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1.1 Background of the study
The policy behind the system of education in Nigeria is to ensure that students acquire knowledge and first hand vocational training relevant to self-reliance. The achievement of this policy would largely depend on the communication between the students and the school environment; any shortfall from them may hamper the students' overall learning outcome. The student belongs or comes from several environments such as the home, school and the community where he lives; all these contribute to their right to learn, develop and live. The term learning environment has been used by numerous researchers. Some people see learning environment as the physical characteristics of the school environment, while others take it as the teaching staff, leadership styles, morals and co-operations among others. According to Burden and Fraser, it as the total learning environment where the child finds himself, and this include the norms of the school system and the pattern of grouping of the learner for learning. This is the major reason the laboratory is an integral component of the learning environment. The laboratory is a vital place senior secondary school student’s interpersonal and educational development. In all, a good laboratory is essential for effective practical, learning to take place. Good laboratory environments are those with adequate lab equipment for teaching and learning, with driven teachers who use standard teaching methodologies and have adequate facilities. In other words, schools that do not meet this standard may not be able to provide good learning environment for proper learning to take place.
The study of home economics is the study of life itself, which is, equipping oneself to manage the different aspects affecting one’s way of living in the home, in the community and in the society. In Nigeria, home economics is centered on teaching the students the usefulness or importance of the home, the family and the society, and the subject also gives the students a lot of time to do practical work to prepare them for home life in the future. In the secondary level, Technology and Home Economics is taught.
Taking a closer look at the topics taught in THE subjects in Nigeria, its goal is to gain new skills such as the productive and entrepreneurial skills, work ethic and occupational knowledge essential both for making an intelligent choice as regards to one’s career and for specialized training in one’s occupation.
Home Economics is taught at the upper basic Secondary School Level (Basic 7- 9) under the Universal Basic Education Programme, as an integrated subject, which comprises Food and Nutrition, Clothing and Textile and Home Management. Olaitan (1992) noted that the essence of Home Economics education is to enable pupils to explore a vast array of occupations in the field before making a career choice.
The major reason why the home economics subject in the Nigeria teaches Entrepreneurship is because with or without school training any one can start a small entrepreneurship which can grow into a larger one with the help of family members, friends. Family members working together for a cause will have more earnings for their daily expenditures, more savings and more employment. Concentration on their family industry and aiming to improve the quality of their products will mean success and more power. Home economics in the Nigeria helps the students to set their goals in the event that they cannot afford to continue on with higher education, this subject in high school will enable them to be prepared and face their future with hope and positive attitude.
A good laboratory is crucial to teaching and learning of home economics among senior secondary schools. A dedicated classroom teacher feels fulfilled when he or she realizes the objectives he has set out to achieve for every lesson.
This study seeks to examine the impact of home economics laboratory for effective teaching and learning of home economics in senior secondary schools in Ogbia.
1.2. Statement of the general problem
The poor attention being given to the teaching of home economics in our secondary schools has led to the under equipment of home economics laboratory which has precipitated into the poor performance of home economics in both internal and external examinations. This has ultimately led to the decline in the quality of education in Nigeria.
1.3. Aims and objectives of the study
The major aim of the study is to examine the impact of home economics laboratory for effective teaching and learning of home economics in senior secondary schools. Other specific objectives of the study include;
1. To examine the influence of laboratory on the academic performance of home economics students in secondary schools.
2. To determine the relationship between home economics laboratory equipments and the performance of home economics students.
3. To assess the performance of home economics students in external examinations
4. To recommend ways of improving the performance of home economics students in Nigeria.
1.4. Research Questions
1. What is the influence of laboratory on the academic performance of home economics students in secondary schools?
2. What is the relationship between home economics laboratory equipments and the performance of home economics students?
3. What is the performance of home economics students in external examinations?
4. What are the ways of improving the performance of home economics students in Nigeria?
1.5. Research Hypothesis
H0: Home economics laboratory does not influence students’ academic performance in Nigeria.
H1: Home economics laboratory influences students’ academic performance in Nigeria.
1.6. Significance of the study
The study would be of immense importance to government at all levels, school administrators, teachers and principals on the need and effect of laboratory on the performance of secondary school students. The study would also be important to students, scholars and researchers who are interested on further studies on this subject matter.
1.7. Scope and limitation of the study
The study is restricted to the impact of home economics laboratory for effective teaching and learning of home economics in senior secondary schools.
Limitation of study
Financial constraints: Financial constraints tend to impede the students ability to get all the materials needed for the study but with the materials available the researcher was able to get meaningful information concerning the research topic above
Time constraints: The researcher being a student will be involved with departmental activities like seminar presentation and attendance to class, but the researcher was able to meet up with the time allocated for the completion of the research work.
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