The Teaching of Integrated Science (ITS) in the Primary Schools, Problems and Prospects

The Teaching of Integrated Science (ITS) in the Primary Schools, Problems, and Prospects (A Case Study of Some Selected Primary Schools in Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State)




The science curriculum at any time and place is determined by the existing theories and ideas about the nature of science. Because such theories and ideas have varied from place to place and from time to time, even for the same place; the science curriculum and its introduction have never remained static. Several programs have been set up in various parts of the world to develop science curricula and teaching, to suit the prevailing situation in such areas. As a result of the changing views about science, its content and materials have been subjected to modification by the reigning theories. In the 1960s the U.S.A set up a program called Science a Process Approach (S.A.PA.) which was developed and sponsored by the America Association of the Advancement of Science (A.A.A.S). For the A.A.A.S, science processes should precede the contents, that is to say, the program encouraged a study of the science procedure which would result in the child having the opportunity to develop intellectual skills similarly there were programs in the United Kingdom, for example, The Nuffield Junior Science and the African Primary Science Programme (A.P.S.P) was based in East and West African.

The relative backwardness of primary education in the Northern states of Nigeria stimulated the consideration by the Federal Government, the governments of the then six northern states, and UNESCO to form a joint project which would improve the quality of primary education (Lassa, 1977:1). Discussion resulting from such moves were held at Zaria between the Institute of Education (A.B.U Zaria), the government of the six Northern states UNESCO and UNICEF. The outcome of that meeting was the initiation of a program called UNICEF/UNESCO program but later became the Primary Education Improvement Project (P.E.I.P).

In June 1970, a writing panel made up of T.T.C. Tutors, ministry personnel and others met to decide on writing syllables and books on science and other subjects. Decisions centered on having a fresh science syllabus which was based mainly on units taken from the African Primary Science Programme (A.P.S.P) but preference was made to the Nuffield Junior Science Programme and materials for science. Later, however, the panel decided to abandon this approach and follow the steps suggested by the Nigerian Educational Research Council (N.E.R.C) through adopting a process approach method similar to that of American science. A process approach.

By December 1971, the first book titled Primary Science One was instructions for the teaching of 26 lessons. This book centered on activities, which would provide opportunities for practical process-type skills such as observation, classification measurement, etc. Brown, (1978:2) and these activities involved both the teacher and the pupils. By 1972, Primary Science one was on trial in 66 piloted schools. A panel meeting in June 1972 established the guideline for primary school three, part of it was written by the end of the year, the whole book is completed by June 1974. Primary science four was produced in 1978. Book four came out in 1976 and book five and six came out in 1980.


It is important while discussing the P.E.I.P to realize as in any other program of its dimension there are bound to be many challenges which if not well met will cause the downfall of the program; for example, there could be administrative, financial, and manpower challenges.

Integrated science or primary science is identified as a problem approached discipline through which man studies and learns about problems of survival in his environment. This research aims to identify problems leading to poor performance in pupils and teachers in some selected primary schools in Igabi Local Government Area to recommend possible solutions that can help in improving its teaching. In our search for these problems, the following questions are asked:

1.  What are the classes that are taught primary science?

2.  What is the number of qualified integrated science teachers in your school?

3.  How many of these teachers teach integrated science?

4.  What are their qualifications?

5.  Are the materials used by the teachers (i.e. textbooks) suitable for both the teachers and learners?

6.  Are there other teaching aids used by the teachers apart from the textbooks?

7.  What methods are used in imparting the knowledge of integrated science to the learners?

8.  Do the school provide a special workshop for the teaching of the subject?

9.  Is there a current and recommended approved primary science syllabus in the school?


This research is aimed at the causes of poor performance in primary science in our primary schools today. Thereby giving necessary suggestions and practical ways by which the instruction can be improved so that its set goals and objectives can be achieved. The researchers decided to choose:

1. L.E.A. Primary School Jaji i.e. child friendly

2.  Army Children’s School Jaji

3.  L.E.A. Primary School Birni Yaro Tasha

4. L.E.A. Primary School Tudun Wada Rigachikun

For sample studies with the belief to the researchers that this will be of immense help to the integrated science teachers in the classroom and also to the educational planners.


This research work concentrated on four (4) primary schools in Igabi Local Government and its environs.

1. L.E.A. Primary School Jaji – child friendly

2. Army Children’s School Jaji

3. L.E.A. Primary School Birni Yaro Tasho

4. L.E.A. Primary School Tudun Wada Rigachikun

Considering all the problems faced in teaching integrated science, it would require wide and more detailed research and a bigger book than this. Thus, the application of the evidence found is not to be generalized with other schools in the state but restricted to primary schools in Igabi Local Government Area only.


i) Integrated Science: A joint knowledge that is based on testing and providing facts.

ii) Primary Schools: Schools in which children receive a formal education before going to secondary school.

iii) Teaching: Passing knowledge to somebody with some guided activities.

iv) Curriculum: Course content design for the learner.

v) S.A.P.A: Science – A Process Approach.

vi) A.P.S.P: Africa Primary Science Programme.

vii) A.I.E.P: Primary Education Improvement Project.

viii) Teaching Aids: Materials used in aiding teaching and learning.

ix) Integrated Workshop: A special room exclusively meant for teaching Integrated Science.


The hypothesis has been advanced to guide the study:

1. That there were language problems, that is, the science terminologies cannot be easily translated into local languages.

2. That there are not enough trained teachers for this discipline Integrated Science.

3. That there are inadequate teaching aids for the teaching of the subject.

4. It was assumed that the same ministry is concerned with the running of the schools in terms of personnel enrolment and retention funds and other facilities.

5. There is still a problem in teaching controversial topics

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