AN APPRAISAL OF THE AVAILABILITY AND USABILITY OF CHEMISTRY LABORATORY FACILITIES FOR TEACHING ORGANIC CHEMISTRY IN SENIOR
Background of Study
Science and technology have been and still are used to solve many human problems. The aim of science is to improve human life and to conquer nature and also its effect in our schools. Is to produce men and women who are scientifically literate. Science and technology education has been a sure way to promote economic development, reduce or eliminate poverty and improve social well-being in all countries. This is the reason why many countries of the world, developed and developing, invest heavily each year in science and technology education (Nwagbo, 2005). In Nigeria the story is the same, many policies have been formulated since independent educators and curriculum designers also developed and advanced the school curriculum to support the immediate and distant science and technology needs of society. Nigerian student in order to graduate from our school system is self-sufficient, employable and highly productive in the face of rising unemployment.
Science is therefore the study of nature and natural phenomena. Nature according to Butler and Tanner (2003) is a thing or innate or essential qualities or characters of a person. The study of science operates on a measurable and observable physical domain. According to Mbajiogu (2003), science is a process of systematic investigation that uses observation and experimentation as tools. Science is not a technique or a body of knowledge, although it uses both, rather it is an attitude of inquiry, observation and reasoning about the world. It can be developed not by memorizing facts or using a formula to get an answer, but only by the actual practice of scientific observation and reasoning.
Academic America Encyclopedia (1989), defined science as the development and systematization of positive knowledge about the physical universe. On the other hand, technology is the art of making things generally useful to humans, so that science generates the body of knowledge and understanding on which technology depends to produce goods and services. It is interesting to note that the major advances in medicine. Pharmacy, industrial chemistry and engineering are based on research carried out in many fields of science and technology such as chemistry. Therefore, under the science education competition, chemistry has been identified as a very important scientific subject, and its importance in the scientific and technological development of any nation has been widely reported. It is because of the individual and the nation that chemistry has also become a core subject among natural science courses and other science related courses in the Nigerian education system as it is a subject pre-requisite to offer most science courses such as nursing, medicine, pharmacy, engineering, science education, biochemistry, etc. in higher education institutions. One of the aims of chemistry education is to provide students with a foundation to become proficient in the application of information and communication technologies (ICT), which leads them to acquire entrepreneurial skills and then apply these skills. skills for solving scientific problems.
According to the Free Online Dictionary (2010), chemistry is defined as the scientific study of the structure, properties and reaction of chemical elements and the compound they form. Chemistry, according to the World Book Encyclopedia (1997), is also defined as a branch of science which studies the composition and properties of matter and the changes it undergoes; chemistry is more than a collection of facts and a body of knowledge. It’s all about matter, which is all that has mass and takes up space, classroom chemistry teaching takes place in two main forms. The theoretical form and especially the practical work. Experience is the basic vehicle used to understand chemistry at all educational levels. Experimentation helps improve scientific understanding through science of processes such as observation, classification, country, measurement, and interaction with objects and events of scientific interest (Egbunonu and Okeke 2005).
Research has shown that the chemistry experiments undertaken in our school system are such that students only engage in activities that lead them to verify information already established by others. This does little to encourage further investigation (Shaibu and Mari, 2000). They do not have the opportunity to conduct surveys that involve them to collect and interpret data, and to think and evolve solution problems the teaching of organic chemistry in secondary schools is hampered due to the problem of availability and use of chemistry laboratory facilities for the teaching of organic chemistry to achieve its initial objective as conceived by the curriculum designers. There should be adequate laboratory facilities for teaching organic chemistry in secondary schools.
