1.1 Background to the Study
In the recent time, there are growing agitations and calls on developing countries to focus their attention on economics education in order for them to turn around the economic status of their various Countries. It is against this background that the various Nigerian governments have been placing emphasis on the acquisition of economic education in the educational system. This issue led to the formulation of the new national policy on education. (NPE, 2006) which seems to place high emphasis on economics as a subject.
Under the new policy economics is to be taught right from secondary school. The aim here is to inculcate into the secondary school student the basic necessity for the learning of economics at the higher levels of education. According to the national policy on education (NPE, 2006) the aim is to provide the students with “a sound basis for economical and reflective thinking” (FEM, 1981 : 146). In essence, the secondary school is considered as the foundation upon which the future of economy in Nigeria is based. It is at this level that the student is introduced into the field of social science to explore it.
Secondary school students are known to be curious and it is at this stage that curiosity can be tapped to advantage to develop the right economic attitudes in the students.
In recent times also there have been complains by examiners teachers and even parents about poor student’s performance in economic more especially at the secondary level. There are also cries of students lack of interest in social sciences. This study intends to examine whether these trends are due to shaky foundations laid right from the secondary school. In other words are the secondary students given the adequate orientation to develop interest in economics?. The emphasis being laid on economics by successive Nigerian governments. Studies such as this could help in revealing the fundamental faults if any, associated with the teaching of economics, and the prospects for improvement.
It is in recognition of the crucial role that secondary school plays in the development of economics that the study intends to look into the challenges and prospects of teaching economics in some selected secondary schools in Sokoto metropolis.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The study will focus its attention on the challenges being encountered by both students and teachers in the teaching and learning of economics at the secondary school.
Specifically, the study will look into the issue of economics teaching materials to find out whenever or not there are enough materials for the effective teaching of economics in our secondary schools?.
It is stipulated in the new national policy on education that economics teaching should make use of local materials. The study will look into the suitability of local materials for the teaching of economics. The emphasis on the educational system is that curricula should be community oriented.
The study will examine how the student’s local background and immediate environment is employed in the teaching of secondary School Students.
The study will consider the issue of medium of instruction for the teaching of economics in secondary schools. This study is interested in examining if there are any challenges of communication between the teachers and students in the teaching of economics among others.
Another area that the study will be interested in is manpower for the teaching of economics to determine if there are enough qualified teachers for the teaching of economics in secondary schools?
Finally, the study will, on the basis of its findings, outline what prospects there are for the teaching and learning of economics in the secondary schools.