The present study aimed at developing a Home Economics Extension Programme for the socio-economic uplift of the urban underprivileged women. The study was based on the theory of extension of Home Economics Education, given by Smith Lever in 1914. Two areas of Lahore viz, Basti Saidan Shah and the Servant Colony Aitchison College, were selected for this purpose. Randomly selected 110 households from each of the two areas, formed the universe of the study. The study was completed in four phases.
In the first phase, a general survey of the selected 220 households was conducted. The purpose of the survey was to identify the socio-economic status and needs of the women folk and to pin-point the areas of home-life practices where improvement was imperative so as to help design a Home Economics Extension Programme. Relevant data were collected through an interview schedule. Descriptive statistical techniques were used for analysis of the data and frequency in percent was used for measuring and describing findings of the survey.
The second stage of the study was the developmental phase which comprised: a) development of instructional programme b) development of criterion tests A and B c) development of schedule B.
On the bases of the findings of the survey, two instructional units, 'Tailoring and Embroidery' from the area of 'Clothing and Textile' and' Food and. Cooking Practices' from the area of 'Foods and Nutrition' were selected for the Extension Programme. Instructional objectives were formulated and the two instructional units were developed in the light of the objectives. Validity of the instructional objectives and the curricular content was determined by a panel of Home Economics experts in 'Clothing and Textile‚€™ and 'Foods and Nutrition'. The two criterion tests A and B were developed. Test A was a performance test, to measure skill abilities and Test B was an objective type test, to measure knowledge of the subjects. Schedule B was also developed at this stage of the study. It was used to evaluate impact of the Extension Programme on the home-life practices of the subjects. In the third phase of the study, the instructional units were implemented experimentally in class. A sample of 60 females from each of the two localities was drawn from the initial sample of 220 households. They were further split into two subgroups each of 30 subjects to serve as experimental and control groups. Training was then given to the experimental sub-groups for a period of six months in two welfare centres conveniently located in their respective localities. The instructional responsibilities were carried out by the researcher and two equally qualified teachers. The 'randomized control group post-test only' design was adopted for the experiment. Henceforth, the experimental and control groups were post-tested at the completion of the training. The difference between mean scores of the groups on the post-tests, served as a measure to judge efficiency of the instructional programme.
The fourth phase of the study focused on evaluation of the extension programme. It was completed in two steps, a) evaluation of the efficiency of the training programme and b) evaluation of the impact of the extension programme on the socio-economic conditions (use of skills and improvement in home-life practices) of the subjects. The two hypotheses formulated for the purpose of evaluation of the instructional programme were:
1. There is no significant difference in the income generating skills of the underprivileged women with or without the application of Home Economics Programme.
2. There is no significant difference in the basic knowledge of foods and cooking practices of the underprivileged women with or without the application of Home Economics Extension Programme. Hypotheses No.1 and 2 were put to test immediately on completion of the experiment and were rejected on the bases of statistical analysis. After applying one tailed t-test it was concluded that the training programme proved effective for developing income generating skills and for enhancing knowledge related to foods and cooking practices of the subjects. .
Evaluation of the impact of the extension programme on the socio-economic conditions (use of acquired knowledge and skills) was carried out, six months after completion of the experiment. Schedule B was administered to both the groups twice. It was administered at the beginning of the experiment and then six months after completion of the experiment. Responses of the subjects were analysed and described in percent frequencies. The difference between frequencies of responses of the subjects before the experiment and frequencies of responses, six months after completion of the experiment, were used to measure and ascertain impact of the programme on the socio-economic status of the subjects.
Findings of the study depicted a trend towards improvement in economic and social conditions of the subjects.