Adequacy of science learning facilities in teacher training faculties of Makerere University.
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This study was conducted to establish whether the different types of audiovisual instructional materials, support materials and laboratory equipment in DOSATE, Physics and Chemistry departments are adequate; and lecturers’ extent of utilization of such learning facilities. It sought to provide information regarding the availability and utilization of science learning facilities (SLF) in Makerere University, through evaluation of the adequacy of the different types of such SLF, in order to identify gaps that may hinder growth and development of science teaching in Uganda. This was because this University trains science teachers that teach science in secondary schools where there is poor performance and low interest in science subjects, which causes low enrolment in science carriers in tertiary institutions. It was conducted using the case study design and data was obtained using questionnaires, observations and interviews. It involved 165 respondents, who included 125 Physics, Chemistry and biology Students of DOSATE and 40 lecturers involved in science teacher training(STT), selected by stratified random sampling. Data was quantitatively analyzed using Chi- square (χ2) tests, which were determined using SPSS, version 10.1. The results were significant at P< 0.05. The study established that audiovisual instructional materials, support materials and laboratory equipment were inadequate particularly for many lectures conducted at the same time in a department. There were significant differences in respondents’ opinions on adequacy of SLF, lecturers’ extent of utilization of SLF and on factors that influence lecturers’ utilization of SLF. Low utilization of SLF was due to inadequate laboratory equipment, large class size, shortage of lecturer’s accommodation in the university, time constraint, heavy workload due to limited staff and lack of instructional materials. It recommends increase in funding to STT faculties to avail adequate SLF, use of teaching methods that impart cognitive skills, improvement of lecturers’ conditions of service to ensure effective utilization of SLF, recruitment of more lecturers to reduce teaching load and further research in quality of teacher education in tertiary institutions.