SCIENCE PROCESS SKILLS ACQUIRED BY SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL CHEMISTRY STUDENTS IN ENUGU EDUCATION ZONE
The study was aimed at ascertaining the science process skills acquired by senior secondary school chemistry students in Enugu Education Zone. The sample was made up of sixty (60) secondary three (SSIII) students from six (6) secondary schools in Enugu Education Zone of Enugu state. The design for the study was a descriptive survey. The science process skills investigated were observation, experimenting, controlling variables, measuring,, recording, communication and inference using quantitative and qualitative analysis chemistry practical activities. The instrument for data collection was the practical chemistry skills rating scale (PCSRS) adapted by the researcher and validated by science educators in the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. The instrument contained fifty four (54) items consisting of twenty seven (27) quantitative analysis items (QTA) and twenty seven (27) qualitative analysis items (QLA). Kendall’s coefficient of concordance was used to establish the inter-rater reliability index. The overall coefficients of concordance for quantitative and qualitative analysis of the items were 0.796 and 0.803 respectively. The estimate of internal consistency of the instrument was done using Cronbach’s alpha. The overall internal consistency reliability coefficients for quantitative and qualitative analysis of the items were 0.842 and 0.632 respectively. Data collected were analyzed using mean, standard deviation, Z-test and ANOVA. It was found that of the seven skills investigated students had low level of acquisition in four skills. These are: controlling variables, recording, communication and inference. Gender and school type had no significant influence. School location had significant influence in favour of urban. Among others, it was recommended that pedagogical inspectors, principals and school administrators should be strict on the maximum use the science laboratory by science teachers.