Challenges in Teaching and Learning of Practical Agriculture
Purpose of Study
The purpose of this study is:
- to assesses factors affecting the teaching and learning of agriculture in Senior High Schools in Mfantsiman Municipality.
Agricultural Education at the SHS level is very crucial as it is the basis of continuing to higher levels. It also contributes to the general objectives of educational profession of the country and the economy depends largely on the success of Agriculture.
- to examine the attitudes of both teachers and students of Agriculture.
- to examine the background and perception of teachers and students with regards to agriculture.
- to help determine the status of Agriculture in the society.
- to determine the effect of agricultural practices in the society on the study of Agriculture.
- to help enhance the study of agriculture in schools.
Research objectives to be measured are
- the social and academic background (qualification) of teachers in agriculture education
- the social background of students in Agriculture Education
- the general perception of teachers and students
Impacts of Practical Agriculture.
The term practical agriculture is an umbrella word, that holds “ practical” and “ Agriculture”, this words has been defined as one by the Tokyo University of Agriculture Journal (2001) as the fundamental principle of returning man to the farm. It has also been seen as the act and practices of the various agricultural activities.
Practical agriculture has enormous impacts in secondary schools. It is generally agreed that practical work facilitates the process of acquisition of basic knowledge and practical skills that prepares students for occupation in agriculture practical agriculture in secondary schools has been a strong base where young mind students are been introduced to the interesting and practical aspect of the subject as said by Samuel .I. (2004) in his book “practical agriculture.
Practical agriculture also add to the students practical knowledge, practical agriculture makes the subject expand from just theory into a conglomeration of theory and practical, where these students have the opportunity to practice all what they have learnt in the class.
Practical agriculture also add to the students academic performance, agricultural science examination are mostly in two forms practical and theory, and the students seizes the practical aspect as an opportunity to help boost and upgrade their deficiencies in the theory aspects even the West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) syllabus gives sufficient room for practical agriculture amidst other practical science subjects.
The study mainly consists of qualitative research work. The primary objective of the qualitative research was to represent data collected through the study of a small number of in–depth cases (O’Leary 2010). It was also used for working with a few people who hold answer to the research question rather than working with many people.
This study adopted the descriptive research design of survey type. This type of design allows the researcher to use a sub set of a population as sample (Nworgu, 2006). It also, allows the use of questionnaire for collection of data from respondents (Fwang‟le, 2015) and attempts to describe all aspects of respondents‟ perception and/or opinion (Nwanna, 1990). The choice of the above research design was therefore considered appropriate in this study because the data was collected from a sample representative of the population who are teachers in secondary schools in four Secondary schools in Mfantseman Municipal, Ghana.
DATA ANALYSIS AND PRESENTATION
Socio-demographic data of respondents
The demographic data obtained in the study from the teachers is analysed using frequency and percentage. This is presented as follows.
Table 4.1: Distribution of Respondents by Gender
DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION
Discussion of findings and conclusion
This study revealed that the challenges encountered by agricultural practical teachers when teaching agriculture practicals include insufficient equipment for practicals, some of the specimens for agriculture practicals are not available, insecurity, some students are not ready for practicals, large class and so on. These findings support previous studies (Folaranmi, 2002); Olaleye, 2002; Ayayi, 2006) that lack of textual materials, inadequate laboratory apparatus and equipment, and large class sizes as impediments to effective science education, of which- agricultural practical is part of.
The findings of the study also revealed that the agriculture teacher believe that improvision of the practical materials by the principals, agriculture teacher and students, employment of farm plants and animals, and sponsoring agriculture teachers regularly to workshops, seminars and conferences among others are some of the possible solutions to these challenges encountered by agriculture teachers when organizing and conducting agriculture practicals.
Balogun as cited in Ehikioya (2000) noted that the major reason for improvisation stem from the fact that the fund allotted to education are always insufficient, so the educational authorities are generally not in position to provide their schools with what they need. Folorunso and Nwosu (2006) said that students should be involved in improvisation of science materials pointing out that improvisation by students may explore them to specific knowledge and skills required in improvisation.
In conclusion, this study has revealed that lack of laboratory equipment and materials, insufficient specimen lack of fund among others are some of the challenges encountered by agriculture teachers when organizing and conducting agriculture practicals. It also revealed that improvisation by the teacher, students and principals, amongst others are the possible solutions to these challenges.
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