INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY COMPETENCIES AND PERSONAL VARIABLE OF SECONDARY SCHOOL TEACHERS IN UYO LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA, AKWA IBOM
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- Background of the study
At all levels of the nation’s educational system and for all known and existing school types, instructional resources are indispensable factors in the attainment of goals of the teaching and learning process. Mkpa (2001), opined that whatever the varieties of materials used for different subjects by the teacher, it is obvious that they serve among other things to concretize otherwise abstract concepts and ideas thereby making learning more interesting, real and lively. They facilitate retention and help teachers to conserve energy by linking the use of spoken words.
These processes have been in existence as the major avenue of carrying out teaching and learning processes today. The use of any new technology is to enable learners to perform experiments and become conscious of their critical thinking in knowing the types and limitations of what they learn. If the learning environment focused on background information knowledge of terms and new concepts, the learner is likely to learn that basic information successfully.
The advent of information and communication technology (ICT) in education which is exacting an unprecedented impact in the learning process is a culmination of advancement in information and technology. The recognition of communication abilities and facilities offered by the computer, notably the e-mail, led to the replacement of the term ‘’information technology’’ with that of information and communication technology (ICT) a decade ago. While sharing this view, Pelgrum and Law (2003) affirm that the term ICT started replacing that of the IT from the 1990s.
Abort (2001) observes that at the initial state of ICT while more people are adopting the term ICT, people in the higher education were using communication and information technology to refer to the same concept. It is interesting to note that most developed countries have embraced ICT in education as a means of ensuring the development of ICT capability of the people with a view of achieving technological emancipation and competing favourably in the international arena.
The major way of developing ICT capability of citizens is through the implementation of the three facets of ICT-based curriculum that comprises; learning about ICT, learning with ICT and learning through ICT. It is in this regard that Tanner (2003) present ICT as discipline, resources and key skill. ICT as a discipline refers to ICT as a subject in the curriculum. The quality of the educational experience of each student ultimately depends on the initiative and competence of his teacher. Esu (2004) emphasized the point that the attainment of a functional and qualitative education will be a mirage without adequate well-trained and qualified teachers to meet the challenges of the school system via computer age and globalization. Furthermore, it is a well-known universally accepted fact that no educational system can rise above the quality of its teachers.
The use of computers and other ICT devices in education and the enhanced positive effect of such strategies have been reported in education literature. ICT is widely used to facilitate and promote fundamental changes in teaching and learning methods, ICT provides secondary school teachers with practical and functional knowledge of the computer, the internet and other associated gadgets that will have positive effect on future experience and make them more competent, rational and comfortable in this era of globalization. Through ICT, teachers, learners, libraries and schools communicate with one another and share information to enhance understanding, access and view documents in richly formatted texts and pictures; connect colleagues, scholars, friends and resources persons in almost all parts of the globalized world.
Consequently, the National Policy on education (2004) states that in recognition of the prominent role of information and communication technology in advancing knowledge and skills necessary for effective reading and functioning in the modern world, there is an urgent need to integrate information and communication technology (ICT) into educational system in Nigeria. The integration of ICT into education has made some changes in pedagogy by putting the reading agenda firmly into the hands of the student. In other words, the student-centred model is made accessible. ICT is used in class registration and teaching, settings of homework and preparation for examination and assessment in reading. This implies that ICT empowers learners to take greater control and responsibility for organizing their own reading activities.
Learners in Nigerian schools continue to rely almost entirely on their teachers and available texts and so instructional strategies continue to be teacher-centred while students remain passive learners. Opportunities of students and teachers to exchange information across schools, cities, nations and the continents and so share experiences and accumulated and the curriculum knowledge remain limited. The curriculum implementation strategies therefore significantly meet the millennium development goals which target significant human development progress. However, the experience of introducing different ICTs in the classroom and other educational settings all over the world over the past several decades suggest that the full realization of the potential educational benefits of ICTs is not automatic. The effective integration of ICTs into the educational system is a complex multifaceted process that involves not just technology but enough initial capital. Getting the technology is the easiest part but also curriculum and pedagogy, institutional readiness, teacher competencies and long- term financing are important.
- Statement of the Problem
It is no longer news in Nigeria that information and communication technology (ICT) has crept into education industry yet Nigeria cannot be said to have made significant progress in the development and acquisition of ICT education. Observation shows that majority of teachers in public secondary schools in Uyo Local Government Area do not know how to operate computer. These computers that the teachers need as their teaching aids are out of their reach because there are no computers in the secondary schools for them to practice and acquire the skills.
Most of the secondary schools have no infrastructure for the equipment (computers) to be kept even those that have; there are no sources of power for the functioning.
- Purpose of the Study
The study investigated information and communication technology competencies and personal variable of secondary school teachers in Uyo Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom
- To find out whether the level of ICT competencies of secondary school teachers based on ownership of personal computer is significantly high.
