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Impact Of School Farm On Secondary School Students’ Interest In Agriculture In Oshimili South LGA

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ABSTRACT

This study ascertained impact of school farm on secondary school students’ interest in agriculture in Oshimili South LGA. The population of the study comprised of 3,319 male and female senior secondary school students in 13 public secondary schools in Oshimili South Local Government Area of Delta State. The sample of the study comprised of 50 male and female senior secondary school students selected through simple random sampling technique to represent the entire population. The instrument used for data collection was a structured questionnaire. The questionnaire consisted of two sections. A draft copy of the questionnaire was validated by a lecturer from Department of Educational Psychology and Counselling, Federal College of Education (Technical) Asaba. The validator inspected the questionnaires to ensure that the items were in line with the research questions. The modifications, corrections and suggestions made by expert were included in the final draft copy which enhance face and content validity of the instruments. Permission was obtained from the management of the selected secondary schools before the distribution of questionnaire to the respondents. The researcher administered 50 copies of the questionnaire to senior secondary school students and teachers in Oshimili South Local Government Area of Delta State. The administered questionnaires were retrieved and analysed. Data collected were analyzed using percentage and mean statistics. Based on the analysis, it was found among other that most schools in the area studied have school farms; the farms are mostly crop farms and the school farm offers farming experience to students especially those without agricultural background. On the basis of the findings, it was recommended among others that agricultural fair day should be organized for students at the end of each farming season or any time the teacher deems fit and feast should be incorporated into the fair and Some of the food materials for such feast should be harvested from the school farm. This gives the student a sense of pride and accomplishment.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of the Study

Agriculture represents a topic with various opportunities for science education and education for sustainable development, and farms as extracurricular places of learning offer a great educational potential (Dreyfus, 1987)

The current increasing importance of agricultural education traces back to tremendous structural changes in agriculture throughout Germany and other industrialised countries during the 20th Century. Agricultural Mechanization (Binswanger 1986; Henkel 2012), the application of fertilizers and pesticides (Leigh 2004, Smil 2004), and the successive process of specialization and intensification have led to great increases in agricultural productivity (DVB 2013; Ramankutty, Foley & Olejniczak 2002)

However, many environmental and sustainable development concerns are closely related to modern intensive farming systems (Geiger et al, 2010; Liess et al 2005; Pachauri & Reisinger 2007, United Nations, 2012). Besides, the structural change in agriculture had disconnected people from farming. Since the coming generations will have to face these problems, educators and researchers complain about a lack of young people’s primary agricultural knowledge (Bramer 2010, Dillon, Rickinson, Sanders, & Teamey 2005; Trexler 2000a, 2000b) and underline the importance to reconnect young people with agriculture in institutional learning (Dillon et al 2005). Thus, agriculture once again becomes an increasingly important issue in science and geography education.

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An educational approach to revive the relation of young people to agriculture is to address their respective interests. From an educational perspective, interest can be both a precious predisposition and a learning outcome. As an intrinsic motivational basis, it favors learning processes and fosters knowledge, achievement and competence acquisition (Hidi & Renninger, 2006; Wigfield & Cambria 2010).

So far, research has hardly considered agriculture as an object of students’ interest. A sound instrument to investigate in different agricultural content areas is lacking. However, some potential factors how agricultural interest can be fostered were identified in related interest research. It seems likely that nature experiences are one important factor (Chawla & Cushing, 2007; Leske & Bogeholz 2008) The manifold possible nature experiences on farms (Bogeholz 2001, 2005) – and in particular intensive ones such as a five-day school farm stay – appear promising, especially in combination with supporting cognitive activities in school (Paas, Tuovinen, Merrienboer & Darabi, 2005; Scharfenberg & Bogner, 2013). Against this background this stud scrutinized

In Nigerian secondary schools, agriculture has been recognize as a core curriculum subject. In view of this, Olaitan (2010) outlined certain philosophy regarding agriculture in schools include:

Honest labour, for example planting seeds and rearing livestock is a worthy activity. The wholesome food produced by agriculture is essential for good health. All available land would be utilized. Standard of living can be raised by improving agriculture inputs. The rural environment will be improved by raising the standard of living of the community.

The above philosophy of agriculture finds expression in the general and specific objectives of secondary schools agriculture curriculum. In junior secondary schools (JSS), the main objectives is to equip students with introductory vocational skills in agriculture. While at the senior secondary school (SSS) level, the objectives includes to:

  • Stimulate and sustain students interest in agriculture
  • Enable students to acquire basic knowledge and skills in agriculture
  • Prepare students for further studies in agriculture
  • Prepare students for occupation in agriculture (West African Examination Councils 2006)

The above objectives are achievable within the provision of stipulated Agriculture science curriculum currently being implemented in secondary schools nationwide. A holistic implementation of agriculture curriculum in secondary school is expected to embrace classroom instruction and practical experience which the student in agriculture are exposed to (Adegeye and Dittoh, 2008).

