IN-SERVICE REQUIREMENTS OF SECONDARY AGRICULTURAL SCIENCE TEACHERS
IN-SERVICE REQUIREMENTS OF SECONDARY AGRICULTURAL SCIENCE TEACHERS
The goal of this study was to determine the in-service needs of secondary school agricultural science teachers in animal science education. All of the Agricultural Science Teachers (47 teachers) in Enugu North Local Government Local Government Area made up the population.
The questionnaire was created by the researcher and validated by three specialists at Enugu State College of Education (Technical), Enugu. The study provided three research questions, and the instrument was built on a four-point opinion scale of strongly agree, agree, disagree, and strongly disagree. Means were employed to analyse the data collected.
According to the study's findings, agricultural science teachers should receive training in animal science components. The government should fund schools in order for them to create animal farms. In-service training for agricultural science teachers to update their expertise in the domain of animal science should be organised, and agricultural science instructors should be appropriately motivated. Some recommendations were made based on the findings.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
agriculture, according to the 6th edition of the Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, is the science or practise of farming. It is the art, science, business, and industry of cultivating land in order to grow crops, raise animals, and prepare plants and animal products for human consumption.
Man relied on wild animals for food, clothing, shelter, and transportation before written history. The demand for food and animal protein has outweighed the supply from natural resources, which has fluctuated, become difficult, and expensive as the human population has grown. As a result, as society transitioned from hunting to pasturalism and horticulture, certain animal species were domesticated in locations other than their natural environment.
These farm animals are finite yet renewable resources. Their renewability, however, is determined by the level of management used. As a result, one must grasp the scientific skills involved in maintaining and enhancing these resources to maximise productivity and usefulness to humanity.
Agriculture is a fundamental topic in both junior and senior secondary schools in Nigeria's 6:3:3:4 educational system (ONWUEGBUNAM 1993). The following topics are covered in agricultural science education:
1. Animal husbandry/production
2. Plant science
3. Earth science
4. Agricultural extension and promotion
Agricultural economics is the fifth subject.
Animal science includes the production and management of many different types of domesticated animals for human use, such as cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, poultry, rabbits, horses, fisheries, and many others.
According to WAEC regulations (2002), schools that present candidates for examinations must have a school farm where students are trained in the art of growing various crops, as well as livestock such as cattle, sheep and goats, fish, rabbits, pigs, or poultry birds. This will ensure that the students are prepared with the necessary skills and management strategies for animal production.
The Federal Government of Nigeria is working to increase animal protein output in order to meet the demands of the Nigerian people. Apart from encouraging agriculture ministries at both the state and local government levels to build livestock units, the National policy on Education (1998) has emphasised agriculture education at the secondary school level.
Agricultural science curriculum for JSS and SSS 1998 revised objectives include stimulating and sustaining students' interest in acquiring basic knowledge, practical skills in agriculture, and preparing students for further studies and occupation in agriculture. Agricultural science is taught as a single topic in secondary school, although it is separated into units as follows to meet the objectives of secondary school agriculture:
SOIL SCIENCE UNIT I
Crop production (Unit II)
UNIT III – Animal Husbandry
Agricultural engineering is the fourth unit.
UNIVERSITY V – Agricultural Economics and Extension
WAEC has specified that a practical and theoretical approach should be utilised to teach the topic of animal production in unit III. To that end, the WAEC syllabus (1998-2000) required the establishment of school farms with at least one species of livestock from each of the following two groups: pig, rabbit, and poultry or goat, sheep, cow, and, if possible, a fish pond.
Students in animal production must cover the following topics as outlined in the above-mentioned WAEC agricultural science syllabus:
– identification of farm animal parts and essential organs, such as cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, poultry, rabbits, and so on.
– Functions of some farm animal organs such as skin, feathers, liver, kidneys, lungs, and so on.
– Digestive system, distinction between monogastric and ruminant digestive systems.
– Circulatory, reproductive, and neurological systems.
– Explain the following animal production processes: oestrus cycle, heat period, mating, parturition, breastfeeding and colostrums, gestation period, ovulation, and artificial insemination.
– The development of eggs in fowl
– Reproductive hormones and how they work
– Livestock management, including the care, feeding, and sanitation of at least one monogastric animal.
The students are expected to complete the following practical tasks, which are authorised in the WAEC agricultural science syllabus (1998-2000):
– Animal kinds and varieties that are commonly seen in the area.
– Farm animals' major internal organs
– Animal feeds and feeding supplies, as well as their local sources
– Farm animal organs and parasites
– Farm animal diseases and their prevention and control
– Farm animal routine management practises
– Catching and preventing fish.
The aforementioned requirements place a high demand on teachers who teach animal science as part of an agricultural science programme in secondary school.
Students fared well in all other units except animal science, according to the West African Examination Council report (2008). In 1986, for example, the report found that most applicants accurately identified the digestive tracts of ruminants and non-ruminants but were unable to label the unlabeled components.
A – Gastrointestinal tract
C is for Reticulum.
H stands for colon/large intestine.
J stands for stomach.
Also, candidates performed poorly in the identification of specimens acquired from animal products, most likely due to the methods utilised in transmitting knowledge or a lack of well-equipped teachers.
