STRATEGIES FOR IMPROVING TEACHING AND LEARNING OF AGRICULTURAL SCIENCE IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN ADO LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF EKITI STATE
TABLE OF CONTENT
TABLE OF CONTENT
1.1 1.0 Background of the study
1.2 Statement of the problem
1.3 Purpose of the study
1.4 Significance of the study
Scope of the study
Review of literature
The concept and meaning of agriculture
The status of agricultural science in Nigeria secondary schools
The teaching and learning of agriculture
Learning resource in agriculture
Roles of the teacher in practical application of learning for effective teaching and learning agricultural of science
3.02 Research design
3.03 Area of the study
3.04 Population of the study
3.05 Sample and sampling technique
3.06 Instrument/Technique for data collection.
3.09 Method of data collection
3.10 Method of data analysis
Results and data presentation
This project was carried out to find out the strategies for improving teaching and learning of agricultural science in secondary schools in Ado local government area of Ekiti State. It contains five chapters which have been carefully arranged. Twenty agricultural science teachers and two hundred students were randomly selected from ten secondary schools which were also randomly selected from all the government secondary schools in Ado-Ekiti.
Questionnaire was used to collect data for the study and analysis was done using mean rating scale. Findings from the study includes: providing relevant and adequate teaching resources for teaching and learning of agriculture. Employing Information and communication Technology in the teaching and learning of agricultural science. Government should provide incentives in agriculture e.g employment opportunities, scholarship in agricultural courses and gives enough motivation to teachers so as to improve their teaching. Also the research found that when parents or guardian motivate learners and provide adequate study material for them, it helps to improve their learning of agricultural science.
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1.0 Background of the study
The human race needs food for survival. These needs can only be met through agriculture. Agriculture is the art and science of cultivating land, rearing of animals and processing and marketing of agro-produce. Nigeria was predominantly on agricultural country few decades ago before the era of oil boom. The country is so much blessed with vast fertile land and human resources that she should be able to feed her teeming population and also export food to other countries Akinsami, (1988). It is therefore disheartening to observe that despite all these vast resources, majority of her population are at threshold of starvation James, (2009).
Agricultural science is important to the nation because it had been the mainstay of Nigeria’s economy before the discovery of crude oil. It provides essential commodities such as fuel, fiber and shelter which are vital for comfortable living. Agro-based industries also depend largely on agriculture and it creates employment opportunities for the people in the country. Hence, there is need to improve the teaching of agricultural science in secondary schools.
Olaitan (1981) stated that agricultural production in Nigeria is still essentially subsistence in all its ramifications. This is because food production has continued to be mainly the concern of illiterate farmers most of whom are already advanced in age. For Nigeria to advance technologically in agriculture, the need to prepare a significant number of students in secondary schools to pursue course of study in agriculture in higher institutions of learning may therefore arise. He stated further that the aim of teaching agricultural science in secondary schools is to arouse interest, create agricultural awareness and train the young people in the acquisition of appropriate skills, abilities and competencies both mental and physical in order to equip the individual to live in and contribute meaningfully to the development of his society.
The problem of food shortage encountered by the country today can be attributed to the shift of economy to crude oil as the major source of national income. This has resulted into complete diversion of citizens and national interest from agriculture as a source of income to crude oil products. The repercussions are that agricultural practices have been deserted; hunger and poverty have taken over, and worst of it is the unemployment syndrome. The only way forward is to re-embrace agriculture as a veritable source of income, food and employment.
The primary and most effective means to revive and further entrench Nigeria agricultural sector is to improve teaching and learning of agricultural science in secondary school. This was portrayed by Fatunsin (2012) when he stated that “the importance of effective teaching and learning of agricultural science as well as other science subjects on the growth and development of the nation’s agricultural sector of economy cannot be over-emphasized”. He stressed further that the labour force of tomorrow are the young secondary school students of today.
