Computer Studies Curriculum Implementation in Secondary Schools in Mufumbwe District in Zambia. Success and Challenges


Master's Thesis, 2019

157 Pages, Grade: B


Excerpt

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ABSTRACT

DEDICATION

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

TABLE OF CONTENTS

LIST OF TABLES

LIST OF FIGURES

LIST OF APPENDICES

ACRONYMS AND ABBREVIATIONS

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
1.1. Overview
1.2. Background to the Study
1.3. Statement of the Problem
1.4. Purpose of the Study
1.5. Objectives
1.6. Research Questions
1.7. Theoretical Framework
1.8. Conceptual Framework
1.9. Significance of the Study
1.10. Delimitation of the Study
1.11. Limitations
1.12. Operational Definition of Terms
1.13. Summary

CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1. Overview
2.2. Importance of Teaching Computer Studies in Institutions of Learning
2.3. Availability of Facilities and Equipment for Implementation of the Curriculum
2.4. Teacher Preparedness in Teaching Computer Studies
2.4.1. Pre-service Training of Teachers
2.4.2. In-service Training of Teachers
2.5. Teaching Methods in Computer Studies
2.6. Views of Teachers, Learners and Parents on the Teaching of Computer Studies
2.7. Research Gap
2.8. Summary

CHAPTER THREE: METHODOLOGY
3.1. Overview
3.2. Research Paradigm
3.3. Research Design
3.4. Study Site
3.5. Target Population
3.6. Sample Size
3.7. Sampling Techniques
3.7.1. Schools
3.7.2. Head Teachers
3.7.3. Teachers
3.7.4. Learners
3.7.5. Parents
3.8. Data Collection Instruments
3.8.1. Description of data collection instruments
3.8.2. Interview schedules
3.7.2.1. Interview Schedule for Head Teachers
3.7.2.2. Interview Schedules for Parents
3.8.3. Questionnaires
3.8.3.1. Questionnaires for Teachers
3.8.3.2. Questionnaires for Learners
3.8.4. Lesson Observation Schedule for Teachers of Computer Studies
3.9. Data Collection Procedure
3.10. Data Analysis
3.10.1. Qualitative Data Analysis
3.10.2. Quantitative Data Analysis
3.11. Reliability and Trustworthiness
3.11.1. Reliability
3.11.2. Trustworthiness
3.10.2.1. Credibility
3.10.2.2. Dependability
3.10.2.3. Confirmability
3.12. Ethical Considerations
3.12.1. Informed Consent
3.12.2. Research Description
3.12.3. Benefits and Risks
3.12.4. Anonymity and Confidentiality
3.12.5. Voluntary Participation
3.13. Summary

CHAPTER FOUR: PRESENTATION OF FINDINGS
4.1. Overview
4.2. Demographics of the Participants
4.3. Pilot Study
4.4. Facilities and Equipment for Computer Studies Curriculum Implementation
4.4.1. Computer Laboratories
4.5. Source of Power Generation
4.6. Materials for Computer Studies
4.6.1. Textbooks
4.7. Equipment for Computer Studies
4.7.1. Computers
4.7.2. Scanners
4.7.3. Internet
4.7.4. Printers
4.7.5. Overhead projectors
4.8. Adequacy of facilities and equipment
4.9. Summary on the availability of Facilities and Equipment
4.10. Availability of Qualified Teachers of Computer Studies
4.11. Summary on the availability of Qualified Teachers of Computer Studies
4.12. Teaching Methods used in Teaching Computer Studies
4.13. Teaching Methods mostly used in Computer Studies
4.14. Views of teachers on appropriate teaching methods in Computer Studies
4.15. Respondent’s views about Computer Studies in Schools
4.16. Benefits of Computer Studies to Learners
4.17. Learners’ Motivation to Learning Computer Studies
4.18. Effects of learning Computer Studies on Learners
4.19. Participants’ Views on the Successes of Computer Studies
4.20. Summary

CHAPTER FIVE: DISCUSSION
5.1. Overview
5.2. Physical Facilities, Equipment and Resources for Computer Studies
5.3. Availability of Qualified Teachers of Computer Studies
5.4. Teaching Methods for Computer Studies
5.5. Views of Teachers, Learners and Parents about the teaching of Computer Studies
5.6. Successes Achieved through the Teaching of Computer Studies
5.7. Challenges Faced in the Process of Implementing Computer Studies
5.8. Theoretical Framework with Implications to the Study
5.9. Summary

CHAPTER SIX: CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
6.1. Overview
6.2. Summary of the Main Research Findings
6.2.1. Availability of Facilities and Equipment
6.2.2. Availability of Qualified Teachers
6.2.3. Appropriateness of the Teaching Methods
6.2.4. View of Head Teachers, Teachers, Learners and Parents
6.3. Conclusion
6.4. Recommendations
6.5. Proposed areas for future research

REFERENCES

APPENDICES

ABSTRACT

Globalisation and technological development in the world has accelerated and created a new global economy fuelled by information and driven by innovations. One way in which information spreads is by the use of computers. In the 2013 revised curriculum, the Ministry of General Education in Zambia introduced Computer Studies into the education system. The few studies in this area were done in urban areas. The rural setting has been ignored as regards to implementation of Computer Studies Curriculum. Mufumbwe district being a rural setting is a special case especially in a Zambian context considering development trends in Zambia. Specifically, the study sought to establish the availability of facilities and equipment for the implementation of Computer Studies, find out the availability of qualified Computer Studies teachers, examine the appropriateness of teaching methods and establish the views of Head Teachers, Teachers, learners and parents on the implementation of Computer Studies in Secondary Schools in Mufumbwe district.

