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ASSESSMENT OF THE INFLUENCE OF OCCUPATIONAL ROLES AND HOUSEHOLD TASKS ON HOME ECONOMICS FEMALE LECTURERS’ PERFORMANCE IN COLLEGES OF EDUCATION, NORTH-WEST, NIGERIA
This study assessed the influence of occupational roles and household tasks on Home Economics female lecturers‘ performance in Colleges of Education, North-West, Nigeria. Six (6) objectives, six (6) research questions and five (5) null hypotheses were raised for the study. Descriptive survey design was used for the study with a population of one hundred and nine (109) Home Economics Female lecturers from ten (10) Colleges of Education, North-West, Nigeria. Purposive sampling techniques was adopted for the study. Self developed questionnaire modified on a four (4) point rating scale was used to collect data from respondents.
Data collected were described using descriptive and inferential statistics. Bio data components and time spent at work were described using frequency and percentages. While rating scale components were analyzed using mean and standard deviation to answer research questions 1-6. Simple linear regression statistical tool was used to test the five (5) null hypotheses at 0.05 level of significance.
All the five (5) null hypotheses tested were rejected. The findings of the study revealed that the aggregate mean score of the research questions on occupational roles, household tasks, work schedule and coping strategies were above the agreement mean of 2.5 implying that they influence performance at home and workplace. While challenges faced by Home Economics female lecturers was below 2.5 signifying lack of influence on performance.
The five (5) rejected null hypotheses revealed that they significantly influence Home Economics female lecturers‘ performance in Colleges of Education, North-West, Nigeria. It was concluded that Home–Economics female lecturers‘ performance in the study area was influenced by their occupational roles and household tasks among others. It was therefore recommended that workshops and seminars be organized by Home Economics Heads of Department and other Home Economists at departmental, school and College level so as to create awareness to teachers, students and College administrators on time management skills which will enhance better performance at home and workplace. Home Economics female lecturers should delegate household tasks like cleaning, washing, cooking and child care to family members or househelps, as well as make use of labour saving devices to help influence better performance at work.
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Home Economics lecturers are individuals who are engaged in occupational roles, at the same time participate fully in household tasks. Nnubia (2013) notes that Home Economics education is one of the core vocational subjects that cut across the whole levels of academic system in Nigeria namely; primary, secondary and tertiary levels. This hinges on the fact that the subject is a life supporting subject that has as its clients, the individual, families and by implication the whole society. Eze (2001) pointed out that Home Economics is capable of preparing youths and adults for entry into various areas of Home Economics occupations. This shows that as a vocational subject, Home Economics contributes to manpower development by equipping individuals with reliable occupational skills, which lead to gainful employment and family living. It is a very important subject in the University curriculum. Home Economics is seen as being concerned with meeting the challenges of everyday living in a modern society. These challenges include; establishing and maintaining effective relationships, juggling paid work responsibilities with house and personal responsibilities and pleasures, and being able to make numerous informed consumer choices (Street, 2006).
Home Economics has a long history, as a school subject, constantly changing with times. It is a subject that countinues to be a female-dominated subject. (THESA 2011) being a female dominated subjects implies that they have dual responsibilities, as lecturers, wives, mothers, and home makers. Whether married or single Home Economics female lecturers have roles to play and tasks to be performed. As lecturers, there are specified roles of attending to lectures promptly, assessing students‘ performance through tests and assignments. Periodically, setting examination questions, invigilating students during examination, marking examination scripts and grading student‘s results accordingly. Other roles involve teaching practice, SIWES and project supervision. To be up to date as lecturers, conferences, workshops and seminar attendance are significant roles, all these coupled with emergency meeting and other responsibilities like examination officer, teaching practice corodiantor SIWES coordinator are extra responsibilities apart from the teaching roles.
A survey conducted by THESA (2011) revealed that Home Economics teachers are predominantly female. Therefore it is not surprising that family obligations might affect their participation in professional development. These teachers juggle family and parenting responsiblties, such as cooking, child care, cleaning, washing, shopping, taking care of the sick, attending to unexpected visitors, taking children to and back from school and sometimes attend religious or societal and cultural meetings among others irrespective of their occupational roles.
Therefore, these occupational roles and household tasks are responsibilities that should be carried out with all diligence in order to achieve success. Success is a product of good performance which is one of the attributes expected from a dedicated teacher. Generally in Nigeria, women are known for their enormous contributions at home and outside the home. They have multiple roles and are no longer confined to household tasks. Women are engaged in paid jobs, which have helped them contribute to the development of the family and the society. Ololobou (2001) notes that in the traditional Nigerian society, a woman performs general household chores and participate in other activities that can help improve family life such as weeding on the farm, keeping domestic animals, trading and pottery-making. Today‘s women, especially those in urban areas, find themselves leaving their homes for paid employment in various organizations (public or private), working as skilled or unskilled workers, cleaners, typists, secretaries and attendants. Others find themselves as lecturers, administrators and leaders in various capacities and in different professions.
