Implementation Gaps of the National Computer Education Policy

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Implementation Gaps of the National Computer Education Policy in Secondary Schools in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria

ABSTRACT

This study investigated the extent of the implementation of Nigeria National Computer Policy in secondary schools in Akwa Ibom state. Computer hardware, software, and qualified teachers were investigated. Three research questions and three hypotheses were raised and formulated respectively. Descriptive survey design was adopted for the study. Data were collected from principals and computer teachers in the state purposively through a questionnaire. Data for the study were collected using researcher’s developed instrument tag “Implementation Gaps of Computer Education Policy – IGCEP.” The reliability of the instrument was 0.81 using Cronbach Alpha. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics of mean and mean gaps to answer research questions and an independent t-test to analyze the hypotheses. The results on the whole revealed that the extent of the implementation of the National Computer Education Policy in secondary schools in Akwa Ibom state is low. Recommendations made among others are that, effort should be made by the government to provide new computer hardware and software to at least meet the stipulated 5-1 student to computer ratio. Making hardware and software available should be a governmental priority.

KEYWORDS: Implementation Gaps, National Computer Education Policy, Computer Education

INTRODUCTION

The Federal Government of Nigeria in her National Policy on Education (FRN, 2013) adopted education as an instrument for affecting national development. Education has been seen as a process through which individuals are made functional members of the society through transmission of knowledge, skills and attitude. It is on this premise that the education system in Nigeria is structured into levels to ease the acquisition of knowledge, skills and attitude from simple to complex. One of the levels of education is the secondary education, which is seen as the second tier of education in Nigeria. Secondary education is a type of education given after the basic education. The subjects offered in the secondary education level include among others Computer/ICT Studies (FRN, 2013).

In education as in other fields of human endeavour, every official action of an organization must have a backing or a basis. It is for this purpose that there is a policy on education. A policy is an overall guide that gives the general limits and direction in which administrative action will take place (Okoroma, 2006). A policy defines the area in which decisions are to be made, but it does not make the decision. It usually provides a general guide that facilitates decision-making (Okoroma, 2006). Educational policies provide the direction for educational activities. Etesike and Ogugua (2005), during the 32 ministerial council meeting of the National Council on Education in 1987, the Federal government of Nigeria decided to introduce computer education into the nation’s secondary school system. In order to give political backing, the federal government inaugurated the National Committee on Computer Education the same year. The general objectives of the policy include: to bring about a computer literate society in Nigeria by the mid-1990s; enable present school children to appreciate and use the computer in various aspects of life and in future employment (Report on National Committee on Computer Education 1988; Jegede and Owolabi, 2003).

According to the National Computer Policy (1988), the first objective of the computer policy is to ensure that the general populace appreciates the impact of information and computer technology on today’s society, the importance of its effective use, and the technologies that process, manage, and communicate the information. The second general objective is to ensure that the people of Nigeria will know how to use and program computers, develop software packages, understand the structure and operation of computers and their history, and to appreciate the economic, social and psychological impact of the computer. The modalities and the strategies for achieving the stated objectives include: training teachers and associated personnel; providing hardware facilities; curriculum development; software developments and evaluation and maintenance of hardware and peripherals

To actualize the objectives of the policy, the government politically reaffirms its stand on the introduction of Computer Studies in schools in the National Policy on Education (2013), that government will provide basic infrastructure and training for teachers in the primary school. It is also the intention of government to provide necessary infrastructure and training for the teachers in order to make it easy for smooth integration of ICTs in the secondary school system (Bamidele and Bakare, 2015). Ensuring the provision of the manpower and other resources required to meet the broader objectives of computer education at the secondary level of education and at the societal level has been the aim of the nation through the Nigeria Policy on Computer Education right from the beginning. In response to this goal politically, government procured and distributed computers to schools. Those computers are now stored in principals’ offices unused in our schools nationwide. According to a study by Bukaliya and Mubika (2011), the qualifications of the majority of the teachers are far from being satisfactory due to lack of exposure to college curriculum that does not cater for ICT training. The teachers have poor practical skills in ICT usage since the majority of them could not even use the basic software in computers for the delivery of their lessons and indications are that the teachers lack the necessary skills and knowledge of computers and basic software usage (Mkpa, 2007). Aduwa-Ogiegbaen and lyamu (2005) concluded that computer is not part of classroom technology in over 90% of public schools in Nigeria. The introduction of computer education into schools has consisted mainly of buying a few computers and some software. These are added to existing educational technology facilities in schools with little in the traditional operation of the school being affected by the presence of computers.