The concurrent embedded design of mixed methods research approach was employed. Four head teachers of secondary schools and eight parents were interviewed and questionnaires were employed to collect data from twelve teachers of Computer Studies and fifty-one learners bringing the total to seventy-five participants. An observation schedule was also used to collect data from teachers. Quantitative data was analysed using descriptive statistics while qualitative data was analysed according to themes.

The findings of the study revealed that there were insufficient facilities and equipment such as computer laboratories and computers, internet connectivity, printers, backup generators, overhead projectors and photocopiers. Findings further indicated that there were no qualified teachers of Computer Studies and inappropriate teaching methods such as lecture methods were being used during lessons. However, head teachers, teachers, learners and parents indicated that the introduction of Computer Studies was a good thing, hence there was need to encourage the teaching of the subject in rural secondary schools.

From this study, it was concluded that there was need to provide facilities and equipment for Computer Studies in secondary schools in Mufumbwe district, teachers qualified to teach Computer Studies should be sent to schools in order to encourage the teaching and learning of the subject in rural secondary schools. Teachers teaching Computer Studies should also be in-serviced so as to enable them use appropriate teaching methods during computer lessons in order to encourage the teaching and learning of the subject in schools. The rural settings have been neglected as regards the implementation of the computer studies curriculum in Zambian schools of Mufumbwe district.

Keywords: Computer Studies Curriculum , Innovations

DEDICATION

This work is dedicated to my kind and loving wife Nosiku, and children; Muzang’alu and Pumulo for the patience, moral and spiritual support they rendered to me during the entire period that I was kept busy doing this study. Their endurance gave me hope and encouragement in times when I was almost failing to complete this study.

To my late uncle, Mr. Geoffrey Kasoka , I will always remember the encouragements and hope you gave me more especially your wise counsel and encouragements that “who you are tomorrow begins with what you do today”. How I wish he was here to see the fruits of this work. Uncle, you were by far the best teacher and my inspiration I have ever had. To my entire family, thank you so much for believing in me.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Martin Luther King Jr. an AmericanBaptist minister and activist, said, “If you can’t fly, then run, If you can’t run, then walk, If you can’t walk, then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.” Such sermons have kept me pulling through despite hardships. Above all, I believe in God’s wise counsel and in Him alone base my faith.

Firstly, I am highly indebted to my supervisor and mentor, Dr. Innocent M. Mulenga for his fatherly guidance, encouragement, thoughtful criticism and wise counsel rendered to me during the production of this work. Little did I know that this dream would one day come true looking at the failures that I went through. Dr. Innocent M. Mulenga I thank you very much because every time you realised that I was sleeping, you woke me up. I will always live to admire your integrity, honest, professionalism, excellence among other attributes that you possess.

Secondly, sincere thanks to the DEBS Mufumbwe district, for allowing me to come to school and providing me with the necessary information that made this study a success.

My profound thanks to my Head Teacher, Mr. Boaz Katolika and deputy Head Teacher, Mrs. Josephine Kachungu Ntabo for their indulgence at different stages of my expedition. I further extend my gratitude to the Head Teachers of Kalende Secondary, Kikonge Secondary and Wishimanga Secondary for their warm reception during my study.

I cannot forget to appreciate the support I got from people who were dear to me such as my course mates, lecturers, members of staff at Jairos Fumpa Secondary school, friends and all the people of good will too numerous to mention who were supportive to me during the course of study.

To my loving and kind wife; Nosiku and children; Muzang’alu and Pumulo for their patience, moral and spiritual support they rendered to me during the entire period that I was kept busy doing this study. Their endurance gave me hope and encouragement in times when I was almost failing to complete this study.

To my close relatives; my aunt Mrs. Kasoka and family, Mother Evelyn and Father Kakoma J. Masumba, brothers Kindie, Given, Kelvin, and Geoffrey, sisters Karen, Chipango, Ketty and Kema, Nephew Samanana and Niece Sibende I say thank you very much for your endless love and endurance during this study.

LIST OF TABLES

Table 2. 1: Percentages of computer distribution in some countries in Africa

Table 2. 2: Number of schools with computers in Zambia by running agency

Table 2. 3: Number of computers by education level

Table 2. 4: Pupil enrolment versus Computer distribution

Table 3. 1: Summary of participants and intended samples and actual sample

LIST OF FIGURES

Figure 1.1: Conceptual Framework

Figure 2.1. Elements of Teacher preparedness

Figure 3.1: Embedded Design

Figure 3.2: Visual model of the Constant Comparative Method of Qualitative Data Analysis

Figure 4. 1: Frequency and percentage distribution of responses by learners on their views concerning up-to date of textbooks

Figure 4. 2: Percentages distributions on the responses of teachers on the learners to computers ratio

Figure 4. 3: Percentage distribution of the number of teachers qualified to teach Computer Studies

Figure 4. 4: Percentage distribution of teachers responses on their use of teaching methods

Figure 4. 5: Frequency and percentage distribution of head teachers, teachers, learners and parents responses on whether the introduction of Computer Studies is a good thing

Figure 4. 6: Percentage distributions of teachers’ responses on why learners are motivated to learn Computer Studies

LIST OF APPENDICES

Appendix 1: Consent Form for Individual Participants

Appendix 2: Interview Schedule for Head Teachers

Appendix 3: Interview Schedule for Parents

Appendix 4: Questionnaire for Learners

Appendix 5: Questionnaire for Teachers

Appendix 6: Observation Schedule

Appendix 7: Lesson Observation Schedule for Teachers in Secondary Schools

ACRONYMS AND ABBREVIATIONS

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CHAPTER ONE : INTRODUCTION

1.1. Overview

This chapter contains the background to the study, statement of the problem and purpose of the study. In it, the objectives, research questions, the theoretical and conceptual frameworks, significance of the study, delimitations of the study and limitations are outlined. Finally, operational definition of terms used in the study have also been given.

