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A COMPARATIVE ASSESSMENT OF THE USE OF ICT IN THE TEACHING AND LEARNING OF THE BASIC SCIENCES IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS
1.1 Background of the study
The challenges of classroom instruction in Nigeria’s school system and research started changing dramatically with the emergence of new technologies which include Information and Communication Technology (ICT). This period of computer age had ushered in a new dimension of processing, preservation and dissemination of information among other vital roles of computer through the help of ICT. These days, ICT has had and is continuing to have an increasingly significant impact on all aspects of human life. ICT provides an avenue for people in all aspects of life to access and profit from the power of computer as a personal tool, to collaborate in groups and to disseminate information locally and globally. For a continuing global interaction in the international community and in a bid to solve the inter-cultural and language barriers that are part of the factors that result in global conflict in recent times, many countries of the world have taken steps to ensure that their citizens have access to information and communication technology through increased reliance on computer assistance in delivering their classroom instructions. In view of the fact that computer has become an inevitable instructional material/method for teaching and learning of Agricultural science, this paper explores how ICT must be harnessed to promote teaching and learning of Agricultural science.
Attitude is an important concept in social judgments and behaviors and thus, is one of the most important concepts in decision making (Venkatesh et al., 2003). As a result, a lot of research on the attitude of both students and Basic scienceteachers towards the use of ICT in teaching and learning had been done with outcome being either positive or negative. For instance Becta (2004) reported that negative attitude was a barrier towards integration of ICT in teaching and learning while Rhoda and Gerald (2000) found that positive attitudes towards ICT use are widely recognized as a necessary condition for effective computer use in teaching and learning. Similarly, study findings by Kubiatko and Halakova (2009) pinpointed that attitude towards use of ICT in teaching and learning in students was as a result of its impact. According to Selewyn (1999), integration of ICT in education environment depends, to a great extent, on Basic scienceteachers and student attitude towards their use. This view is supported by Slouti and Barton (2007) findings which indicated that ICT can motivate students in their learning by bringing variety into the lessons and at the same time sustaining Basic scienceteachers own interest in teaching. Myers and Halpin (2002) asserted that attitude of both students and Basic scienceteachers towards ICT use was a major predictor of future classroom use. It therefore appears that Basic scienceteachers’ and students’ attitude may influence adoption of ICT in teaching and learning Agricultural science.
Use of ICTs such as computer technology and internet is intended to enable Basic scienceteachers to facilitate learning more effectively and enhance students’ understanding of concepts which are expected to translate into expansion of Knowledge and improved examination outcomes. However, in Basic sciencetheir use has not produced desired outcomes in schools which offer computer studies in Rachuonyo South District where average performance of students in K.C.S.E. Basic scienceExaminations dropped from 6.7 to 4.10 between 2007 and 2009 despite the adoption of use of new ICTs such as computer technology and internet in 2005. It is not clear how attitude determines use of these new technologies in the study schools as far as students’ performance in K.C.S.E Basic scienceExaminations is concerned. There is no structured survey which has been undertaken to unearth the problem. Given this scenario, there is therefore, need to assess attitude as a determinant of use of these new ICTs in the implementation of secondary school Basic sciencecurriculum in schools which offer computer studies in Rachuonyo South District. This is the focus of this study. In this age of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), there is growing concern for the use of ICT resources such as the computer, scanner, printer, Intranet, Internet, e-mail, videophone systems, teleconferencing devices, wireless application protocols (WAP), radio and microwaves, television and satellites, multimedia computer and multimedia projector in curriculum implementation. In e-learning, curriculum content in the form of texts, visuals, e.g. pictures, posters, videos, audio/sound, multicolor images, maps, and graphics, can be simultaneously presented online to students in both immediate locations (classroom model of e-learning) and various geographical distances (Distance Education model of e-learning). E-learning in education is the wholesome integration of modern telecommunications equipment and ICT resources, particularly the internet, into the education system. Tracy (1995) defines the internet as the international network of communications in which computers in the Wide Area Network (WAN) talk to each other. Shavinina (2001) defines ICT as all the digital technologies, including: computer, scanner, printer, telephone, internet, digital satellite system (DSS), direct broadcast satellite (DBS), pocket-switching, fiber optic cables, laserdisc, microwaves, and multi-media systems for collection, processing, storage and dissemination of information all-over the world. E-learning as an aspect of ICT is relatively new in Nigeria’s educational system. It is a departure from the conventional approach in curriculum implementation. The main purpose of e-learning is to transform the old methods and approaches to curriculum implementation and not to silence the curriculum or to extinguish or erase the contents of curriculum. E-learning is driven by the curriculum. It should follow the curriculum and should not rob the curriculum of its essence.
