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INVESTIGATION ON THE PROBLEM OF TEACHING PHYSICAL AND HEALTH EDUCATION IN PRIMARY SCHOOLS IN NIGERIA
Background to the Study
In this era of globalization and technological revolution, education is considered as a first step for every human activity. It plays a vital role in the development of human capital and is linked with an individual’s well-being and opportunities for better living (Battle & Lewis, 2002). It ensures the acquisition of knowledge and skills that enable individuals to increase their productivity and improve their quality of life. This increase in productivity also leads towards new sources of earning which enhances the economic growth of a country (Saxton, 2000). The quality of students’ performance remains at top priority for educators. It is meant for making a difference locally, regionally, nationally and globally. Educators, trainers, and researchers have long been interested in exploring variables contributing effectively for quality of performance of learners. These variables are inside and outside school that affect students’ quality of academic achievement. These factors may be termed as; student factors, family factors, school environment and peer influence (Crosnoe, Johnson & Elder, 2004).
Physical and Health Education as a school subject is one of the important subjects in junior primary school education. Physical and Health Education is relevant for both the students who are likely to continue to tertiary level and those who will not proceed. It equips students with a body of knowledge to make them functional and socially relevant in the fast changing world. Physical and Health Education is a distinct and dynamic science discipline. A decline in the yearly number of students’ enrolment for Physical and Health Education at the junior secondary certificate examination level as observed by the researcher and their lack of keen interest in Physical and Health Education as a school subject were the motivation for the study. The performance of students in Junior Primary schools in Nigeria has remained an issue of concern to all stakeholders (Ajagun, 2000). The report by Ojerinde (1998) on the survey of the performance of candidates in Physical and Health Education in Nigeria over the years revealed a discernible decline. This perennial decline has remained a source of concern to physical educators, (Nnaka and Anaekwe, 2004).
Exercise is the most important part of Physical and Health Education . Nowadays students generally dislike exercise. There are four reasons for this:
- They do not have self-awareness. If a thing is to be put into practice, one must first take pleasure in it. One must understand in detail the whys and the wherefores.
- To know in detail the whys and the wherefores is self-awareness. People generally do not know the interrelation between exercise and themselves— or they may know it in general terms but not intimately.
- They cannot change their long-established habits. Our country has always stressed literary accomplishment. People blush to wear short clothes. (The mode of dress of the swordsmen of King Wen of Chao, according to a chapter of the Taoist classic Chuang Tzu). Hence there is the common saying, ‘A good man does not become a soldier’.
- Exercise has not been propagated forcefully. Students feel that exercise is shameful.
According to my humble observation, this is really their major reason for disliking exercise. Flowing garments, a slow gait, a grave, calm gaze — these constitute a fine deportment, respected by society. Why should one suddenly extend an arm or expose a leg, stretch and bend down? Is this not strange? Hence there are those who know well that their body needs exercise and, moreover, wish very much to do so, but they cannot. There are those who can exercise only with a group, not by themselves and those who can exercise in privacy but not in public.
In short, all this is due to feelings of shame. All four of these are reasons for disliking exercise. The first and the fourth are subjective, and changing them depends on ourselves; the second and third are objective, and changing them depends on others: ‘What the superior man seeks is in himself ‘[Analects], that which depends on others is of lesser importance.
Abdullah (1999) highlighted the importance of Physical and Health Education programmes included as main school subjects which meet the students’ needs and interests. The success in Physical and Health Education may give confidence and assurance in the academic realm if the confidence is treated in a supportive and encouraging way. It is generally agreed that improvements to the existing Physical and Health Education programmes at the secondary stage should be made more applicable and attractive to students in order to give Physical and Health Education a better status within the educational system. The tailoring of the Physical and Health Education curriculum and programmes to meet the student needs can do much to help the accomplishment of the aims of Physical and Health Education within the educational system, but it can also aid the perspectives which are presented to society in general (Kanan, 2006)
According to Christine (2003), schools can provide many opportunities for students to engage in physical activity and can play an important role in motivating students to stay active. Educators struggle to make Physical and Health Education more enjoyable and useful to all students by developing more practical equipment, adapting appropriate curriculum, and training competent teachers to offer Physical and Health Education in proper way in schools (Al-Liheibi, 2008). Osborn, Bauer, Sutliff (2002) and Roberts &Marvin (2010) indicated that, physical educators aim is to make Physical and Health Education experience more enjoyable and worthwhile for their students.
