CAUSES AND EFFECT OF LOW ENROLLMENT OF GEOGRAPHY STUDENTS IN SELECTED SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN EKITI STATE
Background to the study
It is pertinent to examine the meaning or definition and the importance of Geography as well as, the students’ low-enrolment in this discipline. The uniqueness of this indispensable subject in the 6-3-3-4 curriculum in Nigeria education today cannot be overemphasized.
Hammond (1999) viewed Geography as the study of environment and man’s relationship with it. In essence Geography (Human Geography) seems to examine issues which relate directly to man and his activities in space. Since man is the central figure, human geographers are often times concerned with providing information as well as explanations and sometimes productions of spatial patterns, especially those generated by man’s occupation, his way and patterns of living and his desire to satisfy felt needs. This concern of Human Geography with man and his activities in space suggests that the field of human Geography has two aspects: how man lives and how he makes a living.
How man lives or organizes himself involves the study of population, settlement and cultural and political activities of the population. The study of human activities such as trading, agriculture, forestry, fishing, transportation, manufacturing, settlements or house building e.t.c
Majasan, (2001) in his paper titled ‘The place of Geography in the new school curriculum expressed that ‘Geography is more or less the basis of Nigerian education because hardly any subject that could compete with it in offering most of what is required to be taught to young people as regards environment and culture which are being emphasized’.
It is the work of Geographers (Climatologist) to develop models for various aspects agricultural production by using climatologically indices. They are able to determine the combination of atmospheric variables most suitable for the growth of food and cash crops. They have been able to determine their water requirement vis-à-vis evapotranspiration. They also determine the most ideal temperature for the growth of crops or plants. Climatologist can determine if crops will be subjected to diseases or invaded by insects on any given environment.
More so, Geography is relevant in the climate and economics. Here climatologists go into the area of economic and transport geography e.g effect of temperature change on highways. They used their knowledge of weather and climate to forecast areas which are likely to have snow or rainfall which can affect transportation services either by roads, rail or air. They also predict for people who are interested in recreation activities such as holiday resorts, sports business as well the type of cloth to put on.
The knowledge of Geography brings about other areas in the natural system where energy can be derived e.g. they are now looking into the way of harnessing solar energy how energy and how energy can be generated from wind. A way of doing this is for Climatologist (Geographer) to study the amount of solar energy at a surface and the angle at which the sun stritees such a surface.
Apart from above relevance of geography, the aspect of climate change. This deals with man-induced climate. Man over the years the years have deliberately or inadvertently modified climate one way of doing this is through the burning of fasil fuels, coal, petroleum and natural gas.
During this process a lot of pollutants are being released to the atmosphere. The pollutants affect the amount of solar energy that comes into the earth surface and the amount of irradiation from the earth surface into the atmosphere. Man has also generated artifial heat from bush burning and burning of fossil fuels.
Climatologist being aware of the climatic changes that are going on noticed that the world is getting hotter in most places, hence they focused attention globalwarning e.g setting up of the intergovernmental policy on climatic change (IPCC).several books have been published by this group, e .g global warming edited by Jeremy Leggett (1990) in some places things are getting drier (droughts) while in other places things are getting wetter (leading to serves of flooding problem).
Model for predictions and forecasting have been developed. The assessment of the impact of climatic change on economic political health’s food production, population growth, etc. are equally going on.
Anyone with or who has better knowledge of Geography with additional training can assist in urban and regional planning. For example, Professor Mabogunje was among those who did the planning of the federal capital territory and he is a Geographer. Likewise Professor Jerry Gana was once minister of information under Gen. Abdulsallam and Late Gen. Sanni Abacha he too was a Geographer.
The very nature of the subject as revealed by eminent scholars makes it the darling subject. The content and scope of Geography in the present syllabus if properly handled ensure enough ground or higher studies which may serve as spring board for related field of study life survey, cartography, civil and structural engineering and quantity surveying.
Despite the enviable position of the subject in the society and in the school curriculums there is still how other social science subjects like government and economics. For example, for subsequent four years white comparing the numbers of students offering Geography with other social sciences subjects, it was observed that the number of students enrolled for Geography was reducing while that of economic and government were increasing.
Table shows students enrolment in Geography economics and government
|Year||Total no of students||No who offer geography||No who offer economics||No who offer government|
Source: Ministry of Education
From the above table, one will observe that yearly the number of the students offering Geography is reducing as compared with those offering either economics or government.
Statement of the Problem:
It is felt that the low enrolment in geography in secondary school in Nigeria today is something we should worry about because it poses a great threat to teachers’ in Nigeria and consequently, the lack of geography teachers in our secondary schools. Okoro (2009) opines that if poor enrolment of students in geography is allowed to continue, it will reach a stage where no students will enroll in their WEAC and NECO examination Okon (2004) in his research findings indicated that students shy away from geography as a result of a number of factors which does not augur well for a developing nation like ours and so many sectors of our economy will be severely affected. Could this low enrolment be as a result of parental influence that needs them away to other courses which they see as more lucrative? Or could it be from the poor background students’ knowledge, or just due to the negative perception of the students towards geography? it is on this background that this research is being carried out to know the causes pf among others like peer group influence and environmental influence are responsible for low enrolment in geography among secondary school students
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study is to find out the various cause and effect of low enrolment of Geography students in selected secondary schools in Ekiti State
Specifically, the study aims at finding out:
- whether parental factor influence students enrolment in Geography
- whether peer group influence affect students enrolment in Geography
- whether students perception of Geography influence students enrolment in the subject
- If the social value attached to the subject matter affects students enrolment
Significance of the Study
The study will be very useful to the students who are still contemplating whether to take Geography related coruse as a career course. It will also encourage Geography teachers to adopt the various method of teaching, it will also be useful to counselors and parents in directing their wards towards making a rightful course career
Scope of study:
The research will be limited to five selected secondary schools in Ikere Local Government Area of Ekiti State. This area of study will be used to predict the factors responsible for low enrolment of students in geography in the sample local government .
- Do parental factors influence students’ enrolment in Geography?
- Does peer group influence affect students’ enrolment in Geography?
- Does students’ perception of the subject matter influence students enrolment in geography?
- Does social value attached to the subject matter affect students’ enrolment in Geography