E-learning should ensure effective pedagogy and curriculum implementation in the computer age. According to Nicholls and Nicholls (1980), Mkpa (1987), and Offorma (2002), curriculum implementation is the planning and execution of the contents of curriculum in order to bring about certain changes in the behavior of the students and the assessment of the extent to which the changes take place. The primary purposes of implementation is to achieve the objectives of instruction, and achieve retention and transfer of knowledge. E-learning is an instructional medium that permits alternative approaches to curriculum implementation in an ICT age. Richmond (1997) observed that, there is a great link between the curriculum and ICT and that there are three major areas that technology can influence learning, including:
Presentation, demonstration and the implementation of data using productivity tools. Use of curriculum – specific applications such as educational games, drills and practice, simulations, tutorials, virtual laboratory visualizations and graphics, representations of abstract concepts, musical composition and expert systems.
Use of information and resources on CD-Rom, online encyclopedia, interactive maps and atlases, electronic journals and other references.
Similarly, the role of ICT in curriculum implementation is recognized by the Nigeria National Policy on Education (FRN, 2004, p. 53) where it stated that, “the government shall provide facilities and necessary infrastructures for the promotion of ICT and e-learning.” It is against this background that the researcher intends to find out the extent of availability and use of e-learning materials by Basic scienceteachers in secondary schools.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
The call for application of e-learning in secondary education is to infuse and inject efficiency and effectiveness in curriculum implementation. However, in developing countries like Nigeria, e-learning is challenged with the problem of material devices such as computer, computer laboratories, internet and e-mail facilities, videophone systems and teleconferencing devices, fax and wireless applications, digital library, digital classrooms, multimedia systems and the problem of multimedia courseware development among others (Global Information Technology Report, 2005) . Other studies indicated that there is dearth of trained Basic scienceteachers for e-learning, lack of facilities, infrastructures and equipment (Ikemenjima, 2005; and Jegede&Owolabi, 2008).
The problem is that e-learning in secondary education is challenged by the new technologies in terms of availability and use. It is against this background that the present study is carried out to determine the extent of availability and use of e-learning materials. Second, it seeks to identify possible strategies for availability and use in curriculum implementation “Lack of/inadequate inadequate ICT facilities in schools” ranks second with 108 respondents (61 percent). This finding is corroborated by Ndiku (2003) cited by Wims and Lawler (2007) who discovered that insufficient numbers of computers and peripheral devices inhibit deployment of ICT by Basic scienceteachers and by Plante and Beattie (2004) who observed that inadequate ICTs was a challenge to integration of technologies in Canadian schools. Similarly, Okwudishu (2005) discovered that unavailability of some ICT components in the schools hampered Basic scienceteachers’ use of ICTs. This problem may be due to underfunding (Enakrire and Onyenenia, 2007)
“Frequent electricity interruption” ranks third with 101 respondents (57 percent). Electricity failure has been a persistent problem militating against ICT application and use in Nigeria (Adomi, 2005a; Adomi, Omodeko, and Otole, 2004; Adomi, Okiy, and Ruteyan, 2003). This makes the few schools with ICT facilities unable to use them regularly.
“Poor ICT policy/project implementation strategy” attracted 94 respondents (63 percent).
