The role of chemistry as one of the science subjects in both national and global development cannot be over-emphasized. The study of chemistry offers one of the opportunities to develop an understanding of scientific method and the ability to understand the living world of which man himself is a part. This has contributed to its relative popularity among other school subjects especially the sciences. It is important therefore that chemistry of all science subjects should be given priority attention in our schools.
The current development in science and technology which chemistry is not left out has so greatly affected the lives of every human being, to be ignorant of the basic ideas of chemistry which is the physical branch of science that deals with the physical properties and the composition of matter is to live in an empty, meaningless and unrealistic world. Any nation therefore, that is not scientifically inclined, cannot be expected to make any reasonable progress whether in politics, science world, economic development of the nation and or in technology. Based on this fact, scientific and technological advancement constitutes the means by which nations of the world have been classified as developing or undeveloped. To be fully acquainted with the needs of the societies we belong to, chemistry has been made an internal part of the schools subjects. In line with this, the state and Federal Government initiated certain measures such as the admission of large number of students in chemistry in our tertiary institutions. Scholarship for chemistry teachers for further training in the profession, and the provision of chemistry equipment and laboratory facilities are other provisions geared towards the achievement of technological advancement with the priority attention given to chemistry subject in our secondary schools, it is hoped that students with the right attitude towards chemistry would in the near future become great assets to the nation.
BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Chemistry, because of its scope and potentials it’s quite unique in its involvement in several aspect of modern life. Its role as a transforming agent is recognized as crucial especially in a developing economy of ours. In Nigeria where the major problems could be summarized as provision of adequate supply of technology for rapidly growing population, banishing of unemployment and building infrastructures for the much talked of industrialization, the role of chemistry is undeniably dominant. This motivated the researcher to investigate on the reasons for the poor performance of students in chemistry subject and provide ways of improving the situation.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEMS
Chemistry is a science subject which is being taught in most all secondary schools in and outside Edo State and almost all science students offer chemistry in the state because it is essential and relevant for professions like medicine, teaching, agriculture and engineering. Statistics have shown that inspite of student’s interest in chemistry, majority of them still perform poorly. This work shall provide answers to the following specific questions;
How do students respond to chemistry subjects?
What are the factors which influence their attitudes towards chemistry subjects?
How can the student’s attitudes to the subjects be improved?
How can the teaching methods of the chemistry teachers be improved?
How can the problems of inadequate and unqualified chemistry teachers be solved?
PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The aim of this study is to examine and determine the reasons for poor performances in chemistry in some selected secondary schools. The need for this research would also help to suggest ways in which the student’s performance can be improved.
There are many factors that can affect the performance of students in the teaching of chemistry. The study seeks to find solutions to the following;
a. Does student’s poor background of scientific knowledge hinder good performance?
b. Is there any relationship between student’s unwillingness to learn and poor performance?
c. Is there a significant relationship between the availability of adequately equipped chemistry laboratory and performance in chemistry?
d. Do bad teaching methods affect the teaching and learning process in chemistry?
e. Is there a significant relationship between non-professionalization and poor performance?
f. Does student’s home problem hinder their performance in chemistry as a subject?
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The role of science has been recognized in Nigerian educational system. At the end of this research, curriculum planners should be able to restructure and modify science curriculum to suit the students, teachers and the society as for the world of science is concern. The science teachers, as well as the chemistry teachers should be able to adopt and use a favourable and suitable method. It is hoped that the findings of this project will be of a great important to secondary school autho9rities in Orhionmwon Local Government Area as well as Edo State ministry of education.
The Nigerian government in her desire to produce young Nigerian chemist who can cope with our expanding industries mainly in the area of petroleum and petrochemical industries where valuable products for our daily use are produced, can rightly benefit from this study. It will also enable us to compare the achievements of students studying chemistry in different schools investigated in Orhionmwon Local Government Area of Edo State. This research would be relevant to students, teachers, and parents and to the society in general.
SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study is limited to Orhionmwon Local Government Area in Edo State. I am however limiting it to those secondary schools that offer chemistry in their senior secondary school (SSCE) certificate examinations (SS 1-3), in Orhionmwon Local Government Area.
DEFINITION OF TERMS
Chemistry: Is the branch of science that deals with the properties and the composition of matter formally, chemistry because of it relevance to the body of science was define as that branch of science which deals with nature and properties of substances which make up our environment and the various changes which these substances undergoes in different condition.
Qualified Teacher: This is one that posses the real quality of a teacher and he or she has the spirit of inculcating knowledge effectively into the students without stress. (The person has the qualifications and the experienced as far teaching is concern).
Learning: Knowledge or skills acquired through experience or study or by being taught.
Learner: A learner is one that is less knowledgeable who sit under the rood of a more knowledgeable person to receive information. So as to be a better person to the society.
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