In a bid to develop a world class educational system for Nigerians, the knowledge and skill in classroom assessment has to be upgraded to allow students to carry out more effective responsibility and learning process. Thus, there is a need to investigate the level of home economics education literacy among secondary school students in Aliade Local Government Area, Benue State. The followings are the objectives of the subject: to identify the level of home economics literacy among secondary school students in Aliade Local Government Area, Benue State, to examine the benefits of home economics education among secondary school students in Aliade Local Government Area, Benue State and to investigate the reasons by which secondary school students in Aliade Local Government Area, Benue State offer home economics.
1.1 Background to the Study
Home economics is a subject that serves as a foundation for skill development among students and proper attention must therefore be paid to its development to encourage students to always have keen interest on the subject. . Home Economics according to Okaru, (1994) is one of the subjects provided for the National Policy on Education. It is categorized as a vocational subject, requiring both theoretical and practical lessons. At the senior secondary school level, Home Economics is one of the areas in which students are examined. The entire curriculum is separated into three units which are treated as distinct and alternatives, such that students are required to take just one aspect. The distinct areas are food and nutrition, clothing and textiles and home management. A student who has benefited from this course is expected to acquire enough skills and knowledge that would stimulate his interest in further studies in home economics as well as enable him put into practice, at home and in industry, the ideas so acquired (Olushola 1992).
Home economics is a vocational subject that passes knowledge and skills from the grass root home/family. Molokwu (2007) postulated that the knowledge and skills which Homes Economics provides can be taught in school, formally organised or even in a non-formal settings and skills, individuals involves in these skills acquisition can become self-reliant or employers of labour. Therefore sustainable human development can be achieved through home economics. The career opportunities available in home economics are: teaching, textile design, fashion design, dietetic, nursery day-care management, food and beverage production and different kinds of services.
Home economics as a subject in secondary school has helped in term of literacy. 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 management and 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. This study is designed to investigate the level of home economics education literacy among secondary school students in Aliade Local Government Area, Benue State.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Nigerians fail to understand that Home Economics education is one of the pathways to domestic literacy. This 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. People regardedhome economics as a subject that could be taught by all 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. 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. Home economics as a vocationalsubject has not been paid more attention to by the government. The subject has the capacity to produce various creative products, and also has various areas of career thatcan reduce the problems of unemployment which can eventually contribute to mass literacy in the country.
1.3 Research Questions
This research will be carried out to answer the following research questions:
i) what is the level of home economics literacy among secondary school students in Aliade Local Government Area, Benue State?
ii) what are the benefits of home economics education among secondary school students in Aliade Local Government Area, Benue State?
iii) what are the reasons by which secondary school students in Aliade Local Government Area, Benue State offer home economics?
1.4 Objectives of the Study
The broad objective of this study was to examine the level of home economics education literacy among secondary school students in Aliade Local Government Area, Benue State.The specific objective included:
i) to identify the level of home economics literacy among secondary school students in Aliade Local Government Area, Benue State
ii) to examine the benefits of home economics education among secondary school students in Aliade Local Government Area, Benue State
iii) to investigate the reasons by which secondary school students in Aliade Local Government Area, Benue State offer home economics
1.5 Research Hypothesis
The research hypotheses to be tested include:
i) there is a significant relationship between students’ level of literacy and offering of home economics subject
ii) there is a significant correlation between students acquired skills and offering of home economics
1.6 Significance of the Study
This study will be of immensebenefit to students by understanding the value and importance of offering home economics as a subject. It will also help the students to be familiar with new skills that will help them in their future endeavours. This study will also contribute to academic knowledge and serve as a foundation upon which further research can be made.
1.7 Scope of the Study
This study examinesthe level of home economics education literacy among secondary school students in Aliade Local Government Area, Benue State. It will therefore be limited to the selected secondary school students within the Local Government.
1.8 Limitation of the study
The study was faced with challenge time and financial constraints. The time frame for this study was short and therefore did not allow the use of many analytical techniques and expansion of the scope. While financial constraint occurred as a result of lack of funds by the researcher to adequately finance the project as desired. g this research was therefore a big task. There was nothing like research grant to aid self-sponsored study.
1.9 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.
Literacy: the knowledge and skills students need to access, understand, analyse and evaluate information, make meaning, express thoughts and emotions, present ideas and opinions, interact with others and participate in activities at school and in their lives beyond school.
Secondary school:is the next step up from primary school. Secondary schools are often called high schools in the United States. In Britain, secondary schools may be public schools, grammar schools or comprehensive schools.
Molokuwu, N. (2007) Home economics in response to changes in Contemporary society and
human needs for sustainability. Paper presented At 3rd IFHE Africa regional conference
Okaru, V. (1994).The history of home economics in Nigeria and its application to urban and
rural development programme. A paper presented at the National Home Economics Workshop forTeachers, Lagos.
Olushola, I. (1992). Implementation of the national policy on education in post primary
school in Ondo State.Awkwa: Educational Policy and Implementation in Nigeria
The Importance of Home Economics in Schools. Retrieved from http://www.qrcodestickers.org/additional
articles/economics-in-schools.html.Accessed on the 8th of September, 2017.