The Nigerian Federal Government’s 1988 policy introduced computer education to the high
schools (Okebukola, 1997). The only way this policy was implemented was the distribution
of computers to federal government high schools, which were never used for computer
education of the students. No effort was made to distribute computer to state government or
private schools. Although the government planned to integrate ICTs into the school system
and provide schools with infrastructure, concerted efforts have not been made to provide facilities and trained personnel. Thus, most schools do not yet offer ICT training programmes (Goshit, 2006). The NEPAD e-Schools Project is expected to take care of an estimated 600,000 African schools. This means that not all schools will benefit from this initiative. Most countries participating in the NEPAD e-Schools Project have an ICT development policy or are creating one, but very few have clear implementation plans (Aginam, 2006). Evoh (2007) observes that despite the recognized role of ICTs in improving education, ICTs remain a low financial priority in most educational systems in Africa. He further observes that most countries in the region lack resources for a sustainable integration of ICTs in education, and that African countries face numerous competing development priorities. These range from budgetary constraints, management challenges, and shortage of Basic scienceteachers and other educational resources, to the dreadful impacts of HIV/AIDS on education. These are issues that vie for the attention of local policy makers. While all countries in the region acknowledge the strategic role of ICTs in development, only a few have established a comprehensive policy. When such policies exist, they tend to remain unclear and make little reference to implementation (James, 2001, cited by Evoh, 2007).
“Inadequate ICT manpower in the schools” was indicated by 91 respondents (52 percent). The main problem facing Nigeria and its ICT programme is 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, Basic scienceteachers are not motivated to go the extra mile in assisting the students to acquire computer education (Oduroye,n.d).
“High Cost of ICT Facilities” attracted 83 respondents (47 percent). Cost has been reported as one of the factors which influence provision and use of ICT services (Adomi, 2006). The cost of computers is too high for many 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 seconndary schools to acquire and install ICT facilities for the use of Basic scienceteachers and students.
A total of 70 respondents (40 percent) indicated “Lack of/poor perception of ICTs among Basic scienceteachers and administrators” There is widespread ignorance and misconception about ICTs amongst Nigerians (Ighoroje and Ajayi, n.d). One of the major inhibitors to Nigeria fully embracing ICTs is the average Nigerian’s general lack of exposure to them. For most Nigerians, information technology is still something unfamiliar, distant, and mysterious. Rather than being seen as a tool for personal and national development, information technology is seen as a hurdle (NITDA, 2003). Some Nigerians are not aware of the existence and importance of the Internet (Adomi, Okiy, and Ruteyan, 2003). It has been reported that 75 percent of the Basic scienceteachers in the NEPAD’s e-Schools Project have no or very limited experience and expertise regarding ICTs in education.
Lack of/inadequate inadequate ICT facilities in schools .
Frequent electricity interruption.
Non integration into the school curriculum.
Poor ICT policy/project implementation strategy .
Inadequate ICT manpower in the schools.
High cost of ICT facilities/components.
Limited school budget .
Lack of/limited ICT skills among Basic scienceteachers.
Lack of/poor perception of ICTs among Basic scienceteachers and administrators
Inadequate educational software .
Poor management on the parts of school administrators and government .
Lack of maintenance culture .
Lack of interest in ICT application/use on the part of students.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
i. To evaluate Basic scienceteachers’ attitude towards ICT use in the implementation of Basic sciencecurriculum in selected secondary schools in Rachuonyo South District, Kaduna state.
ii. To find out students’ attitude towards ICT use in the implementation of Basic sciencecurriculum in selected secondary schools in Rachuonyo South District, Kaduna state.
iii. To compare the attitude of Basic scienceteachers and students across gender in the implementation of Basic sciencecurriculum in selected secondary schools in Rachuonyo South District, Kaduna state.
(iv) To know the constraints of applying ICT teachiong and learning of Basic sciencein secondary schools in Kaduna state.
(v) To justify the fact that lack of knowledge of ICT by Basic scienceteachers is one of the major constraints in the use of ICT in teaching and learning of Basic sciencein secondary schools.
(vi) To evaluate the possible strategies for improving the use of e-learning materials in secondary schools.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
i. How can one evaluate Basic scienceteachers’ attitude towards ICT use in the implementation of Basic sciencecurriculum in selected secondary schools in Rachuonyo South District, Kaduna state?
ii. What are the students’ attitude towards ICT use in the implementation of Basic sciencecurriculum in selected secondary schools in Rachuonyo South District, Kaduna state?
