PREPAREDNESS FOR COMPUTER EDUCATION IN EBONYI STATE SECONDARY SCHOOLS

PREPAREDNESS FOR COMPUTER EDUCATION IN EBONYI STATE SECONDARY SCHOOLS

PREPAREDNESS FOR COMPUTER EDUCATION IN EBONYI STATE SECONDARY SCHOOLS

The stage of computer revolution in our society today emphasized the production, storage and distribution of information in various forms.  Since, it’s introduction, it’s use assumed an unprecedented explosion and has now become a culture (MBAM 2000).

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The computer has found itself in almost all human enterprises. Though a vast majority of people have the misconception that the computer is just a large and powerful calculation machine, it is actually much more than that. Abimbola (1986) sees computer as an electronic device which is manufactured to accept order sequence of instruction given to it in an appropriate language and to carry out these instructions with great speed and accuracy

 

Pask and Curran (1982) define a modern computer as a very simple in the sense that what it really does is add, subtract and compare and more complicated because all the tasks required it must be reducible to these simple operations.

MBAM (2000) defines computer as a fast and accurate electronic symbols (or data) manipulating device (or system) that will accept and store input data, processes them and produce outputs under the influence of a stored programme of instructions. Based on the above definitions, a computer could be understood as an electronic device which can hold vast quantities of information and accurately store the information for use. It is capable of carrying and processing input calculation according to predetermined set of instructions.

Computer is felt in establishment like banks power holding company, independent national electoral commission, payroll processing, examination conduction, diagnosing sickness in hospitals, engineering and management in general (Mbam, 2000).

In the educational system, the computer is a powerful teaching tool and as a medium of instruction that has helped to improve students performance in school subjects and has taken care of problem confronting teachers. It guides a student through a course of instruction and in such way facilitate understanding of the subject matter.

The federal government of Nigeria introduced computer education in 1988 with 44 selected secondary schools in the country (Afe, 1989) the essence was to make student computer literate so that they want be intimidated by daily life but will instead feed a sense of belonging in the computer-rich society. The recognise of computer education in this country was given official seal on 14th December, 1987 by the then honourable minister of education where be inaugurated the national computer policy committee (Okoro, 1989). It’s implementation today has not been quite successful although, the federal government has made delivery of some computer sets and accessories to the federal unity secondary schools. (Akinseinde, 1992) following it up some state government like Ebonyi state have presented some computer set and accessories to the state ministry of education for distribution to secondary schools (Nwaiba 1994). This is just a stepping stone to preparedness because there is relatively small or no assessment on the extent of preparedness for computer education which would have checked for the adequacy of computer education materials like computer systems, computer labouratory, furniture and test books. And also check for the number of qualified computer education teachers.

The present research is not aware of any study concerned with the assessment of preparedness for computer education in Ebonyi state secondary schools, hence the need for the present study.

Statement of the Problem

       Due to the policy passed by the federal government on the compulsory teaching of computer science in our secondary schools. The government of Ebonyi state has started implementing it. Going by the free education programme in Ebonyi state, we have many secondary schools with populated students. Some of the classes example Junior Secondary School 1 ranges from A-J in some schools. So one will doubt how the state will cope with computer education requirement. Since for effective and successful teaching of computer we should have enough space to contain the students classroom and laboratories and also have enough computers and accessories which will be shared in group of 5 five students to one computer.

Suppose a school of more than (1000) one thousand students, imagine how many computers that will be needed in the school. How many computer teachers and labouratory assistants that will be recruited in that school asking ourselves the question how many computer education graduates do we have in the state?

The case is just a school so think how it is going to be in the one hundred and ninety one secondary schools in the state.

It is in the realization of all these that inspired me into studying the assessment of preparedness for computer education in Ebonyi State secondary schools.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study generally is to asses the  preparedness for computer education in Ebonyi State secondary schools. Specifically, the Research Aim at the Following:

  1. Adequacy of personnel’s and their qualification
  2. Adequacy of facilities like computer and accessories
  3. Adequacy of physical infrastructures like space and electricity.
  4. Adequacy of software packages.

Significance of the Study

Educational problems should be solved through educational research. The findings of this research would be beneficial to the government of Ebonyi state and the society in large. Through the findings of this research, the government of Ebonyi state would know the quantity and quality of teachers in our secondary schools. It would help them know whether there is need for recruiting and training of more teachers. It will help them monitor and

supervise the teaches and also organize seminars and workshops to make them more grounded and equipped with new and better methods to teach the subject “computer”.

This research will also enable the state see how equipped the labouratory in schools are and if not well equipped provide facilities like computer and it’s accessories, not just providing them but also make sure they are been serviced and maintained so as to assure it’s efficiency and functionally. Apart from the government, NGO’S and philanthropists can come in to help in the provision of those needed facilities.

Some of our secondary schools does not have space for building halls and labouratory which will accommodate the students very well. Because of this problem, computer and accessories might be sufficient but the small room might make the teaching boring. With this research the government will see all those problem and think of a solution. Electricity power is the means by which the computer works so without it in the school, the computer will be in the school as merely decoration.

On the other hand, the government will also provide verities of software packages to the school so as to make teaching of computer broad and encompassing. Finally, the society at large will see our hope tomorrow in terms of meeting up with the third world countries.

Scope of the Study

This study was packaged to cover the students and staff in Ebonyi state secondary school. The study entered into different valuation methods and consideration of number of staff, qualification and area of specialization of each staff. It was concerned with facilities, equipments and materials in the schools for computer education.

Research Questions

The following research questions were posed to guide the study.

  1. Do Ebonyi State secondary schools have qualified computer teachers.
  2. Are there available materials for teaching and learning of computer education in Ebonyi state secondary schools.
  3. Are there physical infrastructures in the secondary schools.
  4. Are there software packages in our secondary schools laboratories.

 

CHAPTER TWO

REVIEW OF RELATED  LITERATURE

       The reviews of related literature for this study focused on the following sections.

  • Concept and importance of computer education in Nigeria.
  • Non human resource requirement for computer education.
  • Physical infrastructure for computer environment conditioning in secondary schools.
  • Number and qualification of computer teachers in secondary school.
  • Computer education and stereotyped system of teaching and learning in schools.
  • Summary of review of literature.

