AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE INFLUENCE OF INTEGRATED SCIENCE EDUCATION ON THE PROMOTION AND ADVANCEMENT OF TERTIARY EDUCATION IN NIGERIA ( EDUCATION PROJECT TOPICS AND MATERIALS)
1.1 Background of the Study
Science education plays a vital role in the lives of individuals and the development of a nation scientifically and technologically (Alebiosu and Ifamuyiwa, 2008). It is widely and generally acknowledged that the gateway tot he survival of a nation scientifically and technologically is scientific literacy which can only be achieved through science education. To make her citizens show interest in science education, Nigerian government came up with a policy that 60% of the students seeking admission into the nation’s universities, polytechnics and colleges of education should be admitted for science oriented courses, while 40% of the students should be considered for arts and social science courses (Ajibola, 2008). This government’s effort cannot be said to have yielded much fruits given the dwindling nature of students into science-oriented courses in the Nation’s tertiary institutions, more students are seeking admission into art and social science courses than those of the science-oriented courses on yearly basis.Disturbed by this ugly development, researchers in the field of science education in Nigeria embarked on series of studies to find the logic behind this ugly development.They found that the problem stemmed from the first form of science a child comes across at the JSS (Junior Secondary School) level, that is integrated science.
Integrated science provides students sound basis for further science education study, hence a child that is not well grounded in integrated science at this level would not show interest in offering core science subjects (biology,chemistry and physics) at the SSS (Senior Secondary School) level which are the prerequisites for studying science-oriented courses at the Nation’s tertiary Institutions. They also found that lack of qualified teachers, lack of equipments and facilities for teachin g,lack of practical works, insufficient allotment of time for integrated science on the school time-table and poor methods of teaching are the major factors militating against the successive implementation of the core curriculum in integrated science (Afuwape and Olatoye,