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Roles of Home Economics towards poverty alleviation in Abakaliki urban

Roles of Home Economics towards poverty alleviation in Abakaliki urban



Background of the Study

Poverty according to world book encyclopedia (2008) is a condition where people’s basic needs for food, clothing and shelter are not being met. Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) (2005) in its reports, describe poverty as a human deprivation which stem from lack of limited access to essential capabilities that could facilitate long and healthy life, becoming knowledgeable, maintaining an adequate standard of living and participating actively in decision affecting one’s life.

Harper Collins (2002) define Alleviation as the act of alleviating, relieving or reducing pains or anything else, it is the act of reducing something unpleasant(as pains, annoyance or suffering)to make it more bearable. Poverty alleviation according to wikipedia (2008) is any process which seeks to reduce the level of poverty in a community, or among groups of people or countries. As the global issue of poverty remains a major challenge confronting the global villages, even at the down of the 21st century with millennium development goals MDGs (2005) setting (2015) as the target year for poverty Eradication, there are so many programs initiated at the national, state and grassroots level aimed at breaking the yoke of poverty and its pressure such as National Poverty Eradication program (NAPEP) initiated in 2001 to tackle poverty problems, National poverty Eradication Council (NAPEC) also initiated in 2001 to tackle poverty problem, Operation Feed the Nation (OFN) initiated in 1976 to improve food sufficiency and increase the earning of peasant farmers, Green Revolution (GR) initiated in 1980 to replace operation feed the nation as there was operational bottle neck that posed serious problems to implementers and beneficiaries, National Directorate of Employment (NDE)initiated in 1986 to cater for the graduate and non graduates farming scheme as the number of young school leavers increased, Directorate of Foods, Roads and Rural Infrastructure (DFRRI)initiated in 1986 to coordinate the opening up of the rural areas, supply them with infrastructural facilities and empowered them for rapid rural transmission. Better Life Programme (BLP) initiated in 1986 to improve the condition of rural women. Family Support Programme (FSP) initiated in 1993 to promote and provide support for families with children who have special needs. Oil mineral Producing Area Development Commission (OMPADEC) initiated in 1992 to cater for the less privileged people of the Niger-Delta, to empower them, alleviate their suffering and usher in a new lease of life. and mass Transit Programme (MTP)initiated in 2006 to ease transportation problems of commuters to and from rural areas and in the urban centres of the country. but it is regrettable as their effort to eradicate poverty proves abortive. Omole (2007) noted that there are various types of poverty. Viz-intellectual poverty, managerial poverty, technological poverty, social poverty and political poverty. Economic and Intellectual poverty will be the focus of this study.

Economic poverty can be seen as lack of attention to coherent policy formulation with policy making machinery and without providing the enabling environment to boost productive activities. Individual that is economically poor has low or zero income to acquire basic needs, such as housing, means of transport, pay for water and electricity bills. While Intellectual poverty is the inability of an individual to use his power of the mind to reason and acquire knowledge for active participation in the society or lack of basic fundamental education that can provide relevant skills for meaningful social and economic life.

Olabode and Oladeji (2008) noted that for any meaningful poverty alleviation for rural people in Nigeria to take place, the target of the program should be well define so that the resource meant for poverty alleviation does not end up in the pocket and bank account of the rich. The people who are suffering from poverty, should take part of the planning of the program, and not the professionals and politicians who have never experience poverty. To design program meant to eradicate poverty, attention must be shifted to those who have knowledge of what poverty is. Even when we adopt or adapt World Bank program, we must entrust the implementation to people who understand poverty and will recognize solution. Moreover, it is now generally acceptable that unless the local population is motivated to take lead in such effort of reducing corruption and developing rural areas, developmental efforts and alleviating strategies will not be sustainable due to lack of understanding of the social relationship in rural area and the difference between access to and control over natural resources. Many of these efforts have been unsuccessful in the longrun. Omole (2007) noted that Education, economic development and Income redistribution has been established as a primary index for development. Development according to Harrison in Omole (2007) is a state of revote against poverty, disease and ignorance.

         The role of Home Economics towards the war against poverty remained a subject area that attracts the attention of researcher. Ogunbiyi (2002) in his findings, noted that Home Economics has provided the knowledge necessary for guiding and assisting human being towards a more self rewarding and life fulfillment, hence it is a practical oriented course which teaches rural people, especially women, how to earn their living through some small scale production of soap, pomade, rug, table mat, table cloth, arm rest, beads and other Agricultural farm products.

Ogunbiyi (2002) noted that Home Economics has reduced the unemployment situation caused by poverty, by providing avenues for employment through setting of industries. Home Economics according to Blankenship and Moerchen (1999) is a broad field of study which bring together knowledge from many discipline for the purpose of achieving and maintaining the well being of an individual and families in an ever changing society. Mbah (2006), described Home Economics as a human resource development for self reliance by teaching individual how to raise money and their standard of living through various task and skill in Home Economics program courses such as-clothing construction, textile science, catering service, basic Agriculture, Home management and child development or child up bringing.

