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ASSESSMENT ON THE COMPETENCE OF COMPUTER SCIENCE TEACHERS IN ONUEKE EDUCATION
The study, focused on the Assessment of the Competence of Computer Education Teachers in Junior Secondary Schools in Onueke Education Zone in Ebonyi State. The main purpose of the study was to assess the competence of computer education teachers in the zone understudy. Three research questions guided the study. Questionnaire was used to collect data and was analyzed using mean and standard deviation. This study utilized a survey research design. A survey research design is one in which a group of people or items are studied by collecting and analyzing the data from a selected people or items considered to be representative of the entire group. According to the teachers’ list of the schools selected for the study, 370 secondary school computer education teachers made it into the sampling frame. These were all selected randomly from both private and government secondary schools in Ikwo, Ezza south, Ezza North, and Ishielu local government areas. The target population is all the computer education teachers teaching in junior sections of the secondary schools selected. From the responses to the various questionnaire items, findings revealed that computer education teachers in the zone are competent in the use of teaching skills and are knowledgeable in their subject matter but are incompetent in the use of computer facilities, application software packages and the internet. Based on the findings, implications were drawn and the researcher recommend among other things that Teacher Education Institutions and the Facilities of Education in our various universities should spearhead computer and ICT initiatives through training teachers to equip them with the required skills and knowledge to prepare them for classroom instruction. Suggestions for further research on similar topics were made for the purpose of comparing the findings with the findings of this study. Finally, conclusions were drawn.
1.1 Background to the Study
In recent times, the world has witnessed a rapid increase in technological innovations. This era ushered in the advent of the electronic computer system among other technologies. At present, the computer technology has permeated nearly all aspects of human organizational roles and education.
Computer encompasses almost all facets of human endeavors. So much has been written on it and its relatedness to all areas of human discipleships, which include computer, Information technology, engineering, agriculture medicine, military, etc. However, much work has not been done on the competence of the teachers teaching the subject in terms of skills and knowledge they should posses to be able to take this current trendy into our secondary schools. This work aims to fill this gap, as it investigates the Competence of education teachers (Bada, Tayo, Adewale, Ajibada, Olalekan, & Ofedokun, 2009).
Today, computer technology in schools is one of the most far-reaching and fast growing development in education. Like maize in a plantation during a storm, countries all over the world are bending towards the fad of computer education (Joseph, 2007). Development in science and technology has brought into limelight the indispensable roles of computer in the area of information technology; it is a new instructional system. The incursion of the electronic computer system into the educational parlance provides the where withal to solve teaching and learning problems even more rapidly and accurately than hitherto conceived. This has eventually made the computer system doyen of humanity as it continues to exert greater acceptance. Computer, according to Jayesimi (2008), has become ‘neology’ in recent society and possibly futuristic in years ahead.
In schools, computers are widely used and the need for computer technology and literacy in the educational system has become more relevant. According to Mc McCormick (2003), computers can be used to diversify, develop and improve the pedagogical relation of teaching and learning. Also technological development can only be enhanced through proper acquisition of scientific knowledge. Federal Government of Nigeria launched the National policy on computer literacy at primary, secondary and tertiary levels of education in 1987 with the following general aims: For the computer to transform the school system, as there is increased merger between the computer technology and communication; and with thorough understanding of the concept of computer in order to fit in to the next century to equip the individual or student. The National programme on computer education as put in place by the Federal Government of Nigeria was received with open arms and regarded as a technological innovation in educational practice in Nigerian institutions of learning. Computer Education was perceived as a new instructional system that was designed to improve the quality of teaching and learning and to aid technological and socio- economic development. This was further corroborated by the federal minister of education, Professor Jubril Aminu in his address to the Adhoc committee on Computer Literacy in Nigeria that the objectives of the nation’s Computer Education program among other things, were as follows:
- To bring about a computer literate society in Nigeria within a shortest space of time.
- To enable the present generation of school children at all levels, appreciate the potentials of the computer; and
- To enable them to be able to use the computer in various works of life and later occupation.
With these laudable objectives, all state governments throughout Nigeria follow the Federal Government policy to introduce Computer Education and Literacy in secondary schools in 1997 with following general objectives.
- To bring about a computer literacy in each state in Nigeria.
- To develop the use of computer as teaching tool in all subject areas and to familiarize students with the use of computer technology.
- To enable the present generation children at the secondary school level appreciate the potentials of the computer and be able to utilize the computer in various aspects of life and later occupation; and
- To expose the teachers and the students to the latest scientific knowledge and skills.
