AN APPRAISAL OF INFRASTRUCTURAL FACILITIES AND PERSONNEL FOR TEACHING PHYSICS IN SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Poor schooling has proved to be the greatest barrier to political, social and economic transformation in many African countries. School infrastructural facilities have been observed as a potent factor to quantitative education. The importance to teaching with provision of adequate instructional facilities for education cannot be over-emphasized. Pertaining to the teaching of physics in secondary schools, Infrastructural facilities include equipments and materials that are available to facilitate students learning outcome. It includes good buildings for classrooms and laboratories, laboratory equipments, experiment materials/apparatus, books, audio-visual, software and hardware of educational technology; so also, size of classroom and laboratory, sitting position and arrangement, availability of tables, chairs, chalkboards, shelves on which instruments for practicals are arranged (Farrant, 1991 and Farombi, 1998). According to Oni (1992), infrastructural facilities constitute a strategic factor in the functioning of a secondary school system. This is so because they determine to a very large extent the smooth functioning of any teaching and experimental demonstrations and even other extra-curricular activities. He further stated that their availability, adequacy and relevance influence efficiency and high performance. In his words, Farombi (1998) opined that the wealth of a nation or society could determine the quality of education in that land; emphasizing that a society that is wealthy will establish good schools with professional personnel (quality teachers), learning infrastructures that with such, students may learn with ease thus bringing about good academic achievement.
Writing on the role of facilities in teaching, Balogun (1982) submitted that no effective science education programme including physics can exist without equipment for teaching. This is because facilities enable the learner to develop problem-solving skills and scientific attitudes. In their contribution, Ajayi and Ogunyemi (1990) reiterated that when facilities are provided to meet relative needs of a school system, students will not only have access to the reference materials mentioned by the teacher, but individual students will also learn at their own paces and there is room and necessary equipment for the teacher for further research and constant practice. The net effect of this is increased overall academic performance of the entire students. In recent times, there has been a growing public anxiety about the poor performance of students in Physics in Nigerian schools. Studies showed that large numbers of students seem to learn very little physics at school, learning tends to be by rote and students find learning of Physics to be difficult (Salau, 1996). The quality of the personnels handling Physics in Nigerian schools has also been questioned over time by parents, science educators, and the general public and even by the government (Okebukola, 1997). Physics teaching in Nigerian schools has been criticized because of the poor performance of Nigerian students in Physics relative to their counterparts in other countries. This is evident from the Second International Science Study in which Nigerian students came second to last in secondary science among the participating countries of the world (STAN, 1992).
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The current situation of Physics teaching and learning in Nigeria is a concern to all including government and the society at large. Research indicates that many students found Physics as a subject to be difficult, boring and not interesting to them (Salau, 1995, 1996). Large class sizes, inadequate funding, insufficient curriculum resources, poor teaching skills and lack of supports for teachers among other factors further limit the quality of Physics teaching and learning in Nigerian schools (Okebukola, 1997). To solve these lingering problems one needs to develop a realistic picture of what is currently happening in the teaching and learning of Physics in Nigerian schools and also to identify the factors that are limiting the quality of personnel training. Furthermore, one needs to develop a reasonable ideal picture for which the nation can strive towards within the existing resource limitations.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The following are the objectives for this study:
1. To examine if there is adequate infrastructural facilities for teaching Physics in senior secondary schools in Nigeria.
2. To examine the quality of personnel teaching Physics in Nigerian senior secondary schools.
3. To identify the relationship between infrastructure and performance in Physics in senior secondary schools in Nigeria.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. Are there adequate infrastructural facilities for teaching Physics in senior secondary schools in Nigeria?
2. What is the quality of personnel teaching Physics in Nigerian senior secondary schools?
3. What is the relationship between infrastructure and performance in Physics in senior secondary schools in Nigeria.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The following are the significance of this study:
1. The outcome of this study will educate stakeholders in the education sector and the general public on the state of infrastructural facilities and quality of personel available for the teaching of Physics in the Nigerian Senior secondary schools.
2. This research will also serve as a resource base to other scholars and researchers interested in carrying out further research in this field subsequently, if applied will go to an extent to provide new explanation to the topic.
1.7 SCOPE/LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
This study will cover the level infrastructural facility and personnel available for teaching Physics in senior secondary schools in Nigeria.
LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint– Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint– The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
Ajayi, A.O. and Ogunremi B.A. (1996). Quality Improvement of Teaching, Supervision and Administration in Primary Schools in Ajayi, A.O & Akinwumiju, J.A. (Eds): Personnel Performance and Capacity Building. Ibadan, Nigeria.
Balogun, T. A. (1983). Interest in science and technology education in Nigeria. Paper presented at the 12th International Symposium on Interest in Science and Technology Education, Lagos-Nigeria.
Farombi, J.G. (1998). Resource Concentration, Utilization and Management as Correlates of Students’ Learning outcomes: A study in School Quality in Oyo State. Unpublished Ph.D. Thesis, university of Ibadan.
Farrant,J. S. (1991). Principles and practice of Education (Tenth Impression Singapore Longman.
Okebukola, P. A. O. (1997). The state of science education in Nigeria. Paper presented at the ELLSA-British Council Primary Science Forum, Kaduna, Nigeria.
Oni, J.O. (1992). Resource and Resource Utilisation as Correlates of School Academic Performance. Unpublished Ph.D Thesis, University of Ibadan
Salau, M. O. (1995). An analysis of students’ enrolment and performance in mathematics at the senior school certificate level. Journal of Studies in Curriculum, 28-36.
Salau, M. O. (1996). The effect of class size on the achievement of different ability groups in mathematics. Journal of The Science Teachers Association of Nigeria, 31(1&2), 55-61.
STAN. (1992). Raising the standard of performance in public examinations in science, technology and mathematics. Position paper No. 4.Ibadan: STAN