Transcampus.com

advert
Home Instructors Journals ContactUs
Home

 

Instructors

 

Journals

 

Contact Us

 

JOURNAL OF RESEARCH IN NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT VOLUME 7 NO 1, JUNE, 2009

 

 HOME ECONOMICS AND OCCUPATIONAL SKILLS: PERCEPTION OF NIGERIAN HOME ECONOMICS TEACHERS AND STUDENTS

 

 B.A.Ukpore

Vocational Education Department, Delta State University, Abraka

and

 J. Obunadike

Department of Primary Education Studies, Nwafor Orizu College of Education, Nsugbe

 

 

Abstract

Developing occupational skills among students is a major concern in Home Economics. This study investigated the role of Home Economics in developing occupational skills among junior secondary school students in Onitsha, Education zone of Anambra state. The survey was based on three research questions. A sample of 26 Home Economics teachers and 1400 junior secondary students was selected through proportionate stratified sampling. A questionnaire used for data collection was analyzed using mean ratings. The findings include that home economics has a role to play in helping students develop a range of productive and entrepreneurial skills. Finally, strategies such as use of focused group discussions; simulations; jingles; role models, games and drama presentations; curriculum review and removing gender stereotypes in Home Economics could be used to improve the role of home economics in developing occupational skills among students.

 

Keywords: Occupational Skills, Employment, Home Economics teachers and students, Development.

 


Introduction

Home economics is one of the compulsory pre-vocational subjects taught at junior secondary education level in Nigerian education system. According to Uko-Aviomoh (2005), home economics is a skill-oriented field of study that is expected to equip learners with survival skills that make for self-reliance, employment and paid employment. Occupational skills are best understood as competency on resourceful skills capable of steering an individual to be self reliant, independent and productive in meeting life’s challenges. According to Izuagha (2002:4) “occupational skills are life survival skills which an individual need to function effectively and face the challenges of life”. Similarly, Ifegbo (2002) described occupational skills as those skills, which a person acquires, that help develop in the person, abilities and competencies needed for firm career commitments. Occupational skills in home economics include food and nutrition skills, home management skills and clothing and textile skills. Biao (2008) noted that the acquisition of these skills has the capability to augment and inspire productivity, and to further income generating life endeavours among people. By teaching occupational skills, home economics education program enables an individual to learn, explore and prepare for a job or trade. Thus Home Economics could play a significant role in the achieving the goals of the National Economic and Development Strategy (NEEDS). These goals include wealth creation, employment generation, reduction of poverty, elimination of corruption and the general reorientation of values (NEEDS, 2005).

 In Home Economics, two things are central in developing occupational skills. Pendargast (2004) described them as the ability to produce and the ability to distribute. The ability to produce involves acquiring productive-occupational skills. Productive-occupational skills enable one to produce goods and services. On the other hand, the ability to distribute includes acquiring entrepreneurial-occupational skills that enable one to market and distribute the goods thus produced. Olibie (2001) noted that these abilities constitute the work oriented, career-oriented or occupational-oriented competencies that attempt to improve the efficiency and productivity of its recipient’s attitude required as craftsmen, business men and technicians at a professional or sub-professional level. Without teaching occupational skills, Home Economics educational program would fail in its role of empowering students to cope with the daily needs of life and surmount the economic challenges that appear to effect every profession and walk of life. Studies into the teaching and learning of home economics in secondary schools by Ajala (2002) and Uko-Aviomoh (2005) lamented the inability of most secondary school graduates of Home Economics effectively apply occupational skills to ensure productive living. As a result of this lack of skills, students continue to loose interest and cannot perform successfully in their life careers. Presently, many graduates of home economics are not sure of their employment destination. Nwagwu (2008) noted that many are unemployed, impoverished and belong to the underclass. In addition, many secondary school leavers have no decent jobs and have no capacity to start their own business after graduation, Oloidi (2000). Thus, many are under-employed and cannot raise their living standard through the application of occupational skills and so they remain relatively poor. The problem of this study therefore is to find out how Home Economics could be used to develop occupational skills among junior secondary schools students in Anambra state.

 

Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of the study is to investigate the role of Home economics in developing occupational skills among junior secondary school students in Anambra State, Nigeria. Specifically, this study seeks to:

  1. Identify the role of Home Economics in developing productive-occupational skills among students.
  2. Determine the role of home economics in developing entrepreneurial occupational skills among students.
  3. Determine some of the strategies that could be used to improve the role of Home Economics in developing occupational skills among students.

