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Challenges Faced In Teaching Home Economics

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION

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 1.1       Background of the Study

Home Economics is one of the compulsory vocational education subjects taught in junior secondary school level of education in Nigeria.

According to Uko-Aviomoh (2005), home economics is a skill-oriented field of study that is expected to equip the learners with skills that will make for their self-reliance and employment. It is a skill-oriented subject that can equip an individual with the basic skill and knowledge that will enable one to be self-employed and so contributes effectively to the socio-economic development of the family and the society.

Eze (2001) pointed out that Home Economics is capable of preparing youths and adult for entry into various areas of home economics occupations. This shows that  as a vocational subject, home economics contributes to man power development by equipping individuals with reliable occupational skill, which lead to self-reliance. Occupational skills are best understood as competency on resourceful skills capable of steering an individual to be self-reliance, independent and productive in meeting life challenges.

According to Izuagha (2002), “occupational skills are life survival skill which an individual need to function effectively and face the challenges of life. Similarly, Ifegbo (2002) described occupational skills as those skills, which a person acquires that help develop in the person abilities and competencies needed for firm career commitments. Occupational skills in Home Economics include food and nutrition skills, home management skills and clothing and textile skills. Olibie (2001) noted that these abilities constitutes to the work-oriented, career-oriented or occupational oriented competencies that attempt to improve the efficiency and productivity of its recipients attitude of craftsman, businessmen etc. Without the teaching of Home Economics, educational program would fail in its role of empowering students to cope with daily needs of life.

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Challenges Faced In Teaching Home Economics

Furthermore, the UBE which was launched one 30th September 1999 was designed among others, to improve the standard of literacy and improve societal development. Arisi (2002) stressed that the aim of UBE includes ensuring the acquisition of appropriate level of literacy, numeracy, manipulative skills, communicative and life skills as well as the ethical moral and civic values needed to lay a solid foundation for learning. In line with these objectives, the revised edition of the national policy on education (FRN, 2004) reiterated a variety of goals aimed at facilitating educational and national development. One of such goals highlighted the importance aid-value of vocational education in secondary schools. The policy document (FRN 2004:4) maintained the need for the acquisition of appropriate skills and the development of mental, physical and social abilities and competencies as equipment for the individual to live in and contribute to the development of society.

Thus, by teaching occupational skills, Home Economics is education program enables an individual to learn, explore and prepare for a job or trade. It plays a significant role in the achieving the goals of the National Economic and Development Strategy (NEEDS). These goals include wealth creation, employment generation, reduction of poverty, elimination of corruption and the generals re-orientations of values (NEEDS, 2005).

In the words of Eze (2001), Home Economics can help individuals (male and female) acquire basic skills needed for family living and gainful employment. It could also be known that Home Economics as a field of study does not exclude gender, age or any other classification. Home Economics is a very important subject in the university curriculum, colleges and in secondary schools curriculum. The programme has many career opportunities for the university graduates. It also prepares individual for happy family life. Both male and female students study the subject at the university likewise secondary schools.

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Challenges Faced In Teaching Home Economics

In practice, however, Home Economics is one of the courses which attract lowest enrolment of students, teachers or lecturers both in secondary and tertiary institutions. Akuzuilo and Azikiwe (1998) are of the view that Home Economics education is one of the courses which attract the lowest enrolment of students and teachers who could impact those skills to the learners. Besides the low enrolment pattern, Home Economics education show wide disparity between male and female students in favour of females. Both low enrolment and gender disparity have been attributed to wrong awareness (perception) of the meaning and the roles of home economist, thus affecting the teaching of Home Economics in schools.

According to Wilson and Pearson (1998), low enrolment of students offering Home Economics in schools leads to inadequate of Home Economics teachers – a factor which affect the teaching of the subject. Also, studies into the teaching and learning of Home Economics in secondary schools by Ajala (2002) and Uko-Aviomoh (2005) lamented the inability of most secondary school graduates of Home Economics effectively apply occupational skills to ensure productive living. As a result of their lack of skills, students continue to loose interest and cannot perform successfully in Home Economics career. Presently, many graduates of Home Economics are not sure of their employment destination. Nwagwu (2008) noted that many are unemployed, impoverished and belong to the underclass. In addition, many secondary schools do not have the necessary facilities for effective teaching of Home Economics. Lack of functionable laboratories, teachers inadequacy and even inappropriate teaching method is seen as factors that militate against successful teaching of Home Economics in schools. This is the focus of this study, factors affecting the teaching of Home Economics in secondary schools in Uyo Local Government Area.

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Challenges Faced In Teaching Home Economics

1.2       Statement of Problems

Most people argued that parents do not encourage their children to study Home Economics. Lack of facilities for practical is also noted. Others are of the view that the low enrolment of students in this field is as a result of their thought or belief about the subject, feelings or perceptions and judgment or opinions made by them with regards to the teaching of Home Economics in schools. Poor funding by the government is seen as a problem affecting the teaching of home economics (Anodiogbu, 1999). People complain about the teaching of Home Economics are mostly inadequate Home Economics teachers, equipment and laboratories, lack of dedication on the part of teachers of Home Economics. Students in most schools at times, stereotype Home Economics subject as female subject, which has nothing or less to do with male children. These and many other observable problems has led to this research study on factors that affect the teaching of Home Economics in secondary schools in Uyo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.

 

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