Status of Chemistry Laboratory and Practical Activities in Secondary and Preparatory Schools of East Gojjam, Ethiopia

Abebaw Shitahun Ayicheh


Science laboratory is a very important resource input for teaching science. Learning science is enhanced and the understanding level is improved when students are engaged in science laboratory for practical experiments. Since chemistry is a branch of science, it should be also assisted with practical activities.  The current study aimed to assess the status of chemistry laboratory and practical activities in secondary and preparatory schools of East Gojjam zone. A random sampling technique was employed to collect data from students and chemistry teachers of the study area. Structured and semi-structured questionnaires and observation of laboratories was used. Both teacher’s and student’s response in the study area agree on the significance of practical laboratory works to learn chemistry is very high. The result shows as Grade 9 and grade 10 students never do practical work in the lab but grade 11 and grade 12 students sometimes conduct practical work in the lab. This may be one of the reasons why only 8,688 (11.5%) students have joined the natural science field according to the 2009E.C. East Gojjam Zone Educational Bureau report. Preparatory school students also conduct only few experimental activities among the experiment listed in their own chemistry text book. As teachers give the reasons on why laboratory work is not used to teach chemistry is because of lack of chemicals and apparatuses, fear of chemicals, lack of administration support, the lab is poorly organized, no time is allotted for practical lab work, practical lab work is not considered as a teaching load for teachers and lack of laboratory training on how to use laboratory to teach chemistry in high and preparatory schools. Generally the above problem hinders practical activities in the laboratory and makes students at secondary schools of the study area lack interest to join science class.

Keywords: Laboratory, secondary and preparatory school, practical activity, chemistry.

DOI: 10.7176/CPER/63-02

Publication date:October 31st 2020

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