FEMALE STUDENTS PARTICIPATION AND PERFORMANCE IN BIOLOGY

FEMALE STUDENTS PARTICIPATION AND PERFORMANCE IN BIOLOGY

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the Study

The composition of female studies has been growing all over the world. The trend seems to indicate that female students prefer some courses over others. Female students who enroll in postgraduate courses do so for a number of reasons which range from the desire for high income or better employment, empowerment for decision reasons and other social cultural factors. This trend is also typical in Technical training institutions (Wattles, 2009). It was a common practice in the old days in the United States of America and Europe and Africa to find feudalism converting it into a family affair where the son of a blacksmith was destined to become a blacksmith and a feudal was born a leader. Industrialization and post industrialization has made it possible for a common person to be richer as long as she or he has due skills and knowledge (Wattles, 2009). Today, one has not only to make due career planning but also exhaustive career research before making a career choice so as to adjust with the evolving socio-economic conditions (Wattles, 2009). 

According to studies done in USA aFuntuatudes largely determine what students learn and their willingness to learn.  Lingren (1980) supported this view by stressing the importance of students holding favourable aFuntuatudes if learning experiences are to be successful. Several definitions have been offered as to what aFuntuatudes are.  Fishbein and Ajzen (1975) in their earlier studies in USA and Europe stated that an aFuntuatude is one's general feeling of favour or otherwise toward some stimulus objects.  A similar definition was offered by Thorndike and Hagen (1975) and Richardson (1977).  They added that this judgment or feeling is towards an individual, a group, an object, an institutions or a proposition.  

However, caution must be taken as to what aFuntuatudes students have as fears passed on to students stay with them for the rest of their education (Philips, 1980). Extending this further, Tobias, (1978) stated that "negative aFuntuatudes can powerfully inhibit intellect and curiosity and can keep us from learning what is well within our power to understand". In African secondary school, Fakuede (1973) found that it is common knowledge that the majority of the students in Nigerian Secondary schools dislike mathematics when comparing the two sexes. Other studies done in East Africa and especially in Uganda, and

Nigeria shows that females have been noted to have more negative aFuntuatudes (Iben, 1991;

Dike, 1984; Omuoha, 1982; Oyewole, 1982; Tobias, and Weissbroad, 1980; Preece, 1979; Fennema and Sherman, 1977; Bassa, 1976).  The differences between the aFuntuatudes of males and females increase as students’ progress in school (Lewy, 1982)

According to Mukherjee and Umar (1989) of Kano state polytechnic, Nigeria, aFuntuatudes can be changed as theories of aFuntuatude change have shown.  Research on aFuntuatudes change of individuals and their subsequent behaviour has been mainly in fields other than education especially in Nigeria.  AFuntuatudes like values are products of the social interactions a child is likely to experience with his parents, teachers and neighbourhood community. Successful interactions depend on positive reinforcements, which in their turn lead to ego- involvement of the persons concerned. Most of students who are in secondary schools do not have accurate information about occupational opportunities to help them make appropriate career choice. According to Kerka (2000), course enrolment is influenced by multiple factors including personality, interests, self-concept, cultural identity, globalization, socialization, role model, social support and available resources such as information and financial. 

Bandura et al (2001) state that each individual undertaking the process is influenced by several factors including the context in which they live in, their personal aptitudes, social contacts and educational attainment. According to Hewitt (2010), factors influencing career choice can either be intrinsic or extrinsic or both. Hewitt further states that most people are influenced by careers that their parents favour, others follow the careers that their educational choices have opened for them, some choose to follow their passion regardless of how much or little it will make them while others choose the careers that give high income. Students perception of being suitable for particular jobs also has been found to be influenced by a number of factors including ethnic background, year in school, level of achievement, choice of science subjects, aFuntuatudes and differences in job characteristics (McQuaid and Bond, 2003).

 In a study by Perrone, (2001) on role model influence on the career decisiveness of college students, it was found that role model supportiveness, and quality of relationship contributed to the career choice of students. The same study indicated that majority of the students selected same gender role models. Research on the role of spirituality and religion in career development although limited in scope has suggested that such factors relate positively to desirable career development outcomes such as career decisions. For many people with spiritual or religious commitment faith plays a critical role in the career decision making process. (Duffy and Dick 2009). 

A number of studies carried out in African countries have provided data that illustrates the gross under representation of females in Science subjects and careers (FAWE, 1997).

At a conference organized by the Federation of African Women Educationists (FAWE), it was acknowledged that in many African states, girls are still restricted to studying what is perceived to be “soft option” Subjects, which has limited their access to scientific and technical disciplines in institutions of higher learning (Ramani, 2004).

In Nigeria, it was reported at a workshop organized by Nigeriatta University and the World Bank, on gender main-streaming in public universities, that although gender disparities in students’ enrolment exist at all levels of higher education, they are particularly wide at higher degree levels especially in sciences, with special reference to mathematics and technical disciplines. It was also reported that women academicians are concentrated in what is perceived as traditional female social science and education disciplines (Ramani, 2004).

A Study on subject enrolment in Ethiopia by Stebleton (2007) indicated that the students had an external locus of control and believes that there are numerous external factors which influence their career choices. These external factors include; political and economic considerations, previous work experience and the influence of key individuals in a person’s life. Pummel, Harwood and Lavallee (2008) reports that external influences that helps to shape an individual career aspirations. According to the journal of Emerging

Trends in Educational Research and Policy Studies (JETERAPS) Scholar link Research

Institute Journals, (2011) jeteraps.scholarlinkresearch.org Journal of Emerging Trends in Educational Research and Policy Studies: students subject enrolment are also influenced by significant social support from peers. 

