PROMOTING HOME ECONOMICS EDUCATION FOR POVERTY REDUCTION IN IKONO LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA
The study of promoting Home Economics Education for Poverty Reduction was carried out in Ikono Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State. A survey research design was employed in carrying out the study. Eighty-nine (89) women in adult education, seventy-eight (78) primary and eighteen (18) secondary schools Home Economics teachers totaling one hundred and eighty-five (185) people formed the population of the study. A simple random sampling technique was used to select one hundred and twenty (120) respondents for the study. Three research questions were raised to guide the study. A questionnaire tagged: ‘Promoting Home Economics Education for Poverty Reduction’ containing fifteen (15) items was the instrument used for data collection for the study.
The data generated from the instrument were analyzed using simple percentage statistics. The results of the findings indicated that when Home Economics students obtained basic skills in Home management, basic skills in food and nutrition and basic skills in clothing and textiles; it can go along way to promote Home Economics Education and reduce poverty in Ikono Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State. The study therefore recommended among others that Home Economics education is very vital for living so all students should be made to study Home Economics to prepare them for life as this will go along way to reduce poverty in Akwa Ibom State.
Promoting Home Economics Education for Poverty Reduction
1.1 Background to the Study
Poverty is the inability to attain a minimal standard of living measured in terms of basic consumption needs or income required to satisfy them. Poverty is one of the most serious problems in Nigeria today. Nigeria is the most populous nation in Africa and the sixth largest oil producing country in the world with an estimated population of 150 million people living in both rural and urban areas. Poverty which is the inability of an individual or a group in securing the basic necessities of life such as clothing, food health, portable water and shelter, is deadly. It is a serious problem which has eaten deep into the fabric of African countries. According to Adebayo (2017), 40-45% of Africa’s population lives in absolute poverty and 30% belong to the extreme poor.
The United Nations Development Programme (2000), defined poverty as the denial of choices and opportunities most basic to human development to lead a long, healthy creative life, freedom, dignity, self-esteem and the respect for others. The New Encyclopedia Britannica (1981) saw poverty as lack of means to satisfy a person’s needs for nutrition, housing, clothing and other essentials of life. The poor often lack essential assets such as good productive resources and capital and their employment situation is insecure and fragile, their incomes decreases seasonal and meager. The poor live in remote, unhygienic and resources-poor areas in distant villages and in appalling slums and their poverty results from lack of incomes, poor health, education, social safety, nets and discrimination.
Poverty encourages corruption, drug trafficking smuggling, prostitution and all sorts of deviant behaviour in the society. Poverty depicts a situation without competence and subsistence needs. It is not just merely the conditions of not having enough money; it is a condition that relates to the absence of relevant skills for sustainable living. In the light of this, the paper looked at; the role of Home Economics Education in poverty reduction, factors that can hinder effective teaching of Home Economics Education for skill acquisition and poverty reduction and ended with suggested recommendations for promoting Home Economics Education towards poverty reduction in Nigeria (Chinwendu, 2016).
According to Federal Republic of Nigeria (2013), various governments have in the past come up with schemes and programmes that will bring changes toward poverty reduction in Nigeria. Those schemes and programmes range from Operation Feed the Nation of the 1970s by the Green Revolution, the National Directorate of Employment, the Directorate of Foods, Roads and Rural Infrastructure (DFRRI), the National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP), National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS) (Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2013). These poverty reduction strategies are actuated by governments to reduce the effects of wants on the poor (Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2013).
The role of Home Economics towards the war against poverty remained a subject area that attracts the attention of researcher. Ogunbiyi (2002), in his findings noted, that Home Economics has provided the knowledge necessary for guiding and assisting human being towards a more self rewarding and life fulfillment, hence it is a practical oriented course which teaches rural people, especially women, how to earn their living through some small scale production of soap, pomade, rug, table mat, table cloth, arm rest, beads and other Agricultural farm products.
Ogunbiyi (2002) noted, that Home Economics has reduced the unemployment situation caused by poverty, by providing avenues for employment through setting of industries. Home Economics, according to Blankenship and Moerchen (2009) is a broad field of study which brings together knowledge from many discipline for the purpose of achieving and maintaining the well being of an individual and families in an ever changing society. Mbah (2006), described Home Economics as a human resource development for self reliance by teaching individual how to raise money and their standard of living through various task and skill in Home Economics programme in the following areas: clothing and textiles, food and nutrition, consumer education, housing and interior decoration, Home management and child development or child up bringing.
Mbah (2006), further describe Home Economics as a science base subject having its knowledge and principles deeply rooted in all science, be it natural or biological, physical or social. Home Economics equips one with scientific and educational skills that helps in solving societal problems. Nigeria in general and Akwa Ibom State precisely have at various times, involved in one form of poverty alleviation strategies or the other, but it is unable to move out of league of poverty endemic region.
