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International Journal of Education and Practice

April 2018, Volume 6, 4, pp 167-178

The Decline in Science Students’ Enrolment in Nigerian Colleges of Education: Causes and Remedies

Aina, Jacob Kola


Ayodele, Michael Olu

Aina, Jacob Kola 1

Ayodele, Michael Olu 2

  1. Physics Education Department College of Education (Technical) Lafiagi Kwara State, Nigeria 1

  2. Chemistry Education Department College of Education (Technical) Lafiagi, Kwara State, Nigeria 2

Pages: 167-178

DOI: 10.18488/journal.61.2018.64.167.178

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Article History:

Received: 05 July, 2018
Revised: 23 August, 2018
Accepted: 29 August, 2018
Published: 03 September, 2018


The article critically reviewed the decline in science students’ enrolment in Nigerian Colleges of Education, causes and the solutions. The research evidence abounds that the students’ enrolment for science education in the Nigeria colleges of education reduces every year. The causes for this drawback are the crux of this article. The Nigerian college of education is an institution saddled with the responsibility of training teachers for the primary and secondary schools. Nonetheless, the colleges had been criticised for lack of standards in its admission policy and also of qualified academic personnel. The reviewed literature indicates that there are many challenges confronting colleges of education in Nigeria. Some of these are teachers’ inadequate pedagogical content knowledge (PCK), out-of-field teaching and low teachers self-efficacy. The paper however observed that this problem and others are the results of bad governance experiencing in the nation. Consequent upon these challenges, the students’ enrolment in science education continues to decline every year unabated. The paper identified many causes of the students’ enrolment among these are, the proliferation of private Colleges of Education, loss of interest by the students, lack of science equipment and many others. The paper suggested some recommendations to raise the standard of the Nigeria colleges of education and improve science education students’ enrolment. Among these suggestions is the full government commitment to the funding of the Colleges of Education’s academic programmes.
Contribution/ Originality
This study contributes to the existing literature on the science enrolment in Nigerian colleges of education. Principally, it provides an insight into the causes of the low enrolment in the Nigerian colleges of education. Essentially, suggestions for improving students’ enrolment was made at the end of the paper.


Science education, Science enrolment, Quality teacher, Pedagogy content knowledge, Self-efficacy, Out-of-field teaching.




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This study received no specific financial support.

Competing Interests:

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


Both authors contributed equally to the conception and design of the study.

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