1.1 Background to the Study
In the recent time, there are growing agitations and calls on developing countries to focus their attention on economics education in order for them to turn around the economic status of their various Countries. It is against this background that the various Nigerian governments have been placing emphasis on the acquisition of economic education in the educational system. This issue led to the formulation of the new national policy on education. (NPE, 2006) which seems to place high emphasis on economics as a subject.
Under the new policy economics is to be taught right from secondary school. The aim here is to inculcate into the secondary school student the basic necessity for the learning of economics at the higher levels of education. According to the national policy on education (NPE, 2006) the aim is to provide the students with “a sound basis for economical and reflective thinking” (FEM, 1981 : 146). In essence, the secondary school is considered as the foundation upon which the future of economy in Nigeria is based. It is at this level that the student is introduced into the field of social science to explore it.
Secondary school students are known to be curious and it is at this stage that curiosity can be tapped to advantage to develop the right economic attitudes in the students.
In recent times also there have been complains by examiners teachers and even parents about poor student’s performance in economic more especially at the secondary level. There are also cries of students lack of interest in social sciences. This study intends to examine whether these trends are due to shaky foundations laid right from the secondary school. In other words are the secondary students given the adequate orientation to develop interest in economics?. The emphasis being laid on economics by successive Nigerian governments. Studies such as this could help in revealing the fundamental faults if any, associated with the teaching of economics, and the prospects for improvement.
It is in recognition of the crucial role that secondary school plays in the development of economics that the study intends to look into the challenges and prospects of teaching economics in some selected secondary schools in Sokoto metropolis.
1.2Statement of the Problem
The study will focus its attention on the challenges being encountered by both students and teachers in the teaching and learning of economics at the secondary school.
Specifically, the study will look into the issue of economics teaching materials to find out whenever or not there are enough materials for the effective teaching of economics in our secondary schools?.
It is stipulated in the new national policy on education that economics teaching should make use of local materials. The study will look into the suitability of local materials for the teaching of economics. The emphasis on the educational system is that curricula should be community oriented.
The study will examine how the student’s local background and immediate environment is employed in the teaching of secondary School Students.
The study will consider the issue of medium of instruction for the teaching of economics in secondary schools. This study is interested in examining if there are any challenges of communication between the teachers and students in the teaching of economics among others.
Finally, the study will, on the basis of its findings, outline what prospects there are for the teaching and learning of economics in the secondary schools.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The main objectives of this study are:
- To find out if there are qualified and well experienced teachers for effective economics teaching in secondary schools.
- To determine if there are adequate economics teaching materials in secondary schools.
- To identify problems associated with communication between students and teachers while conducting economics lessons.
- To assess students prospective performance on WEAC /NECO economics results from year 2009 to 2013.
1.4 Research Questions
- Do students have greater interest in economics as a subject?
- Are there adequate economic teaching materials in secondary schools within Sokoto metropolis?
- Is there any problem associated with communication between students and teachers?
- Are there appreciable performances on WAEC / NECO economic results in secondary schools within Sokoto metropolis?
1.5 Significance of the Study
When completed it is hoped that the study will be of importance to educational policy makers and administrators in the ministries of education. It is also hoped that the findings of this study will highlight some issues deserving official consideration in the teaching and learning of economics in secondary schools.
The study will also prove to be of great importance to secondary school teachers of economics as it will expose some challenges connected to the teaching of economics and make suggestions for prospective improvement.
1.6 Scope and Limitation of the Study
This study will be restricted to some selected secondary schools in Sokoto metropolis due to financial challenges and time factors.
In all, there (44) secondary schools in the metropolis. Out of this number, the study sampled three (3) for the purpose of data collection.
It is however, hoped that our selection is spread enough to allow for some useful references which could have effective generalize ability.
Through the study is on challenges and prospect of teaching economics in secondary schools emphasis will be placed on those problems as experienced by both students and teachers in the course of classroom instructions.
To cut down costs, the sample size of the study population (staff and student) is stratified into staff group and students group. It is how ever hoped that the data collected are sufficient enough to make the research reasonable findings.
1.7 DIFINITIONS OF TERMS
The following are the definitions of terms accourding to Prof. Robbin
This means, “Limited in supply.” All the resources of the world are limited in supply. These resources in economics are:
- Land: this is a free gift of nature like water, air, natural resources, temperature and other climate conditions.
- Labour: this is human effort which may be natural and physical that may be acquired or inherited which, are needed for the production of goods
- Capital: which is the man made aids like tools, techniques, methods, factories and inventories that are needed for the production of goods and services.
Since all goods and services are scarce relative to desire for them as a result of which we may not satisfy all our wants at the same time we must make a choice between alternatives. Also firms or businessmen are confronted with choice. They must decide what to produce i.e. whether to employ labour or buy more equipment.
3. OPPORTUNITY COST
An economic choice involves the satisfaction of want at the expense of another. Since it is not possible for an individual’s to satisfy all wants. We therefore make a choice between two alternatives. The alternative made is the choice while the other alternative not chosen is the alternative forgone and this is opportunity cost.
4. SCALE OF PREFERENCE
Scale of preference is an arrangement or listing of wants in order of importance. An individual need to satisfy the more pressing wants than the least pressing wants. At all times that is arranged in the upper limit on the scale will be more preferred or give more satisfaction than these arranged at the lower limit on the scale.
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