Wednesday, 29 May 2013

BIOLOGY EDUCATION IN NIGERIA



CHAPTER TWO

LITERATURE REVIEW

The views of scholars who had worked centrally or peripherally on this subject are the concern of this chapter, and have been organized according to the following sub-headings:
i.                   Biology education in Nigeria
ii.                 Lack of qualified and motivated biology teachers
iii.              Methods and techniques used in teaching biology
iv.              Lack of adequately equipped biology laboratories.
v.                 Infrequent and in-efficient biology practical classes
vi.              Inadequate provision of infrastructural facilities in schools.
2.1     BIOLOGY EDUCATION IN NIGERIA
          Biology, being the science that studies life, is as important as life itself. Everybody has a need for it, for it has to do with their food, health, environment, business and virtually everything – air, water, soil and we are still counting; so that one is right to ask, where on earth is biology needed?
          It is needed in agriculture for food production and processing, growing of plants and animals for nutritional, pharmacological, industrial and environmental uses. Industries that deal with organic substrates, catalysis (enzymes) and products are in need of biology. The biotic and abiotic distinctions, interaction and transformations that is obtained in the air, soil and water are only elucidated by biology.
          The Nigerian system of education had a scheme for inevitable study of biology in the school curriculum.

          It is offered in combination with other natural sciences in primary schools as primary science, in junior secondary school as integrated science, and in secondary schools, it is offered as general biology.
          Even in tertiary institutions, students whose disciplines do not have inclination with biology offer it still as natural sciences under general studies. Life sciences students and those of other natural science go deeper in the course, where as many others of core-life science disciplines pick careers in it.
          Regrettably, the teaching of biology in secondary school is in a decline owing to some immediate and remote factors and this portends a bad omen to the advancement of the subject, since the secondary school biology is the heart of the study, which is aimed at ensuring that students acquire skills of science.
          Alien (1980) identified nine (9) areas that pose problems of teachers and students, in the teaching and learning of biology which are founded in resources and materials.
          Lessa (2010) blamed the ineffective teaching of biology on poor teaching method and techniques.
          Salami (2002) showed that lack of effective communication hampers effective flow of information between the teachers and students of science subjects and blamed it on the non-qualification of teachers that handle science subjects.
          In his study, Iroegbu (2006) identified that teachers of biology fail to acknowledge that biology is a volume that needs to be broken into bids through participatory explanations and demonstrations.
          Educationist have laid a lot-emphasis that a good biology teacher is expected to posses at least a university degree or possesses a National Certificate in Education NCE.
          Ogunleye (1999) cited Ukeje in his book to have said that the poor achievement in science (Biology in particular) is due to teachers who are not qualified and not interested in their fields of study as some teach at the limits of their knowledge and lack of knowledge in planning and selecting teaching methods and resource management.
          The quality of a teachers teaching determines to a large extent the student’s level of understanding studies have shown that teacher quality is the most important educational input predicting students’ achievement. According to the findings of Aguirre, Haggerty and Linder (1990), Kerby and Cook (1993), and Tabin la master (1995) reveal a wide range of ideas and believe about teaching and learning. Some teachers believe that students’ learning must come from students themselves as a form of inquiry.
          Obiora (2007), among other barriers to the effective teaching of biology in secondary schools, discredited the decay in instrumentation and demonstration of biology practical in laboratories, ie poor equipment of biology laboratories, infrequent, inefficient and most times unskilled practical classes. This, he remarked, denies students of the chances of internalizing the principles of biology through participatory laboratory experiments and analysis.
          Suffice to say that learning cannot thrive in an environment that is not engineered to support learning, meaning that the nature of the classrooms and laboratories where biology classes are held determines whether there is comfort and conducive atmosphere for learning or not.
          Dike (2007) reported that the Acting Head of Research Division at the headquarters in WAEC office explained that government was expected to create an enabling environment for effective teaching and learning to take place through the provision of infrastructural facilities.

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