Being a paper presented at the 3rd Annual National Conference of Faculty of Education on Revitalizing Education for Social, Political and Economic Engineering, held at ICT Auditorium Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, from Monday 7th to Thursday 10th November, 2016



Remains Just Implementation: A Review of Works on the Conditions of Teaching and Learning Science and Technology in the Nigerian Secondary Schools

 

By

Zalkarnaini Abdullahi

And 

Abu-Ubaida SANI

Abstract

Since times immemorial, status of science and technology in Nigeria has been topic of discussion. Various researchers on different ramifications of the phenomenon in question, have conducted numerous researches. As strive toward achieving the Nigerian National Goals on Education, science and technology must be given significant attention. The world today is in technological era, and thus science and technology move, rule and control the world. However, as educational system is geared towards achieving the National Educational Goals, derived from the Nigerian Policy on Education, it is also the wish of the Nigerian system of education to meet up with the global technological booming. In line with this, many researchers have table on suggestion and/or recommendations as panacea for the improvement of the deteriorating system. However, these proposals seem to have being neglected. This paper has as gist, to review some of these works. Finally, the paper provides some possible panaceas to the persisting problem. One of such is for the government to reconsider the extent to which science and technology worth to be given attention to. Another is the necessity to consider such recommendations and/or suggestions by various scholars with regard to the issues. Thus they should be analyzed, modified and implemented accordingly.

Introduction

The federal government of Nigeria emaciated the vision 2020 program of development aimed at catching up with the rest of the most industrialized nations of the world in the year 2020  (Akase, Mwekaven, Awuhe, & Tombuwua ). Science and technology education holds the key to the present and future development of Nigeria and/or any other country for that matter (Egbogah, 2012). Jegede & Brown (1998) has similar opinion with Ogunnade (2006) thus, sound national development emanate mainly from the area of science and technology. More so, according to Okeke (2007), science and technology are like two inseparable twins.

Science is an activity of man carried out in order to know more about his environment t(Adeoye F. A’ & Amen-angebe). This human investigative aspect of science is dynamic since it involves the action of man as the penetrate the  unknown. This activity of man’s effort to increase his understanding of his natural environment has been greatly influenced by the acceptance of identifiable procedures, belief, and ethical standards (Griggs J. D. 2013).

Technology however, is an integrating activity, which draws from many different disciplines. It has practical and experimental elements. It depends on fusing the qualitative and quantitative aspects of designing. It is through this activity that we have fashioned our world and determined much of our quality of life (Dold, 1986).

However, according to UNESCO (2008), referring to situation in Africa, curriculum has to be revised “if they are to prepare young stars to live in a society marked by explosion of knowledge of science and technology by information and communication.” The contribution of science and technology to foster development in the world cannot be over emphasized. With the evolution and revolution of science and technology, the world has achieved advancement in various sectors such as infrastructure, energy industrial financial and agriculture among others. While the growth of science and technology is pronounced in western continents, the pace in Africa is slow. In addition to its contribution to development, science and technology today is a menace to man, society and ecosystem.

However there have been several researches on the condition of science and technology in Nigerian secondary schools (Ogunmade, 2005. Citeded in Agbowuro, Taiwo, & Shu’ibu 2015 ). The results prove the condition of teaching and learning in Nigerian secondary schools to be below average. It is right at this junction to say, this phenomenon has been dealt with in terms of researches, what remains is implementation of the findings made by various researchers ( Sani 2012).

Conceptualization of terms

Science: Science is derived from Latin word “scientia” (Griggs, 2013 ). It takes various meanings such as; what is to know, what is a fact, truth or concern. Science is act of doing and is more concerned with various investigative processes and activities with regard to development, acquiring and controlling, knowledge, skills, capacity and attitude about natural factors of the environment (Mbajiorgu, 2003; Shinshima, 2003). Gottlieb (2004). Viewed science as an intellectual activity carried out by human that are designed to discover information about the natural world in which humans live and to discover the ways in which this information can be organized into meaningful patterns.

Technology: Technology is mostly described as applied science which can be organized to have practical implication in life. Most of the technologies are coming from scientific ideas, thus, by the process called engineering (Godwill, 2014). 

Implementation: The word implementation connotes operationalization of well articulated and well intentioned ideas packed as theory. Hence, to implement is to put to action packed ideas (Chaudhary 2015). Therefore, implementation is a process of putting an agreed plan, decision, proposal, idea or policy into effort (Chikumbu & Makamure 2000).

 Curriculum Implementation in Nigeria

According to Asebiomo (2009), no matter how well formulated a curriculum may be, it’s effective implementation is a sine qua non toward achieving the desired goals of education. This is because problems of most programs arise at the implementation level. MKPA (2005) remarked that, in Nigeria, it is at the implementation state that many excellent curriculum plans and other educational policies are marred. Even in some cases where attempts at ensuring actual operation, curricula have not yet yield satisfying and recommendable dividends, hence dissatisfaction of parents and significant others with poor performance in the educational system which is characterized by crises and with curricula, marked by abysmal failure. Writing on the failure of curriculum in Nigeria Mezieobi (1993) maintains that, curriculum with all it’s well conceived goals is falling, largely as result of implementation dormancy or faults. This “scenario” is general and assuming the status of “national culture” across every curriculum of Nigerian educational system.

Global Role of Science and Technology

Science and technology have laid the foundation for progress in society, and have helped to make people’s lives more materially prosperous (Godwill, 2014). At the time of industrial revolution, entrepreneurs used scientific and technological outcomes for the development and improvement of production for profit. More so, competition between nations became intense and focused on the important of science and technology as a source of national power on economy and security. 

