THE FACTORS MILITATING AGAINST THE ADVANCEMENT OF AGRICULTURAL SCIENCE IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN SAGBAMA LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF BAYELSA STATE
1.1 Background of the study
Career is the sequence of occupation, job or position occupied by a person during his entire life (Janick 1994). Therefore, it is an accepted fact that one should choose and prepare for a carer ealy enough in life. Hence, Secondary school agricultural students need to be exposed to career opportunities in agriculture.
Agriculture according to Egbe (2004) is an art, a science, a business, profession, occupation and industry for production of food and fibre for man’s use. It is very extensive in scope and has many career opportunities. Egbe (2004) listed the careers open for students of agriculture in the areas of (i) Self-reliance in production of various crops, fishery, poultry, pigery, rabitary, or distribution of farm produce. (ii) Civil service work in Ministry of Agriculture, National Directorate of Employment, Agricultural agencies e.t.c. (iii) Research Stations (iv) Agro-allied industries like detergents, processing, supplies, textiles, feed meals e.t.c.
The choice of any of these careers may be influenced by certain factors. Okorie (2000) said that factors that limit choice of occupation are the things that prevent individuals from entering into the occupation. He stresses further that those factors as the nature of preparation, job remunerations, returns to the occupations, motivation and incentives, technicality involved in the occupation and the status of the job. In a similar manner, Eze (2004) enumerated factors that limit students choice of agricultural occupations as the level of exposure to carer occupations, quality of teaching agriculture, returns to agriculture projects, availability of inputs for agricultural enterprise, and public image of agricultural occupations. In this study, factors that affect choice of agricultural career by secondary school students refer to cause of poor retention of graduates in agric jobs.
Skill, according to Hull (1992), was defined as manual dexterity acquired through the repetitive performance of an operation. According to Hornby (1980), skills involve the ability to do something expertly well. Aderogba (2011) expressed skills as the possession of expertise needed to perform a particular job or tasks and in essence, it ought to consist of habit that ensures adaptation. Olaitan (2010) posits that although students might have studied Mathematics in school as a subject, teachers of Agricultural Science or Agricultural Education should not overlook the teaching of the application of Mathematics to Agriculture. According to him, Mathematics is very important in calculating the area of the school farm, yield of crop per hectare, profit or loss accruing from farm enterprise, amount of feed needed per head of animal per unit body weight gain, amount of work done by tractor to ascertain efficiency, the bulk density of soil, soil PH, soil analysis experiments and rate of fertilizer application among others.
It has been observed by the researchers that those who do not posses basic skills in Farm Mathematics are usually disadvantaged in solving farm problems or carrying out some farm activities successfully. In which case, lack of effective technical skill in Mathematical calculations had been noted by Gliem and Warmdrod (1985) as being significant in creating problems on a long run, whenever a student of Agriculture is selecting and preparing for a life long career after graduating from school and colleges in Nigeria. Popoola (2013) remarks that if student's studying Mathematics are not adequately prepared in basic skills development, they may experience difficulty in finding employment and in later performance on the job. The ability to compute well are therefore regarded as very critical to subsequent learning and employability of a student entering the labour market.
It has been observed by Burton, Daane, and Giesen (2008) that teachers of Mathematics have little knowledge and understanding of school Mathematics than is required for the task they face in the classroom. According to them, many teachers of Mathematics in many countries have less than the required knowledge of the content of Mathematics they teach. These conditions can probably be informed by the extent of the relevance and mastery of the content of the curriculum which the teachers were exposed to during their training. In the same context, if the Agricultural Science curricular in the training departments, schools or colleges were full of topics in Farm Mathematics and the teachers were able to master the topics, perhaps they would be able to display high level of competency and preparation in the mastery of computational skills in Farm Mathematics contents (Popoola, 2013). A teacher cannot teach more than what he/she knows or had been exposed to.
Learners generally are expected to engage some activities in the school before learning can take place. The learning can takes place is the result of students - teachers reaction and their environment. For a successful achievement of educational objectives and enhanced learning outcome, contents or subject matters to be learnt must be carefully selected to meet student individual deference's through learning by doing. Students background knowledge is also very essential when they are computing or learning new concepts. The prior knowledge of both the student and teacher can help them to understand new lesson especially when they are activated and they serve as pre-requisite information. Popoola (2013), noted that professional teacher should give adequate attention to the prior knowledge of the students most especially when dealing with computations exercise.
Teachers of Agricultural Science are exported to link the theory in the classroom with practicals and computational problem solving content of the curriculum for a worthwhile learning outcome, and effective transfer of learning experience. It has been observe that teachers experience plays a big role in the effectiveness of every teaching and learning process. Teachers with more years of experience had been observed to be able to teach more effectively than the beginning teachers, Whitelaw et al (2000) states that teachers sex is an important variable related to pupils performance. Gender traits in boys and girls have shown in their attitude towards Agricultural Science. There is a bias that majority of females still choose not to opt for Agricultural science. The differences in the persistence of males and females studying Agricultural Science have been a topic of concern to researchers in Agricultural Science Education for years. Similarly, it has been observed that male teacher have more positive attitude towards the teaching of Agricultural Science, achieve better and have higher preferences for Agricultural practicals and Mathematical problem solving in Agriculture than female teachers. Gender in this case is the behavioural, cultural or psychological traits associated with ones sex.
