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This study was conducted to find out the factors affecting the effective study of economics in Izzi Local Government Area of Ebonyi state. The purpose of the study is to identify the factors affecting the effective teaching and learning of economics in secondary schools in Izzi Local Government Area. The research design of the study was descriptive survey design. The population of the study was ten thousand, nine hundred (10,900) students and seventy-five (75) teachers in the senior secondary schools. One hundred and fifty (150) teachers and students were sampled in five selected schools. The instrument used for data collection was structured questionnaires. The validity and reliability of the instrument were tested. Data collected were presented in a table, mean and frequency distributions were used to analyse the data. The findings show that teaching and learning of economics in our secondary schools are affected by unqualified economics teachers, poor method of teaching, inadequate instructional materials and attitudes and interest of the teachers and students. Based on the findings some recommendations were made thus Employment of economics teachers by the government through the ministry of education should be strictly based on merit so as to make it possible for only those who studied the course to be appointed.
Background of The study
Economics is one of an important subject taught in the secondary schools. It is important to both students and the society at large because it cuts across all spheres of human endeavour as it can be seen in its simpler definition by professor lord Robbins (1975), thus economics as a science which studies human behavior as a relationship between ends and scarce means which have alternative uses. By this definition Robbins emphasized economics as a science and that economic analysis should be based on scientific and logical process rather than vague judgments.
Economics according to Hornby, (1973) is the study of production and distribution of money and goods of a country. It is the study of how people of the society choose to use their limited resources like land, capital, labour, goods and technical knowledge to provide various goods and services for the consumption of man. Pigou (1972), believed that economics makes it easier to institute practical measures to promote welfare, so that the society may build upon the work of economics. He concluded by saying that the study is not worthwhile for its own sake but only for the healing that the knowledge may help to bring. Economics is relevant to the field of science and art. It enables the individuals to think in the sense that he/she is able to apply its principles to solve practical problems and avoid unnecessary costly mistake. It also enables individuals to understand better the relationship between himself and his fellow human beings in his effort to make a living.
All over the world, the importance of economics as an instrument of nation building and national development cannot be over-emphasized. It is based on this axiom that Nigeria as a sovereign nation requires excellent qualified teacher and teaching aids in the students understanding of the need to effect a change in National Development through the teaching and learning of economics in the senior secondary schools preferably those in SS1 to SS3.
There has also been a traumantic growth in commerce and industry since independence which invariably calls for specialized and qualified manpower to make the various aspects of the economy become imperative. This lead to the introduction of economics as a separate subject of study in the new National policy of education. Economics subject was also included in the curriculum that is geared towards producing a group of people who can study and improve the structure of Nigerian Economy. Economics as a field of study provides individuals with sound knowledge on how to be self-employed and better the lots of people in his or her own society.
Profoundly, in Izzi Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, there has been a lot of factors militating against the teaching and learning of economics in the secondary schools, which invariably calls for the study of this research work.
Consequent upon this foregoing therefore, we can briefly look at the word “teach and teaching”. The Oxford Advance Learners Dictionary 6th edition (2001:1220), defined the word teach to mean a given lesson to students in a schools, colleges, universities, etc to make somebody learn something by giving information about it to show somebody how to do something so that they will be able to do it by themselves. Lark (1995), also sees teaching as the interaction between a teacher and student under the teacher’s responsibility in order to bring about the expected change in the students’ behaviour. Alaezi (1990:1), describes teaching as the business of all those involved in the act of changing human behaviour and transformation of society for better, particularly when their actions render them perceptibly significant respectable and recognizable to others because of the consequences they accomplish and the unique manner they do them. He emphasized that a teacher must possess knowledge and method of imparting it that could bring about positive change in learners attitude or behavior.
According to Mukherjee, (2002), learning is seen as an inference from some performance of the organization resulting in an enduring change of behaviour. Hengenhan, (1982), defined learning as a relatively permanent change in behavioural potentiality that occurs as a result of reinforced practice. Also, Omebe, (2001:5) defined learning as a change in behaviour that is as a result of experience and which cause people to understand situation differently.