Concept and Importance of Computer Education in Nigeria

       A computer will be defined as a device that accepts data, then performs mathematical or logical operation that manipulate or change the data, and finally produces result from that data. However, according to Obineli (2001) Computer s is simply a complex system of electronics that is used for storage, manipulation and retrieval of data or information. It is a complex electronic typewriter and calculator rolled into one.

The Longman dictionary of contemporary English (1995) defined computer as an electronic machine that can store information and do things with it’s accord.

Moreso, Okafor (2001) sees the computer as an electronic machine capable of accepting data and instructions, storing them processes the data based on the instructions, outputs or stores the obtained result.

Computer uses data, which could be in a variety of forms for manipulation of numbers, operated for text (if the computer is used as a word processor), pictorial presentation (graphs, charts or diagrams) a mixture of number and text manipulation (Obineli 2001).

Today technology has also made it possible for computer systems to appear in practically all sectors of human endeavour. But modern computers vary in physical component and equipment. The various types of modern computer are super computer, mainframe, minicomputer and the personal computer (Okafor 2001).

Computer as a programmable machine is versatile with regards to what you want to use it with, it can be used to watch a television set, compact disk, publish book, desktop publishing and can be used to fax letters. It is very fast in it’s operations in calculation with regards to dates, time and accuracy in results.

Obineli (2001) explains the importance of computer as follows:

Today, computer are used in almost most all division of the scientific and technological industries for performing task such as compilation work statistical work, control of traffics in developed countries, gathering and processing of information and solving of logic and it other related problems.

 

It implies therefore that the computer can be made to understand correct logical instructions. Computer system have become highly visible tools in our modern society and people relate to these tools with extraordinary range of views and emotions (MBAM 2000).

According to Okafor (2001) they may be found in experimental governmental and scientifically research facilities. This will include military weapons research facilities, atmospheric and earth science research. They also provide guidance systems for art craft, measures seismographic fluctuation in dangerous mines.

In the work places, computer have created many jobs and carries but have also made others obsolete (ie computer illitrales), Likewise, in the society as a whole it has both problems and opportunities.

Electronic numerical integator and calculator (ENAC) computer have rapidly become an important force in almost every segment of our society such that they can be applied in the following area; health and medicine Education and Training and Business (Okafor 2001).

In the school system, there are two categories of computer use, namely computer assisted learning (CAL) and computer managed instruction (CMI). CAL is concerned with the use of computers to aid learning (Eraut, 1972 in Okwor 2001). MI enables teachers to employ computers to manage students performance on data and instructional information and so plan effective education programmes (Baiker, 1979; Fuchs and Fuchs, 1986 in Okwor 2001).

However, because of the immense potentials of computer in countless specialized functions, school administrator have incorporated computer in financial records and accounts; school inventories, filling system; supervision control, time tabling, duly roaster; duly reporting mechanism; among others (Okwor 2001).

Non Human Resources Requirements for Computer Education

The computer library and laboratory in the schools. Fadero (1975) described the school library as it existed in 60’s as a store for discarded publishers catalogue and book collections that were described as gifts to school. There was nothing like computer labouratory then in some schools we saw things like typewriting pool, instead of computer laboratory which is present today.

Computer as a subject is dead without the practical aspect of it. Okeke (1987) observed that, effective science teaching in our school can only be achieved not only by emphasizing the fundamental concepts and principles but by intensive experimental concept approach whenever possible. This should include a combination of class labouratory and demonstration practice with regards to the subject, this practice will be clarify and be put to reality with regards to the abstract theoretical computer studies discussed in classroom”.

He also observed that labouratory is needed in computer for effective teaching and learning of computer. It is adequate to have a well planned, property designed and well equipped computer labouratory.

Nwagbala (1988) also stressed that importance of science labouratory as opposed to earlier practical in which facts and generalizations were merely dispensed by authoritative teachers and devoid of labouratory work.

Therefore this makes the student memories theoretically calculated facts without practicing the basic concepts. Anderson (1976) also stated that labouratory work helps students to understand the relationship between contents and process by which knowledge come into existence. He further noted that, one does not learn science from text books, but one learn science by asking nature the right questions through labouratory activities. Use of labouratory equipment in practical help both teachers and students to mentally and physically engage in the classroom work for the clarity and understanding of any given topics at any time other than the teacher talking to the students and the students listening.

In the study of labouratory construction, Paul (1960) stated that the purpose of labouratory work is to involve the learners in the use of logical procedure and strategies to demonstrate the implication of scientific theories and laws and to also provide practice of recognizing regularities, symmetries diversities and commonalities among observation. Therefore, if students are to understand scientific theories and laws very well they should be engaged in practical work in the labouratory. This will enable them find out facts for themselves since it makes the abstract scientific theories and law more meaningful to the students. However, many educators claims that the labouratory is one of the important vehicles for teaching and understanding the processes of scientific thinking.

According to Lucas (1971) students can understand how to acquire new knowledge themselves by presently practicing the use of inquiring. A study carried out by John (1979) indicated that students in a college of computer training develop high level of skills more successfully than the students in conventional computer practical labouratory course using instructional material that present information in carefully organized  way and in co-operate specific stimulating students to think and think independently.

Balogun (1976) in his article on important of labouratory ideally on effective science education programme can exist without these things. They are indispensable to good science teaching and learning. Part of the objectives for teaching science in schools is to communicate the spirit of science to the students, we cannot do this effectively without teaching equipment. We also need to learn in mind that most of the students could need to become professional scientists, technologist and engineers. Such students need the equipment to develop the necessary science skills attitudinal and practical skills. Beside, the basic sources of human sciences experiences is of course direct contact wit object and event in nature (in and out the labouratory) in observation and experimentation.

Specific educational reasons for having labouratory for science teaching, more especially for computer teaching include the following.

  1. It enables the learners to develop problem solving skill and scientific attitudes.
  2. 2.   It enables him to develop functional knowledge and manipulative skills.
  3. 3.   It enables the student to acquire scientific appreciation and interest.