- To examine the different in ICT competencies of secondary school teachers based on gender.
- To ascertain the difference in ICT competencies of secondary school teachers based on their subject area of specialization.
- To assess the difference in ICT competencies of secondary school teachers based on their years of experience.
- To determine the difference in ICT competencies of secondary school teachers based on their age range.
- Significance of the Study
The findings of this study hopes to throw some light on the role of information and communication (ICT) to teachers particularly, secondary school teachers in Uyo Local Government Area Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. Based on the findings, recommendations will be made that will be helpful in promoting ICT competencies to teachers in secondary schools and assist development of the country.
The findings of this study will also be useful for documentary references to anybody that will conduct a more advanced research in the area of ICT in the future. When used effectively by teachers and integrated into teaching, ICT can improve teaching and learning, strengthen teacher professional development, support broad educational reform, enhance school community partnership and improve school management.
This piece of work will also benefit the Uyo Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State Government and Nigeria as a whole, to know the level of ICT competencies of secondary school teachers and to improve ICT facilities to assist teachers to update their knowledge and teaching skills. Moreover, the skills acquired by the students through the teachers will help them to be self-relevant in the future, either in school or outside the settings. This study has helped the researcher to improve on his cognitive and psycho motive domain, because both the theory and practical aspect of the computer were adequately utilized.
- Research Question
The following questions were formulated to guide the study:
- Is the level of ICT competencies of secondary school teacher based on ownership of personal computer significantly high?
- What is the difference in ICT competencies between male and female secondary school teachers?
- What difference exists in the level of ICT competencies of secondary school teachers considering their subject area of specialization in science, social science and arts?
- How does a secondary school teacher differ in their level of ICT competencies based on their age range?
- Do secondary school teachers differ in their level of ICT competencies based on their years of experience?
To guide the study the following hypotheses were used.
Ho: There is no significant difference in teachers’ level of ICT competencies based on teachers’ personal variable.
HA: There are significant differences in teachers’ level of ICT competencies based on teachers’ personal variable.
- Basic Assumption of the Study
With particular reference to the research study, it is assumed that although there had been an aggressive campaign towards computer literacy among all teachers in secondary schools to the point of almost making it a requisite for a job offer. Information and communication technology (ICT) facilities in the secondary school have not been utilized in few schools where there is ICT centre. There are reactions that instead of the facilities being used for their purposes in disseminating proper academic functions, there rather used as symbol of status or things of leisure without really exploring their full potentials and exploiting the bundle of benefits that comes with them, especially in relation to teaching and learning.
The study was further carried out based in the following assumptions the variables involved in this study namely teacher’s personal variables or characteristics and their level of ICT competence are measurable given appropriate instruments. Teachers differ on the basis of the variables investigated to this study. The responses of the subjects are true reflections of what they convey in this study. Other factors that could exert influence on the variables investigated are held constant in the study. The respondents are proficient in English language to be able to understand and give same meanings to the items on the instrument.
1.8 Delimitation of the Study
This study was delimited to the assessment of ICT competencies of secondary school teachers in Uyo Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. Many factors could contribute to ICT competencies of secondary school teacher but for the purpose of this study only level of competence on their personal variables in ownership of personal computer, gender, subject area of specialization, age range and year of teaching experience were selected for the investigation. The study is restricted to public secondary schools in Uyo Local Government Area.
- Limitation of the Study
The attitude of the respondents towards the questionnaire item some of them found the item difficult to answer. Paucity of literature in the area was one of the limitation of this study. Due to these limitation, the results of this study can be seen as tentative.
- Definition of Terms
The following terms are used based on the context of the study.
Information: facts or details provided, or learned about something or someone.
Communication Technology Competencies: The ability of the secondary school teacher’s ton answer question on Microsoft word, Excel, Power point, Corel Draw and internet.
Technology: New machines, equipment and ways of doing things that are based on modern knowledge about science and computers.
Computer: An electronic device that accepts data in another form called information. It is a high speed machine or electronic device that processes, retrieves, and store programmed information.
Teacher: Is one who has special aptitude for arousing the minds of students and intellectual characteristic by which knowledge is acquired with special skills in imparting that knowledge in a clear thorough and systematic manner.
Facility: Equipment and services provided for a particular purpose.
Internet: inter-connected network of computers around the wall that can communicate with one another using a common language, which is the hypertext transmission protocol (http).
Secondary School Education: Is a form of education given to children after their primary education and before their tertiary stage.
Globalization: Is a means to initiate, sustain universal total development, which includes technological, political and economical development.
Personal Variables: This refers to an individual’s unique traits, which make him/her different from another or other individual. In other words it refers to the totality of an individual’s innate make up which determine his/her behaviour.
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