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This study assessed the in-service needs of agricultural science teachers in secondary schools in imo state.  The study was conducted with five objectives and five corresponding research questions and five null hypotheses were formulated and tested. The study adopted descriptive survey research design. A total of 200 agricultural science teachers and principals were respondents in the study. Structured questionnaire was designed by the researcher was used for data collection. The instrument was face validated by three experts and a sample of 20 teachers and principals were used to determine the reliability of the instrument using Cronbach alpha technique with a coefficient of 0.890. Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics to answer the research questions while independent t-test was used to test the null hypotheses at 0.05 level of significance. There was no significant difference in the views of respondents on the in-services needs of agricultural science teachers in all 25 items and Hypotheses no differences was accepted. This study findings among others revealed that there is no significant difference in the mean score of despondence in in-services need in proper planning of instructions in secondary schools in Imo State. Based on the findings of this study, it is recommended among others that agricultural science teachers should be sent on in-service trainings in the areas of instructional planning and teaching methods to improve capacity building need of teachers for better instructional resource organization in secondary schools.



1.1   Background of the Study

Agriculture as defined by Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary 6th edition is the science or practice of farming. It is the art, science business and industry of cultivating the land to grow crops, rear animals and preparing plants and animal’s product for manure.

Before recorded history, man depended on wild animals for food, clothing, shelter and transport. Due to increasing human population, the demand for food and animal protein had outweighed the supply from natural resources which fluctuated, became laborious and expensive. Therefore man had gone a little bit further as society made transition from hunting to pasturalism and cultivation, certain animal species were domesticated in areas other than their natural habitat.

These farm animals are exhaustible resources but are renewable. Their renewability however depends on the level of management adopted. It is for this reason one has to learn the scientific techniques involved in the maintaining and improving these resources to maximum yield and their usefulness to mankind.

Education, skills development and life-long learning are central pillars for job performanceof educated and trained individuals who teach school subjects including agricultural science whobecome professional teachers. A profession is connected with any prestige holding occupation thatneedsspecialoccupationaltraining.Teachingasaprofessionrequirestheacquisitionofknowledge, skills and attitude through a long period of education and training that leads to theaward of certificate recognized by the members of the profession, with the aim of providingservicesin theteachingprofession.

A teacher of agricultural science is an individual who is trained in paedagogical andtechnical areas ofagricultural science andischarged with theresponsibilities of impartingknowledge, skills and attitude to students. A teacher of agricultural science is a person whoperforms the specialized function of educating others in formal schools or institutions to bringabout learning in the field of agriculture. A teacher of agricultural science performs certainprofessionalresponsibilitieswhichincludeplanningtheschoolinstruction;organizinginstructional resources; implementing instruction; evaluating instruction, managing practicals inagriculture,maintainingstudent-teacherrelationship,maintainingteacher-communityrelationshipandguidingstudents’careeroroccupationalchoicethroughwellcoordinatedinstruction.

According to Ahmed (2000), instruction refers to systematic imparting of knowledge,skills, attitudes and modes of conduct by oral speech and written language of the content to bepresented.OgwoandOranu(2006)opinedthatinstructionisaninteractionbetweentheteacherand the learner (within the interaction, the teacher teaches and the learner learns) to bring abouteffective lesson delivery.Effective lesson delivery in the view of Nancy and Shirley (2006), isthe systematic use of selected techniques, methods and strategies to create a dynamic interfacebetween the curriculum and learners. On the other hand, Stenberg (1998), sees effective Lessondelivery as the use of various techniques and methods of presenting the subject matter or contentin an organized manner, focusing presentation on teaching goals and creating possibilities inorder to meet the learners’ needs and interests and goals of secondary school education inNigeria.

SecondaryschoolhasbeendescribedbytheNationalPolicyonEducation(2004)asaninstitutionthatchildrenattendafterprimaryschool.Hornby(2006)explainsthatsecondaryschoolisaplaceorearlyadolescentsgoforeducation.InNigeriaitismadeupofsixyearsdurationofthreeyearsofjuniorsecondaryschoolandthreeyearsofseniorsecondaryschoolwhereagriculturalscienceistaught.AmongsubjectsofinstructionatsecondaryschoollevelisagriculturalsciencewhichaccordingtoEmejulu(1995)istheuseoflandanditsresourcestogrowcropsandrearlivestocktoprovidespecificproduceusedbyhumanbeings.AccordingtoJacob(2003),agriculturalscienceisthetillingofsoilforgrowingcrops,raisingoflivestockandprocessingandmarketingthemforhumanandlivestockuseundertheguidanceoftheteacher.The teacher,during instruction,isvery mindfuloftheachievementofthe objectivesofagriculturalscience.TheobjectivesofagriculturalscienceaccordingtoCouncilforEducationalStudies and Adaptation Center (CESAC, 1985) for secondary schools are to stimulate and sustainstudent’sinterestinagriculture;enablestudentsachievebasicknowledgeandpracticalskillsinagriculture;preparestudentsforfurtherstudiesinagriculture;andpreparestudentsforoccupationinagriculture.Theachievementoftheseobjectivesrequirestheprofessionalcompetence of a teacher of agricultural science. A competent teacher is one who possesses therequired knowledge, skills and attitudes for imparting instruction in agricultural science to thestudents. Competency in the view of Ely (2010), is composed of essential knowledge and skillsobtainable in a profession and those which the professional in the field must possess and be abletodemonstrateatoptimallevelofacquisitionfunctioning.OlaitanandAli(1997)definecompetency as knowledge, skills, attitudes and judgment generally needed for the successfulperformanceof atask.

