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THE ROLE OF THE USE, COMPETENCE OF TEACHERS AND STUDENTS IN ICT TO TEACHING AND LEARNING IN GOVT SEC. SCHOOLS OF GWAGWALADA LGA

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study was to investigate the competence of teachers and the use of Information Communication Technology (ICT) in teaching and Learning in Gwagwalada LGA government secondary schools. The focus was on three main subject matters: ICT use and competence, teacher and student, and ICT infrastructure and teaching practices. The study is closely connected to the national educational policy, which has aimed strongly at supporting the implementation of ICT in pedagogical practices at all institutional levels. Six research questions were formulated to guide the researcher investigate the phenomena. A descriptive survey design was used to collect data from the field through the use of a questionnaire and an observation schedule. The result indicated that ICT has not been successfully integrated into teaching and learning in schools. In general, students are capable and motivated users of computers. Some students have the skills to use new kinds of applications and their ICT skills are wider although not necessarily adequate. Teachers’ skills are more heterogeneous.  The large majority of teachers have sufficient skills for everyday and routine working practices, but many of them still have difficulties in finding a meaningful integration of ICT into teaching and learning. Most teachers reported that the use of ICT in learning and teaching was slow in the past years and proposed upgrading of students' computer labs and accelerating internet connectivity in the schools. Further, teachers’ good ICT competence helps them to adopt new pedagogical practices and integrate ICT in a meaningful way. The results also showed that students are capable and motivated users of new technology and their ICT skills are wide, although not necessarily adequate; the working habit might be ineffective and wrong. Some students have a special kind of ICT-related adaptive expertise, which develops in a beneficial interaction between students and teachers, and individual interest and activity. The most common goal to student use of ICT is challenged by the internet, digital communication, and the need to filter information. Since students’ ICT skills can be translated to increased creativity, which includes innovation and a productive workforce, to develop the capacity to ICT which supports the country’s knowledge base.  The findings further indicated that ICT integration realized some challenges such as the availability of a sufficient number of ICT tools, lack of motivation and support, and lack of technical support. The challenges are either teacher-level (Micro-level), school level (Meso-level), or system level (Macro-level). These barriers have hindered the successful implementation of ICT into teaching and learning processes. The study also recommended that teachers should be given sufficient training on how to use ICT tools to enhance teaching and learning in schools. The study also recommended that students should be equipped with ICT skills such as Microsoft software applications such as word, excel, and access. Finally, further research on the perception of teachers and students towards the use of ICT in enhancing teaching and learning and relevant strategies for using ICT to improve teaching and learning practices should be conducted.                                     

           

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1. Background to the study

The competence of teachers and the use of Information Communication Technology (ICT) in education and training has been a priority in most European countries during the last decade, but progress has been uneven (Pelgrum, 2004). In most developed countries such as the UK, schools have embedded the use of ICT in teaching and learning into the curriculum and demonstrate a high level of effective and appropriate use to support teaching and learning Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, (OECD, 2004).

 

Furthermore, (UNESCO, 2005) reiterates that those countries have integrated ICT into their education system because of its profound implications such as enabling teachers and students to construct rich multi-sensory, interactive environments with almost unlimited teaching and learning potential.  According to (Unwin, 2004), computers and the internet can be used to increase teachers’ basic skills and subject mastery, to provide resources that can later be used in the classroom, and to help teachers build familiarity with specific instructional approaches. (Privateer, 1999) also notes that ICT is supposed to add value to education and to support more effective pedagogy to provide knowledge for learners and by enhancing communication that promotes learning. In addition, as ICT becomes more pervasive, computer-based equipment is integrated into every aspect of schools operation, having thus an influence on the student’s performance. A number of researchers including (Iding et al, 2000) among others assert that the use of ICT in teaching and learning can help learners become more knowledgeable. In addition to efforts to employ ICT to improve learning, the emergence of the knowledge economy has also brought a much greater emphasis on education (Wong, 2003).

 

The rapid growth of the global economy and the information-based society has pressurized education systems around the world to use ICTs to teach the knowledge and skills they need in the 21st Century (World Bank, 2004).  The growth of the ICT sector has challenged teachers to prepare for effective use of the new teaching and learning tools in their teaching profession.  (UNESCO, 2002) (Laferreire, Breuleux, and Bracewell, 1999) argue that there are significant benefits of using ICT as part of the teaching and learning process as long as teachers recognize the relationship between the use of ICT and the overall curriculum. ( Haddad and Draxler,2005) point out that different ICTs do make some valuable contributions to various parts of educational development and effective learning through expanding access, promoting efficiency, improving the quality of learning, enhancing quality teaching, and improving management systems.

