AN APPRAISAL OF INFRASTRUCTURAL FACILITIES FOR TEACHING ECONOMICS IN NIGERIAN PUBLIC SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS – Complete Project Material


AN APPRAISAL OF INFRASTRUCTURAL FACILITIES FOR TEACHING ECONOMICS IN NIGERIAN PUBLIC SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS

ABSTRACT

This research is on an appraisal of infrastructural facilities for teaching Economics in Public senior Secondary Schools and being a case study of some selected schools in Mushin local government Area. The main objective of the study is to examine if there is adequate infrastructural facilities for teaching Economics in public senior secondary schools in Nigeria. Specific objectives are: To examine the adequacy of infrastructural facilities for teaching Economicsin Nigerian public senior secondary schools, to identify the relationship between infrastructure and performance in Economics in public senior secondary schools in Nigeria.

In the methodology, data used for the study was gotten from the primary data which is the questionnaire. The population of the study consists of 89 respondents. In analyzing the data collected for the purpose of carrying out this research, the statistical tool known as the Pearson Product Moment Correlation (PPC) and Chi-Square were used. Tables were used in presenting the data for the purpose of the simplicity and clarity. Findings from the study reveals that majority of the respondents are of the opinion that there are no adequate infrastructural facilities for teaching Economics in Nigeria. The outcome of this study will educate stakeholders in the education sector and the general public on the state of infrastructural facilities and quality of personnel available for the teaching of Economics in the Nigerian Public Senior secondary schools.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY

Poor schooling has proved to be the greatest barrier to political, social and economic transformation in many African countries. School infrastructural facilities have been observed as a potent factor to quantitative education. The importance of teaching and learning with the aid of adequate instructional facilities and materials cannot be over-emphasized and it is indisputable. The teaching of Economics in Nigerian secondary schools needs to be properly handled. The materials used by the teachers to pass on knowledge and drive home their subject points at the primary and secondary levels of our education system is incontrovertibly a paramount important issue in practical classroom interaction and successful transfer of knowledge from the teachers to the learners.

Infrastructure, according to Merriam-Webster Dictionary is the underlying foundation or basic framework (as of a system of organization), also; the resources (such as personnel, buildings, or equipment) of the public works of a country, state, or region.

Pertaining to the teaching of economics in secondary schools, infrastructural facilities include those equipment and materials that are available to facilitate students learning outcome.it includes good buildings for classrooms, laboratories, books, software and hardware of educational technology, experiment materials, availability of tables, chairs, chalkboard/whiteboard, chalks/markers,etc.(farrant,I991 and Farombi,1998).

According to Oni (1992), infrastructural facilities constitute a strategic factor in the functioning of a secondary school system. This is so because they determine to a very large extent, the smooth functioning of any teaching and experimental demonstrations and even other extra-curricular activities. He further stated that the availability of the above mentioned infrastructural facilities, their adequacy and relevance influence efficiency and high performance of both teacher and learner. In his words, Farombi(1998) opined that the wealth of a nation or society could determine the quality of education in that land; emphasizing that a society that is wealthy will establish good schools with professional personnel(quality teachers), learning infrastructures that with such, students may learn with ease thus bringing about good academic achievement. Ajayi and Ogunyemi (1990) reiterated that when facilities are provided to meet relative needs of a school system, students will not only have access to the reference materials required of them by the teachers, but individual students will learn at their own pace and be able to develop themselves and there is room for necessary improvement by the teacher in such that he or she is able to make further research and constant practice. The net effect of this is increased overall performance of the students.

Economics as a subject came into existence in 1776 via the publication of Adam Smith- the protagonist of the classical school of thought; and since then, it has assumed many roles especially both in political and educational circles. The study of economics is branched into two; microeconomics and macroeconomics. While microeconomics studies the behavior and operations of the individual units (households,firms and government agencies) in the economy,macroeconomics studies the entire economy in aggregates and averages (Umoh, 2007). According to Aromolaran (2006), there are three major languages used in teaching and communicating economic ideas and they are; theory or verbal, geometric or graphical, and algebraic or mathematical language.

Economics is an important subject which must be credited by students before gaining admission into any tertiary institution especially the university, to study relevant course like Accountancy, Business Administration, Insurance, etc. The importance and technicality of this subject makes it necessary that relevant infrastructural facilities earlier mentioned including instructional materials, should be used to teach it rigorously to the learners. Macaulay(1989) asserts that visual aids make lessons come alive and help students to learn better.Hence, it is evident that these infrastructural facilities which serve the purpose of easing the teaching and learning process are very crucial.

It is against this background that this study attempts to examine the extent to which the availability of good infrastructural facilities could improve the public senior secondary school students’ performance in Economics and also improve the performance of the teacher too. The teaching of Economics without infrastructural facilities may certainly result in poor academic achievement. Franzer,Okebukola and Jegede (1992) stressed that a professionally qualified science teacher no matter how well trained, would be unable to put his ideas into practice if the school setting lacks the equipment and materials necessary for him or her to translate his competence into reality.

