In Nigeria emphasis in developing our science and technological skills is very high because they are vital for economic and industrial development. The essence of this research work is to ascertain the level of practical integration in our senior secondary schools, to create awareness of it is importance into teaching and learning and recommendation of how to improve in our technological level as a nation.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
In Nigeria science and technology is indispensable to use because it is the bedrock of our economic and industrial development. Basic as it is science and technology is in our daily human activities. It is worthy to note that the major advances made in Medicine, Pharmacy, Industrial Chemistry, Engineering are based on researches being conducted in many areas of science and technology such as Chemistry.
Chemistry is taught as a science subject in almost all Nigeria senior secondary schools even in the higher and tertiary institutions and these schools thus serve as the starting point for the teaching of introductory chemistry with the aim of training the students in the process of scientific investigations. Chemistry is one of the core-science subjects in our school because it is one of the entry requirements in some fields of studies such as Nursing, Medicine, Pharmacy, Engineering, Science Education, Biochemistry and so on.
The extent of integration of practicals in senior secondary schools has a lot to tell on any chemistry students especially in his or her final examination since no work is done on any science subject especially chemistry if there is no integration of practicals which helps in better assimilation of scientific theories for effective industrial output in the society.
The most influential science process established (Tamir, 1991) stated that the prerequisite knowledge of concept and principles can be obtained only if the students have certain underlying capability of the science processes, which are needed to practise and understand science subject especially in Chemistry. These processes include, making operational definitions, formulations, observing, classifying, measuring, formulating hypothesis, interpreting data collected from the observations, and drawing conclusions.
However, contents and concepts will undoubtedly change but the mental skill of the approach that is process skills is relevant to the solution of everyday problem. If a student can think scientifically, he can observe, make simple hypothesis, test them by experiment and make valid inferences and interpreted data, then the level of science and technology in our country will increase to its apex.
Finally, science which Chemistry is a branch is the foundation for scientific enquiry. They are the generalizable intellectual skills needed to learn concepts and broad theories and principles used in making valid inductive inferences. Unfortunately, in Nigeria today, it appears that students are deprived of acquiring the appropriate process skills they need by the society, government, the school, teachers or even themselves. It has been observed that students in this present era are not doing marvellously well especially in their science hence this poor performance in their practical examinations in senior school certificate examination affects the overall result.
For this reason the present research is focused to ascertain the extent of integration of practicals into teaching chemistry in senior secondary schools in Enugu South Local Government of Enugu State.