Despite the abundance of job options in science and technology, female students enroll in science-related courses at a low rate. The goal of this study, which was done in tertiary institutions in Ondo State, Nigeria, was to investigate parents’ attitudes regarding counseling their female child among female students in science-based courses at postsecondary institutions in Ondo State, Nigeria.
The study’s objectives were as follows: To determine the performance in science subjects at the Nigeria certificate of secondary education for female students enrolled in Science-based courses in tertiary institutions in Ondo State, Nigeria; to determine the institutional attitude of parents toward female students’ enrolment in Science-based courses in tertiary institutions in Ondo State, Nigeria; and to determine the social-economic background of the female students enrolled in Science-based courses in Ondo state, Nigeria. A descriptive research design was adopted in this study. The sample was chosen using a systematic random sampling technique.
The study population included 271 female students participating in Science courses at Ondo state’s ten tertiary institutions, as well as all of the study area’s principals. The sample consisted of 161 female students enrolled in Science disciplines at Ondo state tertiary institutions, as well as the 10 principals of these institutions. The data-gathering instruments included a questionnaire, an interview schedule, and a checklist.
Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the data. The study found that while curriculum demand was appropriate in tertiary colleges,4 students did not appear to have adequately covered past performances, with the majority of them dealing with many theoretical aspects of the courses, affecting the competence of local tertiary level college-trained graduates.
Second, socioeconomic characteristics such as fathers’ salary levels, number of siblings, and parental income were the key socioeconomic factors influencing female students’ enrollment in science-based courses. Females’ attitudes regarding science-based courses were usually positive, and many chose the course because they believed in it.
Finally, the local tertiary institutions faced institutional issues such as inadequate management, a lack of basic amenities, and an overall unsatisfactory working environment. The following recommendations were given based on the findings: the Nigerian government should adopt a clear blueprint targeted at regulating the learning resources for science-based courses at higher institutions.
The government should also allocate a percentage of the fluids to each tertiary level college via the Ministry of Higher Education to ease the implementation of the practical training program. Finally, the government should give resources to address the many issues impeding the effective implementation of practical programs in tertiary institutions by enhancing these institutions’ overall capacity to train students in Science-based Course programs.
1.1 THE STUDY’S BACKGROUND
Globally, the importance of education cannot be overstated because it is essential to improve man’s intellectual development (Hadley, 2010). The most ambitious education-related Millennium Development Goal is to achieve universal basic education by 2015. (Bennell and Akyeampong, 2007). This objective has essentially created a massive opportunity for many people to pursue formal education.
Many developing countries have recently recognized the necessity of technology and science-oriented development in achieving economic growth (B6nabou and Tirole, 2011), and as a result, their emphasis has shifted toward teaching science-oriented topics rather than art-based ones.
Furthermore, science-based courses continue to play a significant role in preparing students for present and future research in fields such as medicine, agriculture, finance, security, disaster management, environmental conservation, and information technology.
The Nigerian education system (8-4-4; signifying & years in primary, 4 years in secondary, and 4 years in university) is currently vigorously advocating for science-oriented postsecondary education (Nzomo et al., 2011). This is because science-oriented courses have continued to play an important role in conveying scientific information to many post-secondary school pupils (Shiundu and Omulando, 1992; Birdsall et al., 2005; Barnab6 and Burns, 2008).
As a result of this knowledge-based economy, the absolute number and variety of fulfilling occupations in science and technology have increased well beyond most people’s expectations (Littleton and Barnnert, 2009). To create equitable chances, science-oriented courses should ideally be accessible to students of both genders in equal quantities.
The importance of females having equal access to education as boys is heightened by the implicit acknowledgment of women as the biggest engine of economic growth if given equal opportunity as their male counterparts (Kinyanjui, 1999). Women are legally recognized as fully active members of society in Nigeria, and as such, each female is entitled to all rights, responsibilities, and benefits in all aspects of life.
Women in Nigeria have equal opportunities to participate in any degree and hence have access to any vocation of their choice (Kane, 2004; Hadley, 2010). Despite the constitution guaranteeing equality and removing legal impediments to equal participation of men and women, available statistics suggest that women have failed to participate equally with men in science-oriented courses at both secondary and post-secondary levels (Nafukho, 1999; Okwako, 2006).
The information available in post-independence Nigeria has revealed consistent inequalities between males and females in sciences and science-based courses in numerous postsecondary institutions (Bogonko, 1992; Eshiwani, 1993; Oketch and Oloo, 1995; McGrath. and King, 1999; Kaino and Mazibuko, 2001; Kyalo et al., 2006; Littleton and Barnnert, 2009; Cummings et al., 2009).
Even though administrators, teachers, students, and tertiary college-based researchers have all emphasized the importance of science and technology for all students’ educational and vocational futures, neither the number of female students enrolling in science-based subjects nor the number of women who go on to work in them has increased noticeably (Kyalo et al., 2006).
For several years, sector planning initiatives to increase female involvement have been underway (McGrath and King, 1999), but a national policy on tertiary colleges’ practical and technical training has yet to materialize to increase female enrolment. What is unclear is why female participation in these fields remains low.