Besides adequate and qualified agriculture science teacher, adequate classroom, agricultural science laboratory and school farms are prerequisites to teaching and learning of agriculture in secondary schools.

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Though the above requirement are complementary, schools farm draw more attention in view of the fact that West African Examination Councils (2006) recommended that schools must keep with at least one species of livestock from each of the following two group pigs, rabbit and poultry goat sheep and cattle and where feasible fish pond.

School farms are expected to have adequate equipment, farm implements tools farm structure and regular supply of inputs in addition to farm space to accommodate crops and livestock managed by student under the supervision of their teachers (Ani, 1997). These are the fundamental of an operational school farm on which students could transfer classroom instruction to practical experience in the fields.

In line with this the school farm offers students the opportunity to acquire knowledge, skills and competencies and demonstrate farm principle and practices carryout field experiment which cannot be accommodate in the laboratory (Ani, 1997). In the overall, it caters for the interest of the rural dwellers whose major occupation is agriculture. They aim at giving a utilitarian and comprehensive education to the youths, farm families and other who might be interested in agriculture as a vocation (Adesina, 2008,) (Grubb and Lazerson, 2005). In other to established a well equipped school farm that effectively fit into the above roles place significant demand on the student, teacher, school management parent and the immediate community in terms of resources (Pimpa and Suwannapiron, 2008). In response to its increasing stakeholders, school farm in various secondary schools in Nigeria, particularly in Delta State, are expanding their activities roles and proceeds to reach its vested interest.

Consequently, schools farms are not just for practical experience but embracing several other benefits. In view of this background, the study is aimed at determining the social benefits of school farm in secondary schools in Delta State

Statement of the Problem

School farm is one of the prerequisites for effective implementation of agriculture science curriculum in secondary schools. But despite the fact that many secondary school in Nigeria have been benefit of being sited on government or community land with relatively goods space to accommodate a teaching farm, there appears to be a paucity of well equipped school farms for effective teaching and learning in secondary school in (Ladele 2000). In Delta State secondary schools it has been observed that many of the existing schools farms lacked requisites structures implements and other farm facilities. While in others, these facilities are in state of complete dilapidation consequently to total neglect of practical lesson in the school farms (Ladele 2009). In some schools most of the pupils come from rural farm families with a detailed knowledge of traditional agriculture gained from their parents.

In some cases, these pupils expectation from their learning experience in school agriculture are high. But unfortunately practical experience appears elusive to them due to lack of school farms (Ladele, 2000). In some schools especially in urban areas, pupils have no knowledge of agriculture and so their involvement in practical experience in the school farm is perceived as a drudge and untidy business. In order to reconcile these extreme of negative attitude there in the need for a study to determine the social benefit of school farms in secondary school in  Oshimili South Local Government Area.

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Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study is to find out how the school farm affects students in secondary schools interest in agriculture in Oshimili South local government areas of Delta State. Specifically the study seeks to

Highlight the availability and utilization of school farms in Oshimili South LGA determine agriculture as a context of learning

Identify the benefits of Farm education and related approaches

Research Questions

  1. What is the level of availability and utilization of school farm in Oshimili South LGA?
  2. What is the Role of the school farm in the development of pupils’ interest in agriculture in Oshimili South LGA?
  3. What techniques are required for effective management of the school farm as an instructional initiative or strategy in Oshimili South?

Significance of the Study

Since the achievement of the occupational orientation of students in agriculture in secondary schools could be developed and sustained through their exposure to practical experience on school farms, this study will reveal the present state of school farm, vis-à-vis the expected facilities needed for effective practical lessons. This will help the school management agriculture science teachers, student parent and oher concerned to work together towards giving the school farms a face lift to sustain effective curriculum implementation in agriculture.

Moreover the study would identify the social benefit accruable from well-established school farms. This will help to raise the interest and proper orientation of the student in the study of agriculture not just as a school subject but as a prospective field of human endeavour for sustainable employment (Alhaji 2008). With respect to teachers of agriculture science and school management the study could raise their awareness to invest resources in the school farm as an asset for agriculture curriculum implementation as well as a veritable alternative source of income and image maker for the school.

The finding of the study would provide an orientation for secondary school to improve on their agriculture science programme in order to enhance the vocational competence of the students. This would sustain the student interest and environmental habits for a successful transition to the world of works.

Scope Of The Study

The research shall focus the study on Students’ interest in agriculture: Impact of the school farm on secondary schools in Oshimili South Local Government Area, Delta state


Pages:  53

Category: Project

Format:  Word & PDF               

Chapters: 1-5                                          

Source: Imsuinfo

Material contains Table of Content, Abstract and References.

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