help in training farmers who have little or no knowledge in animal management. The effect of this is that, most incompetent people are employed or take up animal farming without undergoing training in Animal Husbandry.AkinsorotanAdesiji, Ogunlade, and Opabo (2007) stated that in the developing countries of the World where there is inadequate Trade Subject guidance, the young ones tend to choose the career line of their parents most especially fathers’ occupation. Akinsorotanet al. (2007) further stated that, the educational system of the country stipulated that secondary school to be for children between 12 and 18 years. This is the time when they can be tutored and guided towards choosing a career.
They further stated that one of the major problems facing Nigeria is unemployment of youths due to unfavorable disposition to agriculture as a Trade Subject and all efforts by Government and Non-Governmental Agencies to encourage youths to choose agriculture production as a career have not been effective. Hence, for the young generation participation on agriculture production there should be a positive perception of agriculture production as a progressive and reliable Trade Subject in order to reverse the drifting of youths towards other professions.Ogbazi (2008) observed that Animal Husbandry in recent times has become an enterprise of concern to individual families, and schools. Ogbazi (2008) went further to observe that Animal Husbandry is relatively less capital intensive. This makes it possible for most secondary schools to establish poultry and growing of other animal in their school farms. Ogbazi further pointed out that teachers of agriculture should help agriculture students and other people who are interested in establishing animal farms in schools or in their homes. In order to be able to offer such a help, the agricultural teachers should possess both the technical and professional competencies needed for effective teaching of Animal Husbandry.Onu, (2005) maintained that animal farms in secondary schools when properly established will equipped the students with relevant skills. Onu (2006) went further to assert that Nigeria is a country with shortage of food supply, while the population is increasing rapidly.
In order to combat this problem, Onu (2006) added that many programmes were put in place which brought the teaching of agricultural science in both primary and secondary schools. Agriculture teachers have the responsibility of educating agricultural science students as prospective farmers in the different methods of producing and processing agricultural products. In order to be able to perform this function, the teachers need to be knowledgeable of the most effective methods of teaching vocational or skill oriented subject (Ogbazi, 2008). Onu (2006) indicated that agriculture and economic development of any nation to a large extent depends on the quality of her teachers especially agricultural teachers.
Agidi (2004) in Akinsorotanet al, (2007) stated that, the journey back to the history of agriculture in Nigeria, there is now a trend that is bringing a great concern tothe future of agriculture and food production.
It is necessary to educate and make the young generation to be conversant with agricultural farming in order to encourage them to contribute to food production and distribution in the country. Mayer and Onaze (1996) in Akinsorotanet al. (2007) stressed that Students who were also in the post primary education stage were taught in the classroom about modern methods of agricultural farming with practical training on the school farm. The National Policy on Education (2004), defined Vocational and Technical Education “as the Education designed to prepare individuals to acquire practical skills, basic scientific knowledge and attitude acquired as a craftsman and technician of sub professional level”.
The policy further stated that, the goals of teacher education was to provide teachers with intellectual and professional background adequate for their assignment and make them adaptable to changing situations. The policy further stated that, the goals ofsecondary and vocational education are for the purpose of:providing technical knowledge and vocational skills necessary for agricultural, industrial, commercial and economic development.giving training and imparting the necessary skills to individual who shall be self- reliant economically.exposing students to Trade Subject awareness by exploring usable options in the world of work, enabling the students to set up their own business and become self-employed and be able to employ others.
Rao, Reddy and Reddy (1995) in Akinsorotanet al (2007) stated that Agriculture Education and training in higher schools require professional teachers who understandthe psychology, principles, techniques of teaching and learning process for proper and adequate transfer of information to ensure change in knowledge, skills and attitude towards progressive agricultural practices. Okigbo (2012) in Akinsorotanet al (2007) stated that the future of increased food production rested on giving support to the education and training of young generations who are students of agriculture.
Statement of the Problem
Animal farming in secondary schools are no longer equipped to make today’s modern farming efficient and effective (Onu, 2004) Institution Animal Husbandry such as secondary schools enhance teaching and learning process and motivate the learners tochoose Animal Husbandry as a Trade Subject. The students should be acquainted with all the skills required in Animal Husbandry and be able to apply such knowledge effectively after graduation. In EkitiState, the researcher observed that, most students performed poorly in the West African School Certificate “Mass failure bleak future on WAEC report” (Kunle, 2010). It was further observed by the researcher that secondary school students were not adequately exposed to Animal Husbandry practical due to poor teaching methods, unqualified agricultural science teachers and specialists in Animal Husbandry, inadequate modern equipment and facilities among others.
Teachers are being trained by the government to handle the subject at secondary school levels. Yet, there are still, some problems, which the teachers face in teaching this subject at a secondary school level. This study is designed to focus on the problems facing the teachers in the teaching of agricultural science in secondary school.
Purpose of the study
The main purpose of the study is to identify the improvement needs of agricultural science teachers in teaching animal husbandry in secondary school
Specifically the study shall seek to:
1. Identify the strategies needed for improving the teaching and learning of animal husbandry in secondary schools
2. To find out the factors that affect the teaching and learning of animal husbandry in secondary schools
3. What are the teaching techniques adopted in the teaching of animal husbandry
4. Determine ways of solving the problems identified in teaching animal husbandry in secondary schools.
Significance of the study
Agriculture has been made a core subject in the primary school curriculum. This is the secondary aim of training present and prospective farmers for proficiency in farming. Also to reverse the lack of interest show by many young ones and their preference for the white collar jobs, which have made agriculture to be left in the hands of the aged people.
Hopefully, the finding of the study will provide information and the data that would assist curriculum planners, decision makers as well as other bodies associated with agricultural programme in schools. This will help in harmonizing the course content of agriculture in the secondary schools and giving balance attention to both theoretical and practical aspect of agriculture.
Such finding could serve as a spring board for the improvement of agricultural programmes at the secondary school level and in motivating pupils in choosing agriculture as career.
This study has the following research questions:
1) What are the strategies needed for improving the teaching and learning of animal husbandry in secondary schools?
2) What are the factors that affect the teaching and learning of animal husbandry and effectiveness in secondary schools?
3) What are the teaching techniques adopted in the teaching of animal husbandry?
4) What are the ways of solving the identified problems the teachers face in teaching Animal husbandry in secondary school.
Scope of the study
The study focuses on the improvement needs for effective teaching and learning of animal husbandry in secondary school. The study covers five selected secondary schools in Ikere local government area of Ekiti State