EVALUATING STUDENTS PERCEPTION OF PRACTICAL AGRICULTURAL SCIENCE IN SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS
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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 problem
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 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.
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 an as failed to make an impression on the society
Perception is derived from the Latin words perceptio or percipio 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 that can transform farming into a lucrative system business.
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.
Gender difference in students also dictates their perception and attitude toward learning of science subject including agriculture science and other vocational subject. Female students tend to show a dislike for science subject like agricultural science that usually involve strenuous practical that require physical exertion which is usually associated with fatigue and sometime physical injuries (Adesoji,1999 and Ezewu,1981), Attitude of past Administration in Nigeria towards Agriculture is very bad Although the present administration of president Muhammadu Buhari administration is putting up 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.
Statements of Problem
The role of Agriculture to a nation cannot be underestimate ranging from availability of crops and animals in market to food security among other.
Agricultural science is a practical oriented subject, the approach to teaching of agricultural science in most secondary school is taught theoretically and 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 the do and how well they 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 was to investigate the perception of secondary school student towards practical agriculture in senior secondary school in Ilorin West Local Government Area of Kwara State
The specific purpose of the study were to;
(i) Identify how students perceive practical agricultural science.
(ii) Find out whether gender differences have any significant effect on the attitude of secondary school students toward practical agricultural
(iii) To determine whether students, perception of practical agricultural science influenced their choice of agricultural science as a career.
(iv) To verify student interest in practical agricultural science.
Based on the purpose on the study.
The following research questions were formulated
This study was intended to find answer to the following questions.
1. What are the students perception of practical agricultural science
2. Does gender difference has any significant effect on student attitude toward practical agricultural science
3. Dose gender perception of practical agricultural science influence their choice of agricultural science as a career
4. What are the students interest in practical agricultural science