(iii) What are the constraints involve in applying ICT teachiong and learning of Basic sciencein secondary schools in Kaduna state?
(v) Is lack of knowledge of ICT by Basic scienceteachers is one of the major constraints in the use of ICT in teaching and learning of Basic sciencein secondary schools?
(V) What are the possible strategies for improving the use of e-learning materials in secondary schools?
1.5 REARCH HYPOTHESIS
H0: One cannot evaluate Basic scienceteachers’ attitude towards ICT use in the implementation of Basic science curriculum in selected secondary schools in Rachuonyo South District, Kaduna state.
H1: One can evaluate Basic science teachers’ attitude towards ICT use in the implementation of Basic science curriculum in selected secondary schools in Rachuonyo South District, Kaduna state.
H0:There are no significant relationship between students’ attitude and ICT use in the Basic science in selected secondary schools in Rachuonyo South District, Kaduna state?
H0: There are no constraints involve in applying ICT teachiong and learning of Basic sciencein secondary schools in Kaduna state.
H1: There are a lot constraints involve in applying ICT teachiong and learning of Basic sciencein secondary schools in Kaduna state.
H0: Lack of knowledge of ICT by Basic scienceteachers is not one of the major constraints in the use of ICT in teaching and learning of Basic sciencein secondary schools.
H1: Lack of knowledge of ICT by Basic scienceteachers is one of the major constraints in the use of ICT in teaching and learning of Basic sciencein secondary schools.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This research work centered on the constraints to effective use of ICT in teaching and learning of Basic sciencein secondary schools in Kaduna stateThis topic is of major interests which will benefit the entire public, students, researchers, lecturers and so on.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This research work centered on constraints to effective use of ICT in teaching and learning of Basic sciencein secondary schools in Kaduna state.
1.8 LIMITATION OF STUDY
Despite the limited scope of this study certain constraints were encountered during the research of this project. Some of the constraints experienced by the researcher were given below:
i. TIME: This was a major constraint on the researcher during the period of the work. Considering the limited time given for this study, there was not much time to give this research the needed attention.
ii. FINANCE: Owing to the financial difficulty prevalent in the country and it’s resultant prices of commodities, transportation fares, research materials etc. The researcher did not find it easy meeting all his financial obligations.
iii. INFORMATION CONSTRAINTS: Nigerian researchers have never had it easy when it comes to obtaining necessary information relevant to their area of study from private business organization and even government agencies. Basic scienceteachers in secondary schools in Kaduna state find it difficult to reveal their internal operations. The primary information was collected through face-to-face interview getting the published materials on this topic meant going from one library to other which was not easy.
Although these problems placed limitations on the study, but it did not prevent the researcher from carrying out a detailed and comprehensive research work on the subject matter.
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Education: Education is a complex social undertaking, and there is no easy way to analyze the many dimensions of the policies involved. Nonetheless, we can begin with the simple characterization of higher education as a process involving the allocation and use of available resources to achieve certain instructional, social and/or economic objectives
“Computer literacy” : “Computer literacy”is a commonly used term in the business world, but it is not precisely defined. Computer literacy, in general, is being knowledgeable about the computer and its applications (Rochester & Rochester, 1991). Such knowledge appears to have two dimensions: conceptual, and operational (Winter, Chudoba, & Gutek,1997). The conceptual dimension includes an understanding of the inner workings of a computer or general computer terminology.
Literacy: Literacy means the ability to read and write.6 In this study, the term “literacy” is the ability to read programs and instructions. Teachers. A teacher is a person employed in an official capacity for the purpose of giving instruction to students in an educational institution, whether public or private.
Competence : In this study, “competence”, refers to the ability of high school teachers to apply their teaching skills, classroom management skills, and evaluation skills in the field of teaching. Computer. Is an electronic device capable of interpreting and executing programmed command for input, output
Computer-assisted instruction” (CAI): Computer-assisted instruction” (CAI) refers to instruction or remediation presented on a computer. Many educational computer programs are available online and from computer stores and textbook companies. They enhance teacher instruction in several ways.
Computer assisted instruction involves using computer technology in order to teach. This can be used by a teacher in addition to lecture.
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