PROBLEMS MILITATING AGAINST THE INTRODUCTION OF COMPUTER EDUCATION IN SECONDARY SCHOOL
Background to the Study
Computer education is of paramount importance to national development and it is on this premise that the government of Nigeria sought to introduce computer studies in the education system from primary through to tertiary institutions. The Ministry of Education stipulates that schools should offer technical and vocational subjects to students. At secondary school, a student should enroll for two technical/vocational subjects among which is Computer Studies. It’s against this background that the government went about distributing computer assessories to schools across the country. Complementing these efforts, private companies donated and distributed computers to various schools at the state and federal levels. Despite such efforts, analysis carried out shows that the majority of schools are not offering the subject (Jegede, 2003). This has been the situation prevailing even in the schools which received the donations of computer packages. This, therefore, has prompted this current study to find out why computer studies are not being undertaken in the majority of schools despite the significance of the subject to national development and in the face of support from the political and corporate leaderships.
Education systems around the world face formidable challenges that are taxing conventional strategies. Fresh approaches are needed to address persistent problems of the past and provide students with an education appropriate to the needs of a modern, information based global economy. Now, after more than two decades of unfulfilled promises to revolutionize education, computer and communication technologies are finally able to offer opportunities to significantly improve teaching and learning. Aduwa, 2005
In any educational system, the level of available resources places a restriction on the degree to which any new subject can be introduced into the school curriculum, especially where only the most basic facilities have so far been provided. But ICT is of such importance to the future industrial and commercial health of a country that investment in the equipment, teacher education, and support services necessary for the effective delivery of an ICT-based curriculum should rank high in any set of government priorities. The curriculum proposed takes account of these resource issues and specifies minimum requirements for effective delivery in different circumstances (UNESCO, 2004).
Reasonable computer studies are yet to start in Nigerian secondary schools, the computer-student ratio is small, funding by government has not been encouraging, computer education syllabus is unpopular among students and parents and thus hardly implemented, and teachers are inadequate to implement computer education (Jegede & Adelodun, 2003). Teachers in Nigerian secondary schools cannot implement computer education because majority of the teachers are not competent in basic computer operation and in the use of simple application software (Yusuf, 2005b).
Teachers require access to information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure for a number of reasons. These include their need to live as citizens in a world undergoing rapid and major transformations as a result of increased use of ICT, their need to embed ICT use in their teaching and administrative duties and, increasingly, their need to use ICT in their professional studies (Burnip, 2006). One of the millennium development goals of the Nigerian nation in the education industry is that schools (ICT) compliant. In response to this goal, government procured and distributed computers to schools. Those computers are now stored in principals’ offices unused in our schools nationwide. Mkpa (2007), has confirmed this in our secondary schools. In the wake of this, computer education and ICT compliance cannot be achieved. According to a study by Bukaliya and Mubika (2011), the qualifications of the majority of the teachers are farfrom being satisfactory due to lack of exposure to college curriculum that does not cater for ICT training. The teachers have poor practical skills in ICT usage since the majority of them could not even use the basic software in computers for the delivery of their lessons and indications are that the teachers lack the necessary skills and knowledge of computers in basic software usage. Studies by Ya`acob et al (2005) and so and Swatman (2006) on teachers` readiness for ICT generally, suggest that there is still a long way to go before schools can embrace on modern technology.
Due to the existing constraints in computer education implementation, remedial action needs to be taken. Lauand Sim (2008) propose the need to put in place measures to ensure that adequate access to technical support is provided. Lau and Sim (2008) established that teachers needed training which should be offered on a continuous, rather than a one off basis so that their computer knowledge is upgraded over time.
Computer is defined as an electronic device capable of performing a wide range of complex calculation at a very high speed. It can add, divided, subtract ad multiply. It can also be used for word processing and generation of report, memorandum as well as other operations that make life easier for man. Mkpa, (2007).
The computer developed just over four decades ago, has almost becomes inevitise in many countries, states, town, school even in an individual homes. Today, there are some places where one will find it difficult to operate without the knowledge of computer.
Computer not only dominates international communication and information but also has taken over almost all transactions in offices, homes and schools. No wonder this age has been described as “Age of information”. This implies that by the end of this century, four-sixth of us will be information workers and not manual workers Mkpa,. (2007).. Our jobs will be of process information and pass along to others, the result of the processing. The emphasis will be on production of information, storage and distribution of information in various forms.
All categories of workers such as lawyers, accountants, journalists, e.t.c. will be ineffective without the knowledge of computer. Nigeria like any other third world countries is taking up the challenge to meet the requirement of this technological development by embarking on computer literacy programmes.
