The purpose of this
study was to find out the perception of students on the relevance of home
economics in junior secondary schools of Egor Local Government Area of Edo
state. The population of the study consists of 10,623 JSS 3 students in public
schools in Egor local government area in Edo State. The major instrument for
data collection was based on questionnaire. The questionnaire comprised of two
sections, section A and B. section A was designed to elicit information
relating to demographic data, while section B was designed to elicit
information relating to factors which tend to influence the perception of
students on the relevance of home economics. The questionnaire was personally
administered to the respondents by the researcher. Information gathered from
the questionnaire was analysed using mean. From the analysis it was discovered
that sex of a student, parents, social image and home economics teachers have
an influence on the perception of students on the relevance of home economics.
On the basis of the findings made, the researcher strongly recommends that
educational policies should mainly be value-oriented in practice and not just
rhetorical. Government should fund vocational education schools and provide
both urban and rural schools with highly relevant and stimulating materials, so
as to stimulate positive attitude among students towards home economics. The
research suggests that other research studies be carried out to find out other
factors that are likely to influence the perception of students towards the relevance
of home economics.
Keywords: Perception, Home economics, Relevance.
Background to the study
term Home-Economics may call up stereotypical images of girls busily sewing and
cooking, images that have led many people to view this field as fundamentally
narrow, dull and socially conservative. So often, home economics has been cast
as a conspiracy to keep women in the kitchen, an interpretation that over
looked its impressive and diverse contributions. 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.
Home-economics is a broad field of knowledge and services concerned with all
phases of family life, it’s a course designed to promote a healthy home and
society. It is also the major delivery system of Education for home and family
life. Home-economics is a broad field which embraces separate but interrelated
subject areas thus helping individuals to think intelligently and make
meaningful decisions of facts of life.
general areas of Home-economics are skills oriented; they are expected to equip
learners with a saleable skill that make for self-reliance, self-employment and
paid employment. This means that the teachers should teach the subject well.
is experiencing hardship, mass poverty, and high rate of unemployment and as
such majority of our people cannot afford the basic needs of life such as food,
clothing, decent shelter and health care amongst others. Home-economics has the
key to the solution of many problems of the country particularly on the issue
of income generating skills among students which is a major concern in
home-economics. 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 lose interest and cannot
perform successfully in their life careers. Presently, many graduates of home
economics are not sure of their employment destination. 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.
we talk about perception on the relevance of home economics in junior secondary
school; Oladele (1988) defined perception as the process of identifying,
discriminating, recognizing and adjudging objects, qualities or relations in
our environment by means of sensory information. This means that individual
learns to understand his physical and social world through his sense organs. Perception
varies from person to person. Different people perceive different things about
the same situation depending on how they see it. Perception can be influenced
by so many factors; some of these factors are attitudes, motives, interests,
experience, expectations, time, social setting and background (Sree Rama Rao,
2008). Relevance on the other hand is the degree to which something is related
or useful to what is happening or being talked about (Cambridge English
Dictionary). Junior secondary school students are students older than the
primary school students, but not yet in the senior secondary school. At this
point, the majority of students are between the ages of 12 to 15-years-old that
is from JSS1 to JSS3. Despite the various
careers available in home economics and its diverse contribution to national
development, so many people still perceive home economics as a course for
women, drop out who cannot be taken in any other subject area and course that
has to do only with cooking and sewing. This misconception of home economics by
people is one of the reasons why so many students lack interest in the subject.
The perception of students on the relevance of home
economics can be influenced by their parents, the sex of the student, the
teacher, peer group, social image and parental level of income. Home economics
education is one of the courses which attract lowest enrolment of students both
in secondary and tertiary levels of education. Besides the low enrolment
pattern, home economics show wide disparity between male and female students in
favour of female. This could be attributed to wrong awareness (perception) of
the meaning and the role of home economics due to certain problems relating to
the teaching/learning of the subject home economics, lack of equipment’s and
facilities for practical, the expensive nature and poor funding by the
short sightedness of the students is compounded by the decision of their
parents about their careers as many students have their career chosen for them
by their parents. Parents prefer courses like Medicine, Engineering, Accounting,
Law and Pharmacy among others to Home economics and would not encourage their
children to study home economics. Parents are often more interested in
occupations or professions which will bring money, prestige to the family, than
the suitability of their children for a particular career Okoh (2006). Subsequently, most male students also do not
like home economics because they think it is a course meant for only girls and
that is it a course that has to do with only cooking and sewing. Most male
students prefer subjects like mathematics, integrated science, introductory
technology and are not aware of what home economics is all about, no ideas, no
interest and their level of awareness on the course of study is near zero percent.
