Appraisal of the physics education programme in the National Open University of Nigeria
The general apathy towards the study of physics education among the prospective science teachers can once again be raised as the National Open University of Nigeria marks its 15th years of providing functional, cost effective and life-long education to a very large number of Nigerians yearning for university education. Physics Education is arguably one of the few courses that gain the lowest patronage among science students across Nigerian universities. Hence, the discouraging phenomenon of low enrollment is not peculiar to NOUN. The case also becomes more disturbing when the study of physics education in an open and distance-learning environment becomes much more abstract than where you actually see the lecturer each time there is a class as it operates in the conventional university system. The challenge of sustaining physics education in the open and distance environment needs to be addressed towards improving enrollment of students into the programme. The paper has adopted a theoretical approach which examined the sequence of events as regard physics education in the past fifteen years of the existence of the National Open University of Nigeria. The challenges and prospects of this programme, which is at the centre of the nation’s scientific and technological independence were critically x-rayed in the light of current realities. Within the proposed set of recommendations, it was further suggested that the NOUN advocacy team, in collaboration with the Department of Science Education should take sensitization and awareness campaign to secondary school science students particularly on the prospects of enrolling into physics education programme.
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