The introduction of computer connotes that students at all level of education must be aware of this new and modern tool so that they can appreciate it, use it, understand how it works and learn how to apply it to solve their everyday problems. (Jone 1986). For the fact that the educational standard of any nation start from primary and secondary levels, it will be necessary for computer literacy programme to be integrated into the primary and secondary school curricula in order to achieve the lofty goal of computer literacy in our country, Nigeria.
Cost has been reported as one of the factors which influence provision and use of ICT services (Adomi, 2010). The cost of computers is too high for many schools to afford. Monthly Internet rates are exorbitant and the charges for satellite television are unaffordable for most people in Africa (Brakel and Chiseuga, 2003). This has made it difficult for Nigerian secondary schools to acquire and install ICT facilities for the use of teachers and students. Therefore for full implementation of computer education, government should be ready to provide ICT facilities to schools. Problem facing Nigeria and its ICT programmed is lack of workforce training (Goshit, 2006). Teaching as a profession in Nigeria is considered to be for poor people, therefore the few professional that are available prefer to work in companies and industries where they can earn better salaries. With this deplorable condition, teachers are not motivated to go the extra mile in assisting the students to acquire computer education (Oduroye, 2001).
Adequate timing is also required in the teaching and learning of computer. Therefore introduction of computer education demand time. For computer education to be fully implemented, teachers should be given adequate time to go for training. Because they can only teach computer subject when they are fully trained.
Statement of Problem
In view of the fact that students from both secondary and tertiary institution are immediate sources of manpower for industry and commerce, it is hoped that ICT literacy could have been taught to students in preparation for employment. However, this has not been the case for the majority of secondary school and tertiary institution. Most of the graduates who have gone out seeking for job also lack basic knowledge of computers despite being a prerequisite for employment in many organisations.
Some of the problem militating against the introduction computer education in secondary schools are lack of physical facilities, lack of adequate fund from government, lack of competent computer teachers. Even schools where computers exist, the students could not operate it due to the fact that they were been taught theoretical aspect from textbooks and not together with practical due to the fact that the teachers could not operate the computers and inadequate power supply. In view of this, the study intent to examine the problems militating against the introduction of computer education to the secondary school in Ekiti State.
Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of this study is to examine the problem militating against the introduction of computer education to the secondary schools in Ekiti West Local Government, Ekiti State.
Specifically, the study examined availability of computer resources in the schools, availability of trained manpower in teaching computer education in school, the attitude of the school community towards the teaching and learning of computers in schools, adequacy of time for computer lessons on the timetable and remedies to make sure computer education is fully implemented in schools.
The following research questions were raised to guide this study:
- Are computer resources available in the schools?
- Do you have trained manpower to teach computer science in the schools?
- What is the attitude of the school community towards the teaching and learning of computers in schools?
- Is time adequate for the computer lessons to be incorporated on the timetable?
- Are there enough fund to finance the introduction of computer in the schools?
- Are there enough physical facilities for computer teaching and learning?
- What remedies can be put in place to make sure computer education is fully implemented in schools?
Significance of the Study
The study will be of greater benefits to students, school management, parents and the society at large.
It would enable the student to understand problems militating against introduction of computer into secondary schools. This study would unveiled to government problem militating against the introduction of computer education in secondary schools. It would also unveiled to school management the effects of inadequate school facilities, inadequate funding and problem of incompetent computer teachers to the introduction of computer education in secondary school in Ekiti State.
The study would also contribute to existing knowledge and serve as a guide to students who may want to carry out research on similar research topic.
Delimitation of the Study
The scope of this study was basically on the problems militating against the introduction of computer education in secondary schools.
In order to keep the study within reasonable scope and time factor, the study was delimited to some selected secondary schools in the Ekiti West Local Government, Ekiti State.. The study considered a limited factors that could militate against the introduction of computer education in the secondary schools in Ekiti State.
Definition of Terms
Computer: Is defined as an electronic device which under, a stored program, accepts data, process them and produce the result of the processing.
Computer education: Is the process of learning or teaching about computers.
Hardware: This is the physical parts of the machine, which include the mechanical, and the electrical component of the Computer such as input and output devices, the CPU e.t.c.
Software: Is the programme that enables the computer to carry out operation as it has been instructed.
Memory: The Internal hardware in the computer that stores information for further use.
ROM (Real Only Memory): Is the type of memory that holds information permanently.
RAM (Random Access Memory): It is the type of memory in which information can only be written and read. It holds information temporarily.
Password: Is a set of characters used as a file name known only by the creator for security purpose.
Basic:An acronym for beginner’s all purpose symbolic instruction code. A high level language for beginner.
Data: Any kind of information composed of letters, number symbol e.t.c. which can be processed by a computer.
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