Omaze Anthony Afemikhe1, Sylvanus Yakubu Imobekhai1& Theresa Chinyere Ogbuanya (2014)

Assessment of science practical skills for Nigerian secondary schools: Teachers’ practices and militating factors

Abstract It is the belief that the teaching of science in Nigerian secondary schools can accelerate technological development which is one of the visions of Nigeria by 2020. Good science instruction involves interplay of experiments, observation and theoretical inferences. Practical work in science has a formative function, of assisting students in understanding science and how scientific ideas are developed. Experiments have to be conducted and the assessment of practical has to be carried out as an important component of grades assignment in certification examinations on completion of secondary school. Teachers play an important role in the preparation of candidates for certification examinations in the delivery of theory lessons and conduct of practical exercises. The question which then has to be answered is what assessment practices are used in preparation of students for the certification examination. In addition, the problems which confront proper integration of practical in the teaching of science were equally explored. Towards this end, this study utilized a survey research method utilizing science teachers in secondary schools in Edo state, Nigeria. A sample of two hundred science teachers was used for data generation and the data were collected using the researchers‟ designed questionnaire. The data were analyzed using frequencies, mean scores, t-test and ANOVA. The typology of practical practices utilized by teachers was varied as no one method was predominant and militating factors varied between teachers based on school ownership and science subject taught. Based on the results it was recommended that teachers should focus on the teaching approach prescribed by the syllabus. In addition material resources should be provided for teachers use in teaching practical lessons.

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