Physical and Health Education nature is grounded in movement, games, and sports which itself to a high rate of teacher-student interactions. The nature of these interactions may be a leading factor in a student’s perception of Physical and Health Education . Carlson (1995) and Portman (1995) mentioned that teaching behaviors as strong indicators for either positive or negative perceptions of Physical and Health Education .
Statement of the Problem
Students are faced with the problem of indecision when they are about to choose a subject, as a result of differences in opinion from various angles. This problem has plagued many Nigerian primary school students for quite sometime. It is such a problem that must be looked into, knowing full well that the place of secondary education cannot be over emphasized in the educational development of a nation. With good background, students still need to develop themselves on the subject areas they are keenly interested in and particularly that he has potentiality for. Lots of students have been found choosing subjects for junior school certificate examination not minding the aspect of their potentiality and the directive of the school counselor (where available). Hence the study is carried out to find out the factors associated with failure of Physical and Health Education in Ilorin east local government.
The following research questions were formulated to guide the study
- To what extent does student factors contribute to poor performance of students in Junior School Certificate Examination in Physical and Health Education ?
- To what extent does family factors contribute to poor performance of students in Junior School Certificate Examination in Physical and Health Education ?
- To what extent does school environment contribute to poor performance or students in Junior School Certificate Examination in Physical and Health Education ?
- To what extent does peer influence contribute to poor performance of students in Junior School Certificate Examination in Physical and Health Education ?
Ho1: There is no significant relationship between student factors and poor performance of students Junior School Certificate Examination in Physical and Health Education .
Ho2: There is no significant relationship between family factors and poor performance of students Junior School Certificate Examination in Physical and Health Education .
Ho3: There is no significant relationship between school environment and poor performance of students Junior School Certificate Examination in Physical and Health Education .
Ho4: There is no significant relationship between peer influence and poor performance of students Junior School Certificate Examination in Physical and Health Education .
Purpose of the Study
The general purpose of the study was to find out the factors associated with failure of Physical and Health Education . Specifically it examined the following factors that associated with failure of Physical and Health Education in Ilorin east local government.
1. The student’s attitude and aptitude towards offering Physical and Health Education in the study area.
2. Teacher’s attitude/relationship to students as it influences study of Physical and Health Education .
3. The influence of students’ peer groups.
4. The availability of instructional materials in Physical and Health Education .
5. The wideness of the syllabus.
6. Gender influence.
Significant of the Study
The student will be able to appreciate the importance of the effective domain like interest and motivation in improving their performance. With this awareness, the student might put up a positive attitude towards Physical and Health Education which will increase their performance and enhance higher grades in senior primary school certificate examination and even higher institution of learning. Teachers will also be able to adjust their teaching methods and offer remedial helps where they find out that student are putting up a low attitude. State government will also see the need of guidance and counseling in each school, the ministry of education and curriculum planners for better organization of subjects in education.
Scope and Delimitation of the Study
The scope of this study will focused on the factors associated with failure of Physical and Health Education in junior primary school certificate examination in Ilorin east local government area. Due to military factors such as time and other resources and the inconvenience of handling a large scope, the study will be delimited to: Ilorin east local government area junior primary school, the use of questionnaire as the research instrument and the use of percentage and chi-square.
Operational Definition of Terms
Pupil: Is a student under the direct supervision of a teacher.
Physical Activity: Is any bodily movement that is produced by the contraction of skeletal muscle and that substantially increases energy expenditure, including exercise, sport, dance, and other movement forms.
Exercise: Is any form of physical activity that helps to promote overall health.
Curriculum: Is the totality of student experiences that occur in the educational process.
Physical and Health Education : It is an integral part of total education that has it aims in developing the body physically, mentally, intellectually through selected physical activities.
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