Occupational roles are functions performed by people in a particular situation, process or operation. Female teachers have several roles to play in the educational process. Role performance refers to a pattern of expected behaviour, associated with the status. (Kant, 2014). Household task is defined as unpaid work that is conducted to uphold a household, (Shelton and John 1996). Household tasks may include activities such as child care, cooking and cleaning. Other definitions even specified that household tasks are typically ―female‖ and male oriented tasks. For example, typical female tasks would include cooking and cleaning while typical male tasks would consist of paying bills (Lennon and Rosenfield, 1994).
In this regard Richardson and Robinson (1993) state that women‘s household tasks have no limit or boundaries, no clear beginning and end points and with no guaranteed space or time for leisure. It has been observed that most of the female teachers are not able to separate their professional roles from roles in the family effectively. Thus, they feel that their roles; as teachers and mothers at the same time are not easy and enjoyable. They feel forced to undergo three jobs at the same time, namely teaching, taking care of the housework and taking care of the children. (Cinnamon and Rich, 2005). Shelton and John (1996) refer to this as household task which may include activities such as childcare, cooking and cleaning.
Cinnamon and Rich (2005) posited that the teaching profession is considered to be a suitable profession for women because it is considered as not possessing too much workload, and at the same time helps women to combine roles in the workplace and family roles with much ease. This is because of the assumption that teaching profession possesses certain characteristics, such as low level career commitment and therefore more time available to devote to family, making it an ideal profession for women. However, Wafula (2010) reports that Schweber (2005) stated in an article that achieving a balance between work and family for female teachers is a mere illusion. Schweber explains that ―she‖ prefers to be considered a poor lecturer than being a good mother, rather than to be considered a poor mother and being a good lecturer. Wafula (2010) observed that balancing professional roles as a teacher and family‘s roles as a mother is not something easy. Teaching students is clearly exhausting and make those giving the lessons believe that teachers lack the energy to both be a good mother and a good teacher. Exhaustion is one of the challenges Home Economics female lecturers experience especially after teaching practical lesson, and going home to prepare lunch or dinner without any assistance, stress can also set in.
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The relevance and effectiveness of occupational roles and household tasks depends on performance. Performance is to complete a task within defined boundaries. Teaching performance results when one teaches with enthusiasm, competence, effectiveness and with dedication to the profession (Jali, 2000). According to Elger (2010) performance advances in levels and each level is characterized by effectiveness or quality of performance. For example as an academic department improves its level of performance, members of the department are able to produce more effective learning environment, more effective research and more effective culture.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Combining occupational roles and household tasks by Home Economics female lecturers is not an easy task because to be successful requires undivided attention, commitment and energy. Work and family are ―greedy‖ institutions, both with high demands and intensive time commitments, requiring ―devotion‖ from participants and forcing individuals to make ―constrained choices‖ about how to allocate time and energy (Blair-Loy, 2003; Bird and Rieker, 2008). The motivating factor behind this study is the fact that, Home Economics and family can hardly be seperated, because a high percentage of Home Economics lecturers are females who engage in occupational roles and household tasks. Home Economics has a broad curriculum to deal with and sometimes lecturers find it difficult to cover all course content within the specified period. Home Economics is also a practical subject which makes it a unique subject for women as their roles at home and school are activity oriented which requires energy and commitment to be successful at home and workplace.
The researcher observes that Home Economics female lecturers in Colleges of Education engage in a lot of work such as theoretical and practical teaching of food and nutrition, clothing and textiles, interior decoration, supervision of Home Management practicum, SIWES, teaching practice, student‘s projects and entrepreneurship training. Thus spending half of the day in the Colleges.
The researcher also observes that majority of these teachers are married, and thus attend to tasks at home such as meal preparation, laundry, and cleaning, shopping and sometimes taking and bringing children to and from school. From the researcher‘s interaction with some Home Economics Lecturers in Colleges of Education in the North West Nigeria, a lot of challenges such as a broad curriculum to deal with, shortage of Home Economics lecturers, introduction of degree programme to some of these Colleges, poor state of laboratories and other teaching facilities which may likely lead to aches and pains, persistent back and neck pain and fatigue are some of the challenges that affect female lecturers performance at work. In view of the above, the researcher observes that the involvement of Home Economics female lecturers in dual roles is quite demanding and capable of retarding performance at work and at home.
With so many activities, time spent at work and home will not be balanced; roles and tasks will be attended to haphazardly which sometimes mount pressure on their well being. In addition, the researcher‘s interactions with some Home Economics lecturers revealed that their occupational roles especially those carried outside the College environment like teaching practice (TP) SIWES among others enterfire with the performance of their household tasks and good time with their families, as their responsibilities at work cannot be compromised because of its systematic requirements. Therefore, lop-sided attention to any of these duties will impact negatively on the profession and/or the family.
