AVAILABILITY AND EFFECTIVE USE OF LABORATORY EQUIPMENTS AS DETERMINANT…

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ABSTRACT

This study investigated the availability and effective use of laboratory  equipment as determinants of students achievement in basic science practical in Ipokia Local Government Area of Ogun State.A sample of one hundred(100) students were randomly selected from  five(5) selected schools in Ipokia Local Government.  The instrument used for the study was questionnaire and validated. Data collected were analyzed using chi-square. The result of data analysis revealed that school principals negative administrative style and the inadequacy of duration or time allocated to health instructions in Ipokia local government secondary schools. The results equally showed that lack of laboratory facilities lack of relevant textbooks, pamphlets and posters were factors central to the low achievement of students in junior secondary school.Based on the findings, the researcher made some recommendation which include the need for schools authorities to provide relevant instructional materials into school laboratories for practical lesson.It was also recommended that state ministries of education should create awareness and enlightenment for experienced teachers who will be trained to use these laboratory equipment’s.

Chaoter One

Introduction

1.1       Background of the Study

In Nigeria as well as in other countries, education is perceived as a tool for socio-economic and political development and as such it is accorded the necessary attention.

This position is amplified in the Nigeria National Policy on Education (2006) which stated that education is an instrument per excellence for affecting national development.

The National Policy of Education (2006) added further that education shall continue to be highly rated in the national development plans because education is the most important instrument of change and that any fundamental change in the intellectual and social outlook of nay society has to be preceded by educational revolution.

Previous studies carried out by Jekayinka (2005), Suleiman Atiku (2006) Ajayi and Ayodele (2008), proved that adequate supply of instructional resources has significant effects on students performances and enhances the effectives of instructional delivery and supervision.

However, there seems to be in Nigerian school an alarming shortage and even complete absence of laboratory facilities. United Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) (2007), further stressed that monitoring of learning achievement, report on the available instructional materials and facilities in the 960 sample secondary schools across the country revealed. An National University Commission (NUC) cited by United Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) (2008) stated that academic and physical facilities were in the deplorable states with insufficient lecture theatres/halls, laboratories and so on.

Thus, one begin to wonder how some of these universities scale the accreditation hurdle. That was why Ijaiya (2009) observed that the quality of education being provided for the Nigeria – child has become a thing of concern and lamented on the rot in the educational system. Also, Adeyemi and Igbenewaka (2009) observed that mismatch between growing enrolment and provision of facilities especially in respect of seats for students lead to overcrowding. He added that overcrowding creates undue stress on available spaces and results in the creation of rowdy behaviours, hanging outside the classrooms and absence from activities around school premises. All this have negative effects on teaching and learning process.

A laboratory is a facility that provide controlled condition in which scientific or technology research, experiment may be performed (Igbenewaka (2009). Laboratories used for scientific research take many forms because of the differing requirements of specialist in the various field of science and engineering. A physics laboratory might contain a particles accelerator or vacuum chamber, while a metallurgy chamber laboratory could have apparatus for casting or refining metals or for testing their strength (Joshua, 2012). 

Laboratory activities have long has a distinctive and central role in the science curriculum and science educators have suggested that many benefits accrue from engaging students in science laboratory activities (Hofstein and Lunetta, 2005; Hinetta et al., 2007). At the beginning of the twenty first century, we are entering a new era being scrutinized and new standards intended a new era being scrutinized and new standards intended to shape and rejuveriate science education are emerging (National Research Council, 2010). The National Science Education Standard (NRC, 2007) and also the 2016 project (AAAS, 2005) reaffirmed the conviction that inquiring in general and inquiring in the context of practical work in science education is central to the only for candidate show clear understanding of the problem in their working.

Although (Okigbo and Oguafor, 2008) have carried out research on the effect of basic science laboratory on the achievements of basic science students, it is not certain, how many of these schools have this basic science laboratories or laboratory for the science subject. We therefore need to adapt to the fast that the most desired technological, scientific and business application cannot be sustain.

According to Aladejana(2007) have however advanced the reasons for the lack  of interest in science among students to include: lack of qualified teachers, lack of practical works, insufficient  allotment of time for basics science on school  time table  poor method of teaching, poor use of laboratory equipment  etc.

Amazigo M(2006) Equally  worthy  of note is that  basic science is the only  form of science at the primary  and  junior secondary  school levels  and it remains  one of the core  subjects  in the school  development. Nigeria Education Research and Development Council (NERDC) in Fraser B, Mc Robbie C.J 2006.

Giddings G.J and Waldrip B. (2004) opined  that science is resource intensive  and in  a period of economic recession, it may be very difficult to find some  of the electronic gadgets and equipment for teaching  of basic science in schools  respectively.

American Association for the advancement of science(2008) stressed that a professionally qualified science teacher no matter how well trained would be unable  to put his ideas into practice if the school settings lack the equipments and materials necessary for him/her to translate his/her competency into reality. In order to achieve qualitative education, efficiency and productivity in basic science, better  teaching aids are needed.

Micheal(2007) Revealed that the performance of Nigerian students  at junior secondary certificate examination in basic science, was generally  and consistently poor over the years.

1.2       Statement of the Problem

The study aimed at finding out the availability and effective use of laboratory equipments as determinants of students achievement in Basic Science practical in junior secondary school in Ipokia Local Government, Ogun State.

1.3       Research Questions

            The researcher raised the following research questions to guide this study:

1.      Is there any difference in the male and female achievement in basic science practical?

2.      Are there enough equipment for practical in basic science teaching in school laboratory?

3.      Do students interact with the available equipment in the laboratory during practical lesson?

4.      Is there any difference in the performance of students taught using laboratory equipment and those taught in the theoretical lesson?

1.4       Significance of the Study

It is hopeful that findings from this study may help to identify the availability of laboratories equipment as determinants of student achievement in of basic science practical in Ipokia Local Government Area of Ogun State.

This study may also help to provide some information for curriculum designers and classroom teachers in order to utilize equipment provided for them and other relevant approaches to enhance meaningful learning of basic science by students.

1.5       Scope of the Study

This research was delimited to five selected junior secondary school in Ipokia Local Government Area of Ogun State.

1.6       Definition of Terms

Learning: Is the process by which activity originates or is changed through reaction to encountered situation, provided that the characteristics of the change in activity cannot be explained on the basis of nature response, tendencies, maturation or temporary state of the organism.

Teaching: It is the systematic process of imparting worthwhile values, or helping people to learn. It is a deliberate effort by a mature or experienced person to impact information, knowledge, skills and so on to an immature of less experienced person.

Students’ Achievement: Is a student doing well academically, obtaining life skills and giving back their community.

Basic Science: Science is derived from a Latin word “Scientia” which means knowledge, it is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe; it also refers to a body of knowledge itself; of the type that can be rationally explained and applied (Wikipedia, 2014).

Laboratory Equipment: refers to the various tools and equipment used by scientists working in a laboratory. They are also the type of equipment found in a building or room equipped for conducting scientific research or for teaching practical, as for carrying out scientific experiment and science related activities.  Elegbede(2016).


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