The extent to which the available laboratory facilities necessary for teaching organic chemistry are utilized in high schools has a lot to say about any chemistry student, especially on their final exam. If there is no lack of laboratory facilities or if the available laboratory facilities are not properly used for teaching chemistry, especially organic chemistry which will contribute to better assimilation of scientific theories , there will be problem. These are the most influential scientific processes established. Tamir (1991) stated that prior knowledge of the concept and principles can only be obtained if students possess certain underlying abilities of scientific subject matter, especially chemistry. The availability and ease of use of chemical laboratory facilities for teaching organic chemistry is considered an important aspect of chemistry as it gives students the opportunity to acquire meaningful learning, skills and attitudes. that allow them to live and contribute to the development of society. Evidence according to Solomon (1989) shows that the laboratory method of teaching chemistry takes the student beyond knowledge and complements the distinctiveness of teaching science through manual labor. Evans Bakar (1997) also stated that the lab creates enthusiasm in students and improves their attitude towards science. Balogun (1982) also stated that practical activities offer students the opportunity to fully participate in the activities of scientists, therefore the national education policy (FRN, 2004) states that students should learn to encourage practical . “Exploratory and experimental methods should be used to impact the skills needed from high school one to three in another to prepare students very well for the graduate certificate exam in chemistry, but the failure rate of students in higher certificate examination for years has remained consistently high across the country. According to the West African Examinations Council. (WAEC), Chief Examiner’s Report (2002), it was stated that student performance on the Graduate Certificate Examination in Practical Chemistry has generally not been impressive. They further mentioned that students’ poor performance in most chemistry labs on the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) exam can be seen as a result of the lack of availability and use of laboratory facilities. of chemistry for the teaching of chemistry, in particular organic chemistry in high schools. , the teacher’s qualifications and ability to use the available chemistry laboratory facilities, and the non-functional condition of the available laboratory facilities for teaching organic chemistry may be some of the factors that militate against l teaching of organic chemistry using laboratory facilities in high schools. Therefore, this study helps to discover the availability and usability of chemistry laboratory facilities for teaching organic chemistry in high schools in Nsukka local government region of Enugu State.
Statement of the problem
In recent years, manpower and money have been spent on improving science education in schools due to declining levels of education. In Nigeria, despite this, the West African Examination Council (WAEC) Chief Examiner’s Report (2010) stated that students perform poorly in chemistry, many factors may be responsible for this development and one of these factors may be the qualification of the teacher and his ability to use chemistry. laboratory facilities for teaching organic chemistry or lack of availability of laboratory facilities for teaching organic chemistry before the final exam of students.
In this current era, there has been a shortage of teachers with a good knowledge of the means of imparting scientific knowledge and the results have shown that the laboratory method of teaching a science subject helps to increase scientific skills and acquisition knowledge of our students. Based on the above, there will be an obvious side effect of not exposing students to sufficient laboratory work before showing for external exams. This study aimed to investigate the availability and usability of chemistry laboratory facilities for teaching organic chemistry in high schools.
Purpose of the study
The aim of this research work is to assess the availability and usability of chemical laboratory facilities for teaching organic chemistry in high schools in the region of the Nsukka local government of the State of Enugu.
Check the extent of availability and usability of chemistry laboratory facilities for teaching organic chemistry in high schools in Nsukka local government region of Enugu State.
Determine the extent to which the teacher uses the available chemistry lab facilities to teach organic chemistry.
Determine the challenges facing the availability and use of laboratory facilities for teaching organic chemistry.
Significant of the study
Since each well research job must solve an existing problem, the study will be of great importance to teachers, program planners, government, and society as a whole. This research will provide useful information regarding the availability and use of chemical laboratory facilities for teaching organic chemistry in high schools. The result obtained will provide relevant information on the factors which influence the availability and usability of chemistry laboratory facilities for teaching organic chemistry in high school. In the field of teachers, it will help them to know the importance of using the chemistry laboratory facilities available for teaching organic chemistry.
To school administrators, it will give rise to changes or corrections in the area of availability and usability of chemistry laboratory facilities for teaching organic chemistry. It will be advantageous for the government to distribute the necessary resources which will aid in the effective teaching of organic chemistry using the laboratory facilities. This work will also add to the existing literature on the availability of laboratory facilities for teaching organic chemistry in high schools.
Scope of the study
The study is limited to investigating the availability and usability of chemical laboratory facilities for teaching organic chemistry in secondary schools. The study is limited to the schools sampled in the Nsukka local government area of Enugu State.
In order to update the objective of this study, it is guided by the following research questions.
To what extent are laboratories available for teaching organic chemistry in high schools?
To what extent do chemistry teachers use the facilities available in the laboratory for teaching organic chemistry?
What are the challenges facing the availability and usability of laboratory facilities for teaching organic chemistry?
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