African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6574

Full Length Research Paper

Evaluation of the perception and awareness of Food Science and Technology amongst high school learners in Limpopo province of South Africa

Jideani AIO1, Takalani T.1, Silungwe H.1, Kyei K. A.2*, Beswa D.1, Kgatla T. E.1 and Mashau M. E.1
1Department of Food Science and Technology, School of Agriculture, University of Venda, Private Bag x5050, Thohoyandou 0950, Limpopo province, South Africa. 2Department of Statistics, School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences, University of Venda, Private Bag x5050, Thohoyandou 0950, Limpopo province, South Africa.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 15 May 2013
  •  Published: 06 June 2013

Abstract

Important as Food Science and Technology (FST) may be there has been a general down trend in the number of students’ enrolment in educational institutions worldwide. Scarcity of food scientists and technologists in developing countries is a global and emerging critical problem requiring the attention of academia, industry and government in addressing global food security. One of the barriers to achieving ideal FST education is lack of motivation of high school learners (HSL), hence the need for this study to evaluate the perception and awareness of FST amongst HSL as a tool for promoting FST. Majority of the HSL from the Limpopo province gain entry into University of Venda, while others to tertiary institutions in the country and elsewhere in the world. This study, conducted between June and December 2011, covered all five districts in the province with 1539 high schools. Structured questionnaire was used to capture information from the HSL. Only 25% of learners are aware of FST as a discipline. Notwithstanding, 60.7% would want to enroll for FST at the University level. Periodic awareness activities, taking our product to the learners and also targeting teachers, will lead to better understanding of FST and invariably impact positively on HSL subscription to higher institutions. If developing continents like Africa will overcome food insecurity deliberate effort should be geared in making sure FST, as a discipline, receives the proper image and boost in enrolment.

 

Key words: Food Science and Technology, high schools, learners, awareness, perception, food security, Limpopo province, South Africa.