Bassey (2002) was of the opinion that science is resource intensive (and Economics is a social science), and in a period of Economic recession, it may be very difficult to some of the electronic gadgets and equipment for the teaching and learning of economics in schools adequately.This situation is further compounded by galloping inflation in the country which makes some of the imported materials and equipment to be expensive therefore the need to produce materials locally.

Researchers like Obioha (2006) and Ogunleye (2002) reported that there were inadequate resources for teaching science subjects in secondary schools in Nigeria.They stated further that the available ones are usually not in good conditions. Therefore, there is need for improvisation.

1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

The act of teaching is fundamentally concerned with passing ideas, skills, knowledge and attitude from the teacher to the learner. For example, in Nigeria, it has been shown by experience that in the communication of ideas, spoken words alone is inefficient and ineffective in producing desired learning outcome.There have been recorded failure in Economics in among other subjects in public examinations such as WAEC, GCE and NECO.This could be due to the existence of topics which pose problem of comprehension to the students and for successful teaching of some of these topics, the presence of adequate quality infrastructural facilities alongside relevant instructional materials is required. Research indicates that students find Economics to be a boring, difficult and irrelevant subject. Large class sizes,inadequate funding, insufficient curriculum resources, poor teaching skills and lack of supports for teachers among other factors further limit the quality of teaching and learning of Economics in Nigerian schools (Okebukola 2001).

To be able to solve these deteriorating problem, one needs to develop a realistic picture of what is currently ongoing in the teaching and learning of Economics in our Nigerian schools.

However, the questions we need to ask ourselves are: does the existence of quality infrastructure really influence the students’ academic performance? Is the effectiveness and efficiency of the teacher enhanced by good quality infrastructural facilities? Does quality infrastructural facilities, help motivate the students and the teachers to do better in learning and teaching respectively? Finding answers to these questions and more summarizes the entire problem of this study.

1.3. PURPOSE OF THE STUDY

The objectives of this study are:

· To examine if there is adequate infrastructural facilities for teaching Economics in Nigerian public senior secondary schools.

· To identify the relationship between infrastructure and performance in economics in public senior secondary schools in Nigeria.

· To examine the effects of adequate quality infrastructural facilities on the teaching and learning of Economics and also the effects of poor and inadequateinfrastructural facilities on the teaching and learning of Economics in public senior secondary schools in Nigeria.

1.4. RESEARCH QUESTIONS

In order to achieve the objectives of this study, the following research questions were raised to guide the research:

· How does adequate infrastructural facility become relevant in the teaching and learning of a social science subject like Economics?

· What is the relationship between infrastructure and performance of learners of Economics in public senior secondary schools in Nigeria?

· How adequate are the infrastructural facilities for teaching of Economics in public senior secondary schools in Nigeria?

1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

The following are the significance of this study:

The outcome of this study will educate stakeholders in the education sector and the general public on the state of infrastructural facilities available for the teaching and learning of Economics in public senior secondary schools in Nigeria.

This study would help enhance the teachers’ teaching, effectiveness, efficiency and productivity. Consequently, a teacher who has adequate infrastructural facilities and instructional materials at his or her disposal to supplement his or her teaching will help improve students’ innovative and creative thinking as well as help them become plausibly spontaneous and enthusiastic. Oremeji (2002) supportively asserts that any teacher who takes advantage of these resources and learns to use them correctly and effectively will find that they make almost an incalculable contribution to instruction.

This study is also significant to the society at large because when teachers back up their teaching with adequate infrastructural facilities and instructional materials and the learners’ experience effective learning, the knowledge acquired will reflect in the society positively. Students will be able to understand the functioning of the economy, interpret government’s economic policies and activities and perform economically better in the choice of life and work. They will not become nuisance in the society.

1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY

The study is focused on investigating the effect of infrastructural facilities on advancing senior secondary school students’ performance in Economics in Lagos state. Due to time and financial constraints, the study covers only majority of schools in Mushin Local Government Area of Lagos State.

1.7 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY

The study was conducted in majority of the schools inMushin Local Government Area of Lagos State only. Thus its outcome may not reflect the national outlook of Nigerian secondary schools perfectly.

1.8. DEFINITION OF TERMS

Below are the definition of relevant terms of this study:

· Effect: This is the change that is brought about in a person(s) or something by another person(s) or thing; that is the way in which an event, action or person changes someone or something.

· Infrastructure: is the underlying foundation or basic framework (as of a system of organization), also: the resources (such as personnel, buildings, or equipment) of the public works of a country, state, or region.

· Teaching: It is the act, practice, occupation, or profession of a teacher.

· Teacher: A teacher is a person who provides education for students.

· Learning: It is the activity or process of gaining knowledge or skill by studying, practicing, being taught or experiencing something: the activity of someone who learns.

· Learner: A person who is learning a subject or skill.

· Economics: It is the social science that determines the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services. According to Professor Lionel Robbins,Economics is defined as a social science that studies human behavior in relation to ends and scarce means which have alternative uses.

· Academic Performance: This is regarded as the display of knowledge acquired or skills, shown in the school subjects, such achievements are indicated by test scores or by marks assigned by teachers. It is the evaluation of students’ classroom work as quantified on the basis of marks or grades.

· Utilization: The act of using something to achieve a purpose.


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