From the foregoing, based on the importance of computer learning introducing it into the Nigerian educational system can be said to be a step in the right direction.
However, it is disheartening to note that this beautiful policy formulated by the federal and state governments respectively where only pronounced without seeing the evidence of its implementation as its expectations in the life of the young graduates are yet to be seen. It is pertinent to note at this time that the Nigerian government recognizes the fact that secondary schools are the immediate source of man power for industry and commerce, and then integrated Computer and ICT literacy into the secondary school curriculum so that the teachers can teach the students in preparing them for the world of works. This however, has not been the case to the majority of the Junior and Senior Secondary School graduates who have gone job seeking as they have little or no knowledge of the computer to show the coverage of the content of the secondary school curriculum as formulated and enshrined in the National policy on computer education 1987 and revised 2004.
Given this Scenario, this study is designed to assess the competence of the Computer Education Teachers in junior secondary schools in Onueke educational zone so as to determine their knowledge ability in the subject matters, their teaching skills, use of the computer facilities, as well as their competency in the use of computer application software packages which are used in teaching computer practical. This becomes highly imperative as teachers are the main implementer of the curriculum and if they are not competent enough the educational objectives of the subject will not be actualized.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Computer Education competence on the part of the teachers is a broadly investigated phenomena often, in order to support practical policy-making and teacher training (Lakkala, Ilomaki & Kantosalo, 2011). But with a lot of unexpected out puts (students) from many of our Junior and Senior Secondary School graduates who have gone job seeking without a satisfactory evidence to prove that they have gotten both practical and theoretical knowledge of computer despite the Federal and state government policy to make teaching and learning of computer Education mandatory in both Junior and Senior secondary schools throughout the Federation , therefore calls for more concern in the way the policy so far formulated are implemented and the competency of those implementers. The saying that no educational system may rise above its teachers lays credence to the fact that a learner may never perform more than his teacher.
Hence this current research on the Assessment of the Competence of the Computer Education Teachers in Junior Secondary schools in Onueke educational zone becomes imperative.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of this study was assess the Competence of Computer Education Teachers in Junior Secondary Schools in Onueke educational zone, specifically; the study was designed to find out
I. The extent to which computer teachers in junior secondary schools are competent in the use of teaching skills/their knowledge of the subject matter.
2. The extent to which computer teachers in junior secondary school are competent in the use of computer facilities/the application software packages.
3. The extent to which Computer Education Teachers in junior Secondary Schools are competent in the use of the internet.
1.4 Significance of the Study
This study will be significant when completed because, Computer Education Teachers, educational administrators and the society at large will benefit extensively from it. It is expected that the assessment of the competence of the computer education teachers as well as their knowledge ability in the subject matters and the use of teaching skills, and indeed their competence in the use of computer facilities, general application areas of computer application (software packages) would be of immense benefit if the result of the study is made public.
The computer Education teachers through this study will be able to evaluate their competence on Computer Education. The study will equally expose them to their weak points (computer education teachers) and the possible ways of solving their problem.
It will also enable computer Education teachers in giving information and suggestions to school supervisors, ministry of education and other educational bodies on the related issues.
To the educational administrators, the study will enable them to identify the degree of competence among the Computer Education Teachers in their schools and thereby improving them through organization of workshops, conferences symposia etc. They will understand the best way of utilizing computer facilities provided to them by the government. The study will equally help in modifying computer education as a subject in the junior and senior secondary schools curriculum.
The society at large will in no small measure benefit from the study as it will enable her produce people who are competent and knowledgeable in the use of computer technologies as well as teaching of Computer Education in Junior and Senior Secondary Schools.
1.5 Scope of the Study
The scope of this study was on all the Computer Education teachers in all the junior secondary schools in Onueke educational zone which consist of Ezza North, Ezza south, Ishielu and, Ikwo LGAs all in Ebonyi state. The study was delimited to finding out the extent to which Computer Education teachers in junior secondary school in the Zone under study are competent in the use of computer teaching skills and their knowledge of the subject matter, the extent to which the computer teachers in junior secondary schools in the Zone are competent in the use of computer facilities, application software packages and the use of the Internet.
1.6 Research Questions
The following research questions guided the study.
1. To what extent are computer teachers in Junior Secondary Schools competent in the use of teaching skills/their knowledge of the subject matter?
2. To what extent are computer teachers in Junior Secondary Schools competent in the use of computer facilities/application software packages?
3. To what extent are the computer education teachers in Junior Secondary Schools competent in the use of the Internet?