Home economics as a subject is vocation oriented subject that helps students to develop their skills and manual dexterities through adequate practical in their respective schools. As good as this subject is, most students do not find the subject worthy of offering. Most students are of the opinion that only the female students need it most and thereby paying little or no intention to the subject at their early beginning. The study therefore sought to investigate the importance of home economics training of secondary school students in teaching and learning of home economics in Nigeria using some selected secondary schools in Sapele Local Government Area of Delta State, Nigeria as a case study. The following are the research questions the study poised to answer: What the importance of home economics training of secondary school students in teaching and learning of home economics? What are the reasons for teaching and learning of home economics in secondary schools in Sapele Local Government Area? What are the efforts of the government in ensuring effective teaching and learning of home economics in secondary schools Sapele Local Government Area?
1.1 Background to the Study
Home Economics as a subject usually brings to mind sewing aprons and cake baking. However, home economics classes taught much more. These classes acted as a bridge during the 20th Century for women to enter into institutions of higher education and later into professions. Home economics was introduced as a subject in 1800s tohelpthe girls to prepare for life on the farm by helping their parents and guardians. As universities conducted research, home economics classes taught advanced classes in nutrition and hygiene as well as economics. Women who graduated from the advanced programs in home economics education became teachers to pass on this knowledge in order for the subject not to go in extinct. This made them to secure positions in hospitals, restaurants, hotels, and even government. Thus, what is usually thought of as a class for repressed women actually prepared women for the real world and a career.
Home economics has aparamount place in Nigeria’s educational system today. No other academic discipline incorporates in its curriculum as many pertinent life skills that will help students succeed independent of their chosen career paths. One of the important areas of home economics education is that students will not only learn about subject matter that has relevance to their present lives, but will be useful to them for the rest of their lives. One area of home economics that is considered to be among the most essential is the emphasis on personal development, decision making and intrapersonal skills. A study conducted in Japan, revealed that students’ personal initiatives play an important role in determining how they will adjust to their changing work situations. Those who lack the ability to make effective personal decisions are more at risk for experiencing hardships in the instabilities found in the real world. The home economics curriculum opens the students’ eyes to varieties of potential career paths. Those that find themselves engrossed by the course material begin to consider an occupation in that area. The knowledge of home economics education has made it possible for individuals to choose career paths in nutrition, social service, and hospitality managementand the likes.
Home economics has been of a great value and importance in the area of cooking and nutrition. Health experts are alarmed at the rise in obesity in the nation, which is thought to be caused by a combination of factors, like a more sedentary lifestyle, prevalence of fast food, and the high use of overly processed foods in the home. However, a home economics classhelps one to prepare healthy and nutritious meals.Home economics classes can teach the latest research in nutrition and food safety. Home economics teacherstake the knowledge and help the students apply it in their daily lives. They can teach the proper ways to select, prepare, and cook vegetables. Learning how to cut meat in different ways and styles and how to prepare them can improve health and also help keep the budget in check as well.
Home economics helps in the skills for life. Some classes teach basic home repairs, child care, family interactions, and even community service. Home economics education makes it possible to be a class for skills development. In a society where most children grow up with a mother who works outside the home, many of these skills are no longer being passed on from parent to child. This study focused on the importance of home economics training of secondary school students in teaching and learning of home economics in Nigeria with a keen focus on secondary schools inSapele Local Government Areaof Delta State, Nigeria.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Many Nigerians fail to understand that Home Economics education is one of the parts of vocational and technicaleducation. This then causes many people to have misconception about the importance of the subject in our educational system.Majority of Nigerians have little or no interest in the subject. Home Economicswere regarded as a subject that could be taught by every mother.This is very true, because parents seem to look down on thiscourse in the society and thought it was mere waste of time and money to include it in the school curriculum. In somepost-primary institutions for instance, Home Economics subjects for the General certificate in Education (G.C.E).Subsequently, some people have wrong notion that Home Economics is for those who cannot cope with literacy subjects.These ugly trends have adversely affected students' enrolment for Home Economics in senior secondaryschools and admission of intending students into the department of Home Economics in tertiaryinstitutions in Nigeria. The government has failed to realize that the subject, Home Economics is a vocationalsubject that also has the capacity to produce various creative products, and has various areas of career thatcan reduce the problems of unemployment in the nation.
1.3 Research Questions
This research will be carried out to answer the following research questions:
i) whatthe importanceof home economics training of secondary school students in teaching and learning of home economics?
ii) what are the reasons for teaching and learning of home economics in secondary schools in Sapele Local Government Area?
iii) what are the efforts of the government in ensuring effective teaching and learning of home economics in secondary schools Sapele Local Government Area?
1.4 Objectives of the Study
The main objective of this study is to investigate the importance of home economics training of secondary school students in teaching and learning of home economics in Nigeria with a keen focus onsecondary schools in Sapele Local Government Area of Delta State, Nigeria.However, the specific objectives of the study are:
i) to establish the importanceof home economics training of secondary school students in teaching and learning of home economics
ii) to survey the reasons for teaching and learning of home economics in secondary schools in Nigeria
iii) to identify the efforts of the government in ensuring effective teaching and learning of home economics in secondary schools in Nigeria
1.5 Significance of the Study
Findings from this study would be helpful to the students, teachers, school administrators and the federal Government as it will expose them to various issues that are affecting our educational system and how they can go about to tackle them. This study will also contribute to academic knowledge and serve as a foundation upon which further research can be made.
1.6 Scope of the Study
This study investigated the importance of home economics training of secondary school students in teaching and learning of home economics in Nigeria with a keen focus on secondary schools in Sapele Local Government Area of Delta State, Nigeria.Therefore the respondents covered public secondary school students in some selected schools within Sapele Local Government Area of Delta State, Nigeria.
1.7 Limitation of the study
This study faced limitation that need to be taken into consideration. Apart from the obvious time limit and the delicate subject matter, there were issues that arose from the methodological choices applied to the study. Some respondents were not willing to disclose accurate information needed for the validity of the study.
1.8 Definitions of Terms
The following terms were used in the course of this study:
Home economics:field of study that deals with the economics and management of the home and community.It deals with the relationship between individuals, families, communities, and the environment in which they live.
Secondary school:is the next step up from primary school. Secondaryschools are often called high schools in the United States. In Britain, secondaryschools may be public schools, grammar schools or comprehensive schools
Learning: is the act of acquiring new or modifying and reinforcing existing knowledge, behaviors, skills, values, or preferences which may lead to a potential change in synthesizing information, depth of the knowledge, attitude or behavior relative to the type and range of experience.
Teaching:the process of attending to people’s needs, experiences and feelings, and making specific interventions to help them learn particular things.
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The Importance of Home Economics in Schools. Retrieved from http://www.qrcodestickers.org/additional
articles/economics-in-schools.html.Accessed on the 6th of September, 2017.