1.2. Background to the Study

In a rapidly changing world, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in general and computer skills in particular are essential for an individual to be able to access and use information. There has been a rapid need for computer skills in schools marking the beginning of the information age worldwide (Isaacs, 2007). ICT use in general and Computer Studies (CS) in education are at a particularly dynamic stage in Africa encompassing new developments and announcements happening on a daily basis on the continent. Computers play an important role in the education sector, especially in the process of empowering learners with technological skills needed for effective educational activities. Thus, the education sector could be the most effective sector to anticipate and eliminate the impact of using ICT equipment such as computers (Macharia, 2013). Similarly, the Economic Commission for Africa indicated that the ability to access and use information is no longer a luxury, but a necessity for development (Yusuf & Afolabi, 2010).

Despite the focus by world bodies towards fostering a computer literate world, most developing countries, Zambia inclusive, seem to have challenges to implement Computer Studies curricular in schools. It is believed that through acquiring computer skills and knowledge, schools shall produce learners who are innovative and self-sustaining. According to Muhammad (2009) Computer Studies enhances the promotion of equal opportunities to obtain education and information, principles of life-long learning and technology literacy among citizens.

Although Computer Studies as a subject is offered (taught) in few schools in developing countries, “they are pervasive in developed countries and is considered integral to the efforts to build social, political and economic emancipation” (Perron et al., 2010: 67). Developed countries such as the United States of America, Japan, German, the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Russia and Italy often referred to as group eight (G8) countries are in very advanced levels in terms of Computer Studies curricular implementation in schools (Mwaniki, 2007). Computer Studies in education has proved very useful and effective in the teaching and learning process in most schools world over.

Studies that have been done by different scholars around the globe, regional and within Zambia such as: Jerotichl et al., (2017), Kimosop (2015), Gimba (2018), Kiamba and Mutua (2017), Mulima (2015), Mulenga (2016) and Chaamwe (2017) have revealed that Computer Studies curriculum is faced with numerous challenges of its implementation in schools. Some of the challenges that the scholars have pointed out include; lack of computers in schools and other facilities, inadequate trained teachers to teach Computer Studies, lack of computer skills and knowledge by some teachers and administrators. Despite the researcher of this study being aware of some of the stated challenges, he was of the view that the importance of Computer Studies Curriculum in selected rural secondary schools of Mufumbwe district: An analysis of successes and challenges still needed to be investigated. Moreover, rural secondary schools have a very unique context in so many ways.

Similarly, a study by Ijioma (2004) in Nigeria titled ‘Implementation Issues in Secondary Education Curriculum in Nigeria: Problems and Prospects’ revealed that poor socio-economic conditions in most developing countries of the world, including Nigeria had compelled the government and institutions of learning to show little concern for the application of Computer Studies in education. Ijioma further established that even where computers were available; there was lack of electricity, human and material resources hence influencing the effective implementation of Computer Studies curriculum. A study by Ijioma and many other studies by different scholars are important to this study. It could be because the challenges pointed out have eventually made the implementation of Computer Studies not so easy hence bringing about a growing body of literature pertaining to Computer Studies curriculum implementation in secondary schools.

In Zambia, the need and urgency to have computer literate learners was evident through the launch of the Zambia National ICT Policy as early as March 2007. By then, the president of the republic of Zambia His Excellency Levy P. Mwanawasa emphasised on the creation of an innovative, market responsive, highly competitive, coordinated and well-regulated ICT industry in Zambia, (MTC, 2007). The inclusion of Computer Studies in the Zambian education curriculum six years later was aimed at promoting a major step in equipping learners with computer knowledge (MTC, 2007). It is indicated in the ICT policy that in the sphere of education, Computer Studies has the potential to improve the quality of education. Its vision is to have “information and communication technology that will contribute towards achieving the objective of providing innovative and productive life long education and training accessible to all by 2030” (Mwale, Chilala & Kumar, 2011: 6). ICT is used in many ways of which communication cannot be done without. Hence, it is cardinal that the education system is tailored towards achieving universal literacy in as far as computer literacy is concerned. One way to achieve computer literacy among learners is through enhanced Computer Studies Curriculum implementation especially in rural schools.

In addition, Computer Studies has been receiving focus at various platforms as demonstrated by the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (UNMDGs) and The World Summit on the Information Society (MCT, 2006). In Zambia, the importance of Computer Studies in education was demonstrated by its inclusion in the Fifth National Development Plan, 2006 – 2010 and other subsequent national plans, by the country’s participation in the E-African Commission, by the enactment of the Zambia national ICT policy where Computer Studies was seen as a favourite subject to be taught in schools and by the formulation of the Ministry of Education Draft ICT policy (Mwale, Chilala & Kumar, 2011). Consequently, the inclusion of Computer Studies in the 2013 revised Zambia education curriculum framework as a subject to be taught in all schools was a good move which is likely to help to achieve Zambian computer literate citizens (MoGE, 2013). Despite these pronouncements put forward, implementation of Computer Studies in rural secondary schools of Mufumbwe district is still questionable.

