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Students’ Assessment of the Content of Senior School Agricultural Science Syllabus: Implications for Agricultural Extension and Development
Agricultural production in Nigeria relies mainly on resource-poor farmers. Most of them are ageing, live in rural areas, practice subsistence Agriculture and are largely conservative. Most of the youths who constitute more than 50% of population do not enroll in Agricultural Science. The achievement of those who enroll in the Senior School Agricultural Science is dismal, to say the least. This study investigated Senior School Students’ assessment of the Agricultural Science Syllabus. The sample comprised 356 Senior School Students selected from 4 local Government Areas of Rivers State through multistage sampling procedure. The instrument for data collection was a 63-item questionnaire which elicited information on students’ rating of all the topics in the Theory and Practical aspects of the SSCE Agricultural Science Syllabus. Data were subjected to descriptive (Means, Ranking, Pooled Mean) and inferential (z-test) analysis. Among others, it was found that students rated 4 out of 6 (representing 66%) broad topics in the Theory and 2 out of 4 (representing 50%) of the topics in the Practical aspects of Agricultural Science as being significantly difficult. Students rated Theory aspect of the syllabus as being more difficult than the Practical aspects. Significant sex differences and school-location differences exist in students’ assessment of Agricultural Science Syllabus. The difference were in favour of males and students’ in rural school who rated Agricultural Science Syllabus as being less difficult their females counterparts and students from the urban areas respectively. It was recommended that Agricultural Science Teachers jettison the usual lecture or expository (talk and chalk) teaching but rather adopt the learner-centred methods that have greater utility. Priority attention should be given to reviewing the entire curriculum with a view to making it more indigenous, more relevant to students’ local experiences and less difficult to comprehend by learners. Further research should investigate the real and remote reasons why females and students in urban areas rated Agriculture as being more difficult than their male counterparts and students from rural areas.