In a study by Natalie (2006), young adults were influenced through interaction with the context of family, school and community as they learn about and explore careers which ultimately lead to their career choice. One consistent finding in research suggests that adolescents’ own aspirations are influenced by their parent’s aspirations or expectations. Parental support and encouragement are important factors that have been found to influence career choice. Children may choose what their parents desire simply to please them (Taylor et al, 2004) 

According to Oyamo and Amoth (2008), studies in Nigeria show that rural students tend to seek help from parents more than urban students and that parents more than teachers play a major role in the career choice of students. Generally, the choice of a career is influenced by parents, friends, and counselors however variations occur from one population to the other. In Nigeria, every year form four secondary school students make their career choices before siFuntuang for their final Nigeria Certificate of Secondary Examination.  The result of this final examination determines who joins university since admissions into various careers are determined by grades obtained from the Nigeria Certificate of Secondary Education. Before making their subject choices, students are often provided with a list of careers from which they are supposed to make choices. Most of the students lack adequate information regarding various careers hence the choices that they make are embedded in their perception of the ideal job and the subjects they study in secondary school. The only support students get within the school is from career masters or counselors as they are mostly refereed to and the teachers who are expected to support students in their career choice. The purpose of this study will be to examine the factors influencing student course enrolment in humanities in diploma teacher training colleges in Katsina south district. The area of study will be chosen given that the statistics in the diploma teacher training colleges shows that majority of first year students have enrolled in humanities compared with those enrolled in sciences MOEST (2011).

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Female student enrolment in biology in Secondary schools has consistently been comparatively low and there is the need to investigate how female students make their science subject enrolment decision.. This consequently affects the number of female students opting for either science oriented courses or the business courses with the latter having a relatively awful patronage. A review of a number of research endeavours on students' subject choice, and students' aFuntuatudes towards sciences, by Angell, Guttersrud, Henriksen, & Isnes (2004) confirmed this under-representation of students in science oriented courses. 

In Katsina state only 204 female students were admitted in the three technical colleges in Katsina state compared with 978 male students in 2011 despite government (SET) bursary for female students taking science, engineering and technology courses in technical training institutions (Ministry of Education,2012). The state has registered a low enrolment in science courses especially biology. Thus, unless something is done to attract and train female students joining scienceoriented courses (without compromising standards or quality anyway) other professional areas which require people with science background could be significantly affected. The shortfall in the number of female student’s taking sciences could have serious consequences for the state because the development of every nation is driven by the advancement in science and technology education, and science courses is a central pillar around which such advancement strives. In previous studies by Angell, Guttersrud, Henriksen, & Isnes (2004) and Millar &Toscano (2006), the respondents involved in these studies were young students whose course and subject choices could be heavily influenced by their parents because they were still under the care and control of their parents. However, most of the respondents (students) in the present study are relatively mature and, in most cases, independent individuals who may not be necessarily influenced in their choices of subject by their parents and family. The overall research problem that will be addressed in this study.

1.3 Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study was to establish female participation and performance in biology among secondary school students in Funtua, Katsina state. 

1.4 Objectives of the Study

The study aimed at achieving the following objectives:

1). To establish the outcomes expectation influence on enrolment of female students in biology in Funtua, Katsina State. 

2). To establish the extent to which female students’ aFuntuatudes influence their enrolment in biology in Funtua, Katsina State.

3). To ascertain how social economic factors, influence enrolment of female students in biology in Funtua, Katsina State.

4). To establish the extent to which instructional materials available in colleges influence enrolment of female students in biology in Funtua, Katsina State.

1.5 Research Questions

The study was guided by the following research question

1). To what extent do outcomes expectations influence enrolment of female students in biology in Funtua, Katsina state?

2). To what extent do female students’ attitude influence enrolment of female students in biology in Funtua, Katsina state?

3). To what extent do social economic factors influence enrolment of female students in biology in Funtua, Katsina State?

4). To what extent do instructional materials available influence enrolment of female students in biology in Funtua, Katsina State?

Research Hypothesis

H01; There is no significant relationship between outcome expectation and enrolment of female students in biology

H02; There is no significant relationship between female student attitude in biology and enrolment in Biology

H03; There is no significant relationship between social economic factors and female student enrolment in biology

H04; There is no significant relationship between instructional materials available and female student enrolment in biology

1.6 Significance of the Study

The findings of the study are hoped to be of great importance to researchers as it will help develop additional literature in the area of factors that influence enrolment of female students in biology in Funtua, Katsina state. The study findings will benefit the government of Nigeria in developing and implementing policies that promote proper and informed subject enrolment among students. It is also hoped that the findings will help colleges to be sensitive on students’ choice of subjects.

1.7 Delimitation of the Study

This study was carried out in Funtua, Katsina State, in Nigeria tied on the period 2018. 

1.8 Limitation of the Study

The study on this topic factors influencing enrolment of female students in biology in Funtua, Katsina State, had the following limitations. The respondents were shy about giving information thinking was for commercial purposes but they were assured of confidentiality. Lastly it was not easy to get some respondents to respond to the questions but the researcher was patient and made several trips to collect them. The findings from this study may not be generalized beyond the colleges participating in the study.

1.9 Definition of Significant Terms as Used in the Study

AFuntuatudes: Female students general feeling of favour or otherwise toward science Courses.

State: an area in a legislative territorial region

Course enrollment: choice of subjects by female students in Funtua.

Gender: Female Students in technical training colleges.

Instructional materials: Teaching, learning material, i.e.  Teaching facilities like                 libraries, Laboratories etc

Outcome expectation: Future rewards/ status from the course content

Technical training institute; colleges offering technical education


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