Background to the Study
Education, skills development and life-long learning are central pillars for job performance of educated and trained individuals who teach school subjects including agricultural science who become professional teachers. A profession is connected with any prestige holding occupation that needs special occupational training. Teaching as a profession requires the acquisition of knowledge, skills and attitude through a long period of education and training that leads to the award of certificate recognized by the members of the profession, with the aim of providing services in the teaching profession. A teacher of agricultural science is an individual who is trained in paedagogical and technical areas of agricultural science and is charged with the responsibilities of imparting knowledge, skills and attitude to students. A teacher of agricultural science is a person who performs the specialized function of educating others in formal schools or institutions to bring about learning in the field of agriculture.
A teacher of agricultural science performs certain professional responsibilities which include planning the school instruction; organizing instructional resources; implementing instruction; evaluating instruction, managing practicals in agriculture, maintaining student-teacher relationship, maintaining teacher-community relationship and guiding students’ career or occupational choice through well coordinated instruction. According to Ahmed (2000), instruction refers to systematic imparting of knowledge, skills, attitudes and modes of conduct by oral speech and written language of the content to be presented. Agricultural science is the branch of science which deals with growing of crops and rearing of domestic animals for the benefit of man and raw materials for the industries (Ndem, 2013). He further explained that agricultural science deals with the production of crops and rearing of farm animals by man for the purpose of providing food, raw materials and shelter. It also involves the science of processing, preservation, storage, marketing and distribution of the agricultural products.
Ngoddy (2000) explained that agricultural science is the foundation of all sciences as far as sustenance of live is concerned. Agricultural science provides food, raw materials, shelter, rural development, employment, foreign exchange to the nation and income to the farmers and his family (Anyanwu, 1982, Akinsanmi 1988). They further explained that agricultural science involves cultivation of land to produce plants and keeping animals for direct value to man. They added that agricultural science involves, marketing, and distribution of agricultural commodities. Teaching according to Urevbu (1991) is the act of giving instructions and developing knowledge, skills, values and attitudes to somebody. Ndem (2013) conceptualized teaching as an act, occupation, and an enterprise. He explained that as an act, teaching involves application of styles, strategies and demonstrations to ensure that the learners acquire the knowledge. As an occupation, he explained that teaching needs procedure for certification, a set of standards of performance and acquisition of the required skills. Then as an enterprise, teaching involves lots of activities such as marking registers, setting examinations questions, checking noise in the classroom; keeping record, maintaining disciplines and other jobs assigned by the head of the school from time to time.
Akuma and Ogbonnaya (2007) reported that teaching entails creating opportunities from which learners can gain such experiences that will enable them acquire the knowledge, skills, attitudes and appreciations that will serve as tools in life. The assertion of Akuma and Ogbonnaya, implies that teaching is a human undertaking with the principle aim of assisting the learner or individuals acquire reasonable skills for a successful living. The teacher is the major actor in the implementation of any curriculum. The success and failure of any school curriculum depends on the teacher as the curriculum implanter. For effective teaching and learning to take place in the school, certain factors need to be put in place such as qualified and experienced teachers, adequate teaching materials, adoption of the appropriate teaching methods, co-operation of the students and the school administration.
Agricultural science is one of the subjects taught to students in secondary schools. Agricultural science as reported in National Economic Empowerment strategy (NEEDS) (2005) is the application of scientific principles to the growing of crops and rearing of animals for man’s use. Agricultural science is a blend of many of the basic pure and applied sciences for example botany, zoology, chemistry, and genetics among others A teacher in the view of Obanewa (1994) is someone who has undergone the necessary and recommended training in a teacher preparatory programme and is charged with the full responsibility of managing the classroom in such a Olaitain and Mama further stated that the teacher of agricultural science is educated and as such should exhibit the character of an educated person in all areas of life. He must maintain high ethical standard while enjoying good relationship with colleagues and students as well as having absolute self confident. A teacher of agriculture must complete his preparation for his job and keep abreast of the changes in his work through professional improvement activities.
Statement of the Problem
Agricultural science teachers in senior secondary schools are employed to impart knowledge, skills and attitudes in their subject’s area to the students. The teachers who are NCE and university graduates, are expected to teach the content of agricultural science towards achieving the stated objectives. Therefore the system accorded them the sole responsibility of teaching agricultural science to students for the performance of the states objectives. Despite the activities of teachers to see that the objectives of teaching agricultural science in senior secondary schools are achieved, it is evident from West African School Certificate Examinations (WASCE) and National Examinations Council School Certificate 5 Examinations (NECOSCE) results of 2011-2013 that students performed poorly in agricultural science. The interaction of the researcher with some parents of senior secondary school graduates in one of the parents teachers association meetings at Lafiagi Secondary School and Government Secondary School Gbugbu, among others in 2015 revealed that parents were having growing concern about the low level of performance of their children in SSCE and NECO examinations. Parents therefore requested for a change for better result in future examinations. With the researchers’ observation above, it was opined that teachers’ need assessment on instructional delivery need not to be compromised.
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