Physical Infrastructures for Computer Environment Conditioning in Secondary Schools

Physical infrastructures are very necessary for a conducive computer environment. Infrastructures like space, electricity, Air conditioning, desk and chair etc. (Felix 2005) “Space” here means a piece of land or accommodation where computer classroom and labouratories can be built on (Learners Advance dictionary).

A computer centre or labouratory should be built in a place that is well secured so that unwanted persons would have no reasons to go there unless if they had business with the centre. Inyiama (1998) Space is very important in any educational setting when a school is cited in a small piece of land, you see that building labouratory for the school becomes a problem and this might make the teachers to prefer ordinary else they can do on there own. (Igboke 2002).

Electricity or power supply consideration: A school that has no source of electricity can not make it and is not prepared for computer studies since computer makes use of adequate power supply (Inyiama 1998).

The computer room must be adequately wired with the right kind of power supply sockets in suitable positions to facilitate hardware installation. Because power supply fluctuates, there is need to provide a voltage stabilizer for the computer system (Inyiama 1998).

It is also advisable to have an uninterruptible power supply (ups) in the power line that would take over immediately the mains supply fails.

Computer labouratory should be supplied with adequate air conditioning. When electronics becomes excessively heated by this process, individual circuit components will be operating well above the approved temperatures (Inyiama 1998).

In a properly air-conditioned environment this heat is rapidly conducted away before it can do damage to the computer electronics.

An adequate air conditioning prior to hardware instruction should be insisted on.

It is necessary to provide a computer desk and chair conducive for work. The desk ought to be of a standard size for an average man (2ft high). It must be long enough to accomodate the major components of the systems namely the CPU box, the VDU and the printer because the keyboard is usually positioned in front of the VDU box. The desk must be wide enough to accomodate the keyboard and also the mouse at the right hand end of the keyboard. The chair should provide some confront so as to enhance worker’s productivity. The chair should have a backrest which also should be padded and the height of the seats from the ground should match the height of the desk for average man. (Inyiama 1998)

Number and Qualification of Computer Teachers in Secondary Schools

Considering the central figures in learning, we consider the students and the teachers. Anybody connected with the teaching of science in the country Nigeria will appreciate the fact that the alarming problems which is the greatest restraint factor in science education is the incompetent learners.

Abdullahi (1980) has noted two ingredients for effective science teaching in the primary school. These include: appropriate items of equipment and qualified science teachers.

Okoye (1977) observed that most of the secondary schools lack qualified science teachers especially in the area of computer education, physics, poor background in mathematics. Unqualified teachers as well as the abstracts nature of some computer concepts and lack of equipment and insufficient practical work are factor that present problems to student studying computer.

Ukeje (1991) stressed that it is upon the quality of teacher, their devotion and commitment to duty, their effectiveness and efficiency that depend on the successes and progress of any educational system and consequently the future of any nations.

According to him, school system with unqualified and ineffective students teacher, form as the teacher so is the taught. They believed that the quality and devotion of teachers are essential to the successes of any educational system.

Amalaha (1979) said that the effective teachers are those who has undergone a professional training with the attitudes, interest, skills, aptitudes that had to do with knowledge and other abilities to impact knowledge.

Aruh (1978) went on to say that knowledge on the subject matter is another factor that contribute to the effective teaching. This is very important because you can not give out what you do not have. Sometimes, some teachers do no have any idea of the topic they are supposed to teach.

The qualities of the teachers effectiveness are his qualification, his mastery of subject matter, self confidence, his motivational ability, his relationship with his students will go along way to make the teaching very effective.

Douclays (1973) revealed that it is the teacher to be sophisticated in knowledge, skills, tactics techniques and strategies to enable him function effectively and efficiently. Olamiyam (1980) described quality teachers as those who are academically and professionally qualified in teaching profession. He believed that this type of teacher would deliver the goals with regard to teaching even much better than ill-bred and unqualified teacher.

Onwuka (1984) agreed that quality teacher play vital roles in the realization of educational objective and enhance students effective learning.

Okere (1977) explained that those teachers in the teaching profession who have no calling to be profession simply join teaching because it is the only opportunity open to them at that particular time of their need. these group of teachers indulge and encourage accession which affects students interest and learning.

Garda (1972) found that greater improvement on students effective learning was achieved by professionally educated teachers who adopted modern method of teaching, than teachers who adopted authoritarian and deductive approach.

However, according to the national policy on Education (1981), the teacher education programme will be structured to equip teachers for the effective performance of their duties. The state and federal ministries of education have approved the following instructions for the training of teachers in Nigeria.

Colleges of Education, polytechnics and colleges of technology, institutes of education Universities (Education faculty) and National teachers Institute (NTI). All these institutions use principles of education and methodologies of instruction to equip the prospective teachers with the methods and strategies of effective teaching.

We have N.C.E, B.Sc (ED) teachers in computer science education. The imparting of knowledge is an intricate process which requires the mastery of procedures that suit the subject matter, the learner and the environment.

Ehiametalor (1990) defines a good teacher as one that is able to deliver the lesson, he/she prepared for his class in such a way that students are motivated to listen attentively rather than play or fall asleep.

An uninteresting teacher, no matter his level of academics is useless to class who cannot learn from him the wealth of his knowledge and experience.

Computer Education and Stereotyped System of Teaching and Learning in Schools

Teaching computer is a multilateral activity calling for different approaches, strategies and skills with the ultimate aim of enhancing learning and creating deep insight and understanding of the concept and principles.

Ukeje (1977) viewed teaching as a process of guidance by which the learner is able to grasp ideas and facts and develop skills. It is a process of transmitting knowledge and skills.

Again in general, teaching is showing how, informing, explaining, directing, clarifying and evaluating etc.

With regards to the role of computer education teachers, as Aristotle in Howe (1984) puts it, the surest sign of wisdom in a main’s ability to teach what he knows. Teaching is the most difficult jobs but when it is done well it is the most rewarding.

The second edition of Webster’s New 20th Century Dictionary (1975) defines a teacher as one who teaches, one who preaches without ordination.

The dictionary further gives nine broad synonyms of a teacher, as instructor, school master, preceptor, tutor, professor, pedagogue, educationist, educator school-mistress.

