STUDENTS PERCEPTION OF PRACTICAL AGRICULTURAL SCIENCE IN SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN ILORIN WEST L.G.A. KWARA STATE.
1.1 Background to the problem
Globally, education today is widely known as the most effective investment a country can make ,according to World Bank (2007) Education is one of the critical pathway to promote social and economic development. It can bring about a better life, better world and raises economic development, it can improve the wellbeing of family and ensure better prospect of education for children (Galchukia 1999).
Secondary schools are the intermediary institutions between primary schools and tertiary institutions. In the present 9-3-4 system of education in Nigeria, the last three years of nine year basic education is for upper basic (Junior Secondary) while the three years is for Senior secondary (FRN,2013). Its curriculum contains subjects that are capable of preparing its students to live a useful life within the society and also prepare them for higher education, one of the subjects that can help in attaining these objectives is Agricultural science.
The need for agricultural science education in the Nigeria secondary schools system cannot be over emphasized due to the enormous impact of the agricultural sector on the nation’s economy. Agriculture plays a critical role in job creation & poverty alleviation by successive government in Nigeria through different programmes. The Nigerian agriculture had suffered neglect for decades due to the discovery of oil. However, the sector still contributes significantly to the nation’s gross domestic product. As highlighted by Adegboye (2004), agriculture contributes more than 30 percent of the country’s annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP), employs about 70 percent of the labour force, accounts for over 90 percent of the nation’s non-oil exports and provides over 80 percent of the country’s food resources. Most African economies are dominated by agriculture, which contributes about 17% to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), 40% of exports, employment creation and has the potential to reduce poverty. The agricultural sector has been described as the engine for economic growth and improved livelihoods in Africa (World Bank 2006; Diao et al., 2007).