Could this claim be the reason for the low performance of Home Economics female lecturers at workplaces? What are the conditions of their families? Based on the above, this research attempts to find out the influence of occupational roles and household tasks on Home Economics female lecturers‘ performance in Colleges of Education, the North-West, Nigeria.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The aim of the study is to assess the influence of occupational roles and household tasks on Home Economics female lecturers‘ performance in Colleges of Education, North-West, Nigeria.
The specific objectives are to:
identify occupational roles of Home Economics female lecturers that influence their performance in Colleges of Eeducation, North-West, Nigeria.
identify household tasks of Home Economcis female lecturers that influence their performance in Colleges of Education, North-West, Nigeria.
examine work schedules of Home Economics female lecturers that influence performance in Colleges of Education, North-West, Nigeria
examine occupational roles of Home Economics female lecturers that influence their household task performance in Colleges of Education, North-West, Nigeria.
examine challenges faced by Home Economics female lecturers in the performance of both occupational roles and household tasks in Colleges of Education, North-West, Nigeria.
identify coping strategies available to Home Economics female lecturers that influence their performance of both occupational roles and household tasks in Colleges of Education, North-West, Nigeria.
1.4 Research Questions
What are the occupational roles of Home Economics female lecturers that influence their performance in Colleges of Education, North-West, Nigeria?
What are the household tasks of Home Economics female lecturers that influence their performance in Colleges of Education, North-West, Nigeria?
What are the work schedules of Home Economics female lecturers‘ that influence performance in Colleges of Education, North-West, Nigeria?
What are the occupational roles of Home Economics female lecturers that influence their household task performance in Colleges of Education, North-West, Nigeria?
What are the challenges Home Economics female lecturers face in the cause of performing their occupational roles and household tasks in Colleges of Education, North-West, Nigeria?
What are the coping strategies available to Home Economics female lecturers that influence their performance of both occupational roles and household tasks, in Colleges of Education, North-West, Nigeria?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The following null hypotheses were tested at P< 0.05.
Ho1: Occupational roles of Home Economics female lecturers do not significantly influence their performance in Colleges of Education, North-West, Nigeria.
Ho2: Household tasks of Home Economics female lecturers do not significantly influence their performance in Colleges of Education, North-West, Nigeria.
Ho3: Occupational roles of Home Economics female lecturers do not significantly influence their performance of household tasks in Colleges of Education, North-West, Nigeria Ho4: Challenges faced by Home Economics female lecturers‘ do not significantly influence their performance of occupational roles and household tasks in Colleges of Education, North-West, Nigeria. H05: Coping strategies available to Home Economics female lecturers‘ do not significantly influence their performance of occupational roles and household tasks in Colleges of Education, North-West, Nigeria.
1.6 Significance of the Study
The findings of this study on Assessment of the Influence of Occupational Roles and Household Tasks on Home Economics Female Lecturers‘ Performance in Colleges of Education, North-West, Nigeria would be beneficial to Home Economics lecturers, students, family members, College Administrators and researchers.
This study will be beneficial to Home Economics lecturers in the sense that their strength and weakness would be revealed in terms of their performance either adequate or inadequate. This would make them wake up to their given responsibilities. The study will remind them of the importance of time plan, time management skills and the use of coping strategies which will help improve their performance at home and workplace. Students who come across this work will benefit from it, because it will reveal to them the importance of time plan and the use of coping strategies which will help them organize their schools schedule and activities at home with much ease.
Family members who find this piece of work will be a source of relief to them, especially in the area of planning daily schedule such as proper use of time management skills and coping strategies will help them in balancing their activities thereby achieving much without stress and not blaming one another, as who to do a particular activity or not, this will also help to deal with procastination at home.
College Administrators will benefit from this piece of study because it reveal to them the importance of setting priorities, delegation of responsibilities in good time, use of time management skills to avoid stress and sometimes set priorities that will make their leadership and administrative roles effective.
Researchers who come across this piece of work will use it as reference material others will improve on the study by using different methodology and instrument while others will develop more researchable topics from the study giving it a wider coverage.
1.7 Basic Assumption of the Study
This study was conducted based on the following assumptions. That;
home economics female lecturers in Colleges of Education, North-West, Nigeria
have different types of occupational roles and household tasks that influence their performance at home or workplace.
2 occupational roles influence household tasks performance of Home Economics female lecturers.
female lecturers experience challenges in the performance of their occupational role and household tasks.
there are available coping strategies that Home Economics female lecturers can adopt to influence their performance at home and workplace.
1.8 Delimitation of the Study
The study is delimited to Assessment of the Influence of Occupational Roles and Household Task on Home Economics Female Lecturers‘ Performance in Colleges of Education, North-West, Nigeria. It was also delimited to Home Economics female lecturers teaching in Colleges of Education, North-West, Nigeria. This is because, they have been teaching the subject and they know its demands at home and work place. Thus they are in a better position to respond to the research questions for the study. The study is also delimited to ten (10) Colleges of Education that offer Home Economics in six (6) states out of the seven states in North West Zone Nigeria. The six states are Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Jigawa, Sokoto and Zamfara States. (Kebbi State excluded).
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