PROJECT TOPIC : CAUSE OF LOW ENROLMENT IN VARIOUS SCIENCE EDUCATION OPTIONS IN TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS IN EBONYI STATE.
This study was designed to investigate causes of low enrolment of students in education programmes in tertiary institution in Ebonyi State. One hundred and ninety two students including teachers from the three institutions in Ebonyi State contributed the subject of the study.
Instrument for data collection was an open ended and closed type of questionnaire administrated to the students in each institution (IKwo College of education, Ebonyi State University, Akanibiam polytechnic Afikpo) the result of the study showed that the students, society, teachers and parents contributed to this low enrolment of students in science education programme in tertiary institution in Ebonyi State.
Suggestions for possible solution were made, recommendations for future study were also made.
BACKGROUND TO THE PROBLEM
Science could be seen as a means of extending man’s knowledge of himself and his environment, making use of data collecting and theorizing processes.
Commenting on the importance of science education to the nation, Ogundim (1972) was of the option that “just as the arts have their elites who maintain already attained standards of excellence and enrich the culture through excellence and creation and pushing of new ideals. Technology cannot hope for much advancement and repaid progress without a leader who by talent and training are in a position to improve existing facilities and equipment and to create and invent new products and process of scientific and technological practices.
Hence, science should recognized and taught as a major human activity which expresses the realm of human experience, maps it methodologically but also imaginatively. Speculation creates a coherent system of knowledge.
Today’s world has been rightly described as that of science and technology, literacy in science is therefore, seen as a need for every man and woman. The federal government of Nigeria spells. This out in it’s national policy of education (1977) by stating that practicing or arian of education should be inculcating in the child, the spirit of inquiring and creatively through exploration of nature and local environment, it goes further to say that secondary education should equip students to live effectively in our modern age of science and technology.
Modern science was introduced in our schools in the early 1920 as general science which was taught as a simple subject to schools certificate level or in the lower forms. Later no general science was diversified to include physics, chemistry and biology. Enrolment in science subjects generally is decreasing at a time schools enrolment is increasing. Recent research on the patterns of enrolment in science education in Nigeria by Makide (1982) show that the rate of decrease in the past decaded is between 3-5% at a time when school enrolment is increasing by 10%.
Contribution in the field of science in Nigeria, in justifying competition Fasina (1986) explained that there is need to resuscitate the recognition of merit. He also noted the systematic down-word trend in the interest of our youths in science.
Hence, it must be clearly noted that any nation which does not have a good scientific and technological base normally cannot develop its natural resources and so may become permanently impoverished.
It is obvious that in Nigeria the development of science and technology is given the greatest priority in the overall educational structure. The federal government of Nigeria (1981) substantiates the point. A great proportion of education expenditure will be devoted to science and technology and universities and other levels of the system will be required to pay attention to the development of scientific talent, more colleges of technology and polytechnics will be opened and the ratio of science liberal Art student in the universities has been fixed at 60:40 during the plan period.
The foundation of a scientifically oriented career is laid in the classroom. Moreover, the professional bent of a scientist whether a pharmacist, Agriculturist, medical doctor, engineer or computer analyst is determined by the amount of skill and completeness he has been able to acquire in the physical, biological and applied science including physics, biology, chemistry, integrated science, mathematics and to some extent Agricultural science.
PROJECT TOPIC : CAUSE OF LOW ENROLMENT IN VARIOUS SCIENCE EDUCATION OPTIONS IN TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS IN EBONYI STATE
Okeke (1988) contends that it is only through science education that man can become aware of the benefits of science and technology as a prerequisite for solving the problem of modern life such as hunger, disease, natural and man made disasters. Anyamwu (1989) summarized the objectives and philosophy of science and science education as follow.
Knowing the fundamental facts and principles of science, understanding the investigative nature of science, possessing the abilities and skills needed to engage in the processes of science and including attitudes about science its consequence should be impacted on science in human life and wonder of nature.
The four options offered in science education (physics, mathematics, chemistry, biology and computer) have been said to be basic science and full development of technology would virtually be impossible without them. Unfortunately, Nigerian student are era ding them, for this reason, this research is therefore carried out to investigate the causes of fall in enrolment of students in various science education options in Ebonyi State University.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
In spite of all four options offered in science education (physics, mathematics, chemistry, biology and computer) it is felt that the low enrolment in various science education option in Nigeria today is something we should worry about. Thus, school certificate results in sciences education indicate that the average performances are not too bad, it seem the students are not fully aware of the value of science education.
If not, how can one explain the fact that in spite of the seemingly good results in science based courses in our tertiary institution? There is still a fall in enrolment of student in various science education options in the science education department of Ebonyi State University (EBSU) the enrolment of students in various science educations options has greatly dwindled in recent time.
This posses great threat to teachers education in Nigeria and subsequent lack of science teachers in our secondary schools.
This is the problem of this study.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study is necessary in obtaining the useful information concerning the low enrolment in science education and in making appropriate recommendations, if the recommendations are seriously dealt with, would help to improve student’s enrolment in that department, thereby increasing the number of teachers to teach in our secondary schools.
Moreover, it would serve as a means of generating further information for further research work.
SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This research is focused on the department of science education of the tertiary institutions in Ebonyi State University which contribute the subject of the study.
PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
This research work is aimed at discovering the cause of low enrolment in the tertiary institution in Ebonyi State specially the students wants.
- To determine the factor responsible for low enrolment in science education in Ebonyi State University.
- To determine the consequence of low enrolment in science education in Ebonyi State University.
- To determine why students enrolled more often to other filled of discipline in preference to science education.
- To determine the ratio of student enrolment in Ebonyi State University.
- To ascertain the characteristics of students in Ebonyi State University.
In order to guide the study, the following research questions were drawn to the study.
- Do students in tertiary institution have interest in science subjects?
- What are the effect of the performance of students in basic sciences at secondary schools on their choice of higher institutions?
- What is the perception of science education by students?
- Do most student in tertiary institutions meet the admission requirements of science education departments?
- What role should authorities of science education department play to increase enrolment in science eduation?