THE CHALLENGES OF SECONDARY SCHOOL management
THE CHALLENGES OF SECONDARY SCHOOL MANAGEMENT
The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of the availability of laboratory and science equipment on student performance in the West African School Certificate Biology examination in some selected secondary schools in Ovia North East Local government Area of Edo State. The research was based on three hypotheses, two of which were approved and one was rejected. Those who were accepted were:
1. Schools with laboratories and appropriate science equipment outperform schools without laboratories and appropriate science equipment in the West African school certificate biology examination.
2. Schools where students use more laboratory and science equipment in their biology classrooms outperform schools where students use less laboratory and science equipment in their biology classes.
3. Scientific equipment has a substantial impact on student performance in the WASSCE Biology exam.
4. Laboratory appropriateness has a substantial impact on student success in the WASSCE Biology exam.
The questionnaires and records of the West African school certificate biology examination results (2003-2010) were used to collect data for this study. According to the findings of the study, the availability and regular use of biology laboratory science equipment results in greater performance of students in biology at the West African school certificate test.
Based on the findings, it was suggested that”
1. The government/PTA should build biology laboratories in schools, and the government should contribute funds for the procurement of laboratory equipment.
2. Teachers should make every effort to provide practical classes for every practicable topic covered in class. Students should be given some autonomy in the laboratory to work on their own.
3. Practical note books or workbooks from S.S.1 to S.S.3 should be made accessible for marking as part of the WASC biology practical examination.
4. Graduate and NCE instructors should teach in schools. They should be paid on time for their salary and allowances. Teachers who are already in the field but are untrained should be put through a training session to improve their teaching methods.
5. The 6-3-3-4-educational system should not be interpreted as a shift in subject matter.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Every human being possesses an element of curiosity, which when combined with interest leads to an individual becoming interested in the act of inquiry.
The extent to which this act of curiosity grows in each individual part of science. James B.C. (1980), an American scientist, defines science as an interrelated collection of conceptions and conceptual frameworks that have formed as a result of experimentation and observation and are loyal to additional observation and investigation.
Oguntonade C.B. describes science as “rational inquiry generated by a desire to explain the phenomena of human experience,” adding that “any claim to a satisfactory or acceptable discipline in general.”
Whatever people think of science, there is no doubt that it is here to stay as an essential aspect of our well-being. As a result, any nation should embrace science in her educational pursuits.
As Professor Babs Fafunwa correctly said, “a nation that has surpassed the significant truism of science in our age has her own peril.” Science has clearly become a crucial tool in our times for decent living, health, homemaking, and leisure, all of which contribute to national defence.
Biology for the certificate year a millennium text sees biology as a branch of science that deals with the study of living things, but it can also be seen as a very important part of science that is assisting science in fulfilling the major role that science plays in the life and well-being of any nation.
Curriculum planets have become aware of the importance of biology as an integral part of science over the years and have attempted to give biology and other sciences proper attention in secondary school education; however, the teaching of biology as a subject in our secondary schools is more theoretical knowledge.
Indeed, no attention has been paid to developing biology as a method of thinking or as a product.
One way biology teaching and learning can be viewed as a style of thinking, an attitude, or a product is through emphasising the importance of the laboratory and, of course, the availability and usage of the appropriate science equipment in the school science laboratory.
Pinchas Tamir defines the laboratory as “a place where students engage in hands-on activities such as observations and experiments.” He goes on to say that a laboratory must be utilised not just to verify but also to find her investigation and enquiry.
This study will attempt to provide a broad base for the need to make the teaching and learning of sciences in general, and biology in particular, to be viewed as a way of thought, attitude, or product.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The primary goal of this study was to investigate the potential impact of laboratory and science equipment availability on student performance in the West African school certificate biology examination. This study was thus founded on a survey of the topic.
1.3 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
It is also worth noting that educational planners in this country recognise the relevance of science in education. It is needed that every science subject be taught or learned as a method of thinking, an attitude, or a product. This increased emphasis on practical activity in the teaching and learning of biology and other disciplines will enable teachers and students alike to reach the aim.
This study will thus be critical for curriculum designers, principals, science instructors in general, biology teachers in particular, parents/guardians, and students.
The study will assist curriculum designers in seeing the necessity for organising the science curriculum in order to achieve the nation's aim of generating students who can live effectively in our current age. This is precisely the goal of the 6-3-3-4 educational system.
This study is significant for school principals, science teachers' parents, and guardians because it will help them recognise the importance of having a well-equipped and efficiently used laboratory.
The need of having good teachers to use the laboratory and science equipment is critical.
A excellent teacher, it is said, makes teaching and learning appear simple. The availability of laboratory and science equipment will motivate a good teacher to make effective use of them.
The study will help students recognise the need of developing their own creative thinking as well as their own manipulating skill or aptitude.
The net effect of these, however, is that the government is on the verge of realising a long-held goal: producing individuals capable of acquiring the necessary skills, abilities, and competence, both mental and physical, which serve as a foundation for the individual to live in and contribute to the development of his or her society.
Students' performance in the West African school certificate biology exams will also improve.
The following hypotheses will be tested in this study:
1. Schools with laboratories and appropriate scientific equipment do not outperform schools without laboratories and appropriate science equipment in the West African school certificate biology examination.
2. Schools that use more laboratory and science equipment in their biology classrooms do not perform better than schools that utilise less laboratory and science equipment in their biology programmes.
3. Scientific equipment has no effect on student performance in the WASSCE Biology exam.
4. Laboratory appropriateness has little effect on student success in the WASSCE Biology exam.
1.5 DEFINITION OF TERMS
A laboratory is a location that allows for experimentation, observation, or practise in a certain field of study.
Science equipment: In this context, it refers to all of the resources and supplies required for secondary school biology teaching and study.
Experimentation is the process of carrying out an activity under controlled conditions in order to uncover an undiscovered effect of law, test or establish a hypothesis, or demonstrate a known law.
The curriculum refers to the range of institutional activities planned and offered for students by the local school or school system.
Inquiry: the pursuit of scientific knowledge.
Observation: A detailed, systematic examination of events based on measurement.
Trained teacher: In the context of this study, he is a teacher who has completed an academic programme in a science (biology) and educational principles and practise at a higher education institution, such as a College of Education or a university.
Untrained teachers: A teacher who has completed an academic programme in any of the sciences but has not completed a course in educational principles and practise from a higher education institution such as a college or university.
W.A.S.C.E. West African school certificate examination: an examination taken by all eligible final-year secondary school students in Nigeria and other West African countries.