 

On the contrary, many developing countries in Africa are living in a world of technological deficiency, that is, lack of access to knowledge that is learned via the internet (OECD, 2006). Additionally, if Africa aims to better prepare its citizens for the challenges of the 21st century, it must also foster thorough integration of ICT in order to tap new, attractive, promising, and diversified potentials. In cognizance of the critical opportunities accorded by ICT in service delivery as well as teaching and learning, the governments of many African countries have over the years invested heavily in the requisite ICT infrastructure.

New partnership for African’s Development, (NEPAD, 2003). Grabe and Grabe, (2007) emphasize that technologies can play an important role in enabling students to gain skills and knowledge in the teaching and learning process. In Nigeria, this sessional paper NO1 of 2005 emphasizes that ICT skills play a key role in promoting the economic development of a country MOEST (2005). As a result, the government recognized that an ICT literate workforce is a foundation on which Nigeria can acquire the status of knowledge and economy.

 

The Government as a result has made education the avenue for equipping the nation with ICT skills in order to create vibrant and sustainable economic growth. The National ICT policy was launched in 2006 in response to the issue raised in seasonal paper NO1 of 2005 according to MOE, (2006). It was also meant to assure the nation achieves part of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).  The policy framework of the Ministry of Education indicates that there are a number of challenges concerning access to and use of ICT in Nigeria, including the high level of poverty, limited rural electrification, and power disruption. Most government secondary schools have some computer equipment.  However, this could consist of a few computers in the schools' operations.

Very few government secondary schools have sufficient ICT tools for teachers and students. Even in the schools, which have computers, the students-computers ratio is 150:1 (Farell, 2007).

 

1.2. Statement of the problem

The competence of teachers and the use of information and communication technology (ICT) in Nigerian education is lagging behind expectations and desires. This was revealed by the fact while most government secondary schools have some computer equipment; only a fraction was equipped with the basic ICT infrastructure necessary for teaching and learning. Essentially, ICT in education is used to promote information literacy that is the ability to access use, evaluate information from different sources so as to enhance teaching and learning, solve problems and generate new knowledge. Furthermore, United Nations and the World Bank affirms that ICT can increase access to education network for students, teachers and broaden the availability of quality education material for emerging global economies.

 

According to (MOEST, 2003) if government secondary schools in Nigeria provide access to ICTs, there would be an improvement in quality education that would enable improve the productivity and competitiveness of Nigeria’s human resource pool by developing a highly-skilled human resource base to respond to social and economic challenges.

However, was noted that Gwagwalada LGA in Homabay Abuja like many other LGAs in Abuja was still limited to computer use in government secondary schools. Statistics from the DEOs office Gwagwalada South indicated that only eight Government secondary schools had embedded the integration of ICT out of eighty-five Government secondary schools in the LGA. This signified that over 90% of the schools had not embraced ICT in their curriculum. This described the use of ICT in the LGA as almost negligible. This meant that the learning outcomes of the students in government secondary in the LGA might be dismal due to the absence of ICT in most of the government secondary schools in the LGA.

This shortfall in learning outcomes created a “gap” because it is a government secondary schooling where returns to student education are highest and it is particularly important to acquire skills and competencies needed to become ideally empowered to respond to social change in societies for the better. But without ICT in education, especially students in Gwagwalada South might lack the social empowerment that can make them compete with others favorably. Thus, failure to re-shape education practices to embrace ICT in schools in the LGA might be the main bottleneck preventing the students from acquiring equitable access to educational opportunities for quality education. Therefore, the researcher intended to find out the use of computers in the teaching and learning process and its subsequent effects in Gwagwalada LGA schools.

 

 

1.3. Purpose of the study

The purpose of this study was to establish the competence of teachers and the use of Information Communication Technology (ICT) in teaching and learning in government secondary schools in Gwagwalada LGA, FCT Abuja.

 

 

 

1.4. Objectives of the study

The objectives of this study were as follows:

  1. To examine the availability of ICT tools for use in enhancing teaching and learning.
  2. To establish the extent to which teachers were endowed with skills on ICT use in enhancing teaching and learning.
  • To investigate the principals’ and teachers’ attitude towards the use of computers in teaching and learning.
  1. To establish the students’ attitudes towards the use of computers in teaching and learning.

 

1.5. Research questions

Based on the objectives of the study, the following were the research questions for examination:

  1. To what extent had government secondary schools in Gwagwalada LGA established ICT tools for use in enhancing teaching and learning?
  2. To what extent were teachers endowed with skills on ICT use in enhancing teaching and learning?
  • What were the principals' and teachers’ attitudes towards the use of computers in teaching and learning?
  1. Which were the factors that encouraged the use of ICTs in enhancing teaching and learning processes?

 

 

1.6. Significance of the study

ICTs have the potential to play a powerful role in enhancing teaching and learning in schools and preparing students to acquire skills, knowledge, and competencies to enable them to compete in the emerging global ‘knowledge' economy. Data and information obtained in this study would hopefully be used to provide various education stakeholders with information that ICT integration in schools held a great promise in developing economies like Nigeria.  The findings could also help the Ministry of Education (MOE) in the formulation of policies and strategies that can be used to enhance the academic standards in our schools. The study will also make possible recommendations towards increasing the use of ICTs in enhancing teaching and learning processes.