Criticising the methods used in the teaching of animal science in secondary school, Ikezue (1983) stated, “it is disheartening to see that a fifth form (SS II) student cannot identify very well some breeds of goat, sheep, cattle, and poultry because they learn them theoretically without seeing them physically.” He also stated that if the government wants to make animal science teaching meaningful at the secondary school level,
To do this, it is vital to provide in-service training in animal science to agricultural teachers so that they are better prepared to teach the subject. These will allow agricultural science teachers to impact students' knowledge and update their knowledge on the animal science component.
As a result, it is vital to study the service demands of high school agricultural science teachers in animal science education.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE problem
Meat provisioning for man has progressed from our forefathers' rudimentary game hunting to sophisticated cattle husbandry. According to (NERDIC 1991), the science of animal production necessitates that agricultural teachers of animal science in our secondary school have at least a basic understanding of the anatomy and functions of the numerous organs that comprise the body of farm animals.
It is a well-known fact that animals and their products are the richest source of protein in human diet, and as such, the need to examine the deterioration in the science of this crucial element of agricultural science cannot be overstated (Akinsemni 1999).
The WAEC senior school certificate examination has stated that one of the following livestock, e.g. chicken, sheep, goat, pig, cattle, or rabbit, should be established in schools with agricultural test applicants. As a result, educated and highly experienced agricultural science teachers are required to realise the goal of teaching the topic in school.
Most applicants who are submitted for the aforementioned examinations do not perform well in animal science or agricultural science. This was demonstrated in the West African Examination Council (WAEC) report (2008) on student performance in animal science.
Poor performance of students in animal science components of the WAEC test indicates that agricultural science teachers are not fully equipped with the skills or competencies required for teaching animal science subjects. Some teachers may have learned the abilities but are unable to exhibit them in the classroom.
Others lack some fundamental instructional qualities that may be required of agricultural science teachers in animal science teaching in order for them to be effective. As a result, they are unable to exhibit the talents learned during their individual institutions' instruction.
To tackle the problems of teaching the unit, these abilities in teaching animal science curriculum in secondary school necessitate in-service training. As a result, this study is being done to assess the in-service needs of secondary school teachers teaching the animal science unit of agricultural science.
1.3 PURPOSE OF STUDY
The purpose of this study is to determine the in-service needs of agricultural science instructors when teaching animal science in our high schools.
The study's specific goal is to
i. Determine whether areas of the animal science component require in-service training for agricultural science teachers.
ii. Determine the various modalities of in-service training suitable for serving agricultural science instructors in schools.
iii. Determine how agricultural science teachers can be encouraged to teach and understand animal science effectively in secondary schools.
1.4 significance OF THE STUDY
The outcomes of this research will be extremely beneficial to the following groups of people:
i. The investigator
ii. The agricultural science instructor
iii. The pupils
iv. The institution
iv. Policymakers and
vi. The entire country.
THE RESEARCHER: The work will allow the researcher to emphasise the numerous issues affecting the teaching and learning of animal science in schools, as well as create a platform for future research.
THE STUDENTS: Armed with scientific procedures involved in animal rearing such as piggery, poultry, fishing, ruminants and non-ruminants, etc. after their school career, they have a better possibility of becoming self-employed. It will also provide students with the opportunity to gain the skills, experiences, and information required for greater animal production for those who aspire to become full-time farmers.
TEACHERS OF AGRICULTURAL SCIENCE: Teachers who participate in in-service training will be exposed to the most up-to-date techniques and practises in animal husbandry. The provision of cattle will also allow them to carry out and demonstrate the various skills and practises to students. This will pique the student's curiosity and foster a positive agricultural labour habit.
THE SCHOOLS: The livestock farm will be a valuable source of money producing unit that might assist in the operation and provision of other basic necessities of the school, reducing the problem of funding in schools.
THE POLICY MAKERS: It will also keep policymakers informed about the challenges of teaching animal science in our secondary schools, as well as the requirement for serving teachers to participate in in-service training to stay current on the latest management practises in animal production.
They should recognise the value of education and experience, and de-emphasize paper credentials in favour of real skills and expertise. They should supply current implements and materials for schools to attain the specified aims. With the information provided above, policymakers will be able to develop policies that encourage schools to participate in teacher in-service training.
THE NATION: Finally, when agricultural science teachers are well-equipped or begin in-service training in accordance with national education policy, students will gain greatly, allowing the nation to become self-sufficient in animal production.
1.5 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study would only address the in-service requirements of agricultural science instructors who teach animal science in secondary schools in Enugu North Local Government Area.
1.6 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
During the course of the investigation, the researcher encountered the following issues:
– RESPONDENTS: During the dissemination and collecting of the questionnaire, some respondents were unavailable. As a result, the researcher had to return to several of the secondary schools more than once to distribute and collect the questionnaire.
– FINANCE: There was no research grant. Because funds were not available, the researcher found it difficult to transport himself to and from secondary schools for questionnaire distribution and collecting.
– TIME: The importance of performing the research cannot be overstated. There were seminars going on during the research. Second, semester exams were held immediately after lectures. There were other things the researcher did to put food on the table. These are some of the constraints that the researcher encountered.