The same dictionary defies the verb “teach” as:

To show how to do something, to give lesson in a subject or hold classes in the subject, to provide knowledge or insight from those definitions it gives twelve board synonyms of teaching as impact, direct, instruct, inform, counsel, admonish, educate, incubate, enlighten, advice, train and indoctrinate.

 

In a more precise language, teaching is the guidance of learning activities, the activities may be overt or covert, mental or physical.

Onwuegbu (1979) teaching is considered the most difficult job because it deals with human behaviour. Human behaviour is complex and is not equipped to do so. The teacher is called upon to change and modify existing behaviours and to establish new ones as well. Unfortunately some teachers in Nigeria are not equipped to change or modify human behaviour. These are quacks in the profession but the learner practices what the teachers taught them in the class. This is exactly what happens to computer education.

Oken and Anderson (1982) noted six roles of the teacher to include dispensation of knowledge facilitation of learning and model. As a dispenser of knowledge, the teacher is looked upon as all knowing. The pride of any teacher is the sound knowledge of his or her subject. It is unfortunate that in some classrooms, teacher are not better than students they teach some dodge some topics while some others yet give the innocent learners wrong information.

Educationist argues that there is no single definition of learning. Learning involves the acquisition of new elements of knowledge, skills, beliefs, feelings and specific behaviours as well as changes in existing elements, learning involves either a change in behaviour or the capacity to change the behaviour in the future. (John 1995).

A person can be said to have learnt something if it can be shown that he can understand, explain or do something which he could not do previously. Teachers can build a creative monitoring partnership to ensure education growth and development.

Whitaker (1995), Howe (1984) supports this, stating that the role of the teacher can be to help students recognize the existing knowledge than they have and encourage them to develop ways of using their, knowledge creativity. As facilitations of learning. As pointed out earlier, that it is one thing for a teacher to know his or her subject very well, yet it is another in a way to present the knowledge is a way that the student can understand. With the above analysis, the concept of teaching computer education and it’s learning in schools is obvious.

 

Summary of the Review

       From the review carried out, some issues related to computer education were discussed. They include, concepts and importance of computer education.

Non-human resources requirement for computer education, physical infrastructures for computer environment, conditioning, number and qualification of computer teacher in secondary schools, computer education and stereotyped system of teaching and learning in school.

However, the literature revealed the meaning of computer which defined computer as an electronic machine that can process and store information.

In the same vein, the importance of computer was seen from the literature review. It can be used in publishing book, watch video and disc carry out business as well as carrying out experiment and scientific research facilitate (eg atmospheric and earth science research).

Moreso, it reveals that there is need for library and labouratory which is part of the non-human resource requirements for computer education. These will enhance an effective teaching of computer in both practical and otherwise. This is because the literature revealed that computer as a subject is dead without practical and this practical could be effectively achieved through the use of labouratory, hence the need for effective labouratory.

Considering the central figures in learning, the literature revealed that there is need for qualified and competent teachers. For instance, anybody connected with the teaching of science in this country Nigeria will appreciate the fact that the alarming problem or the greatest restraint factor in science education in the incompetent teachers. Also in view of this, there was a review on the teachers education programme which was structured to equip teachers for effective performance of their duties. Hence the following qualifications NCE, BSC (ED) emerge for computer teacher as was revealed by the literature.

Computer education needs physical infrastructures like space, electricity, Air condition, desk and chairs for effective environmental conditioning the literature revealed that computer room or labouratory should be cited in a place that is well secured and it has to be equipped with adequate electricity and Air conditioning.

Computer education as a stereotyped system of teaching and learning was revealed by the literature. Since teaching computer is a multilateral activity calling for different approaches, strategies and skills with the ultimate aim of enhancing learning and creating deep insight and understanding of the concept and principles. It also revealed that as far as teaching and learning is concerned in teaching computer the same concept is involved.

Having revealed the relative literature on issues related to the topic generally, it is now imperative to find out what is obtainable in Ebonyi State at this period.

 

 

Summary of Findings

The summary of the findings of this study were:

  1. The number of qualified computer education teachers are not adequate specifically some school have computer education teachers that are qualified with NCE and BSC (B. Sc. Ed) in computer education while some do not have.
  2. There are inadequate materials for computer education in Ebonyi state secondary school. Among the inadequate materials are inadequate computer systems, good computer laboratory. For practical, insufficient text books, furniture, lack of instructional materials.
  3. The infrastructure needed are not available specifically some infrastructures like equipped laboratory, electricity, facilities like fan and air condition, magnetic board, fire extinguisher are not available. There is enough space for building of the school blocks.
  4. The software packages are not adequate although the little they have is not outdated.


CHAPTER FIVE

DISCUSSION, CONCLUSION, RECOMMENDATION, SUGGESTION FOR FURTHER STUDY AND SUMMARY  

Discussion of Findings

The result obtained from the analysis of data for research question (1) revealed that there are inadequate computer education materials. These materials include lack of computer systems, inadequate computer laboratory, instructional materials and insufficient textbooks. This agrees with the findings of Nwaiba (1994) who noted that although the state government have presented some computer sets and accessories to the state ministry of education for distribution to secondary schools but this however is scratching the surface of the problem militating against effective computer education at the secondary school level.

Data obtained from research questions (2) revealed that there are inadequate infrastructures, things like electricity, cooling facilities, generator, magnetic board, fire extinguisher and burglary proof. It agrees with Inyiama (2005) who said that lack of these infrastructures makes learning of computer difficult.

Result obtained from research question (3) revealed that the few software packages installed are not outdated and they are also friendly but inadequate. It’s adequate presence would have agreed with Nwafor (2005) that said that these programmes enable the user to use the computer for a specific purpose and also allow the system operate well.

Data obtained from research question (4) revealed that computer education and teachers are graduates with NCE and (B.Sc. Ed) are specialized in computer.

This agreed with the findings of Amalaha (1979) who noted that effective teachers are those who has undergone a professional training with the attitudes, interests, skills, aptitudes that had to do with knowledge and other abilities to impact knowledge. The findings also revealed that some schools do not have qualified teachers at all while some have qualified teachers.

Generally, the number of qualified computer education teacher is inadequate. This agrees with the finding of Okoye (1977) who observed that most of the secondary schools lack qualified science teachers especially in the area of computer education unqualified teachers as well as the abstracts nature of some computer concepts and lack of equipment and insufficient practical works are factor that present problem to students studying computer educational implication of the study.