Mbah further describe Home Economics as a science base subject having its knowledge and principles deeply rooted in all science, be it natural or biological, physical or social. Home Economics equip one with scientific and educational skills that helps in solving societal problems. Nigerian in general and Ebonyi state precisely have at various times, involved in one form of poverty alleviation strategies or the other. But it is unable to move out of league of poverty endemic region. . Home Economics is a cardinal to development such that it is synonymous with human/capital development. This is justifiable in view of the fact that Home Economics Education, poverty and human development were all people’s issues and centered on people. This research work view Home Economics Education from the economic point of view of human resource development, It therefore focuses on how the enormous potentials and Opportunities in Home Economics Education can be harnessed as a tool for Poverty alleviation in Abakaliki urban.

Statement of the problem

Some parents in Abakaliki urban can no longer feed their children normal (i.e) they can no longer have their normal three meal per day. Some parents in Abakaliki urban can no longer train their children in secondary and tertiary institution where their children will be equipped with skills capable of reducing poverty in the area. Some women and young girls of Abakaliki urban were forced into prostitution with the dangers of contacting HIV/AIDS and other viral diseases.

The youths of Abakaliki urban were taking decision of obtaining illegal traveling documents to American countries, which often land many of them into prison while others were deported back to face more hardship. Many people living in Abakaliki urban were not aware of the role; Home Economics Education can play in their present predicament called poverty. Even the problem of poverty in general has in recent years kept leaders of various nations on their toes. Okonkwo (2006) observed that the level of poverty in Nigeria has reached the alarming and frustration rate. Some graduate of higher institution and secondary school leavers are in a condition of powerlessness and helplessness as well. These graduate lack saleable skills and knowledge that will enable them either to be self employed or employable. A lot of measures have been adopted towards breaking the chain/ yoke of poverty and its pressure. But it is regrettable as most of these measures, proved abortive, thus a well articulated approach that will address the poverty problem from the root, become imperatives. Home Economics has provided solution to all societal problems. It has enormous opportunity that will impart saleable skills that will break the poverty circle at earlier stage. In order to find solution to this problem of poverty in Abakaliki urban, this research work titled-Role of Home Economics towards poverty alleviation program in Abakaliki urban came to be.

Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of the study, is to determine the roles of Home Economics towards poverty alleviation in Abakaliki urban.

The study specifically tends to

  1. Determine Basic skills in Home management that will help to alleviate poverty in Abakaliki urban.
  2. Determine Basic skills in food and nutrition that will help to alleviate poverty in Abakaliki urban.
  3. Determine Basic skills in clothing and textile that will help to alleviate poverty in Abakaliki urban.
  4. Determine Basic skills in child development and care that can help to alleviate poverty in Abakaliki urban.
  5. Determine the strategies that can enhance the acquisition of skills in Home management, Food and nutrition, Clothing and Textile, Child development and care in Abakaliki urban.

Significance of the Study

The findings of this study will be beneficial to the student, the parent, the government, the society or nation at large.

            The students in secondary school within Abakaliki urban, will be exposed through the skills, task and opportunities in Home Economics, and therefore enhance their attitude towards nation development and Home management.

The parent will be relieved of the heavy economic burden involved in catering for the needs and progress of their children who remained unemployed even after graduation. To the government, it will reveal the success and failure, challenges and prospect of Home Economics and affords them the opportunity of designing and implementing a holistic approach, procedures and strategies and better ways of tackling this hydra-headed menace called poverty.

The society/nation at large will through the activities and program of Home Economics, meet up with their development economically, socially and intellectually.



Scope of the Study

            The study aimed at finding the roles of Home Economics Education towards poverty alleviation in Abakaliki urban. Specifically, the study focuses on determining basic skills in Home management, basic skills in food and nutrition, basic skills in clothing and textile, basic skills in child development and care and strategies that can enhance the acquisition of skills in Home Management, food and nutrition, clothing and textile, child development and care. The study covers twenty three (23) secondary schools (public and private) in Abakaliki urban. Home Economics teachers in those secondary schools is my respondent.

Research Question

  1. What are the Basic skills in Home management that can help to alleviate poverty in Abakaliki urban?
  2. What are the Basic skills in food and nutrition that can help to alleviate poverty in Abakaliki urban?
  3. What are the Basic skills in clothing and textile that can help to alleviate poverty in Abakaliki urban?
  4. What are the Basic skills in child development and care, that can help to alleviate poverty in Abakaliki urban?
  5. What are the strategies that can enhance the acquisition of skills in Home management, Food and nutrition, Clothing and Textile, Child Development and Care in Abakaliki urban?
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