EFFECT OF AVAILABILITY OF EQUIPMENT ON STUDENTS’ PERFORMANCE IN FOODS AND NUTRITION
The main purpose of this study was to identify the effect of availability of equipment on students’ performance in Foods and Nutrition. The research is imperative in that the findings of the study will assist government and other key stakeholders in education to provide support towards the implementation of Foods and Nutrition curriculum focused on the identified critical challenges. The study adopted the descriptive survey research design in which 8 schools selected through purposive sampling technique. The population for this study comprised of students in all the secondary schools in Lagos State that are offering Foods and Nutrition as a subject at ordinary level. Eight secondary schools in Surulere Local government comprising 120 students were selected by a simple random sampling and this also comprised of 8 Foods and Nutrition teachers. A structured questionnaire, interviews and observations were used as data collection instruments. The findings reveal the following challenges as militating against the effective implementation of the Foods and Nutrition curriculum in Lagos State: negative attitude by parents and students towards the subject; inadequate professional and qualified teachers for the teaching of Foods and Nutrition; inadequate infrastructure and equipment in schools and where the equipment is available it being underutilized due to lack of expertise and inconsistent electrical power supply ; insufficient instructional materials and books in schools ; and that schools are generally poorly financed. Four key recommendations arising from the study are that quarterly awareness campaigns should be carried out in society to educate the public about the importance of Foods and Nutrition as well as technical and vocational subjects in the curriculum; training programs in form of seminars, conferences, workshops and in servicing, should be organized at regular intervals to equip teachers with the requisite skills for the teaching of Foods and Nutrition; school should form partnerships with the industries and corporate bodies aimed at financing the implementation of Foods and Nutrition curriculum and vocational subjects in secondary schools and that adequate infrastructure, resource materials and facilities should be provided in schools for effective teaching and learning.
1.1 Background to the Study
Nutrition is fundamental to developing a sense of well-being and to meeting the growth, development, and activity needs of healthy, confident children and young people. Readiness to learn is enhanced when the learners are well nourished. There is considerable evidence linking children’s nutrition to educational outcomes. If children are malnourished, have nutritional deficiencies or are obese, then their learning is likely to be affected. Adesina (2009) comments that education at all level is a delicate issue, which serves as a way forward to every society – especially in a developing nation like Nigeria. Advanced countries have improved their standard of living by education, which is considered to stimulate economic and technological development; thus, education can be regarded as an investment that yields dividends in terms of overall development of a country (Adesina, 2009). Formal education started in Nigeria during the colonial period. It developed from the early forms of reading, writing and arithmetic (i.e. the three ‘r’s) to a stage where the London Genera Certificate of Education, Ordinary Level Syllabus (the so-called O-Level) was used to guide instruction in secondary schools (Fafunwa, 1974). These secondary ‘grammar schools’ were fashioned in such a way that did not accommodate the vocational technical subjects, and as a consequence trade centers and colleges were established. Here, the City and Guild (Intermediate) syllabus was used to guide instruction and upon completion, successful students were awarded the City and Guild (Intermediate) Certificate of London. The Federal Craft Certificate or the Ministry of Labour Trade Test Certificate also was awarded to successful candidates. The Federal Craft and Trade Test Programs were put in place by the Federal Government of Nigeria mainly to improve the understanding and competencies of artisans and technicians.
In view of the fact that most of our youths pass through the secondary grammar schools (as the trade colleges were fewer in number), following the political independence of Nigeria, there was a realization that the type of education our colonial masters left with us needed a critical reexamination of the worth: of content, objectives, relevance, methods, administration, evaluation, and so forth. According to Ezeobata (2010), this period saw a state of affairs in Nigeria education where every subject had to ‘prove its usefulness’ to retain a place in the school curriculum. Probably, this was what led the then National Educational Research Council (NERC) to convey an historic curriculum conference at Lagos in 1969, which Okeke (1981, p. 10)has described as “a culmination of people’s dissatisfaction with uncertainty of the aims of education.” This conference recommended new set of goals and provided directions for major curriculum revision upon which the National Policy on Education of 1977 and the revised policy in 1981 was based.
Against this background of national aspirations, a new educational system commonly referred to as the 6-3-3-4’ system of education emerged. Among other innovations, the sytem provided for pre-vocational and vocational curricular offerings at the junior and senior secondary schools respectively. For the first time in the history of education in Nigeria, vocational and technical education subjects were, as a matter of national policy, to be offered side by side, and hopefully, enjoy parity in esteem with the ‘more academic’ courses hitherto run by the secondary grammar schools under the old colonial-based system of education.
To this end, the national curriculum on Agriclture, Introductory Technology, Home Economics, Business Studies (Junior Secondary School Level), Agricultural Science, Clothing and Textile, Home Mangement, Food and Nutrition, Typewriting & Shorthand, Principles of Accounts, Commerce, Woodwork, Technical Drawing, Basic Electronics, and Auto-Mechanics came into being in Nigerian Secondary schools. As one of the innovations that should distinguish the products of the new system from the old, school work was now based on these curricula in both private and public secondary schools from 1982 – driven by the government’s directive that post-primary schools shold be more comprehensive, which the National Policy on Education had earlier proposed in 1981. There is no doubt about the usefulness of these programs in secondary schools provided errors or specific weaknesses of the ‘process’ (if any) are identified, and remedial measures taken for improvement. There is the fear that most research reports about the implemented curriculum favour the patronage of public schools, with little or no regard to private secondary schools.
