INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY (ICT): AN INTEGRAL PART OF INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS REQUIRED IN TEACHING AND LEARNING OF CHRISTIAN RELIGIOUS STUDIES IN SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS
CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION
Background of the Study
The place of Religious Education in our educational system can never be over-emphasized. This is why it was introduced to enable us imbibe its values. According to Federal Republic of Nigeria (2004), the goals and objectives of education in Nigeria includes: Building
a. a free and democratic society
b. a just and egalitarian society
c. a united, strong and self-reliant nation
d. a dynamic and great economy
e. a land of bright and full opportunities for all citizens.
According to Gbenda (1997) in Anozie (2006):
‘Religion is very important in human society; it provides meaning to life, answers the most fundamental questions regarding life, death and hereafter. It confers sacred values on people, social laws and institution a cohesive and integrative elements in society and above all, consoles man in crises situation’.
Based on the above, it is clear that religious knowledge make man a more balanced being, in that, it teaches man how to adjust and adapt in circumstances which science, technology and other mechanisms have no solutions. In the words of Anozie (2006), ‘religion is a factor that help people to adjust and adapt the circumstance of the personal lives of the individuals and those of societies, and inherent mental, emotional, stresses, disorder, instability, insecurity and peacelessness’. The values above show that religion functions as social integration which helps in educational, political, social, economic and moral aspects of human endeavour. It is also known that religion contributes a lot in socialization, order, stability, peace and security of the general society.
Undoubtedly, Christian Religious Knowledge as an aspect of religion plays the same role as religion, vis-à-vis, and the society where
it is practiced. Christian Religion through its moral values makes morality an indispensable tool which the society uses to interpret socio-political, economic and other actions, so as to maintain good governance and stability of the state. Interesting, the optimal achievement of the above objective of religion in our secondary schools, depends largely on the appropriate application of Instructional materials, teaching methods, techniques and relevant skills. However, the place of instructional, materials, especially Information and Communication Technology (ICT) cannot be over emphasized, if the youths of the 21st century must be made to understand the values of Christians Religious knowledge. This is because ICT provides students with meaningful instruction in their learning process.
According to Okafor (2010), ‘ICT resources provide opportunities for learning and create a condition that can enhance learning’. He further opined that the traditional instructional approaches (Non ICT materials) cannot achieve the goals of teaching at this period of information explosion and globalization. Hence, the need to incorporate Information and Communication Technology (ICT) as an instruction material required in teaching and learning of Christian Religious Knowledge in our secondary schools.
However, the thrust of this study is to establish whether the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in teaching and learning of Christian Religious studies can improve upon students’
performance, especially in our senior secondary schools in Onitsha North Local Government Area of Anambra State.
Statement of the Problem
Many problems have been confronting the traditional method of teaching and learning of Christian Religious studies in our secondary schools. This traditional method encompasses the strict use of the Holy Bible and story telling or narration in teaching the subjects. However, these problems includes monotony and a bore class, obsolescent of the material and method in use, more teacher centered than students centered, inefficiency and ineffectiveness in meeting the religious needs of 21st century youths.
These problems seems to have resulted because of inadequate funding of our secondary schools, teachers resistance to changes in curriculum innovations, inadequate sensitization packages on how to meet the religious needs of 21st century, youths, among others. The effects of the above issues on our youth; especially in secondary schools have being negative and includes: cultism, stealing and robbery, bullying, kidnapping, raping, indiscipline and all manners of anti-social and in human activities, which have posed this perceivable question. How can the use of Information and Communication Technology in teaching and learning of Christian Religious studies help to bring about
the required moral changes among secondary school students in Nigeria?
The above question is what this study tends to provide answer to.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study is to examine how the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) can help to bring about the required moral changes among secondary school students in Nigeria through Christian Religious studies. The study sets out:
a. To determine whether the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in teaching and learning of Christian Religious Studies (CRS) will improve students’ performance in secondary schools.
b. To determine the extent to which CRS teachers have being applying ICT in teaching and learning encounter.
c. To determine the factors that could militate against the proper application of ICT by CRS learning during the teaching and learning process.
To guide this study, the following research questions were formulated:
a. What improvement can the use of ICT in teaching and learning of CRS make on the students’ performance over the traditional approach?
b. To what extent do CRS teachers use ICT in teaching and learning process?
c. What are the factors militating against the teachers use of ICT in teaching and learning of CRS in our secondary schools?
