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The purpose of this study is to find out the biology Teachers views on problems of laboratory management and safety in selected secondary school in Lokoja metropolis. The researcher study involved biology teachers only from six selected secondary school. Two independent variables were involved in this research. These variables were teacher’s gender and teacher’s qualification. The researcher designed 30 questionnaires to elicit information.
The data collected were analyzed using percentage and chi-square test, the results showed that several factors are responsible for the problems of laboratory management and safety in secondary schools; therefore, recommendations for improving the status of practical work on biology in secondary schools were given.
The findings revealed that; in all the teachers teaching biology 65% of them were qualified 42.5% were male teachers while 25% were female teachers. It was revealed that teachers with varying qualification have the same view about the importance of laboratory work in biology.
Recommendations made are as follows; teachers teaching biology should attend seminar s and improve their teaching method. Teachers teaching biology should show sense of devotion of their work and develop enthusiasm by improvising materials that are locally made.
1.1. BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The laboratory in the school has been defined by several authors in different ways. Maduabum (1992) sees a laboratory as a place where scientific exercises are conducted by the science teachers for the benefit of the students (learners). The laboratory exercises include; experiments, and other activities which help the students in acquiring scientific skills. Ezeliora (2001) defined science laboratory as a workshop where science is done or where scientific activities are carried out under conducive environment. She also sees the laboratory as a place where science equipment, materials or instruments are housed for security and safety. Igwe (2003) observed that a laboratory can be indoor such as the sufficiently designed and equipped room found in most schools or outdoor involving such places as riverside, workshop, field and even market for carrying out scientific studies. He further stated that what ever the type of laboratory employed in science teaching, the same laboratory experience should be attained, that is a participation n the series of experimental, observational and demonstrating activities which provide opportunity for students to develop understanding of practical and theoretical concepts through solutions of problems. According to Omiko (2007) “A laboratory is a room, or building or a special period of time equipped and set apart for practical or experimental studies to take place”. He sees the laboratory as the heart of a good scientific programme which allows students in the school to have experience which are consistent with the goals of scientific literacy. This implies that science teaching and learning cannot be completely done in a secondary school where there is no equipped laboratory. Ufondu (2009) observed that the laboratory is an indispensable organ of the school if effective teaching and learning of the science subjects are to be achieved. Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary Special Price Edition (1998) defined laboratory as a room or building used for scientific research, experiments, demonstration, testing and analyzing of data etc. However, whatever is done in the science laboratory is to obtain or acquire skills that would help to advance scientific knowledge which subsequently would lead to the development of the human society. Dienye and Gbamanja (1990) observed that laboratory method of teaching is an activity involving a two-way approach carried out by one or more persons through the exercise and experimental approaches both of which are useful in science teaching. The experimental approach provides an opportunity for students to seek information using experimental procedures. These procedures call for careful observations and interpretation of data. It has the qualities of questioning, investigating and confronting the unknown.
1.2. Statement of the general problem
The general problem of lack of well equipped laboratories in our secondary schools has become a cause for serious concern as if has been a major problem towards the development of secondary education in Nigeria.
1.3. Aims and objectives of the study
The major aim of the study is to examine the views of biology students on the problem of laboratory management and safety secondary schools.
1.4. Research Questions
1. What are the views of biology students on the problem of laboratory management and safety in secondary schools?
2. Are laboratpries in secondary schools well equipped?
3. Are their solutions to the problems of laboratory management and safety in secondary schools?
1.5. Significance of the study
The study would be of immense importance to secondary school administrators as it would reveal the views of students on the problem of laboratory management and safety in secondary schools.
1.6. Research Hypothesis
H0: There is no significant difference on the views of biology students on the problem of laboratory management and safety in secondary schools.
H1: There is a significant difference on the views of biology students on the problem of laboratory management and safety in secondary schools.
1.7. Scope and limitation of the study
The study is restricted to the views of biology students on the problem of laboratory management and safety in secondary schools.
Limitation of the study
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
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