1.1 Background to the study
It is widely accepted that education is one of the leading instruments for promoting economic development as it encompasses some processes individuals go through to help them develop and utilize their potentials. Okeke (2007) posit out that, through education, individuals acquire knowledge, skills and attitude that are necessary for effective living. This is the reason in all modern nations, investment in education of the youth is considered most vital. According to Onsomu (2006), secondary education is an important sub-sector of education in the preparation of human capital for development and provision of life opportunities as it provides a vital link between basic education and the world of work on one hand, and further training on the other hand. Furthermore, manifestations of quality education have to do with literary cognitive abilities, performance and progression to higher levels of learning.
However, quality education cannot be achieved without local resources which play an important role in the achievement of educational goals and objectives. Local resources according to Usman (2007) are central to the educational progress because they play an important role in the achievement of educational goals and objective since they facilitate teachers work and accelerate learning on the parts of the students.
Haluack (1990) emphasized that the availability of relevant local resources contributes to academic achievement of students. According to Kembui (1995) in a study of relationship between educational resources and students academic performance in Kenya noted a very strong positive relationship between local resources and academic performance of students. According to him, schools with more resources performed better than schools that are less endowed. This collaborated the findings of a study by Babayomi (1999) that private schools because of availability and adequacy of teaching and learning resources performed better than public schools.
According to Patel (1986), shortage of local resources hindered effective utilization. This is supported by Njoroge (2000) in a study on factors affecting availability, acquisition and utilization of local resources in the teaching of Biology in selected secondary schools in Kenya found that unavailability of local resources hinders effective utilization. However, Kitheka (2005) noted that schools with abundant resources may not always utilize them efficiently and consequently fail to raise student’s level of performance. On the other hand, schools with limited resources may utilize what they have efficiently and this may boost learning thus students should be able to maximize and utilize available resources so as to adequately achieve educational objectives.
Ngala (1997), noted that utilization of available local resources is more important than the quantity. This is supported by Cohen (2003) who points out that it is not making the resources available to schools that matters, but getting those local resources utilized by teachers and students to get academic content learned.
1.2 Statement of problem
Since education system is dominated by examination oriented teaching whereby passing examination is the only bench mark for performance as there is no internal system of monitoring learning achievements within an educational cycle, performance in WAEC examination in Uruan L.G.A. has remained poor with majority of students scoring D7 in Biology and mathematics which are core subjects. This is a poor grade as it bars students form entry in to science-based degree and diploma courses. Even though many students done to determine factors influencing poor performance of students in WAEC examinations have indicated inadequate teaching learning resources, teaching style and others as the factors influencing the performance of students. This study was set to assess the Availability of Local Resources and utilization in the Teaching of Biology in secondary schools in Uruan Local Government Area.