Furthermore, in some earlier studies like Relevant of Education, A Myth or Reality? Taylor (2011), stated that as a result of curriculum integration in the Nigerian New System of Education (NPE, 2004, Revised), Nigerian Students and Teachers were asked questions to determine their attitude to vocational and technical subjects as it affects their teaching and learning in a typical Nigerian Technical School. From a more general perspective, Taylor (1961) also reported on students’ expectations of their teachers in different kinds of school settings. Teachers, according to the report, according to the report seem to work within a framework of expectations. They may respond to some of these expectations and reject others. Kay (1971), argued that, the teacher’s role must broaden in scope to parental functions if curriculum integration of teachings and learning is to become a reality.
Kay (1971) stated that, the general outlay over the depreciating/ falling standard of education in Nigeria and incessant poor performance of students in schools call for a proper and continual study of educational system in order to identify the constraints to the effective implementation of vocational education program and that we should try out a variety of possible solutions to the problems that have resulted to this malaise. Advocates of curriculm integration in the Nigerian New System of Education, for example, Adesina (1982), find elements in the current situation in Nigerian Schools, which vindicate these problems, centering around the uncertainties of curriculum implementation.
Ajakaiye (1991) states that, training for industrial occupations in vocational/technical schools is comparatively a recent phenomenon. Until the 19th Century. Apprenticeships and informal training developed skills for most manual occupations, largely through association with a master – often for many years. In recent times, technological advances, analytical and communication skills were required in vocational education and training as well as more theoretical knowledge. Uyanya (1989) stated that, the most important thing that ever happened to Nigeria is the 1981 National Policy on Education, which emphasizes the acquisition of vocational skill and self-reliance.
This trend helped make teachers, student and the public in general, become increasingly aware of the need to develop skill to operate our various industries. According to Maduewesi (1985), the New Policy (6-3-3-4 educational system) on education enables individual students to spend 6 years in primary schools, 3 years in junior secondary schools, 3 years in senior secondary schools and 4 years in tertiary institution. Sower (1971) observes that vocational/ technical education is a means towards industrialization of Nigeria. Olaitan (2006) defines vocational/ technical education as that aspect of education which is a skill acquisition-oriented form of training, based on application of mathematics and scientific knowledge in specific field for self actualization and development. Sower (1971) goes on to state that vocational/ technical education is a social process, concerned primarily with people and their part in doing work that society needs alone with preparing the people for work and improving the work potential the labour force. Now, the world drifts t Science and technology to fit into the society in the nearest future, requiring an indispensable knowledge of vocation education.
1.2 Statement of the problem
It is apparent that there is astronomical decline in students academic performances in Nigerian Secondary schools and this has been of much concern to the government , parents, teachers and stakeholders. The quality of education not only depends on teachers as reflected in the performance of their duties, but also in the effective utilization and deployment of instructional materials and equipment, which are pivotal to achieving greater performance. The extent to which leaving could be enhanced depends largely on the available and effective use of equipment, especially in such vocational subject as Foods, Nutrition, Home Economics and Basic Technology and so on (Chukwuka 2013). The problem of the present study is to investigate the effect of using improvised equipment in the teaching of Food and Nutrition in secondary schools and its implication academic performance. Therefore the researcher ‘s priority is to determine whether non-availability of equipment constituted the problem affecting the academic performance in Foods and Nutrition.
1.3 Research questions
1. What impact does the use of equipment has on students’ academic performance in the teaching of Foods and Nutrition in Nigeria secondary schools?
2. Does the exposure of students to the use of these equipment facilitates comprehensive learning and thereby stimulate their interest in the subject?
3. How often does student academic performance correlates with the use of or availability of equipment in terms of external examination e.g. WAEC OR NECO?
4. Students’ academic performance has no bearing on the use or availability of Foods and Nutrition equipment?
5. Does the teacher’s experience alone have any significant input in academic performance of students in Foods and Nutrition aside the use of equipment in the teaching of Foods and Nutrition?
6. Will a teacher perform better without the use of equipment in teaching Foods and Nutrition and what impact will that have on students’ academic performance?
1.4 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The study sought to investigate the extent to which the availability of equipment in the teaching of Foods and Nutrition has on students academic performance .
Specifically, the purpose of this study is to;
1. Det ermine the extent to which teaching materials and equipment affect students’ performance
2. Identify challenges to effective implementation of Foods and Nutrition curriculum in some seconday schools offering the subject in Surulere Local Government
3. Determine the strategies that can be employed to deal with these challenges.
There is no relationship between availability of equipment on student academic performance
There is no significant between student academic performance and teachers’ proficiency in teaching of Foods and Nutrition.
1.6 Significance of the the study
In an attempt to improve the teaching of Foods and Nutrition as well as vocational subjects in Lagos state secondary schools and make the learning of Food and Nutrition as well as vocational subjects more attractive to students, this study makes the following important contributions to knowledge and education. Firstly, [this study provides Food and Nutrition educators, curriculum planners and government with detailed information about the actual picture of Food and Nutrition teaching and learning, and educational practices in Lagos State schools and ways of improving the situation. This in turn can help in planning and formulating further policies for Food and Nutrition education in Lagos State. Secondly, the study also opens avenues for further research in the area based on the knowledge gaps other scholars will have found.
The participants in the study are a sample of Food and Nutrition teachers teaching in one education district in Zimbabwe, and thus, are not representative of all Food and Nuthtion teachers throughout the country. A larger sample representative of all education districts, schools and teachers that offer Food and Nutrition in the country would be recommended.
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