Abstract: The study sought to assess the availability and utilization of learning resources in the teaching of Biology in secondary schools in Essien Udim Local Government Area. In order to achieve the purpose of the study, two (2) specific objectives were drawn which aided the formulation of research questions. A descriptive survey design was used as a research design of the study. The population of the study consist of the all the biology teachers in public secondary schools in Essien Udim Local Government Area. A sample size of 15 biology teachers was chosen from 5 public secondary schools out of the 11 public secondary schools in the study area through a simple random sampling technique. The instrument used for data collection was a checklist assessing the availability and utilization of learning resources in secondary schools. Data generated were analyzed using frequency count and simple percentage. The result of the findings showed that learning resources are available for teaching of biology in secondary schools in Essien Udim Local Government Area. The findings also indicate that biology teachers make use of availability learning resources for teaching of biology in secondary schools in Essien Udim Local Government Area.
Based on the above findings, it was recommended that the state government and principal of secondary schools should ensure adequate provision of relevant and modern learning resources for effective teaching of biology. Another recommendation is that there is urgent need for the organization of regular workshops/seminars for biology teachers, head-teachers, and principal on the importance use of learning resources. The result of the findings showed that learning resources are available for teaching of Biology in secondary schools in Essien Udim Local Government Area. The findings also indicate that Biology teachers make use of availability learning resources for teaching of Biology in secondary schools in Essien Udim Local Government Area. Based on the findings, it is recommended among others, that the Akwa Ibom state government and principal of secondary schools should ensure adequate provision of relevant and modern learning resources for effective teaching of Biology.
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
1.1 Backgrounds to the Study
School environment has been describe as an organization where learning resources are produced, managed and organized in such a way that it’s enables the students to acquire desirable learning competencies. The process of managing and organizing learning resources is called learning resources utilization.
The availability and utilization of learning resources in teaching bring about fruitful learning since it stimulates students sense as well as motivating them. Denger (2011), in his study on science games in National Curriculum in the United Kingdom reported that games when used as a learning resources enable less able children to stay on task and remained motivated for a longer period.
There are varieties of learning resources which the science (Biology) teacher can readily use to enrich learning. These resources are: Wind vane, raingage, metre rule, models, charts, preserved specimens of plants and animals, culturing equipment, herbarium, terrarium, viaticum and microscope (Olagunju, 2013). These learning resources should be provided in quality and quantity in classrooms, for effective learning process (Umoren, 2012). Nwoji (2015) in an empirical study revealed that, essential facilities such radio, television, computer, chemicals, specimens, video tape, stove, burners, models and charts are rarely available in schools. This inadequacy of learning resources, laboratory equipments, and laboratory space has been of serious concern to educators.
Oni (2010) also emphasized that availability and utilization of learning resources promote effective teaching and learning effectives I in schools while their inadequacy affects the academic performance negatively.
However, learning resources has important role to play in the successful learning of Biology in schools as such its important cannot be over emphasized ,the used of learning resources is a sine qua non for effective behaviour change in learners (Jimoh,2009). This is why Adekunle (2010 and Okobia (2012), opined that when students are given the chance to learn through more senses than one, they can learn faster and easier.
Iherionwu (2012) referred to learning resources as objects or device which helps to make learning meaningful to the learners. They are materials used to aid the transference of information from one person to another (Adeoye, 2012). In other words, learning resources promote efficiency of education by improving the quality of learning. It offers a variety of learning experiences individually or collectively to meet different experiences as well as encourage learners to become skilled technicians, with an endless passion for learning.
However, most secondary schools in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria at large hardly properly equipped with leaning resources. Even where some schools are privilege to have them they are underutilized (Adowoyin, 2004). Learning is facilitated when the learners make use of at least three of the sense organs namely: seeing, hearing and touching. Learners are the makers of meaning and knowledge. It is the learning resources that makes learners experience what is being learnt and’ thereby helps to fire the imagination of the learners. In spite of the role of learning resources in facilitating learning, students have files to acquire the needed knowledge and skills in Biology.
This study was conceived to show empirically the availability and utilization of learning resources in the teaching of biology in secondary schools in Essien Udim Local Government Area.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Over the years, the investigations of the factors that influence Biology teaching in secondary schools have attracted the interest and concerns of teachers, counselors, psychologist, researchers and school administrators in Nigeria. This is because of the public outcry concerning the ineffective teaching of Biology and high rate of students’ failure in Biology examination.
Investigations of factors that influence teaching and learning of Biology have produced several findings by researchers. Most of the findings have revealed that ineffective teaching/learning of Biology and high rate of students’ failure is cause by non-availability and ‘non-utilization of suitable learning resources in schools.
Hence, the aforementioned problems has given room to the researcher to investigate the availability and utilization of learning resources in the teaching of Biology in secondary schools in the study area.