In his global overview, Fatunsin, (2006), remarked that in all the developed countries of the world where food sufficiency had been attained, the role of youths had never been overlooked Nigeria yearning for self-sufficiency in food production, raw material for home industries, indigenization of technology and security against any external aggression heightened the need for improving vocational education in school system especially agricultural science (Olaitan 2005). While government and individuals are embarking on various agricultural projects, the quality of the labour force leaves much to be desired. Over eighty percent of the labour force are uneducated, untrained and very unskilled (Fatunsin, 2012). The leading position of the United State in agriculture today can be attributed in part to her infrastructural for developing and delivering new technologies. Agricultural education in secondary schools is part of the infrastructure of this remarkable system (Antoine a-et-al 2013).
Agricultural science is one of the core curriculum subjects taught at both junior and senior secondary schools in Nigeria. It is a subject taught in secondary schools as a means for self-reliance and preparation for further studies. Agricultural science is therefore designed for inculcation of the necessary skills for the practice of agriculture for effective citizenship and contribution to food security for national sustainability (Modebelu and Nwakpadolu 2013). Ogunyemi (2005) stressed that high agricultural productivity is very important for the economic and social development of Nigeria since agriculture is the basic working capital of her largest population.
National policy of education (2004) has the following objectives as it affects the teaching and learning of agricultural science.
ü To stimulate and sustain students’ interest in agriculture.
ü To enable students acquire basic knowledge and practical skills in agriculture
ü To prepare students for occupation in agriculture.
ü To prepare students for further studies in agriculture.
Attainment of the above objectives depends on several factors among which teacher plays the central role. Apart from teacher, other variables such as learning material, environment, student’s inherent capacity and many others also affect teaching and learning of agricultural science.
Achieving high quality standard of teaching and learning of agricultural science in secondary school would mean that the above objectives would be effectively attained.
The study conducted by Lafita Fuata (2004), on the factors associated with teaching effectiveness as perceived by Western Samoa agriculture teachers revealed the following factors as associated with teaching and learning of agricultural science.
The teachers’ training, the community environment, the school environment, student characteristics, the background of the teacher, support for the agricultural programme, career considerations, teaching environment, professional development, youth experience, teaching load, preservice development and enrolment in agricultural programme.
The works of several researchers revealed that the effective teaching and learning of science subjects, of which agricultural science is the parts, is not based on undefinable variables, but on some factors which differently and jointly influence teaching and learning. These factors range from classroom practices, the wider environment of the learners, the prevailing societal culture, the learners inherent capacity, the teaching facilities, the teachers who is the custodian of teaching and learning exercise etc.
In its commentary, the American Teaching and Learning Research Programme (TLRP, 2004) sees the factors of effective teaching and learning as a ripple that grows from pebble thrown into the pond. The first ripple is the classroom processes and outcome. These in turn have to do with teachers’ roles, values, knowledge and skills that were considered as the second ripple. The professional training and development and the environment for learning which collectively influence teachers’ roles, knowledge and skills constitute the third ripple. Change in approach to professional training often stimulates change in school structure and culture. This is the fourth ripple. Change in school culture and structures can be constrained or enhanced by local and national policy at system level. This constitute the fifth ripple. These relationship emphasize an important truth about attempts to bring about improvement in teaching and learning since employing better strategies to improve teaching and learning will involve changes and adjustment at several levels. For example, virtually all forms of educational innovation will require teachers to re-evaluate their beliefs, accept new commitments, develop new skills and adopt new forms of practice. They have implications for forms of school organization, inspection, national strategies and government policies.
The decision to undertake this research was informed by the fact that teaching and learning are dynamic processes that need to be regularly adjusted to meet the changing needs and opportunities in the area of study. It is therefore envisaged that this research will be used as a tool to help the educators reach the common goal of assisting the learners to do their best in agricultural science at Ado local government secondary schools and else where in Nigeria.
1.5 Statement of the problem
The impact of agriculture in the growth and development of any nation cannot be overemphasized. The problem of food insecurity and poverty faced by the developing nations due to population explosion, poor management of resources, inability to adapt new technology etc can be solved in part through effective teaching and learning of agricultural science and other science subjects. Effective teaching and learning of agricultural science will help the youths to acquire saleable agricultural skills which will in turn stimulate their interest in agricultural production and processing.