 

In addition, the study provided information to curriculum developers in Nigeria such as K.I.E on the benefit of computers as an instructional model. Furthermore, KNEC might benefit by determining which approach of

instruction can lead to better achievements in examinations. Finally, the study can also help other researchers and educational administrators in strengthening the educational theories behind ICT use in schools.

 

1.7. Limitations of the study

The use of ICT in teaching and learning is considered to be very crucial and therefore little time for the respondents to respond to the questionnaire would make the findings absolute. The principals, teachers, and students may have given responses that seemed not to portray the actual phenomena in the study because most of the schools were in their early phase of ICT integration into teaching and learning characterized by patchy and coordinated provision and use. Further, the schools were far apart and therefore, the long-distance associated with poor road network within the LGA would negatively affect the study. It was also not possible to relate improvement in teaching and learning on only the use of ICT because many unobservable factors might also influence better outcomes of teaching and learning in schools.

 

1.8. Delimitations of significant terms

The study was conducted in government secondary schools that use computer-assisted approach to learning. The scope of the study was delimited to schools that had had ICT integration in their process of learning for the last three years since the introduction of ICT in the school. The research was conducted in schools that had had at least 10 computers and using the computers for instructional purposes.

 

 

1.9. Basic Assumptions of the study

The study was based on the following assumptions:

  1. The information given by the respondents was true and free from bias.
  2. That there could be a positive impact if ICT is used appropriately in teaching and learning. iii) That the information given by the respondents was treated as confidential.

 

1.10. Organization of the study

The study is organized into five chapters. Chapter one presents a general introduction and includes the background to the study, the statement of the problem, the purpose of the study, objectives of the study, research questions, significance,  limitations,  delimitations,  basic assumptions of the study, definition of significant terms, and the organization of the study. Chapter two covers literature reviews on us of ICT in teaching and learning in government secondary schools, the theoretical background in the use of ICT in teaching and learning, and the conceptual framework of ICT use in government secondary schools. Chapter three describes the research methodology to be used. This included the research design, target population, sample and sampling procedure, and data analysis techniques. Chapter four focused on data analysis, interpretation, and discussion of findings. Chapter five contains the summary, research findings, discussions, conclusions, and recommendations of the study.

 

 

1.11. Definition of terms

The following terminologies have been used throughout this study:

Computer:  refers to an Electronic machine operated under the control of instructions stored in its own memory, that can accept data (input) manipulate data according to specific rules (process) produce results (out-put), and store the results for future use.

Computer literacy:- refers to people being able to use computer technology to facilitate the completion of necessary tasks and the solution of problems.

Curriculum:  refers to a set of courses, and their content offered at school or university.

E-learning:  refers to the purposeful use of electronic systems or computers in support of the learning process, Allen 2003.

Hardware:   refers to tangible components of computers including processors, input, output communication, and memory.

ICT Integration:  refers to the process of using any ICT (Information resources on the web, multi-media programmes in CD-ROMs, learning objects, or other tools) to enhance student teaching, William, 2003.

Impact: refers to the overall achievement of an intervention on the educational system and can be described by a variety qualitative of indicators such as improvements in national test results or improved learning in schools’ depending on the policy target. It is the end-point of an intervention involving input, process, output, and outcome.

Informal learning:  It refers to the life-long process whereby every individual acquires attitudes, values, skills, and knowledge from daily experiences and the educative influences and resources in him or her environment, from the library and the ICTs, Colley, H. Hodkinson, P & Malcom J. 2002.

Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs):  refers to networks that provide new opportunities for teaching, learning, and training through the delivery of digital contents, Prytherch 2000: 357.  For the purpose of this study and in the context of the curriculum, ICTs will refer to the range of tools and techniques relating to computer-based hardware and software, to information sources like the internet, audio and videotapes, CD-ROMs, and DVDs.

Integration: refers to a sense of completeness or wholeness, Earle, 2002; by which essential elements of a system are seamlessly combined together to make a whole.

Pedagogy:  refers to what the teachers do when they interact with children to support their learning.  (Most educators would consider that pedagogy encompasses the beliefs and actions of teachers including their teaching strategies, the organization of learning experiences, and the learning environment generally.

Questionnaire:  refers to information data collection to be undertaken that consist of students, teachers, and administrators on the resources required and ICT assisted educational support.

Software:  refers to sets of instructions and data used by computers, sometimes referred to as computer programmes.

Student-centered teaching: refers to teaching that allows students to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills, foster independent learning, and enable students to be responsible for learning and collaborate with other contacts.                                              

 

 

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