1.1 Background of the study
The importance of education in developing nations like Nigeria cannot be over emphasized. Science is like a catalyst affecting the rate of changes within the society, the more dynamic a society is the better the development.
The rate of academic performance in chemistry have been influenced by nature of the environment, the nature of a society directly determines the status of science in that society. An illiterate and highly superstitious society will give very little attention towards growth and development of science. A poor society can only invest in science within the limit of its financial capability (Iyewarun, 1983).
Chemistry by definition is preoccupied with the nature of matter and its transformation. It contributes to the wealth of any nation because it embraces all the processes occurring in industries. It should be noted that technology is an application of science and that each society has its own technological improvement in the society, however depends on the advancement in the field of science and society has a mutual influence. The nature however has to take initial step in setting scientific activities in motion (Owolabi, 2000).
Chemistry stand as one of the basic and fundamental tools to every living either at home, in schools and in our environment, that is why chemistry is one of the core subject of science subjects in senior secondary schools. Performance is an evidence of knowledge attained on skills development as shown by the score grade achievement in a test or examination. It should also be subject to task reforming of the individual ability in the subject or task (Mash, 1975).
The two major factors that influence the performance of students in chemistry are internal and external factors. The internal factors include the intelligence of an individual, personality trout such as self-concept, attitude, age, sex, religion etc. The external factors include environment in which child is developed, the type of socio-economic status of the parents, the type of teachers, the type of society and institutions that surround the child, the school site can also influence the academic performance of students whether it is located in the noisy environment or in an industrial area where definite noise would be militating against the rate of learning which can result in poor academic performance of the students (Egalitrian, 1986).
Practical performance was detected within Nigeria society, parents and environment. Parents are seriously implication because of the struggle for national gains and desperate urge for cash has filtered away responsibilities of parent to the child. Due to the poor performance in practical in the Nigeria education, government introduced National Policy on Education (NPE). Federal government adopted education as instrument per excellent for affecting national development (Scannel, 1984).
Laboratory equipment for the teaching of science (Abdulahi, 2000). The first school to set up chemistry laboratory in Nigeria is “the kings college in Lagos”. Despite the importance of laboratory to the teaching of science subjects, many schools are without a laboratory while many of the secondary schools have minimum facilities which cannot but hinder learning activities especially science which has laboratory as their backbone.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Chemistry is a subject which should not be taught in abstract. It has been observed and noted that government, school heads and stakeholders do not provide adequate practical materials for the teaching of chemistry in schools in Nigeria. Therefore Azikwe (1906) suggested that the teacher should do all within his power to provide instructional materials when he cannot be provided with the needed and necessary practical materials.
This is because the use of instructional materials in teaching chemistry enhances easy learning and stimulating influence. The act of making the teaching and learning of chemistry as chalk and talk method should be discourage.