Attitude Of Parent Towards Advising Their Female Child’S To Study Science Subject In Ondo State
Despite the high number of career opportunities available in science and technology, the enrolment of female students in science based courses is still low. This study was conducted in tertiary institutions of Ondo state, Nigeria and its purpose was to investigate attitude of parents towards advising their female child among female students in science based courses at the tertiary institutions in Ondo state, Nigeria. The objectives covered by this study were: To find out the performance in science subjects at Nigeria certificate of secondary education for the female students enrolled in Science-based courses in tertiary institutions in Ondo state, Nigerian to identify institutional attitude of parents towards female students enrolment in Science-based courses in tertiary institutions in Ondo state, Nigeria; to find out the social-economic background of the female students enrolled in Science-based courses in tertiary institutions in Ondo state, Nigeria; to investigate how students factors influence their enrolment in Science-based courses in tertiary institutions in Ondo state, Nigeria. This study used a descriptive research design. Systematic random sampling technique was employed to select the sample. The study population constituted of 271 female students enrolled in Science courses at the 10 tertiary institutions in Ondo state and all thelO principals of tertiary institutions within the study area. The sample was comprised of 161 female students enrolled in the Science subjects at the tertiary institutions in Ondo state and the 10 principals of these institutions. The instruments of data collection were questionnaire, interview schedule and checklist. Data was analyzed by using descriptive statistics. The study revealed that curriculum demand was suitable in tertiary colleges, yet4 students did not seem to have covered the past performances adequately, most of them having dealt with much theoretical aspects of the courses, which affected the competence of the local tertiary level college trained graduates. Secondly, the socio-economic factors such as fathers’ levels of income, niunber of siblings and income of the parents were the main socio-economic factors affecting the enrolment in Science based courses among the female students The perception of the female towards Science based courses was generally positive and many opted for the course because they had confidence in it. Finally, there were institutional challenges that affected the local tertiary institutions, these were; poor management, lack of basic facilities and a generally poor working environment. From the findings the recommendations were made; that the government of Nigeria should establish a clear outline aimed at regulating the learning resources for Science based courses at the tertiary institutions. The government should also set aside a certain percentage of the fluids to each tertiary level college through the Ministry of Higher Education to facilitate the implementation of the practical training programme. Finally, the government should provide resources to eliminate the various problems constraining the effective implementation of the practical programmes in the tertiary institutions by strengthening the overall capacity of these institutions to train students in Science based Course programmes.
Globally, the importance of education cannot be overemphasized as it is required to enhance the intellectual development of man (Hadley, 2010). The most ambitious education-related Millennium Development Goal is the attainment of basic education for all by 2015 (Bennell and Akyeampong, 2007). This goal has essentially created an enormous opportunity for many people to seek formal education. In the recent past many developing countries, have realized the importance of technological and Science oriented development in the achievement of growth for their economies (B6nabou and Tirole, 2011), as a consequence their focus has continued to move towards teaching Science oriented subjected in place of art based subjects. Moreover, the Science based courses continue to play an important role in providing knowledge for current and future research in various disciplines including medicine, agriculture, finance, security, disaster management, environmental conservation and information technology.
The Nigeria education system (8-4-4; denoting & years in primary, 4 years in secondary and 4 years in the university) currently advocates strongly for Science oriented post secondary school education (Nzomo et al., 2011). This is because Science oriented courses have continued to play a significant role in imparting Science-based knowledge to many post-secondary school students (Shiundu and Omulando, 1992; Birdsall et al., 2005; Barnab6 and Burns, 2008). As a direct result of this knowledge- based economy, the absolute numbers and types of rewarding careers in science and technology have expanded beyond most people’s expectations (Littleton and Barnnert, 2009). Ideally, the Science oriented courses must be accessed by students of both gender and in equal measures to foster equal opportunities.
The importance of females accessing the same education as males is more important due to the implicit recognition of women as the greatest engine of economic growth if they are given opportunities as their male counterparts (Kinyanjui, 1999). Nigeria recognizes women as fully participating members of society by law and as such each female is entitled to all the rights, responsibilities, and privileges in all sphere of life. In Nigeria, women have been granted equal chances in enrolling in any course and can therefore gain access to any career of their choice (Kane, 2004; Hadley, 2010). In spite of guaranteeing equality in the constitution and removing legal barriers to equal participation of men and women, available statistics show that women have failed to participate equally with men in the Science oriented courses both at the secondary and post secondary education (Nafukho, 1999; Okwako, 2006).
In the post-independence Nigeria, information available have indicated a consistent differences among students in sciences and Science based courses between the males and females in Nigeria in many tertiary institutions (Bogonko, 1992; Eshiwani, 1993; Oketch and Oloo, 1995; McGrath. and King, 1999; Kaino and Mazibuko, 2001; Kyalo et al., 2006; Littleton and Barnnert, 2009; Cummings et al., 2009). Although the administrators, teachers, students, and tertiary colleges -based researchers alike have stressed the importance of science and technology for the educational and vocational futures of all students, neither the number of female students enrolling in Science based subjects, nor the number of women who go on to work in them, has noticeably increased (Kyalo et al., 2006).