Although studies have looked into male and female participation rates in science and mathematics education (Gaskell et al., 2007; Greenfield et al., 2002), achievement (Cowley and Easton, 1999; Lawton, 1997), and psychological sex differences (Kolaric, 1999), little information is available in Nigerian tertiary level institutions that have looked into the factors that account for female students’ low enrolment in science-based courses.
1.2 DEFINITION OF THE PROBLEM
According to statistics in Nigeria, the vast majority of females do not enroll in science-related courses at the university level (DANIDA, 1998). Between 2007 and 2011, around 207,000 female students enrolled in tertiary institutions in Nigeria, according to the Commission of Higher Education [CHE 2011]. According to statistics, 67 percent of female students enrolled in tertiary level institutions between the aforementioned years.
Only 33% of female students enrolled in arts, languages, social sciences, and humanities courses, while only 33% enrolled in science courses (CHE, 2011). Statistics show that 38 percent of girls in Ondo state are enrolled in science courses.
It has also been shown that the few female students who enroll in Science-based courses generally shift their courses from Science to Arts and language-based courses once they arrive at tertiary institutions, making female enrollment in Science-oriented courses even lower (Kerre, 2009). The purpose of this study was to evaluate parents’ attitudes regarding counseling their female children in science-based courses at tertiary institutions in Ondo State, Nigeria.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The goal of this study was to evaluate parents’ attitudes concerning low female student enrollment in science-based courses in Ondo state, Nigeria’s postsecondary institutions.
1.4 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
To determine the performance of female students enrolled in science-based courses at tertiary institutions in Ondo state in scientific topics at the Nigeria Certificate of Secondary Education. Nigeria
To ascertain parents’ attitudes regarding female students enrolled in science-based courses at tertiary institutions in Ondo state. Nigeria
To investigate the socioeconomic background of female students enrolled in science-based programs at Ondo state tertiary institutions.
To research how student variables influence their enrollment in science-based courses in Nigerian tertiary institutions.
1.5 QUESTIONS FOR RESEARCH
What is the performance of female students enrolled in science-based tertiary institutions in Ondo State, Nigeria, in scientific topics at the Nigeria certificate of secondary education (NECO)?
What institutional determinants influence female students’ enrollment in science-based programs in Ondo state tertiary institutions?
What is the socioeconomic background of female students enrolled in science-based programs in Ondo state tertiary institutions?
What variables influence female students’ enrollment in science-based programs in Ondo state tertiary institutions?
1.6 THE IMPORTANCE OF THE STUDY
This study was important for both practical and scholarly reasons. The ideas of educators on how to best reduce low female enrollment are informative to other educational leaders as well as beneficial to students and society. The key cause of low female enrolment in science-based courses was identified and can be corrected to improve female enrolment in Sciences at higher institutions.
Identifying the factors that drive enrollment not only allows governments and institutions to better estimate enrollment but also allows them to make adjustments to fulfill current or future labor needs. Planning for skills shortages is vital for governments and decision-makers who are responsible for maintaining a trained and productive workforce. The ability to forecast changes in enrollment numbers allows decision-makers to adjust their plans accordingly.
Gender-sensitive strategies to attract female students, as well as gender audits, were recommended for implementation, but there was no mention of gender bias as a problem that needed to be resolved, and there is the very important issue of what is truly happening to female students today, socially, within the education system, and regarding science-based courses.
1.7 RESTRICTIONS OF THE STUDY
The study’s geographical scope was limited to tertiary institutions in Ondo state. This study focused on female enrolment in science-based courses at Nigerian tertiary institutions in Ondo state. The research was carried out over six months, from January to June 2012.
1.8 THE STUDY’S LIMITATIONS
The following imitation restrictions were encountered: First, while the study was limited to university institutions in Ondo state, the respondents were chosen at random, therefore the study’s findings might be extrapolated to other tertiary institutions in Nigeria, as ideally predicted. Second, time constraints hindered this investigation, as very little time was allotted to the full research study duration.
The study was hampered by a lack of resources and funds. The study was limited to watching, studying, and analyzing data provided by the sources. Some respondents provided incorrect information, which was remedied by cross-checking the information provided from official institutional papers and other respondents, as well as using two instruments, a questionnaire, and an interview, to gather extra information.
Finally, because the current study was limited to female students already enrolled in Science Oriented courses, the perspectives of other students who were not enrolled could not be sought, and this also excluded students who are still in secondary school or have recently completed their secondary education.
1.9 ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY
The research was structured as follows: The first chapter was the introduction, which included the study’s history, a summary of the difficulties, the study’s purpose, research objectives and questions, the significance of the study, the study’s delimitation, the study’s rationale, assumptions, and definitions of significant terminology.
The second chapter includes a literature review based on the four research objectives, a theoretical framework, knowledge gaps, and a conceptual framework, as well as a summary of the literature review. The third chapter includes an introduction, research design, target population, sample size, sampling technique, research tools, instrument reliability and validity, data collection procedure, and ethical issues for the study.
The fourth chapter covered data analysis, presentation, and interpretation. Chapter five provided a summary of findings, comments, conclusions, policy recommendations, research references, and appendices.
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