Significance of the Study
Undoubtedly, this study is going to be of immense help in the followings ways.
a. Teachers in the field of Christian Religious Studies (CRS) would be acquainted with knowledge of how ICT can yield a better result in relation to students’ performance.
b. Government will be re-informed on certain pre-requisites for the adoption of ICT in teaching and learning of CRS.
c. Students themselves would undoubtedly benefit, in that the proper use of ICT in the teaching-learning process will enhance theirs performance, and make information readily available for them.
d. Researchers would also find the results of this study very useful, as it will make empirical data available for reference.
e. The study will also be of help to such organization as Nigeria Educational Research Development Commission (NERDC), as a way of re-orienting the educational sectors that can compete with changes of globalization.
Scope of the Study
The study was carried out in Onitsha North Local Government Area of Anambra State with intent of studying Information and Communication Technology (ICT) as an integral part of Instructional Material required in Teaching and Learning of Christian Religious Studies in Senior Secondary Schools. It also delved into how ICT could improve the learning of CRS, the extent of its application as well as the factors that militate against the teacher’s use of ICT in teaching and learning of CRS in secondary schools.
This chapter dealt with the review of works or researches done in the area of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) as a part of Teaching-learning Resources and delved into such sub-headings as conceptual framework, theoretical framework, empirical studies and summary of reviewed literature.
Conceptual Framework on Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
Meaning of Information and Communication Technology
(ICT) also known as Information Technology (IT) comprises all devices and principles involved in information processing as well as electronic communication. It includes all hardware and software needed for information processing a well as in teaching and learning. According to Okoye (2005),
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is the use of electronic means to collect data, process, store, retrieve and make available different types of message to anybody seeking to use it, anything, any how and anywhere in the word, for the pursuance of national economic advancement.
The above definition shows that Information and Communication technology (ICT) comprises of advanced tools or devices or even appliances used for the purpose of information (message) processing, dissemination and presentation in the most efficient and effective way. Accordingly Ezeugo (2010), sees Information and Communication technology (ICT) as:
convergence or combination of micro-electronics, computers (hardware and software) and telecommunication for acquiring, processing, storing of huge amounts of information and the rapid
dissemination of vocal, pictorial, textual and numeric information.
ICT is simply put as the use of computers and telecommunication equipment in capturing, processing, storing and dissemination of information. It is also seeing as the science of information processing which deals with the use of computers, and other electronic devices to collect, process, store, retrieve and transmit or disseminate information to any part of the world.
In teaching and learning endeavour, ICT tools which are integral part of the required educational media could play vital role in creating such a conducive learning environment and facilitating effective teaching and learning. ICT comprises technological devices which help in transforming the process and method of teaching and learning including school administration and practice which are key issues in our guest for quality service delivery in education. Just as in other educational media, ICT is an electronic medium through which the contents of the lesson could be communicate effectively to the learners. Sharon (2011) observed that Information and Communication Technology (ICT) offers a range of powerful tools to help pupils to learn and to achieve high standard in Religious Education. He further opined that the key message to the use of ICT depends on it offering the best means of achieving a particular Religious Education objective. Based on the foregoing analysis, it becomes obvious that the place of ICT in Christian Religious
Instruction cannot be over-emphasized, in that, such ICT tool as web
tools in Religions Education provided avenue for more students participation in teaching-learning process. In line with this, Sharon (2011) posited that:
Increase of technology in classrooms including such hardware as ipad Touch, ipads and other tablets, the development and explosion of Web 2.0 tools, means that it is now possible for more pupils to be involved in ICT related Religious Education activities than one learner performing an activity a the interactive white board whilst the rest of the class observe.
Hence, ICT tools are veritable and indispensable materials required in teaching and learning of Christian Religious Instruction, especially in preparing morally, the youths of the 21st century.
Forms of ICT Tools available for Teaching and Learning of Christian Religions Studies.
Just as there exist myriads of instructional materials, there also exist varied ICT tools needed for Religions education. According to Nwachukwu (2008), ‘ICT facilities and related activities includes radio programmes, recorded cassettes, tele-lectures, phonographic records, television programmes, video tapes, sound motion pictures, broadcast materials / CD-Rom, micro-computers, E-mail, video conferencing, internet-based research, etc’..