AN ASSESSMENT OF INFRASTRUCTURAL FACILITIES FOR TEACHING ECONOMICS IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
In many African countries, inadequate education has proven to be the largest impediment to political, social, and economic reform. School infrastructure has been identified as a significant determinant in the success of quantitative instruction. It cannot be overstated how critical it is to teach and learn with sufficient educational facilities and resources. Economics education in Nigerian secondary schools must be handled effectively. At the basic and secondary levels of our educational system, the materials used by teachers to impart knowledge and hammer home their subject points are unquestionably a critical component of effective classroom interaction and the successful transfer of knowledge from teachers to learners (Paul, 2013).
According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, infrastructure is the underlying basis or fundamental framework (as of an organizational system), as well as the resources (such as staff, buildings, or equipment) of a country, state, or region’s public works.
In the context of secondary school economics instruction, infrastructure facilities refer to the equipment and materials accessible to support students’ learning outcomes.
It encompasses enough classroom and laboratory space, as well as literature, educational technology software and hardware, experiment supplies, and the availability of tables, chairs, chalkboards/whiteboards, and chalks/markers (Farrant,I991 and Farombi,1998).
According to Oni (1992), infrastructure plays a critical role in the operation of a secondary school system. This is because they play a significant role in the smooth operation of all instructional and experimental demonstrations, as well as extra-curricular activities. He continued by stating that the availability of the aforementioned infrastructure facilities, as well as their sufficiency and relevance, have an effect on the teacher’s and learner’s efficiency and high performance. Farombi (1998) asserted that a nation’s or society’s wealth can influence the quality of education in that country; emphasizing that a wealthy society will establish good schools with professional personnel (quality teachers) and learning infrastructures that enable students to learn easily, resulting in high academic achievement. Ajayi and Ogunyemi (1990) reiterated that when facilities are provided to meet the relative needs of a school system, students will not only have access to the reference materials required of them by teachers, but they will also be able to develop independently, and the teacher will have room for necessary improvement in order to conduct additional research and practice on a consistent basis. This has the net effect of improving pupils’ overall performance.
Economics as a discipline began in 1776 with the publication of Adam Smith, the founder of the classical school of thinking, and has since acquired a variety of functions, particularly in political and educational settings. Economics is divided into two branches: microeconomics and macroeconomics. While microeconomics examines the behavior and operations of the economy’s component units (households, businesses, and government agencies), macroeconomics examines the economy as a whole through aggregates and averages (Umoh, 2007). According to Aromolaran (2006), three primary languages are utilized in economics education and communication: theoretical or verbal, geometry or graphical, and algebraic or mathematical language.
Economics is a vital topic that students must credit before being admitted to any higher institution, particularly a university, to pursue related courses such as accountancy, business administration, and insurance. Due to the relevance and technical nature of this topic, it is required to utilize the relevant infrastructural facilities, including instructional materials, to rigorously teach it to learners. Macaulay (1989) says that visual aids bring teachings to life and assist pupils in learning more effectively. As a result, it is clear that these physical elements that facilitate the teaching and learning process are critical.
This study will explore the extent to which the presence of adequate infrastructural facilities may improve the performance of public senior secondary school students in Economics and also the teacher’s performance. Without adequate infrastructure, teaching economics will almost surely result in low academic accomplishment. Franzer, Okebukola, and Jegede (1992) emphasized that no matter how highly prepared a scientific teacher is, he or she would be unable to put his or her theories into practice if the educational setting lacks the essential equipment and tools.
Bassey (2002) believed that science is a resource-intensive endeavor (and economics is a social science), and that during a period of economic distress, it may be extremely difficult to fully fund some of the technological devices and equipment used in economics teaching and learning in schools.
This scenario is exacerbated further by the country’s soaring inflation, which renders some imported materials and equipment prohibitively costly, necessitating the necessity to create goods domestically.
According to researchers like as Obioha (2006) and Ogunleye (2002), there are insufficient resources in Nigeria’s secondary schools for teaching science topics.
