AN EVALUATION OF AVAILABILITY OF ICT BASED MATERIALS IN SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN PORT HARCOURT
Background to the Study
Information communication technologies (ICTs) are information handling tools that are used to produce, store, and process, distribute and exchange information. These different tools are now able to work together, and combine to form networked world-which reaches into every corner of the globe (UNDP Evaluation Office, 2001). It is an increasingly powerful tool for participating in global markets, promoting political accountability; improving the delivery of basic services; and enhancing local development opportunities (UNDP, 2006). According to Ogunsola (2005) ICT “is an electronic based system of information transmission, reception, processing and retrieval, which has drastically changed the way we think, the way we live and the environment in which we live”. It can be used to access global knowledge and communication with other people (Ogunsola, 2005).
Students who use ICT based materials stand a chance of gaining deeper understanding of complex topics and concepts and are more likely to recall information and use it to solve problems outside the classroom (Apple Computer, 2002). In addition, through ICT based materials, students extend and deepen their knowledge, investigation, and inquiry. According to Apple computer (2002), Information communication technology (ICT) has no doubt changed the face of teaching and learning globally.
Globally, the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) world has initiated a transition of emphasis from an analogue educational research based technological development to that of a digital knowledge based technological development in education. This has made it one of the basic building blocks of modern society.
The technological change process has accelerated in tandem to create a new world power based ICT. Although ICT based materials have been looked upon as tools for the upliftment of the standard of education in any nation, the level of compliance in implementing the ICT based materials in instructional development process leaves much to be desired in the Nigerian higher education system.
Recent developments in ICT have drastically affected educational procedure for improved quality of education offered to students at all levels. ICT based materials in instructional delivery in secondary schools will serve a dual purpose and more efficient classroom instruction (Nzewi, 2009; Umoren, 2006).
It is in the pursuance of the need to access international best practices that the Federal government reviewed the National Policy on Education (1998) to the current one (NPE, 2004) to accommodate the introduction of ICT into the school system in keeping with the dynamics of social change and its demand on education.
Improved secondary education is essential to the creation of effective human capital in any country (Evoh, 2007). The need for availability of ICT based materials in Nigerian secondary schools cannot be overemphasized. In this technology-driven age, everyone requires ICT competence to survive. Organizations are finding it very necessary to train and re-train their employees to establish or increase their knowledge of computers and other ICT facilities (Adomi and Anie, 2006; Tyler, 1998). This calls for early acquisition of ICT skills and the use of ICT based materials by secondary school students in Port Harcourt and in the entire nation.
The availability and use of computers effectively has become an essential part of everyone’s education. Skills such as bookkeeping, clerical and administrative work, stocktaking, and so forth, now constitute a set of computerized practices that form the core IT skills package: spreadsheets, word processors, and databases (Reffell and Whitworth, 2002).
There are developments in the Nigerian education sector which indicate some level of ICT application in the secondary schools. The Federal Government of Nigeria, in the National Policy on Education (Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2004), recognizes the prominent role of ICTs in the modern world, and has integrated ICTs into education in Nigeria. To actualize this goal, the document states that government will provide basic infrastructure and training at the primary school. At the junior secondary school, computer education has been made a pre-vocational elective, and is a vocational elective at the senior secondary school. It is also the intention of government to provide necessary infrastructure and training for the integration of ICTs in the secondary school system.
It should be noted that 2004 was not the first attempt the Nigerian government made to introduce computer education in schools. In 1988, the Nigerian government enacted a policy on computer education. The plan was to establish pilot schools and diffuse computer education innovation first to all secondary schools, and then to primary schools. Unfortunately, the project did not really take off beyond the distribution and installation of personal computers (Okebukola, 1997).
Secondary school prepares students for the next level of education which is the tertiary education i.e. the college of education, polytechnics and universities in Nigeria. It is at this level that they should have their first encounter with technology in the classroom, this they will put to use when eventually they leave secondary school and are gainfully admitted into the higher institutions. It is in this light that the training of student of secondary schools, who are expected to drive the new ICT advanced education system. The advancement which ICT resources offer in secondary education, can be evident through accessibility to quality ICT based materials and instructional delivery. This can only be attained when it is drastically integrated into the instructional process in the secondary education system. Productive instructional delivery enhances learners’ creative and intellectual development through the use of ICT based materials, for instance, in the use of multimedia images, graphics, audio, text and motion for high quality learning.
ICT has the potential to transform the way education is delivered in Nigeria secondary schools especially in Port Harcourt where this research work is based and promotes new opportunities therefore, enhancing scholarship and enquiries. This can only be attained when ICT based materials is available and fully utilized in secondary schools in Nigeria.
