EVALUATING SENIOR SECONDARY STUDENTS PERCEPTION OF PRACTICAL AGRICULTURAL SCIENCE
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The study investigate students perception of practical agricultural science in senior secondary in Ilorin west LGA, Kwara State
The population for this study is made up of all Agricultural science students.
The instrument used for this study was research design questionnaire and responses were elicited for the research, random sampling method was used to sample students offering agricultural science from each of the four schools involved in the study .
Four research question and hypotheses were used to guide in the study.
simple percentage was used in answering the research question and chi-square analysis was used to test the null hypotheses at a significant difference of 0.05.
The result of the study reveal that student have a positive perception, positive attitude and interest toward practical agricultural science, furthermore it also showed that there is no significant difference between male and female student in their interest, attitude and perception of agricultural science practical.
Finally it was revealed that students perception of practical agricultural science influence their choice of agricultural science as a career
The study recommended among others that agricultural science teachers should continue to sustain students interest in practical agricultural science through motivations and various pedagogical methods, and female students should be given equal opportunity in agricultural sector like their male counter parts since there is no difference in the way students viewed Agricultural science.
The study further recommend that student interest in agricultural science practical should be sustained through the provision of agricultural science facilities and learning resources.
Background to the Study
Globally, education today is widely known as the most effective investment a country can make. According to World Bank (2007) , education is one of the critical pathway to promote social and economic development.
It Education may be define as a process of training individuals in any society to acquire appropriate knowledge and skills and to develop the minds intellectually in order to live useful life and contribute to the progress of society through acquire skill and knowledge. Education may be form as in the case of established schooling systems.
Education is said to be non-formal when training of the offspring is though the traditional method of acquiring knowledge and skill.
It can bring about a better life, better world and raises economic development, it can improve the wellbeing of family and ensure better prospect of education for children (Galchukia, 1999). Secondary schools are the intermediary institutions between primary schools and tertiary institutions.
In the present 9-3-4 system of education in Nigeria, the last three years of nine year basic education is for upper basic (Junior Secondary) while the three years is for Senior secondary (FRN,2013).
Its curriculum contains subjects that are capable of preparing its students to live a useful life within the society and also prepare them for higher education, one of the subjects that can help in attaining these objectives is Agricultural science.
Agriculture is being defined by different experts based on the field of specialization or understanding.
Agriculture therefore, refers to the human activity of cultivating crops and plantations for production of food and goods such as fibers, befouls, animal feed and livestock’s.
In a broader sense, agriculture also includes breeding and raising livestock, poultry and dairying (Neok, 2011).
The need for agricultural science education in the Nigeria secondary schools system cannot be over emphasized due to the enormous impact of the agricultural sector on the nation’s economy.
Agriculture plays a critical role in job creation & poverty alleviation by successive government in Nigeria through different programmes .
The Nigerian agriculture had suffered neglect for decades due to the discovery of oil.
However, the sector still contributes significantly to the nation’s gross domestic product.
As highlighted by Adegboye (2004), agriculture contributes more than 30 percent of the country’s annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP), employs about 70 percent of the labour force, accounts for over 90 percent of the nation’s non-oil exports and provides over 80 percent of the country’s food resources.
Most African economies are dominated by agriculture, which contributes about 17% to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), 40% of exports, employment creation and has the potential to reduce poverty.
The agricultural sector has been described as the engine for economic growth and improved livelihoods in Africa (World Bank 2006; Diao et al., 2007).
Practical aspect of Agricultural science is so vital to national growth and productivity.
According to the National Policy on Education (2004), Agriculture is one of the subjects offered in Junior and Senior Secondary Schools, as a pre-vocational elective and vocational elective respectively (Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2013).
The teaching and learning of agricultural science in Nigeria secondary schools is far from satisfactory due to student perception and approach used in teaching the subject as pointed out by Sekamu (2009) , that agriculture is taught theoretically and has failed to make an impression on the society. Practical Agriculture is the practical work that facilitates the process of Acquisition of basic knowledge and practical skill that prepare students for occupation in Agriculture.
Perception is derived from the Latin words perception or presidio meaning the organization, identification, and interpretation of sensory information in order to represent and understand the environment (Wikipedia, 2014).
Perception refers to individuals view of level of understanding of subject matter or things, an individual perception of things will determine the type of attitude that will be put on. According to Mukherjee (1998), the term attitude refers to one’s feelings, thought and predisposition to behave in some popular manner towards some aspect of one’s environment.
Attitude is the liking or disliking of an object based on what is known about it (Rameela, 2004).
Attitude have a strong influences on people perception of the things around them and help to determine their likes and dislikes.
Falaye and Ayoola (2006) pointed out that student attitude toward practical agricultural science is largely determined by their erroneous perception and misconception of the profession as the major livelihood option for the resource poor farmers who have no other meaningful sustenance to earn a living. This myopic view has rather dampened the student moral and attitude without realizing that scientific and technological innovation has transformed farming into a lucrative system business.
Gender difference in students also dictates their perception and altitude towards leaning of science subjects including agriculture science and other vocational subject.
Female student tend to show a dislike for sciences subject like auricular science that usually involve strenuous practical that require physical exertion which is usually associated with fatigue and something physical injure [ Adesoji, 1999 and Ezewu ,1981], Attitude of past Administration in Nigeria towards Agricultural is very bad Although the present Muhamad Buhari Administration is putting on a positive effort towards agriculture in order to curb the problems of unemployment, food shortage and to use the sector to diversify the economy of the country and also make many Nigerians to be self – reliant [ federal Government of Nigeria,[ FGN] 2016].
which is one of the aim of vocational agriculture.
Gender refers to the social meanings associated with being a male or a female, including the construction of identities, expectations, behaviors and power relationships that derive from social interactions (Ambe-Uva, Iwuchukwu & Jibrin 2008) ).
Orji (2002) asserted that in Africa, especially in a traditional Nigerian setting female and male sex roles are seen as mutually exclusive.
For instance, some professions like carpentry, engineering, woodwork, metalwork and automobile engineering technologies are still regarded in some quarters as no-go-area for women while nursing and catering profession are seen as exclusive areas for women.
Statements of the Problem
The role of Agriculture in a nation cannot be underestimated, This ranges from availability of crops and animals in market to food security among other.
Agricultural science is a practical oriented subject, however, the approach to teaching of agricultural science in most secondary school is theoretical and this has failed to make an impression on the society (Sekamu,2009).
FRN (2009) pointed out that Nigeria schools should teach practical skills, knowledge and value which will help school leavers to solve real life problems.
Learners learn better when they hear, see and touch which is the principle of learning by doing, this principle is best achieved by engaging oneself in practical activities (Osinem,2008), However with modernization in Agriculture ,there is a need to look into the perception and interest of secondary school students in practical agricultural science in order correct their wrong perception to the aspect of agricultural science if they have negative perception of the aspect ,since student perception of things will determine their involvement in what they do and how well they will perform in such things .
This study however, tries to investigate the perception of senior secondary school student towards practical agricultural science.
Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of this study is to investigate the perception of secondary school student towards practical agriculture in senior secondary school in Ifelodun Local Government Area of Osun State
The specific purposes of the study are to;
(i) Identify how students perceive practical agricultural science.
(ii) The influence of their perception on students’ interest in practical Agriculture science.
(iii) To determine whether students, perception of practical agricultural science influenced their choice of agricultural science as a career.
(iv) Find out whether gender differences have any significant effect on the perception of secondary school student toward practical agriculture.