For a number of years, efforts at sector planning to enhance more participation of females have been underway (McGrath and King, 1999), but the national policy on tertiary colleges’ practical and technical training has not yet emerged to enhance female enrolment. What remains unclear is why low female participation in these areas continues. Although studies have investigated males’ and females’ participation rates in science and mathematics education (Gaskell et al., 2007; Greenfield et al., 2002), achievement (Cowley and Easton, 1999; Lawton, 1997), and psychological sex differences (Kolaric, 1999), little information is available in Nigerian tertiary level institutions that have investigated the factors that account for the low enrolment of female students in Science based courses.
1.2 Statement of the problem
Statistics in Nigeria show that the large majority of females do not enrol in Science oriented courses at the tertiary levels of education (DANIDA, 1998). Between the year 2007 and 2011, approximately 207,000 female students joined tertiary institutions in Nigeria commission of Higher Education [CHE 2011]. Statistics show that between the aforementioned years 67% of the female students in the tertiary level institutions
enrolled in Arts, languages, social sciences and humanity courses leaving out science oriented courses to only 33% of the female students (CHE, 2011). In Ondo state, statistics indicate that 38% of the females are enrolled in the Science oriented course. It has also been realized that the few females students who join Science based courses usually changed their courses from Science based to Arts and language based courses once they report to the tertiary institutions, making the enrolment of females in the Science oriented courses even much smaller (Kerre, 2009). The problem of this study therefore was to investigate the attitude of parents towards advising their female child of female students in science -based courses in tertiary institutions in Ondo state, Nigeria.
1.3 Purpose of the study
The purpose of this study was to investigate the attitude of parents towards the low female student’s enrolment in science based courses in the tertiary institutions of Ondo state, Nigeria.
1.4 Objectives of the Study
- To find out the performance in science subjects at Nigeria certificate of secondary education, for the female students enrolled in science based courses in tertiaiy institutions in Ondo state Nigeria
- To identify attitude of parents towards female students enrolment in Science-based courses in tertiary institutions in Ondo state Nigeria
- To find out the social-economic background of the female students enrolled in Science-based courses in tertiaiy institutions in Ondo state
- To investigate how students factors influence their enrolment in Science-based courses in tertiary institutions in Ondo state Nigeria
1.5 Research Questions
- What is the performance in science subjects at Nigeria certificate of secondary education (NECO) for the female students enrolled in science based courses in tertiary institutions in Ondo state in Nigeria?
- What institutional factors influence the enrolment of female students in science
-based courses in tertiary institutions in Ondo state?
- What is the social economic background of female students enrolled in science- based courses in tertiary institutions in Ondo state?
- What female students’ factors influence their enrolment in science-based courses in tertiary institutions in Ondo state?
1.6 Significance of the Study
The significance of this study was both practical and scholarly. Educators’ recommendations on how to best reduce low female enrolment are useful to other educational leaders and beneficial to students and society. Through this investigation, the main cause of low female enrolment in science based course was determined and can be solved to enhance improved female enrolment in Sciences at the tertiary institutions.
Identifying the factors that influence enrolment not only allows governments and institutions to forecast enrolment more effectively but also permits them to make adjustments to meet current or future labour needs. Planning for skills shortages is critically important for governments and decision-makers who have the responsibility of ensuring the maintenance of a skilled and productive workforce. Having the capacity to predict changes in enrolment numbers allows decision-makers to take into account such changes in their plans.
Gender sensitive strategies to attract female students were recommended for implementation, as was gender audits, but there were no mention of gender bias as a problem that required resolve and there is the very important issue regarding what is truly happening to female students today, socially, within the education system, in regard to the Science based courses.
1.7 Delimitation of the study
The scope of the study was limited geographically to tertiary institutions in Ondo state. The content of this study was limited to female enrolment in Science-based courses in Nigerian tertiaiy institutions in Ondo state. The study was conducted within a period of six months from January 2012 to June 2012.
1.8 Limitation of the study
The encountered the following imitations limitations: First, The study was limited to the tertiary institutions in Ondo state, however the respondents were randomly selected, therefore the findings of the study could to a great extend be generalized to all tertiary institutions in Nigeria, as ideally expected. Secondly, this study was limited by time considerations, as very little time was allocated to the entire research study time. The study was limited by inadequate resources and finances. The study could only go as far as observing, investigating and analyzing data given by the sources. Some of the respondents gave inaccurate information and this was corrected by cross checking the information provided from official institutional documents and other respondents and also use of two instruments a questionnaire and an interview to get more information. Lastly confinement of the current study to female students already enrolled in Science Oriented courses did not allow for the views of other students not enrolled to be sought and these also excluded students who are still in secondary schools or have just completed their secondary education.
1.9 Organization of the study
The study was organized as follows: Chapter one was the introduction, which contains background of the study, statement of the problems, purpose of the study, research objectives and questions, significance of the study, delimitation of the study, justification of the study, assumptions and definitions of significant terms. Chapter two consists of literature review based on the four research objectives, theoretical framework, knowledge gap and conceptual framework and summary of the literature review. Chapter three comprises of introduction, research design, target population, sample size, sampling procedure, research instruments, reliability of the instruments validity of the instruments, data collection procedure, ethical considerations of the study.
Chapter four included data analysis, presentation and interpretation. Chapter five included summary of findings, discussions, conclusions, recommendations for policy decisions and for further research references and appendices.