Government of Nigeria has embark on many projects such as:
Operation Feed the Nation (OFEN)
Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP)
Green Revolution (GR)
Better Life for Rural Women (BLRW)
Family Support Programme (FSP)
Directorate of Food, Road and Rural Infrastructures (DFRRI) etc.
None of these actually addressed the backbone of the problem. It is a time to focus on improvement of teaching and learning of agricultural science in schools as a means of proffering a viable solution to the problem hindering agricultural development in Nigeria.
The American Teaching and Learning Research Programme (TLRP 2004) emphasized that teaching and learning should aim to help individuals and groups to develop skills, intellectual, personal and social resources that will enable them to participate as active citizens, contribute to economic development and flourish as individual in a diverse and changing society.
In light of this, the major problem of this study is that agricultural science taught in secondary schools has not been able to transform the citizens and the nation adequately. The inability to manifest agricultural science practical skills and the indication of lack of interest in choosing agricultural courses as a career appear to be due to inadequate learning of expected skills.
1.6 Purpose of the study
The general purpose of this study is to determine the strategies for improving the teaching and learning of agricultural science in secondary schools in Ado local government area of Ekiti State. The specific purpose of the study are to:
i. Determine the variables associated with the effective teaching and learning of agricultural science in secondary schools.
ii. Determine the extent to which Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has been employed in the teaching and learning of agricultural science in secondary schools.
iii. Assess the extent to which the collaborative and cooperative effort of teachers, students, school management, parents and government will enhance effective teaching and learning of agricultural science in secondary schools.
iv. Determine the factors which the teachers perceived can influence effective teaching and learning of agricultural science in secondary schools.
v. Determine possible support strategies from students’ point of view that are needed to improve the teaching and learning of agricultural science in secondary schools.
1.7 Significance of the study
The findings of this research work will be of immense benefit to the following set of people.
i. The researchers
ii. The agricultural science teachers
iii. The students
iv. The school
v. The policy makers and
vi. The nation at large.
The researchers: The work will enable the researchers highlight the various problems affecting teaching and learning of agricultural science in secondary schools and provide a platform for further work.
The agricultural science teachers: This research work will expose areas the teacher needs to put more effort in the teaching of agricultural science. The areas where there is need for considerable change and necessary adjustment in the teaching and learning of agricultural science will be exposed. It will further help the teachers to employ better techniques and method of teaching that will bring about better understanding of learners.
The students: They will stand a better chance of becoming self-employed and self-reliant when they are adequately equipped with various agricultural skills through effective teaching and learning. This will also afford them opportunity to improve their education and also function effectively in the society.
The school: The work will help schools see any necessary readjustment required in enhancing effective teaching and learning of agricultural science. It will afford school to discover any problem associated with the teaching and learning of agricultural science and possible ways of solving them.
The policy makers: It will also enable the policy makers to be abreast of the problems of teaching agricultural science in our secondary schools and for the serving teacher to improve upon their works. It will also assist in formulating the education policies which can enhance the effective teaching and learning of agricultural science.
The nation: Finally, when agricultural science teachers, schools management, students, parents and policy makers are aware of and understand various variables hindering effective teaching and learning of agricultural science and work collectively to reinstate effective teaching and learning, the students will benefit immensely. This will in turn help the entire nation to be self-reliant and self-sufficient in food production.
Scope of the study
The study will only deal with the strategies for improving the teaching and learning of agricultural science in secondary schools within Ado local government area of Ekiti State.
The following questions will be used for this research.
i. What are the variables associated with the effective teaching and learning of agricultural science in secondary schools?
ii. To what extent has information and communication technology (ITC) been used in the teaching and learning of agricultural science in secondary school?
iii. To what degree can the efforts of teachers, students, school management, parents and government help to enhance effective teaching and learning of agricultural science in secondary school?
iv. What are the factors perceived by teacher to influence effective teaching and learning of agricultural science in secondary schools?
v. What are the support strategies perceived by the students to improve teaching and learning of agricultural science in secondary schools?