Theprocessofdeterminingthepaedagogicalcapacity-buildingneedsofagriculturalscience teachers is known as assessment. Assessment is require a process through which thequalityofanindividuals’workorperformanceisjudged.AccordingtoOkoro(2000),assessment is a process of estimating the worth, quality or effectiveness of a programme orinstructionthroughcollecteddata.Okoro(2007)furtherrevealsthelevelofqualityorstandardof instruction or performance of the objectives of the agricultural education programme. Hefurther states that assessment is the process of judging or deciding the amount, value, quality orimportanceofaprogrammeor teachers instruction ina teaching-learningprocess.

Needs assessment as explained by Anyakoha (2010), is a type of evaluation research usedin determining various areas of need or discrepancies in education. Need assessment is theprocessofdeterminingthedifferencebetweenthelevelofknowledge,skillsandattitudespossessed and what is expected by teachers in the areas of instruction inagricultural science.This process gives a value called need gap. The actual process, of estimating the amount orquantityofneedgapis calledneedgapanalysis whichcouldgiverisetocapacity-building.

Capacity-building as contained in the report of United Nations Development Programme(UNDP,2002),istheprocessofequippingindividualswiththeunderstanding,skillsandaccessto information, knowledge and training that enable them to perform better. It states further thatcapacity-buildingfocusesonaseriesofactionsdirectedathelpingindividualsinthedevelopmentprocesstoincreaseknowledge,skillsandunderstandingtheypossessandtodevelop the attitude needed to bring about desired developmental change in them. In the opinionof Olaitan, Alaribe and Nwobu (2009), capacity-building is an efforts geared towards improvingthe level of knowledge, skills and attitude possessed by an individual for proficiency in a giventask orjob.

In order to establish the paedagogical needs of the agricultural science teachers in thestudy area, it is required that necessary training and re-training of teachers through capacity-buildinginterventionprogrammessuchasseminar,workshopandin-serviceoncompetentimprovement to up-date their knowledge, skills and attitudes for effective lesson delivery isimperative. Therefore, it is in view of this, the study tries to identify professional-competency, ofagriculturalscienceteachers foreffectivelessondeliveryinsecondaryschoolsinImoState.

1.2   Statement of the Problem

         Agricultural science teachers in senior secondary schools in Imo State are employed toimpartknowledge,skillsandattitudesintheirsubject’sareatothestudents.Theteacherswhoare NCE and university graduates, are expected to teach the content of agricultural sciencetowardsachievingthestatedobjectives.Thereforethesystemaccordedthemthesoleresponsibility ofteachingagriculturalsciencetostudentsfortheperformanceofthestatesobjectives. Despite the activities of teachers to see that the objectives of teaching agriculturalscienceinseniorsecondaryschoolsareachieved,itisevidentfromWestAfricanSchoolCertificateExaminations(WASCE)andNationalExaminationsCouncilSchoolCertificateExaminations (NECOSCE) results of 2011-2013 that students performed poorly in agriculturalscience.

The interaction of the researcher with some parents of senior secondary school graduatesin one of the parents teachers association meetings, among others in 2021 revealed that parents were having growingconcern about the low level of performance of their children in SSCE and NECO examinations.Parentsthereforerequestedforachangeforbetterresultinfutureexaminations.Withtheresearchers’observationabove,itwasopinedthatteachers’paedagogical-capacitybuildingneeds on instructional delivery need not to be compromised. It is based on this assertion that theresearcher became interested to find out the paedagogical-capacity building needs of agriculturalscienceteachers foreffectivelesson deliveryinsecondaryschools in Imo stateNigeria.

1.3   Objective of the Study

         The major objective of the study was to determine the in-service paedagogical capacity-buildingneeds of agricultural science teachers for effective lesson delivery in secondary schools in ImoState, Nigeria.Specifically, the study sought to determine the paedagogical-capacity buildingneedsof agricultural scienceteachers in theareaof:

  1. ProperplanningofinstructioninagriculturalscienceinsecondaryschoolsinImoState.
    1. OrganizationofinstructionalresourcesinagriculturalscienceinsecondaryschoolsinImoState;
    1. ImplementationofinstructioninagriculturalscienceinsecondaryschoolsinImoState;
    1. Managementofpracticalsin agriculturalsciencein secondaryschoolsin ImoState.
    1. Evaluationofinstruction inagricultural scienceinsecondaryschools inImoState.
  1. Questions

Thefollowingresearch questionsguided thestudy.

