THE EFFECT OF BIOLOGY PRACTICAL ACTIVITIES ON ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT OF SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS
NEED FOR TEACHING AND LEARNING OF BIOLOGY IN THE SECONDARY SCHOOLS
The importance of biology in the social and economic development of any nation cannot be over emphasized. Today USA, RUSSIA, and many other countries are regarded as the most highly developed countries, simply because of their knowledge of science, of which biology is one them. For this purpose, the Federal Ministries of Education under the National Policy on Education (FRN, 2004) vividly stressed that the study of science will provide knowledge and understanding of the complexity of the physical world, the forms and the conduct of life, cultivate inquiring, knowing and democracy, all these are the importance of science of which biology is one of the. Many biology, therefore, innovations are coming up, so that nobody can escape being caught up in the learning of biology. Therefore, the need to acquire new skills, new attitudes and new values for effective teaching of biology in our secondary schools cannot be over – emphasized. Skills should be developed on how to handle practical works on biology.
Okeke (2009) observed that the main hope for the developing countries to attain to rapid rate of economic advancement, to raise the standard of living in the future, lies in our will to enhance or improve the rate of learning in the secondary schools, and to motivate students by giving the high points to the development of science. The increasing demand of service by our biological industries like pharmacological industries, the agro– biological industries etc, can only be met by training capable teachers who will enhance the rate of learning in the secondary schools, and motivate students to specialize in the subject.
Most students participate actually in some science subjects like biology and they assume that other science subjects are not easy to handle, such ideas should be discouraged as the science subjects work hand in hand when handling any scientific innovation.
The new trend towards social, ethical and humanistic values of biology, demands that the government should equip laboratories for practical purpose and create the right attitudes of teaching the subject, so that the students can inject their experiences into the scientific practices. Iloeje (2002), in his report for success in practical works in biology, stated that students must be giving opportunities to participate in what ever practice that is going on in the laboratory. He said that, teachers should expose the students to the rudiments of practical activities in biology. They should encourage the need to equip the laboratory for the practical purpose. These will help students to understand and assimilate some of the biology terms, and theories will be made easy to them, so that they will have interest in the study of biology and will wish to continue with it in future.
EFFECT OF BIOLOGY PRACTICAL ACTIVITIES ON STUDENTS IN SECONDARY SCHOOL
Onah (1994) emphasized that teaching g involves more than talking all time time. Resources such as diagrams, field works and real objects, when effectively used to explain the subject matter very well of better than lecture. The proper place for effective practical activities is the laboratory. Biology being one of the science subjects can not be taught or learnt effectively in the absence of practical. Iloeje (2005), in his lesson for effective biology practical activities stated that, of all the five sense organs used, the sense of sight is the highest of them. Kildare and Okoro (2007), established that students understand better when they involve themselves in practical experiment during practical and obtain their results such students can not only remember the procedure involved but also feel proud of themselves of obtaining the correct results, thus stressing the need match theory with practical.
obidiwe (2005), while discussing science curriculum in Nigeria said that, whatever project is selected, theory and practical should go hand in hand. According to him, a practical aspect of biology is neglected so much and when taught at all, the students are almost preparing for their senior secondary certificate examination. As a result, students fail biology in their S.S.C.E. Confirming the above situation Chukwu (2009), observed that practical periods, which are very necessary for successful study of biology are not enough. He highlights the need for the students to be exposed to series of practical activities. The theory and practical aspects of biology need not to be separated but taught as component parts of a subject and not as a separate entity.
FACTORS THAT AFFECT THE ACHIEVEMENT OF SECONDARY SCHOOL BIOLOGY STUDENTS
There are many factors that affect the achievement of secondary school biology students in Enugu East Local Government Area and some of them are including;
Inadequate laboratory facilities, Teacher factors, Students factors and
INADEQUATE LABORATORY FACILITIES
The absence of adequate laboratory facilities in secondary school has been a major problem in teaching and learning of biology practical activities, in Enugu East Local Government Area.
Ani and Eze (2007) established that students understand better when they have practical experiences, when students perform experiments themselves during practical and obtain their results, they can not only remember the procedures involved, but also feel proud of themselves for obtaining the correct results. It is therefore essential that, the laboratory is properly equipped, for the study of biology practical activities, and students should be very much involved in the laboratory, since it is an established fact that they perform better place when they partake in the activities.
The proper place for the study of science is the laboratory. Biology being one of the science subjects cannot be taught/learnt effectively in the absence of a laboratory. Nnamonu (2003) supported that above statement in his speech for effective use of laboratory. He stated that the whole work of science is centered on problem solving and laboratory afford convenient place for careful, observation, accurate calculation and logical conditions. He further taught of the conducive environment that is the laboratory, where both illustrative and investigating aspects of practical could be carried out. According to Bargess (2003), the effective use of the laboratory of science skills, under such conditions, the ability for independent work and self reliance cannot be develop.
Based on these facts the laboratory should be properly equipped. This is became, according to Lunetta (2008), the laboratory helps students in making accurate observation, devising, hypothesizing, finding the reasons for results, planning control and with holding judgment. According to Eya, and Ani (2003) there have been an outcry about the falling standard of science education in Nigeria over the years. Researchers have pointed accusing fingers to several factors as being responsible and prominent among these factors is the teacher factor.