The educational implication of the study is that the aims of achieving the goals of teaching and learning will be defeated because lack of computer systems, lack of government funding, teachers and improvement of the school computer laboratories and library will work against the attainment of the good goals of computer education.

Recommendations

Based on the findings of the study it is hereby recommended that

  1. Enough computer and library facilities should be made available in secondary schools in Ebonyi State.
  2. The state government should help the schools by adequate funding and provision of computer facilities to help learning in the schools.
  3. More computer education teachers should be trained by the government and send to secondary schools.
  4. The inspectors of education should always inspect and supervise the teachers and their computer laboratories to know whether it is of standard for effective teaching and learning in the secondary schools in Ebonyi state.

Summary of the Study

The purpose of the study was to assess the level of preparedness of secondary schools for computer education in Ebonyi state.

To achieve this purpose, four research questions were formulated to guide the study. Literature was reviewed by consulting textbook, journals and documents. The research design adopted for the study consists of Ebonyi state secondary schools. The population comprised of 171835 students and about sixty teachers in the state out of these numbers, 775 respondents were randomly sampled for the study. The instruments were two set of questionnaires, one for the students and the other for the teachers. Three experts validated the instrument. The questionnaires were administered by the researcher. The data collected were analysed using frequencies and mean scores. The findings show that there are inadequate materials for computer education in Ebonyi state. Also the numbers of computer education teachers are too poor some secondary schools have more qualified computer education teachers than the other. In the same vain, Infrastructures and software packages were inadequate.

Based on these finding, it was recommended among other things that more computer education teachers be trained and send to schools. Also and federal government should help the schools in adequate funding and provision of computer facilities to learning in the schools.

Limitation of the Study

A number of factors or problems encountered in the course of carrying out the study could have had some effect on the findings of the study prominent among them are:

1. Unco-operative attitude of some respondents (teachers) who believed that the questionnaire items were encroachment into their private lives.

2. Bad road network made the researcher to treck most of the distance where we hides could not pass.

3. financial problem for transporting to the various fifteen schools.

Suggestion for Further Studies

The following issues are hereby suggested for further studies.

  1. Assessment of level of preparedness for computer education of secondary schools in other states.
  2. Computer education in Nigeria: impacts and way forward.

Conclusion

In the light of the researcher’s findings so far in the study, the secondary schools in Ebonyi state are not properly prepared for computer education.

This is due to the fact that they lack the fundamental materials for the study. These fundamental materials include adequate computer education materials like computer system, computer laboratory, furniture’s as well as cooling facilities for the computer systems.

Moreso, they have inadequate qualified computer education teachers.

The stage of computer revolution in our society today emphasized the production, storage and distribution of information in various forms. Since, it’s introduction, it’s use assumed an unprecedented explosion and has now become a culture (MBAM 2000).

The computer has found itself in almost all human enterprises. Though a vast majority of people have the misconception that the computer is just a large and powerful calculation machine, it is actually much more than that. Abimbola (1986) sees computer as an electronic device which is manufactured to accept order sequence of instruction given to it in an appropriate language and to carry out these instructions with great speed and accuracy

 

Pask and Curran (1982) define a modern computer as a very simple in the sense that what it really does is add, subtract and compare and more complicated because all the tasks required it must be reducible to these simple operations.

MBAM (2000) defines computer as a fast and accurate electronic symbols (or data) manipulating device (or system) that will accept and store input data, processes them and produce outputs under the influence of a stored programme of instructions. Based on the above definitions, a computer could be understood as an electronic device which can hold vast quantities of information and accurately store the information for use. It is capable of carrying and processing input calculation according to predetermined set of instructions.

Computer is felt in establishment like banks power holding company, independent national electoral commission, payroll processing, examination conduction, diagnosing sickness in hospitals, engineering and management in general (Mbam, 2000).

In the educational system, the computer is a powerful teaching tool and as a medium of instruction that has helped to improve students performance in school subjects and has taken care of problem confronting teachers. It guides a student through a course of instruction and in such way facilitate understanding of the subject matter.

The federal government of Nigeria introduced computer education in 1988 with 44 selected secondary schools in the country (Afe, 1989) the essence was to make student computer literate so that they want be intimidated by daily life but will instead feed a sense of belonging in the computer-rich society. The recognise of computer education in this country was given official seal on 14th December, 1987 by the then honourable minister of education where be inaugurated the national computer policy committee (Okoro, 1989). It’s implementation today has not been quite successful although, the federal government has made delivery of some computer sets and accessories to the federal unity secondary schools. (Akinseinde, 1992) following it up some state government like Ebonyi state have presented some computer set and accessories to the state ministry of education for distribution to secondary schools (Nwaiba 1994). This is just a stepping stone to preparedness because there is relatively small or no assessment on the extent of preparedness for computer education which would have checked for the adequacy of computer education materials like computer systems, computer labouratory, furniture and test books. And also check for the number of qualified computer education teachers.

The present research is not aware of any study concerned with the assessment of preparedness for computer education in Ebonyi state secondary schools, hence the need for the present study.

Statement of the Problem

Due to the policy passed by the federal government on the compulsory teaching of computer science in our secondary schools. The government of Ebonyi state has started implementing it. Going by the free education programme in Ebonyi state, we have many secondary schools with populated students. Some of the classes example Junior Secondary School 1 ranges from A-J in some schools. So one will doubt how the state will cope with computer education requirement. Since for effective and successful teaching of computer we should have enough space to contain the students classroom and laboratories and also have enough computers and accessories which will be shared in group of 5 five students to one computer.

Suppose a school of more than (1000) one thousand students, imagine how many computers that will be needed in the school. How many computer teachers and laboratory assistants that will be recruited in that school asking ourselves the question how many computer education graduates do we have in the state?

The case is just a school so think how it is going to be in the one hundred and ninety one secondary schools in the state.

It is in the realization of all these that inspired me into studying the assessment of preparedness for computer education in Ebonyi State secondary schools.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study generally is to asses the preparedness for computer education in Ebonyi State secondary schools. Specifically, the Research Aim at the Following:

i. Adequacy of personnel’s and their qualification

ii. Adequacy of facilities like computer and accessories

iii. Adequacy of physical infrastructures like space and electricity.

iv. Adequacy of software packages.

