By Mohamed .A. Omer (Kasala)
Chemistry is one of the most important branches of science; it enables learners to understand what happened around them, Because Chemistry is the study of the nature and properties of all forms of matter as well as substance that make up our environment and the various changes which these substances undergo in different conditions
Chemistry is often regarded as a difficult subject, an observation that sometimes repels learners from continuing with studies in chemistry and Many students from secondary schools to universities in many countries struggle to learn chemistry and many do not succeed according to many of my students in the university of Hargeisa believe that chemistry is difficult to learn and I will investigate this article what makes Somali students believe Chemistry is difficult and what can be done to overcome these difficulties, my investigate include two problems that makes Somali students believe chemistry is difficult to learn and these two problems are
- Poor or lack of qualified chemistry teachers
The first group I will call are poor or lack qualified chemistry teachers, but I mean poorly skilled teachers, these are teachers who are poor communicators or people who have not fully mastered their chemistry subject area’s material, they may frustrate their students when they cannot clearly explain things, or provide more than one example, they may get frustrated with their students when they don’t learn something the first time it is taught, and sometimes they may just not teach their students all that much which will lead to lower achievement and possibly even a lack of desire to learn the chemistry subject any further.
- Poor laboratory equipment
Laboratory is at the centre of scientific studies and so long as science remains both a product and process, Practical chemistry constitutes a major part in chemistry education, if it is not taught properly the education of the students in the other science courses will be affected negatively; therefore secondary schools or universities require properly equipped and functional laboratories. When the students are taught chemistry theoretically, without the practical aspects done in the laboratory, the students will not learn properly, the implication of this means that the role of the laboratory on the academic achievement of the students in chemistry is being ignored. Consequently, the students will;
(i) Lack scientific attitude
(ii) Poor problem solving skills
(iii) Lack scientific inquiry skills
(iv) Lack acquisition of scientific skills
(v) Poor scientific research environment
(vi) Learn chemistry poorly
(vii) Perform poorly in practical chemistry in internal and external examinations.
At the end I am not suggested here that chemistry can be made simple by avoiding those two problems above but I have also provided a list of key proposals to aid Meaningful learning. These can be summarized:
- Teachers with poor skills or lack qualified need to be learn and taught to do better and known their topics and be able to relate it to real life whenever possible
- It is vital for the teacher to know what the learners already know and how they came to acquire the knowledge. Many students come to a class with wrong ideas, confused ideas or even a complete lack of background knowledge.
- Attitudes and motivation are both important aspects for the learning process. Success in learning, positive attitudes to learning and motivation to learn are linked. The two major factors influencing attitudes towards a subject are teacher quality and curriculum quality
- Schools and universities must have the latest science lab supplies and equipment to make chemistry science interesting and effective for students and to encourage them to make significant contributions in the field of chemistry, and other streams of science later in life.
The author, Mohamed .A. Omer (Kasala) is a lecturer in Hargeisa University.