This study examined the teachers’ perception of challenges of effective teaching and learning of home economics in schools and colleges in Imo State, Nigeria. The study came as a result of poor performance of students in Home economics subject in secondary schools as well as the bad attitudes of students in learning the subject 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. Data were collected through the questionnaires were analysed through percentage analysis techniques. Based on the result of the findings, recommendations were made in respect to motivating students’ interest. Some of the findings include that inadequate availability of instructional material is a pitfall to both the students and the teachers. Most teachers do not have the necessary qualifications and as well lack the competence to use the available instructional materials.
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).
The introduction of formal education in Nigeria has partially neglected vocational and technical education. Despite all efforts made to recognize it, yet little or no attention was given to it. For many years, there was no cogent development in the area of vocational education until 1981, when the National policy on Education was published. Due to this partial neglect in our educational system, vocational and technical education has suffered a major decline in quality, policy and directive in the country. Osuala (1999) emphasized that the term either technical or vocational education has no single universally accepted definition but what is common is the various definitions is its goals and objectives that remain the same. Technical education has been defined as a phase of education designed to help the people, students and learners to acquire technical or manipulative skills required in industrial arts or applied sciences.
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 youth are demonstrating this by engaging in criminal activities, while the females are into high level prostitution, trafficking in hard drugs etc. 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 themself-reliant or become employable in different sectors of the economy.
Although, the in south eastern states in Nigeria are regarded as hardworking people and are business oriented but the vocational and technical knowledge is hugely lacking in them and therefore the introduction of home economics as a subject in secondary school must be adopted in the state. Because of this, the teaching of Home Economics education becomes very important to meet the requirements of the people in the south eastern states particularly in Imo State where this study will be carried out. At the national level, there is a clarion call for vocation and technical education, because this is utilitarian type of education designed to develop skills, abilities, understanding, attitude, appreciation of hard work and to impact the knowledge so gained in useful and productive ventures. As in other areas of vocational and technical education, the teaching home economics exposes the individuals to experiences that provide the manipulative, cognitive and attitudinal skills that would make them acquire all round education. This study aimed at identifying the teachers’ perception of challenges of effective teaching and learning of home economics in schools and colleges in Imo State, Nigeria.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The general performance in the attitude of students towards learning of Home economics has been an issue of concern to teachers teaching this subject in almost all the secondary schools in the country. Also, there is a general poor attitude of students, both male and female towards vocational education these days as a whole and Home Economics in particular. Though the female population of school age in the Nigeria is large, but they are not attracted to vocational and technical studies (Home Economics). Nsofor, (2003). There is rather a preponderance of female students in the arts and social sciences, while the males prefer the medical and legal areas than the skilled area. Where they offer Home Economics at the junior or senior secondary schools’ examinations, there is always a tendency to drop them when they enter tertiary institutions for reasons that the course is expensive and time consuming. This study aimed at identifying the teachers’ perception of challenges of effective teaching and learning of home economics in schools and colleges in Imo State, Nigeria.
1.3 Research Questions
These are some of the questions the study is designed to answer:
i) What are the efforts of the Home economics toward ensuring effective teaching of Home economics in Imo state?
ii) What are the factors affecting students of secondary schools in Imo State towards learning of home economics?
iii) What are the challenges faced by the Home economics teachers toward ensuring effective teaching of Home economics in secondary schools in Imo State?
1.4 Objectives of the Study
The objective of the study is to identify the teachers’ perception of challenges of effective teaching and learning of home economics in schools and colleges in Imo State, Nigeria, and the specific objective are:
i) To survey the efforts of the Home economics toward ensuring effective teaching of Home economics in Imo state.
ii) To investigate the factors affecting students of secondary schools in Imo State towards learning of home economics.
iii) To establish the challenges faced by the Home economics teachers toward ensuring effective teaching of Home economics in secondary schools in Imo State.
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The research hypotheses to be tested include:
i) There is no significant relationship between the challenges faced by the Home economics teachers and effective teaching of the subject.
ii) There is no significant correlation between the attitudes of students toward learning Home economics and effective teaching.
1.6 Significance of the Study
This study if need be, will 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 students. It will be useful to learners for through this they will be able to identify the factors militating against the proper teaching and learning of home economics in secondary schools throughout the whole nation. It will serve as a foundation upon which further research works to be made.
1.7 Scope of the Study
The study investigates the teachers’ perception of challenges of effective teaching and learning of home economics in schools and colleges in Imo State, Nigeria. It will therefore be conducted among teachers in five secondary schools each from northern, southern, eastern and western parts of Imo State.
1.8 Limitation of the study
The researcher was faced with the constraint of getting adequate information from students in the state 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.
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.
Teachers: persons who help others to acquire knowledge, competences or values. Informally the role of teacher may be taken on by anyone.
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.
Nsofor, C.C. (2003) Vocational and Technical Education: A tool for self-reliance and sustainable democracy in the 21st Century, Kontagora.
Osuala, E. C. (1992), The importance of vocational training in the socio-economic of
Nigeria:vocational/Technical Educational and manpower development. Pacific Publishers ltd.