It is therefore, a great concern in this regard to give absolute attention to the quality and the numbers of the teachers we have in the secondary schools to enable us achieve and attain the goals for which these secondary schools were established without any impediment or hampering this purpose. Hence, being properly trained as a professional teacher and having a sound knowledge of what to teach is the most vital prerequisite for a good qualified teacher. Unqualified teachers in our secondary schools today in teaching of economics have acted persistently as canker-worm devouring the efforts of achieving the educational objectives for this subject. It is observed that a person can never give out what he does not have. Nwanna (1968) said that the personality of teachers has significant influence on student’s performance.
The proper application of teaching materials is very important in the effective studying of economics. The quality of the teaching materials used in teaching and learning appear to affect greatly the teaching and learning of economics. According to Okorita (2004), there is urgent need to provide the schools with facilities and materials so as to boost the teaching and learning which will call for education for all the year 2010. Writing further, he attributed the largely factors affecting the teaching and learning of economics in secondary schools to lack of adequate facilities and teaching materials in the school surrounding which could have facilitated the teaching of the subject.
In teaching economics, methodology is a veritable tool for the conveyance of the principles or theories of economics as well as materials to the students for the achievement of the goals of that institution. According to Ali (2001), says “methodology uses materials in an instructional setting to send the principles (knowledge) which could be the cognitive, the affective and the psychomotor aspect of the school’s curriculum.” Ugwu (2001), emphasized the essentiality for a teacher to select most effective method amongst other for a given purpose, if he must satisfy the learners need to know and his desire to participate actively in the instructional process.
The interest and attitudes of teachers and students over teaching and learning of economics in secondary schools are of great effects. Onyeji (2000), of his view that the teacher’s attitude discourages and scares away students from studying the subject. This is so, if the students are not properly guided, they become scared of the teachers and the subject resulting in lack of interest and the student’s performance tend to be poor since effective teaching do not take place.
Statement of The Problem
Economics is being taught in secondary schools in Izzi Local Government Area and it has been observed that students performed poorly in the Senior Secondary Certificate Examination which formed the problem of the study. In that, it has been observed that there are lots of factors militating against the effective teaching and learning of economics in secondary schools which include lack of qualified teachers, lack of instructional materials, poor methodology of teaching, attitudes and interest of teachers and students in teaching and learning of economics, etc.
Purpose of The Study
The general purpose of the study is to identify the factors affecting the effective teaching and learning of economics in secondary schools in Izzi Local Government Area.
The study is specifically designed to:
- Determine the educational qualification of economics teachers in the secondary schools and how it affects the study of economics.
- Find out the extent instructional materials available and how they affect the study of economics?
- Identify the method economics teachers used in teaching economics in the secondary schools
- Identify the extent interest and attitudes of students and teachers affect the teaching and learning in the secondary schools
Significance of The Study
This study will help to make our educational administrators to see the need to have qualified economics teachers if not available to handle the subject and effectively for the benefits of the students and society at large.
It will also helps to sensitize the educational administrators to appreciate the need to make available the necessary materials, examples chalkboard, graph, audio-visual materials, etc that will enhance effective learning of economics if they are not available.
This study will if need be direct the economics teachers’ attention to the need for them to adopt more appropriate teaching method in order to bring about the above mentioned desirable experience in the learners. This study will have a great significant to economists for formulation and evaluation of their plans.
It will be useful to learners to identify the factors affecting the teaching and learning of economics. It will help to identify the factors affecting the teaching and learning of economics. It will help to produce sound economics students that will function well in the economy.
This work will serve as a source of encouragement to students and teachers that will come across it. It is hoped that the findings of this study would also form the basis for further research work by future researchers on this issues.
The following research questions guided this research work:
- How do qualifications of the economics teachers influence the teaching and learning of economics in the secondary schools
- To what extent are instructional materials available and how they affect the study of economics?
- To what extent does poor method of teaching affect teaching and learning of economics in secondary schools?
- To what extent does an interest and attitude of students, teachers and school administrators influence effective teaching and learning of economics?
Scope of The Study
The study deals with the factors affecting the effective study of economics in secondary schools in Izzi Local Government Area of Ebonyi state. It geographically covers the five selected secondary schools in Izzi Local Government Area of Ebonyi state.