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ENROLMENT TREND OF SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN GEOGRAPHYAND THEIR PERFORMANCE IN UYO LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA, AKWA IBOM STATE
For some decades, geography as a school subject has been facing serious challenges in nearly every country of the worldFaniran and Okunrotifa, (1981). According to Morris (1968), in the United States of America for example, the subject up to 1960, was all for practical purposes relatively unknown as a serious school or even university course, except in few places. In its place, new subjects such as economics and sociology were gaining the upper hand, as fewer and fewer students offered to read geography, (Faniran and Okunrotifa, 1981).
According to Faniran and Okunrotifa (1981), if geography is to gain back its past glory and place, it has to be reoriented both its content and methodology.Similar exercises with the same resources have been undertaken in Britain and Australia among the places (UNESCO Sources Book 2015). The challenges faced by geography in schools as a subject in Nigeria and other developing countries according to Ayoade (2004) are even more serious, worsened by the peculiar problems of lack of adequate staff and dearth of instructional materials. Other problems include the lack of suitable textbook, the handicap of practical and fieldwork as aid to teaching and the undue emphasis on certification, rather than on the quality of education (Morris, 1968)
Faniran and Okunrotifia (1981) pointed out other problems which have been highlighted several times in the meetings and publications of the Nigerian high school. These include wide scope of the syllabus and lack of proper and adequate guidance for the teacher many who are not trained or qualified to teachthe subject.
These problems have been made more pressing in recent years by affecting the student performances negatively. Consequently, while many of the students cannot cope with these problems they withdraw and others get unnecessarily agitated and end up with poor final grades.
To improve student’s performances, Faniran and Okunrotifa (1981) suggested that a careful and purposeful reappraisal with a view of improving both its content and methodology, promises to be fruitful Morris (1968) recommended that energy should be directed towards the more rewarding pursuit of how best to teach whatever a syllabus prescribes.A higher proportion of students at the high school level often become disillusion with the subject and always end up choosing other socialscience subjects. This research seeks to examine enrolment trend secondary school student in geography and their performance in two schools in Uyo Local Government Area, AkwaIbom State.
1.1. Background of the Study
Geography in Nigeria was established as an academic discipline in 1949 in the then University College, Ibadan Barbour (1963). The development of geography in Nigeria at this time was relatively not adequate because much of what was studied as the content was familiar to British type (Enoh 1998). It was later, when Nigerian took over universities in the country that geography revealed firm rooting in Nigeria Morris (1968).
In 1955, the Nigerian Geographical Association was established. Enoh(1998) opined that one of its aims as “assisting by all means in its power the development and teaching of geography in schools, colleges and other educational institutions of Nigeria” in the early years of the introduction of geography into schools, only few students opted for the subject as posited by,
( Barbour 1963). Enoh (1998) concluded that ten (10) student for the early years was sufficiently large. From that time that Nigerian geographical association was inaugurated till now, the enrolment pattern for the subject must have changed drastically. For this reason, among others that the researcher deem his interest to examineweather student performances variedwith enrolment pattern in geography in AkwaIbom State using Christian Commercial Secondary School, Uyo; Rayfield International Secondary School, Nsukara Offot, Uyo; Standard International School, No 4 Elijah Udoessen Street Uyo and Community Secondary Commercial School, Ikot Oku Ikono, Uyo.
1.2. Statement of the Problem
Several decades have passed since geography was incorporated as a subject to the school curriculum at the then university college, Ibadan. According toFaniran and Okunrotifa (1981) It was done to give students a sound knowledge of natural and human phenomena on the surface of the earth; to provide student with knowledge about different species and their distribution, to make studentsappreciate the nature and distribution of natural resources, the impacts of human activities on environment, to equip students with suitable analytical and technical skill required for taking problemsof spatial organization and enable students to specialized in areas of relevance to national development.
Above are good aims to be achieved but the question arising is how many studentsin our respective secondary schools enroll for geography in order to acquire this knowledge Faniran and Okunrotifa (1981) and Enoh, (1998) highlighted some of the factors that could influence the number of students that enrollfor geography. These factors may affect the general performance of the student negatively especially in the final grade.
It is not satisfactorily enough to specify a good methodology, content and techniques in geography instruction but also to look at the number of student are expose to it. Based on this, the problem under investigation;
- It is assumed that there are changes in the number of students that enroll for geography for each term or academic years.
That the admitted students, whetherincreasing or decreasing is affected by student’s performances