Significance of the Study

Educational problems should be solved through educational research. The findings of this research would be beneficial to the government of Ebonyi state and the society in large. Through the findings of this research, the government of Ebonyi state would know the quantity and quality of teachers in our secondary schools. It would help them know whether there is need for recruiting and training of more teachers. It will help them monitor and

supervise the teaches and also organize seminars and workshops to make them more grounded and equipped with new and better methods to teach the subject “computer”.

This research will also enable the state see how equipped the labouratory in schools are and if not well equipped provide facilities like computer and it’s accessories, not just providing them but also make sure they are been serviced and maintained so as to assure it’s efficiency and functionally. Apart from the government, NGO’S and philanthropists can come in to help in the provision of those needed facilities.

Some of our secondary schools does not have space for building halls and labouratory which will accommodate the students very well. Because of this problem, computer and accessories might be sufficient but the small room might make the teaching boring. With this research the government will see all those problem and think of a solution. Electricity power is the means by which the computer works so without it in the school, the computer will be in the school as merely decoration.

On the other hand, the government will also provide verities of software packages to the school so as to make teaching of computer broad and encompassing. Finally, the society at large will see our hope tomorrow in terms of meeting up with the third world countries.

Scope of the Study

This study was packaged to cover the students and staff in Ebonyi state secondary school. The study entered into different valuation methods and consideration of number of staff, qualification and area of specialization of each staff. It was concerned with facilities, equipments and materials in the schools for computer education.

Research Questions

The following research questions were posed to guide the study.

i. Do Ebonyi State secondary schools have qualified computer teachers.

ii. Are there available materials for teaching and learning of computer education in Ebonyi state secondary schools.

iii. Are there physical infrastructures in the secondary schools.

iv. Are there software packages in our secondary schools laboratories.

 

 

 

CHAPTER TWO

REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE

The reviews of related literature for this study focused on the following sections.

 Concept and importance of computer education in Nigeria.

 Non human resource requirement for computer education.

 Physical infrastructure for computer environment conditioning in secondary schools.

 Number and qualification of computer teachers in secondary school.

 Computer education and stereotyped system of teaching and learning in schools.

 Summary of review of literature.

Concept and Importance of Computer Education in Nigeria

A computer will be defined as a device that accepts data, then performs mathematical or logical operation that manipulate or change the data, and finally produces result from that data. However, according to Obineli (2001) Computer s is simply a complex system of electronics that is used for storage, manipulation and retrieval of data or information. It is a complex electronic typewriter and calculator rolled into one.

The Longman dictionary of contemporary English (1995) defined computer as an electronic machine that can store information and do things with it’s accord.

Moreso, Okafor (2001) sees the computer as an electronic machine capable of accepting data and instructions, storing them processes the data based on the instructions, outputs or stores the obtained result.

Computer uses data, which could be in a variety of forms for manipulation of numbers, operated for text (if the computer is used as a word processor), pictorial presentation (graphs, charts or diagrams) a mixture of number and text manipulation (Obineli 2001).

Today technology has also made it possible for computer systems to appear in practically all sectors of human endeavour. But modern computers vary in physical component and equipment. The various types of modern computer are super computer, mainframe, minicomputer and the personal computer (Okafor 2001).

Computer as a programmable machine is versatile with regards to what you want to use it with, it can be used to watch a television set, compact disk, publish book, desktop publishing and can be used to fax letters. It is very fast in it’s operations in calculation with regards to dates, time and accuracy in results.

Obineli (2001) explains the importance of computer as follows:

Today, computer are used in almost most all division of the scientific and technological industries for performing task such as compilation work statistical work, control of traffics in developed countries, gathering and processing of information and solving of logic and it other related problems.

 

It implies therefore that the computer can be made to understand correct logical instructions. Computer system have become highly visible tools in our modern society and people relate to these tools with extraordinary range of views and emotions (MBAM 2000).

According to Okafor (2001) they may be found in experimental governmental and scientifically research facilities. This will include military weapons research facilities, atmospheric and earth science research. They also provide guidance systems for art craft, measures seismographic fluctuation in dangerous mines.

In the work places, computer have created many jobs and carries but have also made others obsolete (ie computer illitrales), Likewise, in the society as a whole it has both problems and opportunities.

Electronic numerical integator and calculator (ENAC) computer have rapidly become an important force in almost every segment of our society such that they can be applied in the following area; health and medicine Education and Training and Business (Okafor 2001).

In the school system, there are two categories of computer use, namely computer assisted learning (CAL) and computer managed instruction (CMI). CAL is concerned with the use of computers to aid learning (Eraut, 1972 in Okwor 2001). MI enables teachers to employ computers to manage students performance on data and instructional information and so plan effective education programmes (Baiker, 1979; Fuchs and Fuchs, 1986 in Okwor 2001).

However, because of the immense potentials of computer in countless specialized functions, school administrator have incorporated computer in financial records and accounts; school inventories, filling system; supervision control, time tabling, duly roaster; duly reporting mechanism; among others (Okwor 2001).

Non Human Resources Requirements for Computer Education

The computer library and laboratory in the schools. Fadero (1975) described the school library as it existed in 60’s as a store for discarded publishers catalogue and book collections that were described as gifts to school. There was nothing like computer labouratory then in some schools we saw things like typewriting pool, instead of computer laboratory which is present today.

Computer as a subject is dead without the practical aspect of it. Okeke (1987) observed that, effective science teaching in our school can only be achieved not only by emphasizing the fundamental concepts and principles but by intensive experimental concept approach whenever possible. This should include a combination of class labouratory and demonstration practice with regards to the subject, this practice will be clarify and be put to reality with regards to the abstract theoretical computer studies discussed in classroom”.

He also observed that labouratory is needed in computer for effective teaching and learning of computer. It is adequate to have a well planned, property designed and well equipped computer labouratory.

Nwagbala (1988) also stressed that importance of science labouratory as opposed to earlier practical in which facts and generalizations were merely dispensed by authoritative teachers and devoid of labouratory work.