Home Economics is a cardinal to development such that it is synonymous with human/capital development. This is justifiable in view of the fact that Home Economics Education, poverty and human development were all people’s issues and centered on people. This research work view Home Economics Education from the economic point of view of human resource development, It is therefore necessary to asses how Home Economics Education can be harnessed as a tool for Poverty reduction in Ikono Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Some parents in Ikono Local Government Area can no longer afford to provide three square meals per day for their children. And also, some parents in the area can no longer train their children in secondary and tertiary institutions where their children will be equipped with skills capable of reducing poverty in the area. Some women and young girls of Ikono Local Government Area were forced into prostitution with the dangers of contacting HIV/AIDS and other viral diseases.
The youths of Ikono Local Government Area were taking decision of obtaining illegal traveling documents to American countries, which often land many of them into prison while others were deported to face more hardship. Many people living in the area were not aware of the role Home Economics Education can play in their present predicament called poverty. The problem of poverty in general has in recent years kept leaders of various nations on their toes. Okonkwo (2006) observed that the level of poverty in Nigeria has reached the alarming and frustration stage.
Some graduates of higher institution and secondary school leavers are in a condition of powerlessness and helplessness as well. These graduates lack saleable skills and knowledge that will enable them either to be self employed or employable. A lot of measures have been adopted towards breaking the chain/ yoke of poverty and its pressure, but it is regrettable as most of these measures proved abortive, thus a well articulated approach that will address the poverty problem from the root, become imperatives.
Home Economics has provided solution to all societal problems. It has enormous opportunities that will impart saleable skills that will break the poverty circle at early stage. In order to find solution to this problem of poverty in Ikono Local Government Area, this research work designed to promote Home Economics Education towards poverty reduction in Ikono Local Government Area.
Promoting Home Economics Education for Poverty Reduction
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of the study is to determine ways of promoting Home Economics Education for Poverty Reduction in Ikono Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State. The study specifically tends to:
- Assess the influence of Basic skills in Home management on poverty reduction in Ikono Local Government Area.
- Examine basic skills in food and nutrition on poverty reduction in Ikono Local Government Area.
- Assess basic skills in clothing and textiles on poverty reduction in Ikono Local Government Area.
1.4 Research Questions
The following research questions were raised to guide the study:
- What is the extent of basic skills in Home management on poverty reduction in Ikono Local Government Area?
- What is the influence of basic skills in food and nutrition on poverty reduction in Ikono Local Government Area?
- What is the extent of basic skills in clothing and textiles on poverty reduction in Ikono Local Government Area?
1.5 Significance of the Study
The findings of this study will be beneficial to the students, the parent, the government, the society or nation at large.
The students in secondary school within Ikono Local Government Area, will be exposed through the skills, task and opportunities in Home Economics, and therefore enhance their attitude towards nation development and Home management.
The parents will be relieved of the heavy economic burden involved in catering for the needs and progress of their children who remained unemployed even after graduation.
To the government, it will reveal the success and failure, challenges and prospect of Home Economics and affords them the opportunity of designing and implementing a holistic approach, procedures and strategies and better ways of tackling this hydra-headed menace called poverty.
The society/nation at large will through the activities and program of Home Economics, meet up with their development economically, socially and intellectually.
1.6 Delimitation of the Study
The study aimed at finding the ways of promoting Home Economics Education for poverty alleviation in Ikono Local Government Area. Specifically, the study focuses on assessing basic skills in Home management, basic skills in food and nutrition, basic skills in clothing and textiles. The study covers all public primary and secondary schools in Ikono Local Government Area including women in adult education. Women in adult education as well as primary and secondary schools Home Economics teachers are my respondents.
Promoting Home Economics Education for Poverty Reduction
1.7 Limitation of the Study
This study has some limitations that were unavoidable. The problems of transportation were encountered by the researcher in the course of getting information from teachers in the secondary schools used for the study.
In addition, the researcher was confronted with lack of enough financial resources to help expand the dimension of the study. The time given for the completion and submission of the research work could not permit for a wider coverage and more in-depth into the problem situation. This made the study limited to selected secondary schools in Ikono Local Government Area.
1.8 Operational Definition of Terms
Poverty: Is the inability to attain a minimal standard of living measured in terms of basic consumption needs or income required to satisfy them.
Poverty Reduction: According to Wikipedia (2008) is any process which seeks to reduce the level of poverty in a community, or among groups of people or countries.
Home Economics: Is a field of study that provides the necessary knowledge for guiding human beings towards a more self-rewarding and fulfilled life, within the context of home management and family life.
Home Economics Education: is a field of study that offers numerous occupations for individuals. As a skill oriented course, it possesses the capability of equipping individuals with saleable skills that make for self employment, self reliance and creation of wealth.
Lawson Peter – Chief Editor in Projectvilla Nigeria. A writer and academic researcher.