Actually, a study conducted by Kwok-Wing and Pratt (2004) revealed that Computer Studies is an integral part of the existing curriculum in primary and secondary schools’ curriculum in Scotland. They further found that Computer Studies was a core curriculum subject in Scotland and teachers were adequately trained in handling the subject. The situation in Zambia may be different from that of Scotland. Hence the need for this study to investigate the Computer Studies Curriculum implementation in rural secondary schools of Zambia’s Mufumbwe district.

Conversely, studies by Aduwa-Ogiegbaen and Iyamu (2005) and Mutarubukwa (2014) both revealed that many developing countries, especially in African schools are still behind in the implementation, application and use of computers and other forms of ICTs. Explaining some of the benefits of literate ICT nation, Mutarubukwa (2014) established that if Computer Studies can be established and implemented effectively, it could be very important for teachers and learners in future in solving various matters in their daily activities, sending and receiving emails, the use of google, file storage and designing various programmes. Like other African countries, Zambia can also benefit by having a computer literate society hence the need to find out how the implementation is being done in rural secondary schools of Mufumbwe district in Zambia.

Furthermore, Kalila, et al (2012) in a report of the Committee on Education, Science and Technology for the first session of the Eleventh National Assembly of Zambia, appointed on Friday, 21st October, 2011 stated that the use of computers and the internet have been touted as potentially powerful enabling tools for educational change and reform. In the report by Kalila, et al, it was further indicated that when used appropriately, computers can help to expand access to education, strengthen the relevance of education to the increasingly digital workplace, and raise educational quality by, among others, helping make teaching and learning into an engaging, active process connected to real life. Therefore, Computer Studies has the potential to innovate, accelerate, enrich and deepen skills, to motivate and engage learners, to help relate school experience to work practices, create economic viability for tomorrow's workers, as well as strengthen teaching and learning in schools. Obota, et al (2015) argued that computers have been utilized in education ever since their inception, but they have not always been massively present. These and other many sentiments could have led to the urgency by the Ministry of General Education in Zambia to have Computer Studies curriculum introduced in the education system.

As a result, in 2013, the Zambian school curriculum was revised and Computer Studies was included to be taught in all schools as a compulsory subject from grade eight to grade twelve in order to equip learners with essential skills necessary for them to have basic knowledge of ICTs (MESTVEE, 2013). Through the revised Competence Based Education (CBE), it was hoped that skills, knowledge and values in ICT should be developed from Early Child Education (ECE) to tertiary education (Education Act, 2011). However, the CBE requires teachers of the 21st century to be interpreters of the curriculum, facilitators, experts, scholars, lifelong learners, mediators and designers of learning programmes as well as teaching materials and subject specialists. Besides, the designers of the Zambia Education Curriculum Framework (ZECF) considered the process of learning as important as the content, hence one of its critical outcomes envisages to re-define the desired learner, the teacher-educator/instructor and the teaching and learning outcomes so as to make education relevant and responsive to the individual and the society (MESTVEE, 2013). CBE helps to develop learners who will be able to use science and technology effectively and critically showing responsibility towards the environment and the health of others (Education Act, 2011).

The introduction of Computer Studies as a subject in the Zambian curriculum is characterised by low implementation rates especially in public schools (Lufungulo 2015, Mulima 2015, Chilala 2015, Mulenga 2016 and Chaamwe 2017). It was reported in the Zambia National ICT Policy (2007) that there are over 6,000 public schools out of which very few have Computer Studies as a subject in their schools. The Ministry of General Education (MoGE) has since embarked on the distribution of computers in schools countrywide although at a very small scale. In 2015, the supply of computers in schools was at 20,026 countrywide (Zambia Education Bulletin, 2015) of which North Western Province received 1132 computers representing 5.7 percent of computers against 780 and 286 640 schools and students respectively. From this allocation Mufumbwe district received only nine (9) desktop computers which were allocated to Kaminzekenzeke Secondary School (Mufumbwe DEBS Office, 2017). However, the other remaining secondary schools had not received Computer Studies equipment at the time of this study. Mwalongo (2011) stressed that in some schools where computers and other ICT equipment existed, teachers were neither competent enough to use them nor were sceptical of them. Mwalongo’s (2011: 43) findings give a picture of this scenario;

In some schools there is a culture of looking at ICT resources as sacred objects. It is beyond human comprehension to learn that in some schools, ICT resources are not used at all despite their presence, the availability of users and the need to use them is not easily noticed.

Similarly, a literature review conducted by Chaamwe (2017) on the challenges that hinder sustainable implementation of ICT as a subject in rural Zambia revealed lack of electricity, inadequate ICT teachers, high pupil-computer ratio and lack of enough ICT learning and teaching materials as factors that hindered implementation of Computer Studies. In reality, adequate infrastructure (such as security rooms for safekeeping of computer equipment, electricity, infrastructure, laboratories, etc.) had to be put in place prior to the provision of computer resources, in order to ensure effective implementation of Computer Studies curriculum. Thus, in a bid to improve the quality of teaching and learning, government, in collaboration with the private sector, parastatals and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), had begun to provide resources, in particular computers in some schools and Mufumbwe secondary school benefited two hubs of computers and internet connectivity (Mufumbwe DEBS Office, 2017). It is from this contention that, while the government’s intentions and plans with regard to provision of computers are without doubt commendable, implementation of Computer Studies curriculum in rural secondary schools in Mufumbwe district still needed investigation.

