Student’s Perception of Mathematical Aspect of Economics In Secondary School and Universities
Economics is one of the Social Science subject offered at Senior Secondary School (SSS) level in Nigeria. Economics as a subject was introduced into the Nigerian Secondary School curriculum in late 1960s. Specifically the acceptability of the introduction of the subject at Great Britain necessitated its introduction in Nigerian Secondary School curriculum in 1966 and was first taken in West African School Certificate Examination as a school subject in Nigeria in 1967 (Adu in Ede, Oleabhiele&Modebelu, 2016).
The subject Economics has been defined in many ways by various economists as a social science which studies human beings and their behavior. However, the most generally accepted definition of Economics is the one put forward by Professor Lord Lionel Robbins. He defined Economics as “the science which studies human behavior as a relationship between ends and scarce means which have alternative uses”. This definition is all embracing because it covers some major aspects of Economics such as scarcity, wants, human behavior and choice (Anyanwuocha, 2010). The ends in the definition refer to human wants, desires or needs. Human wants are numerous or many relative to available resources required to satisfy them. The word scarce refers to the limited available resources used in satisfying the numerous human wants. In other words, the resources required to satisfy human wants are scarce or not many, relative to their demand. The alternative uses in the definition means that these scarce resources can be used for different purposes (Ande, 2018). In other words, the more pressing needs have to be satisfied first leaving others that are less important.
The objectives of studying Economics in Senior Secondary Schools in Nigeria according to the Federal Government of Nigeria through National Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) is to: equip students with the basic principles of Economics necessary for useful living and for higher education; prepare and encourage students to be prudent and effective in the management of scarce resources; raise students respect for the dignity of labour and their appreciation of economic, cultural and social values of our society and enable students acquire knowledge for the practical solution of the economic problems of society; Nigeria, developing countries and the world at large.
The National Policy on Education (FGN, 2012) stated that Economics is a non-vocational elective Social Science subject to be taught in Senior Secondary Schools in the country to provide trained manpower who shall be well-equipped with critical knowledge, skills and abilities to analyze economic problems and provide solutions to solving personal and societal economic problems and policies.
Economics is one of the Social Science subject offered at both Senior Secondary School and the tertiary levels of education. Economics Education on the other hand is offered at the tertiary level of education. Economics education focuses on two main themes: “Economics and Education”.Economics is defined as the science which studies human behavior as a relationship between ends and scarce means which have alternative uses. Education is the process of acquiring knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, habits and attitudes through teaching especially at a school. Put together, Economics Education is a field within education that deals with the present state of, and efforts to improve and make better the Economics curriculum, teaching and learning materials, pedagogical techniques used to teach Economics at all educational levels; and research into the effectiveness of alternative instructional techniques in Economics, the level of economic literacy and factors that influence the level of economic literacy (Becker, 2001).
Economics Education is a discipline that involves the use of the appropriate teaching and learning methodology in improving the comprehension and understanding of Economics as a concept and makes easy an in-depth residual knowledge of the learners in order to make them contribute significantly to the growth and development of the Society. It is an aspect of education that is mainly concerned with the teaching and learning of Economics. It is a curriculum designed to produce experts in the field of Economics Education to develop Economics curriculum, instructional methodologies and materials for effective teaching and learning of Economics at the various educational level and for the training of manpower in order to promote growth and development in the society.
Economics education can also be seen as a:
- course of study which process includes a time period of inculcating the needed skills and values on the learners, (the preparation of learners for would-be-Economics educator (teachers) and disseminating of valuable Economics information on learners in order for them to improve their standard of living by engaging in meaningful endeavor)
- science: which means that it is a body of organized knowledge which is subjected to scientific proves/test;
- product: which involves the inculcation of saleable values/skills/disposition on the learners which are desirable by employers of labour.
Nigeria’s national policy on education is government’s way of realizing that part of the national goals, which can be achieved using education as a tool. No policy on education, however, can be formulated without first identifying the overall philosophy and goals of the nation. The overall five (5) national goals of Nigeria have been endorsed as the necessary foundations for the national policy on education, which include the building of a;
- free and democratic society;
- just and egalitarian society;
- united, strong and self-reliant nation;
- great and dynamic economy; and
- land full of bright opportunities for all citizens (FRN, 2012)
The stated national goals of education provided the basis for policy statements that further explain the vision of Economics Education. The national goals of education were out of the strong believe that Economics Education would be used as instrument for national development; to this end, the formulation of Economics ideas, their integration for national development and the interaction of persons and ideas are all aspects of Education. Education fosters the worth and development of the individual, for each individual’s sake, and for the general development of the society. The National Policy on Education acknowledgesthat “no country can go beyond its curriculum”. For Economics Education to be in harmony with Nigeria’s national goals, Economics Education have been geared towards self-realization, better human relationship, individual and national efficiency, effective citizenship, national consciousness, national unity, as well as towards economic, political, social, cultural, scientific and technological progress.
Economics as a subject was introduced into the Nigerian Secondary School curriculum in the late 1966 and was first taken in West African School Certificate Examination as a school subject in Nigeria in 1967 (Adu in Ede et al, 2016). Economics curriculum was first developed in 1985 by the Comparative Education Study and Adaptation Centre (CESAC) and now reviewed by the National Education Research Development Centre (NERDC). The curriculum is based on the principle of equipping the recipients with the basic knowledge and skills to appreciate the nature of economic problems in any society and adequately prepare them for the challenges in the Nigeria economy (NEDRC in Oleabhiele, &Oleabhiele, 2015).Therefore, the vision of Economics Education reflects that of the national goals of education that follows. Economics Education is a vehicle that would be used to make people become aware of basic economic principles and concept as well as the tools for sound economic analysis and inculcate in them an attitude of mind that will contribute intelligently to discourse on economic reforms and development as they affect or would affect the society.
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