IMPEDIMENTS TO THE EFFECTIVE LEARNING OF COMPUTER STUDIES IN JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS
This study sought to investigate the impediments to the effective learning of Computer Studies in junior secondary schools in Ikwo Local Government Area of Ebonyi State. The researcher developed five research questions to guide the study. A survey research design was adopted for the study. There were 540 students that formed the sample of the study. A simple random sampling technique was used to select twelve junior secondary schools from the twenty-two junior secondary schools within the study area. From each of the twelve junior secondary schools, forty-five (45) junior secondary school students were selected across the three levels (JSS1, JSS2, and JSS3) using a simple random sampling technique, bringing the total to 540 students that formed the sample of the study. The researcher developed a 4-point, 25-item Likert type questionnaire called Computer Studies Questionnaire (COMPUSQ). (COMPUSQ) was subjected to both validity and reliability tests, for which an internal consistency of 0.92 was obtained using the Cronbach Procedure. Mean and the standard deviation was used for answering the research questions. Findings from the re-revealed that lack of qualified computer studies teachers, lack of computer facilities, improper choice of teaching method, lack of electricity, and wrong selection of instructional materials, are the major problems militating against the effective learning of computer studies in junior secondary schools in Ikwo Local Government Area. The researcher recommended that the government should strive to employ qualified computer studies teachers to teach the subject, and junior secondary schools should be equipped with computer facilities for effective learning of computer studies. The researcher concluded that it is highly imperative to address the problems identified by this study so that learning of computer studies in junior secondary schools will be easier, interesting, and meaningful.
CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION Background to the Study
The world is advancing at a rapid rate and events have moved to the electronic stage with a computer at the center. This development has brought a lot of innovations and revolution into teaching and learning. The 3R’s (reading, writing, and arithmetic), which forms the nucleus of the old system of education have witnessed a series of literacy reforms. The world is now in the age of technology, hence there is a need to keep abreast with time.
One of the ways of achieving this is through the introduction of computers into our institutions of learning. Ugoji (2006) explains a computer as an electronic machine that performs tasks, such as calculations or electronic communication under the control of a set of instructions called programs. The programs usually reside within the computer and are retrieved as processed by the computer. He went further into defining the computer as an electronic machine that has the ability to accept data, process data, and retrieve data i.e. give out the result as information. Okolo (2007) describes the term ‘computer’ as an electronic machine or gadget that accepts data as input and processes them electronically to produce the desired output or information with the aid of set instructions.
A computer can be generally defined as an electronic device that accepts data, processes the data, and brings out the result of the data as information. The computer is used in our educational system to enhance teaching and learning. In this case, teaching according to Anyanwu (2006) means a systematic, rational, and organized process of imparting knowledge, attitude, and skills in accordance with professional principles. Wikipedia (2010) describes learning as a change in behavior based on previous experience. This learning, therefore, involves the processing of various types of information.
Computer educationis of paramount importance to national development and it is on this premise that the Federal government of Nigeria sought to introduce computer studies in the education system from primary through to secondary schools. 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.
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, 2002). Reasonable computer studies are yet to start in Nigerian secondary schools, the computer-student ratio is small, funding by the 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 & Owolabi, 2003). Teachers in Nigerian secondary schools cannot implement computer education because the majority of the teachers are not competent in basic computer operation and in the use of simple application software (Yusuf, 2005). 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).
Aside from teacher competencies with regards to computer instruction, learners are also faced with a great number of problems that hinder their understanding of computer studies. It is on this background that this study was conducted to bring to light these factors that militate against the effective learning of computer studies in secondary schools, and suggest ways to overcome the problems for a more enhanced and effective teaching-learning process.
Statement of the Problem
The world as it is today has become computerized. That is to say that everything and almost all the activities of today are computerized. Going by this, it, therefore, becomes imperative that everybody should have the knowledge of computer, starting from the junior secondary or even primary school. This is very important for young children in order to be able to cope with any computer challenges that may arise.
Due to the fact that computer education has failed to take off in the majority of schools in Nigeria, fears are that technological development may be a pipe dream for the country. Given this scenario, it is necessary for this study to look into factors militating against the effective learning of computer studies in secondary schools. The question to be answered by this study is: what are these factors that have impeded the effective learning of computer studies in secondary schools?
Purpose of the Study
The overall purpose of this study is to identify the impediments to the effective learning of computer studies in junior secondary schools in Ikwo local government area of Ebonyi State. Specifically, the study will identify:
i. If lack of qualified teachers hinders the effective learning of Computer Studies in junior secondary schools.
ii. If inadequate computer facilities hinder the effective learning of Computer Studies in junior secondary schools.
iii. If the method of teaching adopted by teachers can impede the effective learning of Computer Studies in junior secondary schools.
iv. If a lack of electricity or inadequate power supply hampers the effective learning of Computer Studies in junior secondary schools.
v. If the lack of or improper choice of instructional materials will impede the effective learning of Computer Studies in junior secondary schools.
Significance of the Study
The findings of the study will be helpful to the teachers of computer studies, the learners, as well as the state government’s Ministry of Education.
The teachers will benefit because it will avail them the opportunity of discovering the most effective teaching method to use and the instructional materials suitable for learning computer studies in junior secondary schools. It will also enable them to discover the areas that they need to improve on.
It will equally enable students to discover their weaknesses in the study of computer studies and make appropriate re-adjustments for a more improved understanding.
To the Ministry of Education, the study will be helpful to enable them to know the kind of ICT materials to provide schools with. It will also guide them in conducting better teacher-recruitment exercises in order to ensure that the best-qualified teachers are employed to teach computer studies in junior secondary schools.
Scope of the Study
This study is focused on investigating the impediments to the effective learning of computer studies in junior secondary schools in Ikwo local government area of Ebonyi State, Nigeria. Only public junior secondary schools in Ikwo Local Government Area was considered for the study.
The following research questions were formulated by the researcher to guide the study:
1. Does the lack of qualified teachers to hinder the effective learning of Computer Studies in junior secondary schools?
2. Does inadequate computer facilities hamper the effective learning of Computer Studies in junior secondary schools?
3. Does the method of teaching adopted by the teacher impede the effective learning of Computer Studies in junior secondary schools?
4. Does the lack of electricity or inadequate power supply impede the effective learning of Computer Studies in junior secondary schools?
5. Does the lack of or improper choice of instructional materials contribute to the effective learning of Computer Studies in junior secondary schools?.