The study investigates the challenges facing effective teaching of Home economics in secondary schools in Oru Local Government Area of Imo State, Nigeria. The study was motivated by the alarming rate at which secondary school students were not motivated to learn Home economics in preference of other school subjects and if nothing is done, the subject may go extinct and be removed from curricula. The research posed three research questions, which guided the study. Random sampling was used in the selection of schools. Five schools were selected from secondary school students in Oru Local Government Area of Imo State as well as fifteen Home economics teachers for study. Data collected through the questionnaire were analysed through percentage analysis techniques.
1.1 Background to the Study
Home economics is one of the vocational and technical subjects taught at in both secondary and higher institutions in Nigeria and is a compulsory part of the curriculum in the secondary schools. It is taught as a fundamental subject and comprises food and nutrition, clothing and textile. The importance of exposing learners to home economics curriculum for individual and societal development has been widely acknowledge and revealed that the knowledge and skills gained with home economics make a considerable contribution to young people’s personal and social development as well as prepare them for the world of works in a wide range of area. It provides learners with opportunities to develop knowledge and in both theoretical and practical aspects of livelihood (Federal Ministry of Education, 2012). A strong background in home economics curriculums is crucial for many careers and job opportunities in today’s increasingly technologically society.
Skill, is the ability to do something expertly and well. It is an organized sequence of actions. According to Njoku (2002), to posses skill is to demonstrate the habit of acting, thinking and behaving in a specific activity in such a way that the process becomes natural to the individual through repetition or practice. The development of skill is an important function of educational institutions, especially among tertiary institution students. To this effect, the National Policy on Education opined that, there is roles vocational can play in individual in satisfying the manpower needs of the nation, hence the inclusion of vocational subject like Home Economics.
Consequently, it has been observed that there are many problems confronting the teaching and learning of Home economics in secondary schools as revealed by many writers on problems of Home economics in Nigeria. Some of them are lack of finance to buy needed textbooks, inadequate teachers, lack of well equipped laboratories in schools, inappropriate and ineffective method of teaching, lack of control over the attitudes of students and teachers, poor management of schools and others which have contributed to low level of teaching economics in secondary schools. Okorie (2000), revealed that for effective teaching to take place, the skilful teacher needs to use the many effective method and techniques effectively because in them his successes and failure depends. He further more emphasised that the success in the use of methods depends of the intelligent analysis of educational purposes, pupil in the class and the curriculum content of the moment. A few moments reflection is sufficient to reveal that every society faces crucial issues and problems in education which have very serious Home economics benefits that cannot be overlooked easily for instance, the production of education as well as the acquisition of education both require the use of large qualities of scare resources (production of education require conducive classrooms, administrative blocks, personal, librarians, laboratories of education require expenditures on tuition, books, travels, uniform, lodging etc and students time. This will give insight to the challenges facing effective teaching of Home economics in secondary schools in Oru Local Government Area of Imo State, Nigeria.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The federal government of Nigeria has not come to appreciate the contribution of vocational and technical programme (of which Home Economics Education is one) to national development even though it is a tool to combat unemployment and poverty in our societies. Home economics is being taught in both junior and senior secondary schools in the whole states in Nigeria. Based on the observation in Oru East Local Government Area of Imo State the students in government schools are performing poorly in this subject which is now posing some challenges to the educational system of the state. The problem statement stated in question form therefore, is "could the classroom learning environment in home economics be so discouraging to the extent that students are no longer encouraged to participate in the home economics lessons?"
1.3 Research Questions
These are some of the questions the study is designed to answer:
i) What are the efforts of government toward ensuring effective teaching of Home economics in the country?
ii) What are the challenges faced by the Home economics teachers toward ensuring effective teaching of Home economics in secondary schools in Oru East Local Government Area?
iii) What are the attitudes of students toward learning Home economics in Oru East Local Government Area?
1.4 Objectives of the Study
The objective of the study is to investigatethe challenges facing effective teaching of Home economics in secondary schools in Oru Local Government Area of Imo State, Nigeria, and the specific objective are:
i) To identify the efforts of government toward ensuring effective teaching of Home economics in the country.
ii) To assess the challenges faced by the Home economics teachers toward ensuring effective teaching of Home economics in secondary schools in Oru East Local Government Area.
iii) To establish the attitudes of students toward learning Home economics in Oru East Local Government Area.
1.5 Research Hypothesis
The research hypotheses to be tested include:
i) there is no significant difference between the efforts of government toward ensuring effective teaching and the students performance in Home economics subject
ii) there is a significant relationship between the challenges faced by the Home economics teachers and effective teaching of the subject
iii) there is a significant relationship between the attitudes of students toward learning Home economics and effective teaching
1.6 Significance of the Study
This study will help to sensitise the educational administrators to appreciate the need to make available the necessary materials, example, chalkboard, laboratories, audio-visual materials etc that will enhance effective learning of Home economics if they are not available. This study will if need be direct the Home economics teachers’ attention to the need for them to adopt more appropriate teaching method in order to bring about a desirable experience in the students.
1.7 Scope of the Study
The study investigates the challenges facing effective teaching of Home economics in secondary schools in Oru Local Government Area of Imo State, Nigeria. It therefore covers secondary school students in five selected secondary schools in the Local Government Area. The findings from this study will be used to generalize the whole secondary schools in the local government area.
1.8 Limitation of the study
The researcher was faced with the constraint of getting adequate information from students in the local government area due to the fact that most of them were not willing to reveal adequate information about their perception of the topics in the subject as some of them thought that the researcher might be seeing them as unserious students.
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.
Laboratory:any place, situation, set of conditions, or the like, conducive toexperimentation,investigation, observation, etc.; anything suggestiveof a scientific laboratory.
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.
FME (Federal Ministry of Education) (2012): 4-Year Strategic Plan for the
Development of Education Sector (2011-2015): A Publication of the FME, Abuja, Nigeria.
Njoku, H. (2002), Alleviating poverty through the inculcation of home economics based life
(survival) skills in rural women in Nigeria. Journal of research issues in home economics, 1, 172 -178
Okorie, J.U (2000). Developing Nigerian 's workforce. Calabar: