The study investigates the challenges of teaching Home economics in Nigerian schools and colleges using some selected secondary school students in Owerri North Local Government Area of Imo State, Nigeria, as a case study. The study was guided by three research objectives. A sample of 200 was selected from five secondary schools in Owerri North Local Government Area of Imo State, for the study. Data was collected through a questionnaire and anlaysed with SPSS.
1.1 Background to the Study
Historically, Home Economics as a course in the Nigerian educational system was introducedin the 1840s or even earlier as domestic science. Domestic science was taught in mission and government schools to girls and women, with a lot of improvisation for the teaching of the subject. World and international agencies like MDGs, UNICEF, UNESCO, FAO, WHO, CESAC, Federal ministries of Education have greatly supported Home economics education in one way or the other. They support researches in the area. Today their activities have made the national planners and Nigerian citizens realize the importance of Home Economics for family living and national development, (Nwaiwu, 1988)
The teaching of Home Economics has taken a new step to meet people’sdemands, in its present development and its values as it helps individuals to be self-reliant and self-employed and self-independent and as well reduces the rate of unemployment in the nation. Nigeria, as a developing country has myriads of problems. Besides political problems leading to political assassination and post-election crisis, the frightening dimension is youth restiveness. The youth are restive because majority of them are idle, which confirms the adage that says, “an idle hand is the devil’s workshop”. The youthstherefore demonstrate this by engaging in criminal activities, while the females on the other hand are into high level of prostitution, hard substance trafficking etc. Youths have now come to the realization that the certificatesgiven to them after four to five of studying in school have no additional skills. This is because education, produce an individual who is honest, respectful and cooperative and who would conform to the social norm. They youth should be empowered with vocational and technical skills which would make them self-reliant or become employable in different sectors of the economy.
Nevertheless, it has been observed that there are many problems militating against the teaching and learning of Home economics in the secondary schools and they attributed are: the high level of Home economics failure, lack of students concentration in the classroom, lack of well equipped laboratories and lack of qualified Home economics teachers.Thus observe failure could be as a result of inability of the students to understand Home economics terms, lack of finance to buy needed textbooks, inadequate teachers, inappropriate and ineffective method of teaching, lack of control over the attitudes of students and teachers and others which have contributed to low level of teaching Home economics in secondary schools. A few moments of reflection is sufficient to reveal that every society faces crucial issues and problems in education which have very serious economic damage 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 scarce resources. This is because the production of education requires conducive classrooms, laboratories, books, travels, lodging etc and students’ time. Through the subject, students would be trained for homemaking and employment in textile mills and Clothing factories. In addition, Home economics skills are needed not only for home and classroom, but for the job market. Students are supposed to learn practical skills which would be useful to them in higher education or enable them get jobs in industries or other formal sectors of the economy.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Presently, there has been a considerable drop in secondary school students’ interest and enrolment in Clothing and Textiles. Lemchi (2001) noted that some students have no interest in the subject. Many Home economics teachers teach Clothing and Textiles without instructional materials or workshopfacilities (Mberengwa 2004). Teachers’ qualities and capabilities, facilities and laboratories are mainlyinadequate and outdated. Owolabi et al. (1991)were of the opinion that a serious disconnectionexists between Clothing and Textiles trainingin secondary schools and the needs of the labourmarket, as students that do not proceed to highereducation have been found to be incompetentin the field of work. In many cases, employers of labour are usually compensatedfor insufficient academic preparation by organizingremedial courses for new employees.In the case where students perform poorly, the reason is there have not been adequate teaching and learning in such schools. This study therefore investigates thechallenges of teaching Home economics in Nigerian schools and colleges using five selected secondary schools in Owerri North Local Government Area of Imo State, Nigeria, as a case study.
1.3 Research Questions
These are some of the questions the study is designed to answer:
i) What is the prevalence of the challenges of teaching Home economics in Nigerian schools and colleges?
ii) What are the factors that contribute to the challenges of teaching Home economics in Nigerian schools and colleges?
iii) What are the efforts of government toward curbing the challenges facing teaching Home economics in Nigerian schools and colleges?
1.4 Objectives of the Study
The objective of the study is to examine the challenges of teaching Home economics in Nigerian schools and colleges using some selected secondary school students in Owerri North Local Government Area of Imo State, Nigeria, as a case study and the specific objective are:
i) To establish the prevalence of the challenges of teaching Home economics in Nigerian schools and colleges.
ii) To investigate the factors that contribute to the challenges of teaching Home economics in Nigerian schools and colleges.
iii) To determine the efforts of government toward curbing the challenges facing teaching Home economics in Nigerian schools and colleges.
1.5 Research Hypothesis
Ho1: There is no significant relationship between the challenges of teaching Home Economics and learning of Home Economics in secondary school in Owerri North local government area.
1.6 Significance of the Study
This study will benefit the educational administrators to appreciate the need to make available the necessary materials that will enhance effective learning of economics if they are not available. It will also help the government to know the importance of recruiting qualified personnel in their area of specialization in order to teach effectively. 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 desirable experience in the learners. It will serve as a foundation upon which further research works to be made.
1.7 Scope of the Study
The study investigatesthe challenges of teaching Home economics in Nigerian schools and colleges using some selected secondary school students in Owerri North Local Government Area of Imo State, Nigeria, as a case study. It therefore covers students offive selected secondary school in Owerri North Local Government Area of Imo State.
1.8 Limitation of the study
The study will be faced with a lot of challenges and one it the problem of finance. There is not going to be enough funds to print questionnaires and to also transport the researcher to meet the desired respondents. Another one is time; the researcher is currently busy with the demand of his academics. A lot of assignments are available for the researcher to do and coupled with his desire to read and learn at the same time. These are the major challenges of this 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.
Teaching: the process of attending to people’s needs experiences and feelings, and making specific interventions to help them learn particular things.