Therefore this makes the student memories theoretically calculated facts without practicing the basic concepts. Anderson (1976) also stated that labouratory work helps students to understand the relationship between contents and process by which knowledge come into existence. He further noted that, one does not learn science from text books, but one learn science by asking nature the right questions through labouratory activities. Use of labouratory equipment in practical help both teachers and students to mentally and physically engage in the classroom work for the clarity and understanding of any given topics at any time other than the teacher talking to the students and the students listening.

In the study of labouratory construction, Paul (1960) stated that the purpose of labouratory work is to involve the learners in the use of logical procedure and strategies to demonstrate the implication of scientific theories and laws and to also provide practice of recognizing regularities, symmetries diversities and commonalities among observation. Therefore, if students are to understand scientific theories and laws very well they should be engaged in practical work in the labouratory. This will enable them find out facts for themselves since it makes the abstract scientific theories and law more meaningful to the students. However, many educators claims that the labouratory is one of the important vehicles for teaching and understanding the processes of scientific thinking.

According to Lucas (1971) students can understand how to acquire new knowledge themselves by presently practicing the use of inquiring. A study carried out by John (1979) indicated that students in a college of computer training develop high level of skills more successfully than the students in conventional computer practical labouratory course using instructional material that present information in carefully organized way and in co-operate specific stimulating students to think and think independently.

Balogun (1976) in his article on important of labouratory ideally on effective science education programme can exist without these things. They are indispensable to good science teaching and learning. Part of the objectives for teaching science in schools is to communicate the spirit of science to the students, we cannot do this effectively without teaching equipment. We also need to learn in mind that most of the students could need to become professional scientists, technologist and engineers. Such students need the equipment to develop the necessary science skills attitudinal and practical skills. Beside, the basic sources of human sciences experiences is of course direct contact wit object and event in nature (in and out the labouratory) in observation and experimentation.

Specific educational reasons for having labouratory for science teaching, more especially for computer teaching include the following.

1. It enables the learners to develop problem solving skill and scientific attitudes.

2. It enables him to develop functional knowledge and manipulative skills.

3. It enables the student to acquire scientific appreciation and interest.

 

Physical Infrastructures for Computer Environment Conditioning in Secondary Schools

Physical infrastructures are very necessary for a conducive computer environment. Infrastructures like space, electricity, Air conditioning, desk and chair etc. (Felix 2005) “Space” here means a piece of land or accommodation where computer classroom and labouratories can be built on (Learners Advance dictionary).

A computer centre or labouratory should be built in a place that is well secured so that unwanted persons would have no reasons to go there unless if they had business with the centre. Inyiama (1998) Space is very important in any educational setting when a school is cited in a small piece of land, you see that building labouratory for the school becomes a problem and this might make the teachers to prefer ordinary else they can do on there own. (Igboke 2002).

Electricity or power supply consideration: A school that has no source of electricity can not make it and is not prepared for computer studies since computer makes use of adequate power supply (Inyiama 1998).

The computer room must be adequately wired with the right kind of power supply sockets in suitable positions to facilitate hardware installation. Because power supply fluctuates, there is need to provide a voltage stabilizer for the computer system (Inyiama 1998).

It is also advisable to have an uninterruptible power supply (ups) in the power line that would take over immediately the mains supply fails.

Computer labouratory should be supplied with adequate air conditioning. When electronics becomes excessively heated by this process, individual circuit components will be operating well above the approved temperatures (Inyiama 1998).

In a properly air-conditioned environment this heat is rapidly conducted away before it can do damage to the computer electronics.

An adequate air conditioning prior to hardware instruction should be insisted on.

It is necessary to provide a computer desk and chair conducive for work. The desk ought to be of a standard size for an average man (2ft high). It must be long enough to accomodate the major components of the systems namely the CPU box, the VDU and the printer because the keyboard is usually positioned in front of the VDU box. The desk must be wide enough to accomodate the keyboard and also the mouse at the right hand end of the keyboard. The chair should provide some confront so as to enhance worker’s productivity. The chair should have a backrest which also should be padded and the height of the seats from the ground should match the height of the desk for average man. (Inyiama 1998)

Number and Qualification of Computer Teachers in Secondary Schools

Considering the central figures in learning, we consider the students and the teachers. Anybody connected with the teaching of science in the country Nigeria will appreciate the fact that the alarming problems which is the greatest restraint factor in science education is the incompetent learners.

Abdullahi (1980) has noted two ingredients for effective science teaching in the primary school. These include: appropriate items of equipment and qualified science teachers.

Okoye (1977) observed that most of the secondary schools lack qualified science teachers especially in the area of computer education, physics, poor background in mathematics. Unqualified teachers as well as the abstracts nature of some computer concepts and lack of equipment and insufficient practical work are factor that present problems to student studying computer.

Ukeje (1991) stressed that it is upon the quality of teacher, their devotion and commitment to duty, their effectiveness and efficiency that depend on the successes and progress of any educational system and consequently the future of any nations.

According to him, school system with unqualified and ineffective students teacher, form as the teacher so is the taught. They believed that the quality and devotion of teachers are essential to the successes of any educational system.

Amalaha (1979) said that the effective teachers are those who has undergone a professional training with the attitudes, interest, skills, aptitudes that had to do with knowledge and other abilities to impact knowledge.

Aruh (1978) went on to say that knowledge on the subject matter is another factor that contribute to the effective teaching. This is very important because you can not give out what you do not have. Sometimes, some teachers do no have any idea of the topic they are supposed to teach.

The qualities of the teachers effectiveness are his qualification, his mastery of subject matter, self confidence, his motivational ability, his relationship with his students will go along way to make the teaching very effective.

Douclays (1973) revealed that it is the teacher to be sophisticated in knowledge, skills, tactics techniques and strategies to enable him function effectively and efficiently. Olamiyam (1980) described quality teachers as those who are academically and professionally qualified in teaching profession. He believed that this type of teacher would deliver the goals with regard to teaching even much better than ill-bred and unqualified teacher.

Onwuka (1984) agreed that quality teacher play vital roles in the realization of educational objective and enhance students effective learning.