Additionally, they claimed that the ones that are accessible are frequently in poor shape. As a result, improvisation is required.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Teaching is basically concerned with the transfer of concepts, abilities, information, and attitudes from the instructor to the student. For example, in Nigeria, it has been demonstrated via experience that using spoken words alone to communicate concepts is wasteful and unsuccessful in achieving the required learning outcome. Economics has been noted as a failing subject in public examinations such as WAEC, GCE, and NECO (Paul, 2013). This might be because there are themes that are difficult for students to comprehend, and for the successful teaching of some of these topics, proper infrastructural facilities and suitable instructional materials are necessary. According to research, students regard Economics as a dull, difficult, and unimportant topic. Large class numbers, insufficient financing, insufficient curricular materials, insufficient teaching skills, and a lack of support for instructors, among other challenges, all contribute to further reducing the quality of Economics teaching and learning in Nigerian schools (Okebukola 2001).
To address these escalating issues, one must first build a realistic picture of what is currently happening in the teaching and learning of Economics in Nigerian schools.
However, we must ask ourselves if the presence of high-quality infrastructure has an effect on students’ academic achievement. Is a teacher’s efficacy and efficiency boosted by high-quality infrastructure? Does having high-quality infrastructure assist drive students and instructors to perform a better job of learning and teaching, respectively? Finding solutions to these and other related problems is the study’s overarching objective.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The main aim of this study is to assess infrastructural facilities for teaching economics in secondary schools. Other aims of this study are:
- To determine whether infrastructural facilities is important in the teaching of economics in secondary schools.
- To find out the different types of infrastructural facilities used in teaching economics in secondary schools.
- To find out whether there are adequate infrastructural facilities for teaching Economics in secondary schools.
- To determine whether there is a relationship between infrastructural facilities and academic performance in economics in secondary schools.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following research questions which are in line with the objectives of this study will be answered:
- Is infrastructural facilities important in the teaching of economics in secondary schools?
- What are the different types of infrastructural facilities used in teaching economics in secondary schools?
- Are there adequate infrastructural facilities for teaching Economics in secondary schools?
- Is there a relationship between infrastructural facilities and academic performance in economics in secondary schools?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The findings of this study will inform stakeholders in the education system and the general public on the level of infrastructure available for the teaching and learning of Economics in Nigeria’s public senior secondary schools.
This study will assist teachers in improving their teaching effectiveness, efficiency, and production. As a result, a teacher who has appropriate infrastructure and instructional resources at his or her disposal to enhance his or her lesson will aid in the development of students’ original and creative thinking, as well as their ability to be genuinely spontaneous and passionate. Oremeji (2002) asserts persuasively that any teacher who utilizes these resources and learns to use them correctly and effectively will discover that they contribute an almost incalculable amount to instruction.
This study is also relevant for society at large because when instructors are supported by proper infrastructure and instructional materials and learners have a successful learning experience, the information learned has a beneficial influence on society. Students will be able to comprehend how the economy works, analyze the government’s economic policies and actions, and perform economically more effectively in their life and career choices. They will not become a source of contention in society.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study is mainly focused on assessing infrastructural facilities for teaching economics in secondary schools. Precisely, this study is focused on determining whether infrastructural facilities is important in the teaching of economics in secondary schools, finding out the different types of infrastructural facilities used in teaching economics in secondary schools, finding out whether there are adequate infrastructural facilities for teaching Economics in secondary schools and determining whether there is a relationship between infrastructural facilities and academic performance in economics in secondary schools.
Economics teachers and students of selected secondary schools in Ibadan, Oyo State will be the respondents of the survey of this study.
1.7 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
This study is mainly limited to assessing infrastructural facilities for teaching economics in secondary schools. Precisely, this study is limited to determining whether infrastructural facilities is important in the teaching of economics in secondary schools, finding out the different types of infrastructural facilities used in teaching economics in secondary schools, finding out whether there are adequate infrastructural facilities for teaching Economics in secondary schools and determining whether there is a relationship between infrastructural facilities and academic performance in economics in secondary schools.
Economics teachers and students of selected secondary schools in Ibadan, Oyo State will be the respondents of the survey of this study, thus the sample size was limited because only a few respondents were chosen to answer the research instrument, therefore the results cannot be generalized to other secondary schools outside the area.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Assessment: The action of assessing someone or something.
Infrastructural facilities: is the underlying foundation or basic framework (as of a system of organization), also: the resources (such as personnel, buildings, or equipment) of the public works of a country, state, or region.
Economics: Economics is the social science that studies the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. Economics focuses on the behaviour and interactions of economic agents and how economies work.