1.3. Statement of the Problem

Globalization and technological change in the world has accelerated and created new global economy fuelled by information and driven by innovations. The use of computers in secondary schools and other sectors of education has been and remains in a state of fluidity (Isaacs, 2007). According to the Zambia National ICT Policy (2007) it was reported that the introduction of Computer Studies (CS) in the school curriculum shall increase opportunities for learners to acquire computer literacy skills and contribute towards innovative and lifelong education. In 2013 the Ministry of General Education (MoGE) introduced Computer Studies as a compulsory subject to be taught in all secondary schools in Zambia (MESTVEE, 2013). However, the implementation of Computer Studies curriculum in secondary schools in Zambia seems not to be adequately handled although its introduction is a good idea (Mwale, 2015). A study by Mulenga (2016) on the implementation of Computer Studies in public primary schools in Ndola urban revealed that primary schools had implemented Computer Studies Curriculum (CSC) though with some challenges such as lack of facilities, lack of trained manpower and poor acquisition of computer literacy skills by learners. Despite the challenges outlined by the scholar, it was important to investigate the situation on the implementation of CSC in rural secondary schools of Mufumbwe district in North Western Province.

Lack of computer skills among learners in Zambia, may hinder technological advancement and fail to achieve the national ICT policy goal of 2007 which introduced CS as an enabler in a diversified and export-oriented economy, capable to improve livelihoods and protect the vulnerable through service delivery and provide an efficient and effective public sector. Further, Zambia may fail to achieve the vision 2030 whose vision is to have a prosperous middle-income nation by 2030 through having a technologically proficient, fully able to adapt, innovate and invest using its human and natural resources (Republic of Zambia, 2006). It was therefore important that this study was conducted in order to investigate how CSC was being implemented in rural secondary schools in Mufumbwe district.

1.4. Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study was to investigate the Computer Studies Curriculum implementation in rural secondary schools of Zambia’s Mufumbwe district.

1.5. Objectives

The objectives of this study were to:

i. establish the availability of facilities and equipment for the implementation of the Computer Studies Curriculum in selected secondary schools in Mufumbwe district.
ii. find out the availability of qualified teachers for the effective implementation of the Computer Studies Curriculum in selected secondary schools in Mufumbwe district.
iii. examine the appropriateness of the teaching methods used in the implementation of the Computer Studies Curriculum in selected secondary schools in Mufumbwe district.
iv. establish the views of head teachers, teachers, learners and parents on the teaching and learning of Computer Studies in selected secondary schools in Mufumbwe district.

1.6. Research Questions

This study was guided by the following questions:

i. What facilities and equipment are available for the implementation of the Computer Studies Curriculum in selected secondary schools of Mufumbwe district?
ii. Are there enough qualified teachers to enhance the effective implementation of the Computer Studies Curriculum in selected secondary schools of Mufumbwe district?
iii. How appropriate are the teaching methodologies in the implementation of the Computer Studies Curriculum in selected secondary schools of Mufumbwe district?
iv. What are the head teachers’, teachers’, learners’ and parents’ views on the teaching of Computer Studies in selected rural secondary schools of Mufumbwe district?

1.7. Theoretical Framework

A theoretical framework consists of theories which act as a background and guide the investigation in question (Orodho, 2005). This research was guided by the curriculum implementation theory by Gross (1971), who stated that for an effective implementation of any educational programme, it must be based on the four elements namely; clarity of the innovation to the implementer (teacher’s ability), availability of resources, capacity of the implementer, management support of facilities. The first element in curriculum implementation according to Gross (1971) is the clarity of the innovation to the implementer. In the Computer Studies curriculum implementation, the implementer who is the teacher should be aware of the changes in the curriculum. Teachers need to adapt to change and innovation as a result of a revised or new curriculum. When the teacher is not aware of the changes in a curriculum he/she cannot implement it effectively. Therefore, the implementer should be innovative and be aware of what is expected or involved in implementing the Computer Studies curriculum. Computer Studies being a new subject introduced in the curriculum needs teachers who are innovative to produce learners who can adapt to change in the changing world (MoGE, 2013).

The other element of curriculum implementation theory according to Gross (1971) is that there should be resources available for a curriculum to be implemented effectively. Resources to be used by teachers and learners should be made available before the implementation of a curriculum (Patton, 2001). Like in any subject, Computer Studies require that resources are put in place and are available and relevant to support a new or existing curriculum. Resources in this regard may include infrastructure, computers, internet connectivity, syllabus, reading materials, and teaching and learning resources.

Furthermore, for a person to be called a teacher, he must have undergone a teacher education programme. Hence, Gross’ other element namely; ‘the capacity of the implementer’. If one has not been to a college of education or university to be prepared in a specific subject, then he is not fit to be called a teacher. Whoever teaches without having gone for teacher education preparation may not teach as expected and as a result demoralise the learners. According to Gross (1971), he advised that there should be different levels of teacher education and a teacher should adhere to his or her level of education. This study found the theory by Gross appropriate in that Computer Studies teachers need to undergo teacher education in Computer Studies in order to teach learners well. If teachers are not educated to teach a specific subject in this case Computer Studies, they may find the subject challenging. It is for this reason that this study used Gross’ curriculum implementation theory to find out even the availability of qualified teachers of Computer Studies in secondary schools in Mufumbwe district.

