Strategies to improve the Assess of Girls in Physics Education, in afikpo South local Government in Ebonyi state.
1.1 Background of the Study
Physics is the science that studies the properties and interactions of matter and energy. Physics is one of the most fundamental of sciences. Scientists of all disciplines make use of the ideas of physics. The principle of physics plays an essential role in the scientific quest to understand how human activities affect the atmosphere and oceans, and in the search for alternative source of energy.
Physics is also the foundation of all engineering and technology. No engineer could design any kind of practical device without first understanding the basic principle involved. Young and Freedman (2004) said “The study of physics is an adventure” you will find it challenging, sometime frustrating, occasionally painful, and often richly rewarding and satisfying it appeal to our sense of beauty as well as rational intelligence. Our present understanding of the physical world has been built on the foundation laid by scientific giants such as Galileo, Newton, Maxwell and Einstein and their influence has extended far beyond science to affect the ways in which we live and think.
Education is the bedrock upon which economic, political, social and technological development of any nation is based. Thus the federal government of Nigeria in the National policy on Education (1998:7) aims at raising a generation of people who can respect the worth and dignity of the individual, share responsibility for the common good of the society and respect the dignity of labour. Education is a process through which we foster in the individual desirable and relevant change in behaviour and attitude Rusk (1957) Nyerere (1976) rejoined education as an agent of liberation.
Women education touches fundamental issues of gender disparity which is both ancient and global. The provisions of the National policy on Education (2004) believe that every Nigerian child should have a right to equal opportunities irrespective of any real or imagined disabilities each according to his or her ability. In almost all societies, a separation or roles for men and women has exited and formed the basis for social organization and Cohesion Enweani, (2005). Some roles such as child bearing can be said to be divinely decreed, but other have emerged as societies have evolved the diverse socio economic and cultural structures that richly endow the world. Women’s traditional roles confined them to the family and engaged them in the provision of food, energy and water and in general physical sustenance of families and communities.
In order to assess the participation of women in science, it is necessary to make a brief reference to the secondary level of education. Girls and women are marginally represented in areas, of science, basic training programmes in Nigeria even where there is almost equal enrolment of girls and boys in both primary and secondary schools. The low participation of girls in science education in secondary schools in Nigeria sets the stage for their small number in science disciplines at universities. Enweani (2005) observed that where women make an in road into the traditionally masculine fields like science and technology, on completion they tend to prefer laboratory work, thus avoiding field and mental activities, it is alleged that women cannot cope with hard physical work, and their work is frequently interrupted by maternity leave and other family obligations.
Women are greatly under represented in physics of all the sciences, physics is the subject in which the increase in the number of women involved had be particularly slow. Many of the women who do take physics end up running away from it. The issue of low participation and poor achievement of girls in particular disciplines especially in science, technology and mathematic (STM) related discipline has been a source of concern to Nigeria scientists. There is ample evidence to confirm that there is a dearth of science, technology and mathematics (STM) education for girls and women world wide (Williams, (1987), Amara (1987). It has been estimated that women constitute, about 50% of the Nigerian population, thus their low representation in any field would amount to losing the contribution of half of the population. The objective of this study therefore is to suggest strategies for improving the enrolment of girls in physics education in Afikpo south local government of Ebonyi State.
1.2 Statement of Problem
Gender mainstreaming, that is the consistent use of a gender perspective in all stages of development and implementation of plans, policies is becoming the norm worldwide. Gender mainstreaming was proposed during the fourth world conference on women Beijing (1995) as a key strategy to reduce inequalities between women and men. The underlying principle is that there can be no sustainable development as long as discrimination of one of the two sexes exists. The United Nations fourth world conferences on women (1995), noted also that science curricula are particularly gender biased, science text books do not relate to women and girls daily experience and fail to give recognition to women scientists”. In Nigeria, marriage is very important to women and children are naturally expected soon after marriage. On the other hand, the studies of Ivie etal (2002), showed that one third of women in physics, over 45 from development countries interviewed in 2001 did not have children. It is important to promote the contribution of women to the development of science in the 21st country, especially for science in the 21st century, especially for developing countries where more needs to be achieved. The problem of this study, therefore, is what are the strategies for improving enrolment of girls in physics education.
1.3 Purpose of Study
The main purpose of this study was to find out strategies for improving the enrolment of girls in physics education. The study was specifically designed to identifying
- Removal of gender stereotypes as strategy for improving the enrolment of girls in physics education.
- Scholarship scheme as strategy for improving the enrolment of female in physics education
- Minimizing university entry requirement strategy for improving the enrolment of female in physics education
- Employment opportunity strategy for improving the enrolment of female in physics education.
1.4 Significance of the Study
The study will help to investigate some of the strategies that will improve the enrolment of girls in physics education. It is hope that the identification of these strategies will help to throw light on some ways to overcome the low participation of girls and women in physics education.
The result of this study will help to increase the understanding of girls and their capacity to do science particularly physics.
The result of this study will also help in reducing the discrimination of women in science.
The result of this study will also help guidance counselor to grasp the strategies for improving the enrolment of girls in physics education.
1.5 Scope of the Study
The study concern itself with the strategies for improving the enrolment of girls in physics education in Afikpo South Local Government of Ebonyi State. The study sought to find out how, removal of gender stereotypes, provision of scholarship scheme, minimizing university entry requirement and employment opportunity can improve the enrolment of girls in physics education. The study is delimited to girls in Afikpo South (Edda East) local government in Ebonyi State.
1.6 Research Question
- Can removal of gender stereotyping encourage the enrolment of female in physics education?
- Can provision of scholarship scheme improve the enrolment of girls in physics education?
- What university entry requirement should be minimized to increase the enrolment of female in physics education?
- What employment strategies should be employed to graduate in physics education to increase the enrolment of female in physics education?