However, science and technology, globally, has brought several progress on the society as stated by Toyama in Ogar & Awhen, (2010) as follows:

i.                     Materials prosperity: Since industrial revolution, science and technology have shown accelerated progress in energy, physical materials, information and communications, medicine, resulting into improvement in people’s health, economic prosperity and living conveniences.

ii.                   Transportation: Progress in energy and material technology has given rise to new transport modes, such as railways, automobile, airplane and ships.

iii.                Communication: Development of telephone, radio and GSM cellular phone broaden the range of human activities and scope of human exchange.

iv.                Machine Tools: Large-volume production of goods and production of diverse types of material.

v.                   Medical Technology: Resulted in extension of people average life span, infant and child mortality rate reduced leading to rise in world population.

vi.                Globalization: Advocacy that political policies should take worldwide issues into account before focusing on national or state. Information Technology (IT) – the internet revolution combined with computer technology led to information revolution, which reduced cost and time required for information distribution (Toyama in Ogar & Awhen, 2010).

 

 

Status of Science and Technology in Nigerian Secondary School

For decades, there has been a numerous calls in Nigeria for the reformation and improvement of science and technology education (Omofonmwan 2013). This is similar to the international calls for change in science, technology, engineering and mathematics education in schools especially by scientific bodies ( Epstein & Miller, 2011; Miller, 2012). However, the nature of African political systems and governance greatly limits the growth of science and technology (Godwill, 2014). Most polices of the government do not encourage invests and promotion in this sectors. Scientific projects are hardly supported due to the high cost of implementation. Corruption and poor governance is the key to the underdeveloped state of science and technology in most Nigerian secondary school.

Another critical aspect of poor science and technology in Nigerian secondary schools is the  report that majority of teachers who are already in the system seem to lack initiatives and skills that are imperative to move science and technology education ( Nanda 2008). Lack of ideal resources for science and technology teaching and learning in Nigerian secondary schools has also been a major issue of concern (Omorogbe & Celestine, 2013; Ojebiyi, & Sunday, 2014). It is a well known fact that the quality of education a student receives largely depends on the quality of teaching/learning resources provided (Ojebiy & Sunday, 2014). Teaching and learning resources are all the things used by the teacher during teaching to aid understanding and make teaching successful and effective (Adeyemo, 2010). They include; modern textbooks, equipments, consumables like chemicals and reagents, models, charts and machines among others. Also, the physical learning environments which include the science classrooms, workshops and laboratories (Okoli, Ebaijulu, & Ella 2013).

The Need to Implementation Scholars Suggestions/Recommendations With Regard to Science and Technology in Nigeria

Many researches has been conducted  on the status of science and technology in Nigerian secondary schools. Very recent Shehu, (2013) investigate into the provision and utilization of laboratory facilities and student performance in Gombe state. In this woria he examined the provision of laboratories facilities in secondary schools. He concludes that, if the government should provide laboratory facilities and ensures its utilization, it would serve as strive towards standardization of science and technology in Nigerian secondary schools. 

Another research is that of Bashir, (2006) who looks into the problems in organization of effective science practice in senior secondary schools in Sokoto state. He pictures out that if teachers will effectively enhance practical aspect of science in secondary schools, it would help in advancement of science in higher level of education. More so, when examining the problems of teaching and learning science in rural and urban secondary schools in Sokoto metropolis, Namandi, (2011) concludes that, lack of adequate teaching and learning facilities hinder the teaching and learning of science. He recommends that there should be improvement in; laboratories, text books and conducive learning environment in order to rebirth science in Nigeria.

Jiya, (2011) holds that, lack of qualified science teachers is in the front line to the poor status of science in Nigerian secondary schools. Thus, there is the need to ensure that only qualified and competent teachers are shoulder the task of teaching in secondary schools as well as other carders of education in Nigeria. Similarly, Ahmad (2012), suggests that lack of facilities, workshop, and qualifies teachers should be provided in technical schools if Nigeria is ready to meet her vision 20:2020 of development. In line with this, Sani, (2012) opines that policies are being made but at the same time, teachers are not aware with the provision of the policy or been implemented in a way in which it was not planned for.

Moreover, Dahiru, (2011) conducted a research on the relationship between school supervision and teacher efficiency in senior secondary school in Gusau Local Government, Zamfara State. He states that, if schools should be regularly supervised, they will became more dedicated to their work and these will lead to rise in the status of teaching and learning especially science and technical schools across Nigeria. Recommending on the adequacy of teaching facilities in secondary school, he states that, lack of qualifies teachers is one of the major causes of failure in science education in Nigeria. Similarly, Perpetue (2006) also recommend that teaching and learning material should be provided if Nigeria is to move forward her system of education toward sustainable development.    

Conclusions

Science and technology education has suffered enormous setback in Nigeria due to the low status accorded to it in general. Some of these problems emanate from various interpretations of Science and Technology by policy makers as well as the implementers of policies on science and technology education. To attain the quantitative and qualitative science and technology education is to use the suggestion and recommendation of scholars and enhance proper implementation of those findings. Thus, if science and technology is properly taught from the lower level, this will lay a sound foundation for science and technology at higher levels. Perhaps, and with that, there would be great boom in the sector, thereby developing the country in general.

Suggestions

i.                    Government should reconsider the extent to which science and technology worth to be given attention to. Thus, the world today lies on the hands of science and technology.

ii.                  Such recommendations and/or suggestions proposed by various researchers on the topic in question should be considered accordingly.

iii.                Condition of science and technology in Nigerian secondary schools should be revisited. Thus, required textbooks, laboratories, efficient teachers and conducive teaching and learning environment should be provided.

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