1. What are the paedagogical-capacity building needs of agricultural science teachers forproperplanningof instruction in secondaryschools in ImoState?

2. What are the paedagogical-capacity building needs of agricultural science teachers inorganizing instructional resources in agricultural science in secondary schools in ImoState?

3.What are the paedagogical-capacity building needs of agricultural science teachers inimplementinginstructioninagricultural scienceinsecondaryschools inImoState?

4.What are the paedagogical-capacity building needs of agricultural science teachers inmanagingpracticalsinagricultural sciencein secondaryschools inImoState?

5.What are the paedagogical-capacity building needs of agricultural science teachers inevaluatinginstruction inagriculturalsciencein secondaryschoolsin ImoState?

1.5 ResearchHypotheses

Thefollowingnull hypotheses weretested in thestudy:

Ho1There is no significant difference in the mean ratings of teachers and principals on thepaedagogical-capacity building needs of teachers in proper planning of instruction inpublicsecondaryschoolsin ImoState.

Ho2There is no significant difference in the mean ratings of teachers and principals on thepaedagogical-capacity building needs of teachers in organizing instructional resources inpublicsecondaryschools in ImoState.

Ho3There is no significant difference in the mean ratings of teachers and principals on thepaedagogical-capacity building needs of teachers in implementing instruction to studentsinpublicsecondaryschools in ImoState.

Ho4There is no significant difference in the mean ratings of teachers and principals on thepaedagogical-capacity building needs of teachers in managing practicals in agriculture inpublicsecondaryschools in ImoState.

Ho5There is no significant difference in the mean ratings of teachers and principals on thepaedagogical-capacitybuildingneedsofteachersinevaluatinginstructioninPublicsecondaryschools in ImoState.

1.6  Significance of the Study

The findings of this research work will be of immense benefit to the following categories of people:-

i.            The researcher

ii.          The agricultural science teacher,

iii.        The students

iv.         The school

v.           The policy makers and

vi.         The nation at large.

The Researcher: The work will enable the researcher highlight the various problems affecting teaching and learning of animal science component of agricultural science in schools and provide a platform for further research work.

The Students: They stand a better chance of becoming self-employed when armed with the scientific techniques involved in rearing of animals like piggery, poultry, fishery, ruminants and non-ruminants etc after their school career. It will also afford them opportunity to acquire the necessary skills, experiences and knowledge needed for increased animal production for those who may wish to become full time farmers.

The Agricultural Science Teachers:  The Teachers by attending in service training will be exposed to the latest techniques and practices in animal rearing. Also the provision of livestock will enable them carry out and demonstrate to students the various techniques and practices. This will steer the student’s interest and create a good farm work habit.

 The Schools:  problem of funding in schools will be reduced because the livestock farm will be a good source of revenue generating unit which could assist in running and provision of other basic needs of the school.

The Policy Makers: It will also enable the policy makers to be abreast of the problems of teaching animal science in our secondary schools and the need for the serving teachers to embark on in-service training to update their knowledge on the latest management practices in animal production.

         They should recognize the importance of qualification and experience de-emphasized paper qualification in favour of practical skills and knowledge. They should provide for the schools modern implements and materials for achievement on the stated goals. With the above knowledge, the policy makers will be able to formulate policies that will encourage the schools to participate in in-service training of the teachers.

The Nation: Finally when agricultural science teachers are well equipped or embark on in-service training according to the national policy on education, the student will benefit immensely which in-turn will help the entire nation to be self-reliant on animal production. 

1.7   Scope of the Study

The study will cover only the in-service needs of agricultural science teachers teaching animal science in secondary schools within Imo state.

1.8   Limitation of the Study

The researcher was confronted with problems during the course of the study and these are:-

–              RESPONDENTS: Some of the respondents were not available during the distribution and collection of the questionnaire. This made the researcher to visit some of the Secondary Schools more than twice in order to distribute and collect the questionnaire.

–              FINANCE: There was no grant for the research. Fund was not available therefore the researcher found it difficult to transport himself to and from the secondary schools for the distribution and collection of the questionnaire.

–              TIME: The time for conducting the research could not be over sighted. During the course of the research, there were lectures going on. Secondly, semester examinations followed immediately after lectures. There were, other things the researcher did in other to put food on his table. These are some of the limitation encountered by the researcher.

1.9 Definition of Terms

CB: Paedagogical-capacity building

CESAC: Council for Educational Studies and Adaptation Center

NERDC: Nigerian Education Research and Development Council

PC: Professional Competency

TSC : Teaching Service Commission

UNDP : United Nations Development Programme

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