The Status of Practical Work in Science Teaching in selected Preparatory schools in Addis Ababa

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Addis Ababa Univerisity


This study investigates the current status of science practical works and laboratory activities in government, private, church and public schools in Addis Ababa City Administration (AACA). By employing a descriptive survey method the study comprehensively assesses the practices and problems of science practical work in 12 preparatory schools that comprises five governments, four private, one church and two public schools have been selected purposively. Data was collected from grade 11 and 12 students, preparatory school science teachers, department heads, principals from five selected schools, lab technicians/assistants and educational officers. 320 students were selected by random stratified sampling techniques. On the basis of availability, all science teachers, five lab assistants/technicians, students of grade 11 and 12 are taken as samples for this study. Five School principals and five educational officers are selected purposively from schools and sub-cities respectively. From purposively selected five sub-cities five educational officers, one from each took part in the study. In addition available department heads have participated as subjects of the study. The main data collection methods for this research were questionnaires, interview, document analysis, check list and laboratory observation. Quantitative data were tabulated and organized in tables and analyzed using percentage and chi-square. The qualitative data was categorized and analyzed thematically to substantiate the quantitative analysis and interpretations. The findings of this current study indicated that: - (i) The current status of practical works in preparatory schools of Addis Ababa is in a very low level where science teaching learning process is not supported adequately by practical works; class room instruction of science education is more of lecture method and dominated by teachers with least participation of students. (ii) The most determinant constraints of practical activities in preparatory science education in government, private, Church and public schools include lack of laboratory rooms, inadequate supply of lab equipments, reagents and facilities, absence of trained laboratory technicians/teachers, lack of commitment and interest of teachers, shortage of time for practical activities, no plan and regular schedule for lab sessions, poor management, monitoring and evaluations of practical activities, no system for grading and assessment of practical examinations.(iii) Practical activities did not get the necessary concern in all schools investigated by this study. Therefore, to bring the progress of practical activities in schools and to play a great role in initiating and supporting science teaching in the class, there should be done awareness creating campaigns by all stakeholders of the education system. Current and regular workshops and short term trainings about practical activities should be given to science teachers in order to enhance and update their practical skills and capacities to carry out experiments and demonstrations more effectively and efficiently. As all participants agreed, the inclusion of practical works in the scoring and grading system of science results assumed to be one of the remedies of the poor activities of practical works in preparatory schools. In addition, the government should give special consideration and effective implementation strategies for the improvement and efficient ways of science teaching in schools in order to achieve the mission and goals of the new education policy.