Defining the major roles of the teachers of Agriculture in schools and college, Olaitan (2011) posited that a teacher of Agriculture is not only a "common teacher" but also a technician in Agriculture. According to him, the roles of a teacher of Agricultural Science differ to some extent from that of the other teachers in the school system because they are expected to deal with cognitive, psychomotor and affective outcomes of teaching learning process. The teacher of Agricultural Science is often looked upon as a master of definite skills in mathematical and problem solving skill. This means therefore, that the teacher of Agricultural Science are supposed to give all round education to their students as well as helping them to acquire definite skills that are necessary for efficient performance in all aspects of agriculture where the learner may wish to specialize.
Statement of the Problem
It has been generally observed that the number of secondary school graduates taking agriculture as a career is low as majority of farmers in the study area are adult farmers. There must be some variables which are responsible for the low choice of agriculture as a carer by secondary school graduates. These variables or factors have not been determined in the study area because there is no record on the causes of low choice of agriculture as a career. As the factors militating choice of agriculture as a career are not determined. It is very difficult for the teachers and stakeholders of agriculture education programme to improve the teaching of agriculture so that graduates of the course can choose it as a career. If this problem is allowed to continue, it will adversely reduce the workforce and agricultural productivity. It is therefore necessary to determine factors affecting choice of agriculture as a career by secondary school graduates for the purpose of improving agricultural programmes, food production and retention of graduates in the job.
1.2 Objectives of the study
The aim of this research work is to examine the factors militating against the advancement of Agricultural Science in secondary schools in Sagbama local government area of Bayelsa state. The specific objectives of this research work includes the following;
1. To evaluate the relevance of advancement of Agricultural science in secondary schools on the development of Sagbama local Government Area.
2. To examine the impact agricultural science in the economic growth of Sagbama local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
3. To identify the various factors militating against the advancement of Agricultural Science in secondary schools in Sagbama local government area of Bayelsa state.
4. To proffer possible solutions to the problems identified.
1.4 Research questions
Based on the objectives above, the following questions were asked;
1. What are the relevance of advancement of Agricultural science in secondary schools on the development of Sagbama local Government Area?
2. To what extent does agricultural science impact on the economic growth of Sagbama local Government Area of Bayelsa State?
3. What are the various factors militating against the advancement of Agricultural Science in secondary schools in Sagbama local government area of Bayelsa state?
4. What are the possible solutions to factors militating against the advancement of Agricultural Science in secondary schools in Sagbama local government area of Bayelsa state?
1.5 Statement of hypotheses
Ho: Advancement of Agricultural science in secondary schools is not relevant in the development of Sagbama local Government Area.
H1: Advancement of Agricultural science in secondary schools is very relevant in the development of Sagbama local Government Area.
Ho: Agricultural science does not have any impact on the economic growth of Sagbama local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
H1: Agricultural science has significant impact on the economic growth of Sagbama local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
Ho: There are so many factors militating against the advancement of Agricultural Science in secondary schools in Sagbama local government area of Bayelsa state.
H1: There are no factors militating against the advancement of Agricultural Science in secondary schools in Sagbama local government area of Bayelsa state.
1.6 Significance Of The Study
This research work will be of immense help to:
The Researcher: it will help the researcher to know more on the factors militating against the advancement of Agricultural Science in secondary schools in Sagbama local government area of Bayelsa state.
Residence of Sagama; It will also be of great importance to the residence in the local Government area as it will enrich their knowledge on the benefits and usefulness of advancement in Agricultural science.
Students; This will equally be of help to the students in the area as it will enlighten them on the need to advance in agricultural science, the study will help them even after their school days.
The Country; This study will be of great importance to the country Nigeria as it will help the policy makers to prorogate laws that will guide and encourage advancement of agriculture as it will help to boost the economy.
1.7 Scope and Limitations of the Study
The study shall focus on the factors militating against the advancement of Agricultural Science in secondary schools in Sagbama local government area of Bayelsa state.
The researcher in carrying out this study encountered numerous problems, which includes:
FUND – This included lack of enough fund to move around and visit the organizations, the researcher has to visit the organizations more than two times, the researcher equally needed enough money to source material which constitutes an impediment. High cost of transportation in the city due to long distance also imposed its own limitation on the researcher.
LACK OF RESEARCH MATERIALS: lack of research materials was also one of the problems faced by the researcher in the cause of this research work.
RESPONDS OF THE RESPONDENTS: Another constraint to the researcher is that some of the respondents found it difficult to express their view with regards to the subject matter.
From the above points the researcher tried his best to come out with a detailed study on the factors militating against the advancement of Agricultural Science in secondary schools in Bayelsa state but the above constraints have limited the researcher to only in Sagbama local government area of Bayelsa state.