The other element by Gross (1971) focussed on the management support. The head teachers of schools must ensure that they carry out their roles such as supervisory, advisory, giving financial support, motivation of teachers, and provision of teaching resources. In addition, Orodho (2005) supported Gross’s theory when he stated that there is no programme that can be implemented well without involving three factors which included school related factors (presence of teachers, resources, in-service of teachers, education policy); teacher related factors (teacher qualifications, class and time management, motivation, attitudes and preparations) and the third factor which is school management related supervisory, financial and resource management. Therefore, Gross’ curriculum implementation theory was identified to adequately inform and guide this study.

1.8. Conceptual Framework

Orodho (2009) defined a conceptual framework as a model of presentation of relationship between variables in the study depicted graphically or diagrammatically. Figure 1.1. shows a conceptual framework indicating the relationship between the implementation of the Computer Studies curriculum and facilities for computer studies, infrastructure and human resources in the implementation of the Computer Studies curriculum.

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Figure 1. 1: Conceptual Framework

Figure 1.1 is a conceptual framework for this study. It is hoped that if Computer Studies facilities, equipment, adequately trained and motivated teachers, conducive learning environment and appropriate teaching methods are put in place, schools are likely to implement the Computer Studies Curriculum effectively. Availability of facilities and equipment that support the implementation of Computer Studies coupled with a conducive learning environment and appropriate teaching and learning methodologies are likely to result in learners acquiring computer skills and being computer literate.

1.9. Significance of the Study

This study is likely to contribute to existing literature on the Computer Studies curriculum implementation in selected secondary schools in Mufumbwe district. It is also hoped that the study would provide an insight to curriculum developers and MoGE policy makers on what needs to be done to enhance the learning and teaching of Computer Studies in Mufumbwe district of North Western Province.

Furthermore, it is hoped that this study maybe of significance to teacher educators and Education Standard Officers (ESOs) on the importance of providing the necessary teaching and learning resources in Mufumbwe district. Through this study, head teachers and teachers of Computer Studies maybe enlightened on the importance of implementing Computer Studies and improve on their teaching methods in Mufumbwe district.

1.10. Delimitation of the Study

This study was restricted to Mufumbwe district and was conducted in selected rural secondary schools. It was further delimited to investigate the Computer Studies Curriculum implementation in rural secondary schools of Zambia’s Mufumbwe district.

1.11. Limitations

Class lesson observation would have further enriched the study with the real scenario at hand in terms of subject content and teaching methodology by teachers of Computer Studies and how learners are able to grasp the concepts in Computer Studies. However, lesson observation was not done to all teachers because during data collection, the teachers were administering end of term tests. Hence, only one teacher was observed. The study would have further been enriched if it covered all the seven secondary schools offering Computer Studies in the district. Due to limited time available, the researcher could not carry out a study of such a magnitude. Therefore, results may not be generalised to other schools beyond the population of the study.

1.12. Operational Definition of Terms

The following terms were taken to have the following meanings:

Compulsory subjects: areas of study to be taken by all learners at a particular level of learning.

Computer Studies: study of computer processes, includingcomputer principles, hardware and software designs, and applications.

Curriculum Implementation: putting organised learning material into effect or action such as the teaching of Computer Studies curriculum in secondary schools.

Information and Communication Technology: different types of technology tools which are used for creating, storing, managing and disseminating information to and from one place to another.

1.13. Summary

In this chapter, the researcher has presented the background of the study which has shown what is contained in this study. Thereafter, a description of the statement of the problem has been given. Furthermore, the researcher has explained the aim of the study, objectives and research questions. Lastly, a theoretical framework, conceptual framework, significance of the study, delimitations, limitations and operational definition of terms has been given. In chapter two, the researcher focussed on reviewing literature that is related to this study as a way of identifying the gap.

CHAPTER TWO : LITERATURE REVIEW

2.1. Overview

In this chapter, the different sources of literature to be used in the study has been presented. Kombo and Tromp (2006) defined literature review as the written materials that a researcher has consulted so as to understand and investigate the research problem at hand. In this chapter therefore, literature will be reviewed in order to establish the extent to which Computer Studies curriculum has been implemented in secondary schools in Mufumbwe district by establishing the availability of computer facilities and equipment, availability of teachers, teacher education and significance of the need for appropriate teaching methodologies. Furthermore, a discussion on teachers’ and learners’ mind-set regarding the use of computers in schools and state some of the challenges faced during the implementation of Computer Studies in other parts of Zambia.

2.2. Importance of Teaching Computer Studies in Institutions of Learning

There is a growing concern in Africa and the whole world about the use of computers to support learning in institutions of learning. According to Guzdial and DiSalvo (2013), computers are used to gather, analyse, modify and exchange information. They are used in almost all spheres of human activity. In this study, the term Computer Studies refer to the study of computer education processes, including computer principles, hardware and software designs and applications. In institutions of learning, Computer Studies is relevant for all learners because it incorporates a broad range of transferable problem-solving skills and techniques, including logical thinking, creative design, synthesis, and evaluation (Bennett, 2013). It also teaches generically useful skills in such areas as communication, time management, organization, and teamwork. For instance, learners who live in a technologically rich world, easily acquire knowledge and skills which help them to understand the underpinnings of current computer technology and prepare them for emerging technologies. Hence, it is important that Computer Studies is taught in secondary schools to lay a foundation for learners as they are prepared for a range of rewarding careers in society.