Okere (1977) explained that those teachers in the teaching profession who have no calling to be profession simply join teaching because it is the only opportunity open to them at that particular time of their need. these group of teachers indulge and encourage accession which affects students interest and learning.

Garda (1972) found that greater improvement on students effective learning was achieved by professionally educated teachers who adopted modern method of teaching, than teachers who adopted authoritarian and deductive approach.

However, according to the national policy on Education (1981), the teacher education programme will be structured to equip teachers for the effective performance of their duties. The state and federal ministries of education have approved the following instructions for the training of teachers in Nigeria.

Colleges of Education, polytechnics and colleges of technology, institutes of education Universities (Education faculty) and National teachers Institute (NTI). All these institutions use principles of education and methodologies of instruction to equip the prospective teachers with the methods and strategies of effective teaching.

We have N.C.E, B.Sc (ED) teachers in computer science education. The imparting of knowledge is an intricate process which requires the mastery of procedures that suit the subject matter, the learner and the environment.

Ehiametalor (1990) defines a good teacher as one that is able to deliver the lesson, he/she prepared for his class in such a way that students are motivated to listen attentively rather than play or fall asleep.

An uninteresting teacher, no matter his level of academics is useless to class who cannot learn from him the wealth of his knowledge and experience.

Computer Education and Stereotyped System of Teaching and Learning in Schools

Teaching computer is a multilateral activity calling for different approaches, strategies and skills with the ultimate aim of enhancing learning and creating deep insight and understanding of the concept and principles.

Ukeje (1977) viewed teaching as a process of guidance by which the learner is able to grasp ideas and facts and develop skills. It is a process of transmitting knowledge and skills.

Again in general, teaching is showing how, informing, explaining, directing, clarifying and evaluating etc.

With regards to the role of computer education teachers, as Aristotle in Howe (1984) puts it, the surest sign of wisdom in a main’s ability to teach what he knows. Teaching is the most difficult jobs but when it is done well it is the most rewarding.

The second edition of Webster’s New 20th Century Dictionary (1975) defines a teacher as one who teaches, one who preaches without ordination.

The dictionary further gives nine broad synonyms of a teacher, as instructor, school master, preceptor, tutor, professor, pedagogue, educationist, educator school-mistress.

The same dictionary defies the verb “teach” as:

To show how to do something, to give lesson in a subject or hold classes in the subject, to provide knowledge or insight from those definitions it gives twelve board synonyms of teaching as impact, direct, instruct, inform, counsel, admonish, educate, incubate, enlighten, advice, train and indoctrinate.

 

In a more precise language, teaching is the guidance of learning activities, the activities may be overt or covert, mental or physical.

Onwuegbu (1979) teaching is considered the most difficult job because it deals with human behaviour. Human behaviour is complex and is not equipped to do so. The teacher is called upon to change and modify existing behaviours and to establish new ones as well. Unfortunately some teachers in Nigeria are not equipped to change or modify human behaviour. These are quacks in the profession but the learner practices what the teachers taught them in the class. This is exactly what happens to computer education.

Oken and Anderson (1982) noted six roles of the teacher to include dispensation of knowledge facilitation of learning and model. As a dispenser of knowledge, the teacher is looked upon as all knowing. The pride of any teacher is the sound knowledge of his or her subject. It is unfortunate that in some classrooms, teacher are not better than students they teach some dodge some topics while some others yet give the innocent learners wrong information.

Educationist argues that there is no single definition of learning. Learning involves the acquisition of new elements of knowledge, skills, beliefs, feelings and specific behaviours as well as changes in existing elements, learning involves either a change in behaviour or the capacity to change the behaviour in the future. (John 1995).

A person can be said to have learnt something if it can be shown that he can understand, explain or do something which he could not do previously. Teachers can build a creative monitoring partnership to ensure education growth and development.

Whitaker (1995), Howe (1984) supports this, stating that the role of the teacher can be to help students recognize the existing knowledge than they have and encourage them to develop ways of using their, knowledge creativity. As facilitations of learning. As pointed out earlier, that it is one thing for a teacher to know his or her subject very well, yet it is another in a way to present the knowledge is a way that the student can understand. With the above analysis, the concept of teaching computer education and it’s learning in schools is obvious.

 

Summary of the Review

From the review carried out, some issues related to computer education were discussed. They include, concepts and importance of computer education.

Non-human resources requirement for computer education, physical infrastructures for computer environment, conditioning, number and qualification of computer teacher in secondary schools, computer education and stereotyped system of teaching and learning in school.

However, the literature revealed the meaning of computer which defined computer as an electronic machine that can process and store information.

In the same vein, the importance of computer was seen from the literature review. It can be used in publishing book, watch video and disc carry out business as well as carrying out experiment and scientific research facilitate (eg atmospheric and earth science research).

Moreso, it reveals that there is need for library and labouratory which is part of the non-human resource requirements for computer education. These will enhance an effective teaching of computer in both practical and otherwise. This is because the literature revealed that computer as a subject is dead without practical and this practical could be effectively achieved through the use of labouratory, hence the need for effective laboratory.

Considering the central figures in learning, the literature revealed that there is need for qualified and competent teachers. For instance, anybody connected with the teaching of science in this country Nigeria will appreciate the fact that the alarming problem or the greatest restraint factor in science education in the incompetent teachers. Also in view of this, there was a review on the teachers education programme which was structured to equip teachers for effective performance of their duties. Hence the following qualifications NCE, BSC (ED) emerge for computer teacher as was revealed by the literature.

Computer education needs physical infrastructures like space, electricity, Air condition, desk and chairs for effective environmental conditioning the literature revealed that computer room or labouratory should be cited in a place that is well secured and it has to be equipped with adequate electricity and Air conditioning.

Computer education as a stereotyped system of teaching and learning was revealed by the literature. Since teaching computer is a multilateral activity calling for different approaches, strategies and skills with the ultimate aim of enhancing learning and creating deep insight and understanding of the concept and principles. It also revealed that as far as teaching and learning is concerned in teaching computer the same concept is involved.

Having revealed the relative literature on issues related to the topic generally, it is now imperative to find out what is obtainable in Ebonyi State at this period.

PREPAREDNESS FOR COMPUTER EDUCATION IN EBONYI STATE SECONDARY SCHOOLS

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