The misconception of home economics by individuals can also be traced to the
wrong impression created by some home economics teachers. Some home economics
teachers do not improve themselves on the job and get familiar with the current
trends in home economics. This makes it difficult or nearly impossible for them
to teach the students things that are new in the field. Hence, cooking and
sewing are the major things being taught to the students. Some teachers also do
not hold the subject with a high esteem thereby lacking self-esteem and the
zeal for self development which results in low teaching competence.
group serves as a barometer for students examining themselves and their
feelings about self and family. When a peer group have interest in other areas
other than home economics, they tend to look down on the student who chooses
home economics as their option. The social image attached to home economics is
also responsible for students’ wrong perception about home economics. On first
hearing the word Home Economics, the first thing that comes up in the mind of
every individual is catering and sewing. A lot of individuals do not know what
home economics is about and so some of them see it as a preparatory subject
for becoming good house wives, since it
deals with different food preparation, decoration of home and its surroundings,
making of cloths, child care among others.
view of the negative perception of students, parents and the society on the
relevance of home economics and its various contributions to national
development, it is therefore of paramount importance to investigate the factors
that influence the perception of students on the relevance of home economics in
junior secondary schools. However, I strongly believe that the home economics
has an extremely important place in our educational system today. No other
academic discipline incorporates in its curriculum as many as pertinent life
skills that will help students succeed independent of their chosen career
Statement of the
Nigeria is blessed with abundant human and natural resources, one of the most
serious problems facing this country today is that of unemployment. Employment opportunities
are not sufficiently available of young school leavers. Perhaps, the most
important reason is that there is little or no career information available to
our students in secondary schools, which could help them make appropriate
decisions concerning their courses of study. Nigeria needs the type of
education that will help its citizens from ignorance, poverty, unemployment and
crime. Home economics is that kind of education that contributes meaningfully
to the solutions of the problems of the society such as unemployment, poverty
People are ignorant of the importance of home
economics which could help male and female students to receive information and
be able to work solutions to problems, it also enable the students to acquire
skills, abilities essential for independent life met up with personal and
family needs more especially in this economics difficulties. Considering
various contributions of home economics and its diverse career paths and the
students’ lack of interest in the courses, a study like this needed to find out
the students level of awareness and the factors responsible for that lack of
interest on the course.
Purpose of the Study
The major purpose of the study was to investigate
the perception of students on the relevance of home economics in junior
secondary schools of Egor local government area of Edo state. Specifically, the
study will determine:
the sex of a student influences their perception on the relevance of home
economics in Egor local government area of Edo state.
parental influence affects students’ perception on the relevance of home
the social image attached to home economics influences the perception of
students on the relevance of home economics.
the influence of teachers affects students’ perception of students on the relevance
of home economics.
peer group influence affects students’ perception on the relevance of home
above brings us to the research questions whose answers are expected to be
provided by this research. The questions are as follows:
the sex of the students influence their perception on the relevance of home
parents influence the perception of students on the relevance of home
the social image attached to home economics have any effect on the perception
of students towards the relevance home economics?
home economics teachers have influence on the students’ perception towards the
relevance of home economics?
peer group influence the perception of students on the relevance of home
following null hypotheses were tested in this study:
There is no significant difference between male and female students perception
on the relevance of home economics in Egor local government area of Edo state.
There is no significant difference between the influence of peer group and
parents on students’ perception on the relevance of home economics in Egor
local government area of Edo state.
Significance of the Study
Nigeria today, the educational system has not kept pace with the developing
nations need for skilled manpower just because vocation has not been widely
accepted and implemented. Parents have keen interest towards their children
education which may run counter to social needs and manpower development. Based
on the result of this study, it is expected that awareness of facts would be
provided which will help educational planners’ aid administrators.
study will be of immense benefits to students, teachers, parents and the nation
at large who perceive home economics in a negative way due to lack of adequate
knowledge of home economics associated careers and its relevance. The result of
this study will go a long way in helping the school guidance counsellors,
teachers and career advisers in the placement of secondary school students in a
number of home economics related careers. It is hoped that the study will
assist educators and the government in the formulation of policies that will
give the Nigerian citizens a system of education which should be job oriented.
Scope of the Study
study was designed to investigate the perception of students on the relevance
of home economics, hence did not encroach into other fields like medicine, law,
accounting and engineering etc.
out of lots of variables this study attracts only five, which are gender (sex
of the student), the parents of the students, the teachers of home economics,
the social image attached to home economics and peer group influence.
study was limited to Junior Secondary School Students of Egor Local Government
Area of Edo State for obvious reasons of time and finance. The population for
this study consist of junior secondary three students from five different
schools in Egor local Government Area of Edo State which will be sampled for
of the terminologies used in this research are entirely for the purpose of the
research and they include:
Conscious understanding of something.
An occupation, for which a person is suited, trained or qualified.
An activity or task with which one occupies oneself.
The work or occupation for which one is used and often paid.
A person formally engaged in learning, especially one enrolled in a school or