In addition, the use of computer and internet is increasingly making an easy way into teaching and learning processes (Boakye & Banini, 2008). Computer Studies is believed to be an important element in people’s lives and plays a central role in the education system. Many studies have been conducted around the globe on the importance of Computer Studies in schools (Isaacs, 2007; Richards & Tamillenthi, 2013; Olan’g, 2015; Mulima, 2013 and Mulenga, 2016). Most educational systems have proliferated in the field of ICT and Computer Studies in both developed and developing countries. The aforementioned studies dwelled much on urban secondary schools leaving out the rural schools. It was important to ensure that studies of such nature were subjected to both rural and urban schools in order to ascertain the extent of Computer Studies curriculum implementation. Studies on the implementation of computer studies curriculum have focused so much on schools in urban areas. In the long run, rural schools have been neglected.

Similarly, a study by Kozma (2003) on the ‘technology, innovation and educational change’ expressed that national studies conducted in the United States of America (USA) found a negative relationship between the frequency of use of school computers and school achievement among learners and teachers. Though Kozma (2003) in his study found that there was a negative relationship between the frequency in the use of school computers and school achievement among learners and teachers in the USA, this study focused on the implementation of Computer Studies in Zambia particularly in Mufumbwe district.

Further findings by Pelgrum and Plomp (2002) and Bakare (2014) showed that lack of practice in Computer Studies recorded poor results among learners. They established that the use of computers can enrich the educational system. Students need to gain the skills and understanding to get the best out of the innovating and use of Computer Studies in schools. However, technology is not everything but it plays an important role in the systems used to learn in school. The studies by Pelgrum and Plomp (2002) and Bakare (2014) gave the researcher grounds to carry out this study to ascertain how skills were being acquired by learners learning Computer Studies in secondary schools in Mufumbwe district.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) policy on ICT holds that ICTs can help strengthen democratic and transparent education planning and management. Communications technology can expand access to learning, improve equality and ensure inclusion. Where resources are scarce, judicious use of open-source material through technologies can provide the means to bypass the bottleneck of textbook production, distribution and updating (UNESCO, 2005). Mooiji (2007) observed that the world is moving rapidly into digital media and information, hence the role of ICT in education is becoming more and more important and this importance will continue to grow and develop in the 21st century.

Additionally, Isaacs (2007) asserted that there is growing evidence to suggest that ICT may be the only feasible and economically sound means of expanding access to, and improving the quality of, secondary education in the short run. There are several rationales for the uptake of ICT in education, namely economic, social, vocational and pedagogic (Peter, 2010). Peter (2010) further argued that the economic rationale of ICT in education relates to potential increase of efficiency and effectiveness in educational tasks, which will result in labour-saving costs. Pedagogic rationale on the other hand “emphasises the contribution that ICT can make to the improvement of the quality of education by providing rich, exciting, motivating and new environments for learning” (Peter, 2010:10). Uhomoibhi (2006) asserted that there is a growing consensus that ICT utilisation and E-learning have serious implications for leaders and teachers, parents and learners alike. If learners are educated on computers with “built-in-motivation” (Bennett, 2013:10), then they can develop the necessary levels of both confidence and knowledge. According to Guzdial and DiSalvo (2013), studying computer science cannot be regarded as just another subject or topic of research. Computing has emerged as a kind of literacy, which can be described as an indispensable groundwork upon which knowledge of other academic subjects can be built. Furthermore, Guzdial and DiSalvo (2013) established that new developments in computing education are about bringing computer literacy to everyone, from young children to working adults and retirees. In order to exploit the full potential of informatics in the society, it is a good idea to teach Computer Studies at every level of education such as primary, secondary, college and university levels of education. For this dream to become a reality, it was important that the extent of Computer Studies curriculum implementation in rural secondary schools such as in Mufumbwe district was investigated.

The MoGE in Zambia also attests to the centrality of ICT in the transformation of education specifically, and to Zambian society in general. To this effect, there is much emphasis on the use of ICT tools and to be accessible to all Zambians as opposed to few as it was in the past when the only beneficiaries were learners in private schools (Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education, 2013).

In another study on the importance of computers in institutions of learning can be drawn from Tayo, Ajibade and Ojedokum (2009) in a paper titled ‘uses of computer and its relevance to teaching and learning’ in Nigerian Schools. In the paper by Tayo, Ajibade and Ojedokum, it was established that computer education was very cardinal in the ever-changing global village. In their paper, they further stated that computers provided a convenient technique for designing and developing a course of instruction. It was also important to note that computers encompass almost all facets of human endeavours. This is one of the reasons why computers are widely used in institutions of learning; hence computer technology had become more relevant. Computers have been found to be effective devices for presenting an instructional programme. In agreement with Tayo, Ajibade and Ojedokum, McCormick (1993) stated that computers can be used to diversify, develop and improve pedagogical relation of teaching and learning. Also, technological development can be enhanced through timely acquisition of scientific knowledge which can be realised through relevant training in Science, Mathematics, and Computer Education (SMCE). It is with this view that the MoGE in Zambia launched the National ICT Policy in order to equip learners with skills that would help them understand thoroughly the concept of computers in order to fit well into the next generation. Such a notion, can be realised if Computer Studies curriculum is effectively implemented. Hence, do we know the extent to which Computer Studies curriculum was being implemented in rural secondary schools in Zambia? This and many other questions drove this study.