Furthermore, ICT based materials are instructional delivery tools used to explore, investigate, solve problems, interact, reflect, reason and learn concepts in the classroom. This innovation permits alternative types of educational patterns for facilitating the teaching/learning process (Umoren, 2003). Electronic learning is only possible in secondary schools in Nigeria if the ICT based materials are available in schools. E-learning is used both in informal and formal educational setting for facilitation, instruction, interaction and for instructional delivery. Web-based learning is also a subset of e-learning. Another type of ICT resources is the virtual teaching which entails instructional delivery through teleconferencing the video conferencing technique. Web based instruction uses internet and the World Wide Web (WWW) as the major component of learning materials and instructional resources for effective instructional delivery. Audio media (instructional slides and tutorials) are teaching/learning aids made and written into compact disks, graphics and texts.
There is need for the available of ICT based materials in secondary school to prepare the student and children in general which are the future leaders for activities will be faced with in higher institutions and thereafter to improve the socio economic development of Nigeria.
Statement of the Problem
All through the history of educational expansion in Nigeria, the development in the quality of education provided leaves much to be desired. This is an off shoot of laudable visions in the curriculum that suffered still birth as a result of epileptic implementation of laudable educational programmes in our secondary schools in Nigeria. This can only be handled when students are developed adequately in capacity building to meet the tide of the times.
Moreover, as students of secondary school, a stage at which foundational education for future career is built, there is need to increase their knowledge to prepare the students properly for the task ahead. This knowledge can only be enhanced through adequate utilization of ICT based materials that will enhance the quality of instructional delivery during lessons.
Unfortunately, as noble as these intentions seem to be, most secondary schools in Port Harcourt do not have computers, laptops and other ICT ensemble and as such cannot access the internet services needed in utilizing ICT in the classroom, for this reason, instructional delivery may be challenging as ICT based learning increases understanding of the subjects than using the conventional method.
NEPAD has scored the level of African continent students’ experience with ICTs and their proficiency in using them very low. Fifty-five percent of students within the continent, including Nigeria, Algeria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Republic of Congo, Egypt, Gabon, Lesotho, Mali, Mauritius, Mozambique, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, and Uganda (who are participating in the first phase of the NEPAD e-Schools initiative), stated they had no experience at all in using computers. Other findings included that the typical African school environment provides neither opportunity nor training in using ICTS, and that 75 percent of responding teachers have no or very limited experience and expertise regarding ICT educational applications.
The aim of this study therefore, is to determine if ICT based materials required for teaching and learning are available in secondary schools in Port Harcourt.
Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of this study is to evaluate the availability of ICT based materials for teaching and learning in Senior Secondary Schools in Port Harcourt. Specifically, the study will:
Determine the extent to which ICT based materials is available for use in senior secondary schools in Port Harcourt.
To find out the extent to which ICT based materials are utilized in senior secondary schools in Port Harcourt.
To identify the major problems and constraints against the use of ICT based materials for teaching and learning in senior secondary schools in Port Harcourt.
To determine strategies for improving the availability of ICT based materials for teaching and learning in senior secondary schools in Port Harcourt.
To determine strategies for improving the utilization of ICT based materials for teaching and learning in senior secondary schools in Port Harcourt
The following research questions were raised to guide the study:
To what extent are ICT based materials available in senior secondary schools in Port Harcourt?
To what extent are ICT based materials utilized in senior secondary schools in Port Harcourt?
What are the major constraints against the use of ICT based materials in senior secondary schools in Port Harcourt?
What are the strategies for improving the availability of ICT based materials for teaching and learning in senior secondary schools in Port Harcourt?
What are the strategies for improving the utilization of ICT based materials in senior secondary schools in Port Harcourt.
The following null hypotheses were formulated and will be tested in this study at 0.05 level of significance:
There is no significant difference between availability of ICT based materials and improved understanding of subjects by senior secondary school in Port Harcourt.
There is no significant difference between availability of ICT based materials and adequate preparation for future in senior secondary school students in Port Harcourt.
Significance of the Study
The significance of the study is centered on the students, teachers, educational planner, administrators, government and the general public. There are a lot of benefits to derive on the use of ICT based materials.
The findings of the study will encourage teachers and students to develop skills and competencies in ICT technologies for teaching and learning in senior secondary schools.
Curriculum planners will be made to design curriculum that will encourage and emphasize ICT technology driven education at the 21st century in secondary education syllabus contents which will improve students’ skills and competencies for employability and self sustainability.
The study will provide improved performance in terms of teaching and learning abilities of teachers and students of senior secondary schools in Port Harcourt. It will also promote conveniences and flexibility of students through self paced and time, as well as increased access to best quality instructors through sharing of knowledge across borders, via online internet connectivity.
Additionally, administrators and managers of secondary schools in Port Harcourt will be able to access students’ payments, records, admission, evaluating and results, online assessment and exchange programmes.
Scope of the Study
The scope of this study is on the evaluation of the availability of ICT based materials in senior secondary schools in Port Harcourt. Therefore, the study will cover the secondary schools in Port Harcourt while the teacher and students of senior secondary schools will be involved in determining the availability of ICT based materials for teaching and learning in the Senior Secondary schools in Port Harcourt.
The study will also determine the extent of availability and utilization of ICT based materials, and constraints in teaching and learning with ICT based materials in senior secondary schools in Port Harcourt.