 

Research Questions

The following research questions were formulated to guide the study:

  1. What is the role of home economics in developing productive-occupational skills among students?
  2. What is the role of Home Economics in developing entrepreneurial-occupational skills among students?
  3. What strategies could be used to improve the role of Home Economics in developing occupational skills among students?

 

Methodology

 This study adopts a descriptive survey type of research. According to Akuezuilo and Agu (2003), this design is a method of obtaining information from various groups or persons mainly through questionnaire or personal interviews. The design was employed in this study to collect data from secondary school home economics teachers and students with which to assess the role of Home Economics in developing occupational skills among secondary school students.

 

Population of the Study

 The population of this study comprised the entire 96 home economics teachers and 8285 junior secondary school (JSS) students in 28 public schools in Onitsha Education Zone owned by the Anambra State Government. Statistics obtained from the Anambra State Education Commission Zonal Office, Onitsha in November 2008, the student population was 8,285 (2870 JSSI students, 2592 JSSII and 2823 JSSIII students).

 

Sample and Sampling Techniques

The sample comprised 26 Home Economics teachers and 1400 junior secondary school students selected through proportionate stratified sampling. The schools were stratified based on school location (Onitsha North, Onitsha South and Ogbaru). From each school location, fifty percent of the schools were randomly selected. Thus, fourteen schools were selected.  However, all the 26 Home Economics teachers in these schools were chosen. In each of the selected schools, 50 JSSII and 50 JSSIII students (totalling 1400 students) were randomly selected using their class registers.

 


 

Instrument for Data Collection

 

  A questionnaire titled “Role of Home Economics for Developing Occupational Skills” (RHEDOS) was used for this study. It was divided into two sections (A and B). Section A contained three statements on personal information of the respondents while Section B comprised 22 items on the occupational skills. The items were based on a 4 point rating scale Strongly Agree (4 points), Agree (3 points), Disagree (2 points) and Strongly Disagree (1 point).

 

The instrument was given content and face validity by three experts in Home Economics education.  Based on their comments some corrections were made in the questionnaire. The Cronbach alpha was applied to determine the internal consistency of the instrument. Copies of the instrument were personally administered by the second author on ten Home Economics teachers and twenty Home Economics students in secondary schools in Enugu State. A coefficient alpha of 0.71 was obtained for the items, and was considered adequate for the study.

 

Method of Data Collection

The second researcher personally visited the schools and administered copies of the questionnaire to the respondents. The copies of the questionnaire were collected back on the same day where possible. Out of the 1426 copies of the questionnaire distributed, only two were lost. Thus 1424 copies representing 99.85 percent were retrieved.

 

Method of Data Analysis

Mean scores were used in answering the research question. Since the items were based on a 4-point scale with an average of 2.50, in interpreting the results, items with mean ratings up to and above 2.50 were regarded as agree, while items with mean ratings below 2.50 were regarded as disagree.

Data analysis and presentation

 

 Research question one: what is the role of Home Economics in developing occupational skills among students?


 

Table 1:Mean Ratings of Home Economics Teachers and Students on the Role of Home Economics    in Developing Occupational Skills Among Students.

S/N

Items

              

Home Economics teachers (N=26)

                

Home Economics students (N = 1398)

 

 

Decision

Decision

1.

Soap and detergent making.

3.67

Agree

3.56

Agree

2.

Baking (cakes, buns, pies, bread etc)

3.34

Agree

3.80

Agree

3.

Catering (cooking for events)

3.56

Agree

3.45

Agree

4.

Interior decoration (sewing of curtains and blinds, decoration of cushions)

3.56

Agree

3.47

Agree

5.

Funeral packaging (decoration of funeral beds and Parlor, making of wreaths, decoration of canopies)

3.77

Agree

3.90

Agree

6.

Wedding event packaging (baking and setting of cakes, buffet stands, wedding accessories, arranging of flowers bouquets)

3.93

Agree

3.98

Agree

7.

Cloth products (tie and dye batik etc).

3.16

Agree

3.09

Agree

8.

Weaving of materials such as Aso-oke,

2.89

Agree

3.65

Agree

9.

Sewing and designing (making dresses, under wears, embroidery, beading).

3.77

Agree

3.00

Agree

10.

Making of models and toys (dolls, rabbits, etc).

3.45

Agree

3.34

Agree

11.

Laundry and dry cleaning

3.37

Agree

4.00

Agree