In another study by Lufungulo (2015) titled ‘Primary School Teachers’ Attitudes towards ICT integration in Social Studies: A study of Lusaka and Katete Districts’ revealed that primary school teachers in Lusaka and Katete held positive views towards the integration of ICT in the teaching and learning of social studies. This was mainly attributed to the training they had undergone with iSchool and Impact Network on the usage of ICTs. The study further established that although the schools were located in different spatial dimensions, the urban and rural setup, the teachers’ attitudes towards ICT integration was positive. Furthermore, teachers across the schools regarded ICT as advantageous over traditional methods of instruction and as suitable for the curriculum. However, Lufungulo found that although the ICTs were available in the schools, they were not adequate to the extent that each pupil could have had one and use at the same time in the classroom. Therefore, the teachers sampled in the study by Lufungulo called on the MESVTEE to subsidize the purchase of ICT tool and resources, as it was hoped that such a move could benefit both the pupils and teachers. The study by Lufungulo focused on integration of ICT with social studies. Integration of a subject with another subject can be assessed after seeing how the subject is being implemented. It was therefore the essence of this study in that it sought to investigate the Computer Studies Curriculum implementation in rural secondary schools of Zambia’s Mufumbwe district. When we know whether or not Computer Studies curriculum is being effectively implemented will help to find possible ways on how Computer Studies can be integrated with another subject.

However, while the use of computers has been seen as playing an important role and has far-reaching effects on the performance in many aspects of life (such as economic, pedagogic and social) (van Ark, 2011), the focus of this research was to investigate the Computer Studies Curriculum implementation in rural secondary schools of Zambia’s Mufumbwe district.

2.3. Availability of Facilities and Equipment for Implementation of the Curriculum

Computer Studies facilities and equipment can be described as infrastructure, electronic device, equipment, or tools used for collection, processing, storage, retrieval or transfer of information, and its associated services (Egoeze, Akman & Colomo-Palacious, 2014). Computer equipment refers to the hardware, software applications, and services associated with ICTs, including telecom networks. Computer equipment could be categorized into hardware, which comprises telephone, computer, LAN network, hub, printer, scanner, television, fax, codec camera, projector, radio, Video CD, audio tape players and microphone, software that includes windows, Ms Office and others. Computer equipment comprise even the earlier technologies such as radio and television (Akinsola, Herselman & Jacobs, 2005). However, the various facilities used in the teaching and learning Computer Studies in secondary schools according to Babajide and Bolaji (2003), Bamidele (2006) and Ofodu (2007) include; computers, overhead projectors, optical fibres, fax machines, CD-Rom, internet, electronic notice board, slides, digital multimedia, video/VCD machine and so on. It appears some of these facilities are not sufficiently provided for teaching and learning process in rural secondary schools. This might account for reasons why teachers may not use them in their teaching. Hence the need of this study to establish the availability of facilities and equipment used in the teaching and learning of Computer Studies in rural secondary schools in Mufumbwe district of Zambia.

Additionally, a study by Chamanlal (2014) on the role of computer applications and tools in the scientific research process highlighted that computers play a major role in every field of education as it leads the way to a globalized information portal that is the world wide web, a role which is hard to realise if Computer Studies curriculum is not effectively implemented in schools. The study by Chamanlal (2014) focussed on the role of computer applications and tools in the scientific research process. Despite the researcher bringing out the roles of computer applications and tools, he did not find out how Computer Studies curriculum was being implemented in schools. In this study, the researcher found out how Computer Studies curriculum was being implemented in rural secondary schools of Zambia, Mufumbwe district to be specific. It was hoped that taking such a study may help in realising the importance of computer applications and tools in academic work. If the Computer Studies curriculum is not implemented well, one may not be able to appreciate the importance that computers play in human life.

Furthermore, a study by Kanyeki (2006) established that the percentage of schools with computers in some countries in Africa was very low as illustrated in the table 2.1.

Table 2. 1: Percentages of computer distribution in some countries in Africa

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

The data in Table 2.1 shows that Egypt was among the African countries having high numbers of schools with computers 31.2 percent. The situation was worst in Mozambique where only 0.3 percent of its schools had computers. The inadequacy in number of computers in schools could have been attributed to huge capital required to purchase and install computers in schools. Most secondary schools operate on limited resources to implement competing curriculum projects. In Zambia, the education authorities have embarked on building and capitalizing on Computer Studies as a gateway for sustainable development a situation that is seen as a tool for integrating economy onto the global market (Mulima, 2015). But it seems nothing much is done to revitalise Computer Studies sector in rural secondary schools in Zambia. Hence, was the need for this study.

However, the full potential of Computer Studies curriculum implementation in Zambia is hampered by lack of availability of computer facilities and equipment and non-capacity of communities to make the best use of computer services as shown in Tables 2.2, 2.3 and 2.4.

Table 2. 2: Number of schools with computers in Zambia by running agency

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Source: 2016 Educational Statistical Bulletin

Table 2.2. shows the number of schools with computers in Zambia according to its categories. The table is important to this research as it contains information that helped the researcher realise how computer distribution corresponds with the schools in Zambia. Table 2.3. shows computer distribution in Zambian schools.

Table 2. 3: Number of computers by education level

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Source: 2016 Educational Statistical Bulletin

Table 2.3 shows computer distribution level in schools by educational level from the period 2014 to 2016. It is evident from Table 2.3 that the secondary level of education is the mostly affected section in terms of computer distribution in Zambia.

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Details

Title
Computer Studies Curriculum Implementation in Secondary Schools in Mufumbwe District in Zambia. Success and Challenges
College
University of Zambia
Grade
B
Author
Year
2019
Pages
157
Catalog Number
V495971
ISBN (eBook)
9783346057365
ISBN (Book)
9783346057372
Language
English
Tags
computer, success, zambia, district, mufumbwe, schools, secondary, implementation, curriculum, studies, challenges
Quote paper
Collins Masumba (Author), 2019, Computer Studies Curriculum Implementation in Secondary Schools in Mufumbwe District in Zambia. Success and Challenges, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/495971

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