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THE LEVEL OF PHYSICS EDUCATION LITERACY AMONG THE JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN ENUGU NORTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA, ENUGU STATE.
1.1. BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has taken over the global economy. Most things if not all require ICT to be performed. The education sector is not left out of this as Information and Communication Technology(ICT) has improved the method of teaching and learning; it has made teaching and learning less difficult. Teaching and learning with the aid of ICT has grown beyond the four walls of a classroom to learning from the comfort of one’s apartment. This
advancement in technology has equally bridged the digital divide between information rich and poor society. According to Tinio (2002) ICT has the potentials of increasing relevance and quality of education in developing countries and the field of education has been affected by ICT, which have indisputably affected teaching, learning, and research. Many scholars have proven through their works the much benefits of ICT to the quality of education (Yusuf, 2005).
physics literacy is the ability to use computers to perform a variety of tasks and is becoming fundamental to the learning process (Osuji, 2010).
physics literacy is being able to handle a wide range of varying physics applications for various purposes. Albirini (2004) considers physics literacy as educators’ belief about their computer knowledge and skills.
Due to the fact that state governments in Nigeria needed to fully implement the National Policy on physics Education in Nigeria’s policy, they introduced physics literacy education across secondary schools in Nigeria in 1997 (Bada, Ajibade & Ojedokun, 2009, and Adomi & Kpangban, 2010). The reasons for this are: to introduce the use of physics in teaching, to make the present generation appreciate the use of physics, to make both students and teachers appreciate the benefits of physics to the education sector, and to expose both students and teachers to an unlimited body of knowledge.
Similarly, in the Federal government of Nigeria’s bid to fully implement the use of physics across schools, the National Policy on Information Technology was introduced in 2001 in order to relate the message of physics literacy to secondary schools in the rural areas.
With such policies in place, steps have been taken to improve the use of ICT in both teaching and learning from the primary to the tertiary education.
However, the situation in primary and secondary schools across the country has not really improved; as we still witness cases of most schools without physics laboratories and those who try to have are without competent teachers to teach amidst other factors. physics education is really lacking across junior secondary schools, though some private schools are trying to provide few lab for learning.
A study that was carried out by Jegede and Owolabi (2003) when comparing the Nigeria National physics Policy of 1987 with what is currently obtainable across secondary schools in Nigeria revealed that physics education is more practiced in Federal unity schools and a few private schools. These schools are located in the urban areas which means that more schools in the urban areas practice physics education compared to schools in the rural areas. A study carried out by Osunwusi and Abifarin (2013) to determine the level of physics literacy revealed that private secondary schools have access to and use physics in teaching and learning compared to public schools. Bearing the current state of physics literacy in the urban areas, the need to study the level of physics literacy among junior secondary school in rural areas generate much questions like: Is physics literacy taught in rural areas? Is physics science taught in junior secondary schools? Are schools in the rural areas implementing the National Policy on Education in Nigeria policy? These questions call for much concern as this study is meant to examine the level of physics literacy among the junior secondary school students in Enugu North Local government area in Enugu state. Most especially now the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board introduced the use of Computer Based Test (CBT) for its examination. Of which one of the criteria for the exam is that one must be a computer literate; and being a physics literate requires a good foundation like physics being taught right from the primary school. A student who is taught science in primary and secondary school will not have problem in JAMB’s examination; that is why it is pertinent for this study to examine the level of physics literacy among the junior secondary school students and make recommendations where necessary to improve physics literacy across junior secondary schools in Enugu state.
1.2. STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
physics literacy has been one of the problems of the education sector in Nigeria, especially in Enugu state considering the current trend of technology.
The level of physics literacy in junior secondary schools across the country is really alarming as most schools do not teach physics at all. Schools who try to teach are more into theory than practical; there are no physics to match theory with practice; schools who have physics have it in limited number.
Similarly, another problem tied to the low level of physics literacy among the junior secondary school is the absence of competent teachers. Some teachers who teach physics science especially in the rural areas are unskilled. They are just good on the basics of physics, and knowledge of this alone cannot give them the avenue to fully educate the students on computer literacy.
These are some of the problems this study will give recommendations on.
1.3. OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The aim of this study is to examine the level of physics literacy among the junior secondary school students in Enugu North Local government area in Enugu state.
Specifically, the study intends to:
I. To know if there are competent teachers of physics science in Enugu North local government area.
ii. To assess the factors that affect physics literacy among junior secondary schools in Enugu North Local government area in Enugu state.
iii. To identify ways of improving physics literacy among junior secondary schools in Enugu North local government area.
v. To examine the extent of physics literacy among junior secondary schools in Enugu North local government area.
vi. To recommend ways of improving physics literacy in Enugu state.
1.4. RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following research questions were asked to guide the study, whereas answer to the following questions will be sought as a basis for testing the hypotheses:
- Are there competent teachers of physics science in Enugu North local government area?
- What are the factors that affect physics literacy among junior secondary schools in Enugu North Local government area in Enugu state?
- What are the ways of improving physics literacy among junior secondary schools in Enugu North local government area?
- What is the extent of physics literacy among junior secondary schools in Enugu North local government area?
- What are the ways of improving physics literacy in Enugu state?
1.5. STATEMENT OF HYPOTHESES
The hypotheses proposed in this study are stated in the null as follows:
Ho: There is no significant relationship between physics literacy and students’ academic performance.
Ho: Junior secondary schools in Enugu North local government area are not well equipped with lab facilities.
1.6. SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This research study aims to contribute both theoretically to the literature, and practically to the education sector of Nigeria, it shall seek to provide ordinary insight on area concerned with physics literacy, and explore the possibility of improving the level of physics literacy among the junior secondary school student in Enugu North local government area and Nigeria as a whole. It also aims to contribute to the extant literature on the level of physics literacy among the junior secondary school students in Enugu north local government area in Enugu state. In addition, this research study offers recommendations that will improve the level of physics literacy in Nigeria.
The study has the potential of encouraging the government and management of secondary schools to see the need for providing schools with computer facilities in order to improve the level of physics literacy in the country. It will encourage even non-governmental organizations to contribute towards providing secondary schools with science lab, cphysics text books and even internet services.
Finally, this study is also expected to serve as an input to the body of knowledge. It would also be useful to students of tertiary institutions writing their final year projects, as well as lecturers.
1.7. SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The scope of this study covers the level of physics literacy in Nigeria. However, due to logistics, this study has been limited to the study of the level of physics literacy among the junior secondary students in Enugu North local government, Enugu state.
1.8. LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The following limitations of the study are as follows:
- Time: – This is the first limitation that affected the research study badly because carrying out the study requires time and one can’t afford to miss lecture and embark on a journey to the cost study.
- Finance: – It is another limitation because the study requires enough funds to carry out the research and without the funds the study will not be fruition.