The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization  (UNESCO, 2002) report stated that keeping the pace with technological development and the changing competencies required both students and their teachers state-of-the-art curriculum and appropriate teacher development. To this end, availability of qualified computer science education teachers, computer facilities and the right attitude of the stakeholders towards the implementation of the subject in question are germane to effective computer education. Jegede and Owolabi (2003) quoting a onetime Minister for Science and Technology said that the formulation of an information technology (IT) policy constituted only about 20% of the IT solution for the country, but the remaining 80% lies with implementation (2001).   All the objectives of Computer Education/Studies cannot be attained without adequate implementation through the provision of quality teachers, facilities and an enabling environment for teachers and students. It is on this premise that this study therefore seeks to assess the implementation of Computer Education/Studies in secondary schools in Akwa Ibom State in the areas of hardware, software and the qualification of teachers.

STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

Over the years, the gap between educational policies and goal attainment due to inadequate implementation of policies has become of great concern to many observers. The policy on computer education is not an exemption. Computer education has become a factor in the lives of average literate Nigerians. This is because, to be computer literate means to be acquainted with computer terminologies, basic concept, working mechanism and potential uses and benefit to manipulate and control computer machines to solve diverse problems. The benefits and impacts of computer and information technology on the individuals and the society makes computer education to be an essential part of the education system of a functioning society like Nigeria (Yusuf, 2005). Given this scenario, the paper examined the extent of availability of functional hardware, availability of required software and qualified teachers to undertake the implementation of National Computer Education policy in secondary schools in Akwa Ibom state for national development.

PURPOSE OF THE STUDY

The main purpose of the study is to assess the extent of the implementation and achievement of objectives of computer education policy in secondary schools in Akwa Ibom state. Specifically, the study sought to determine:

  1. The extent of the availability of functional hardware computers in secondary schools in Akwa Ibom state based on principals and teachers responses.
  2. The extent of the availability of functional software computers in secondary schools in Akwa Ibom state based on principals and teachers responses.
  3. The extent of the provision of qualified computer teachers in secondary schools in Akwa Ibom state based on principals and teachers responses.

RESEARCH QUESTIONS

  1. What is the extent of availability of functional hardware computers in secondary schools in Akwa Ibom state based on principals and teachers responses?
  2. What is the extent of availability of functional software computers in secondary schools in Akwa Ibom state based on principals and teachers responses?
  3. What is the extent of the provision of qualified computer teachers in secondary schools in Akwa Ibom state based on principals and teachers responses?

RESEARCH HYPOTHESES

  1. There is no significant difference on the extent of availability of functional computer hardware in secondary schools in Akwa Ibom state based on principals and teachers responses.
  2. There is no significant difference on the extent of availability of functional computer software in secondary schools in Akwa Ibom state based on principals and teachers responses.
  3. There is no significant difference on the extent of the provision of qualified computer teachers in secondary schools in Akwa Ibom state based on principals and teachers responses.

RESEARCH DESIGN

Descriptive survey design was used in this study. According to Ekeh (2003) descriptive survey design allows a researcher to gather information, summarize, present and interpret for the purpose of clarification. It is a method that helps in collecting information by interviewing or using questionnaire to a sample of individuals. The finding of the descriptive survey can be generalized (Bichi, 2004).

POPULATION

The population for this study comprises 148 Principals and 148 Computer Studies teachers in secondary schools in Akwa Ibom State.

SAMPLE AND SAMPLING TECHNIQUE

The sample size for this study is 148 comprising 74 principals and 74 computer teachers. This is based on recommendation of Morgan and Krejcie (1970) which states that for population of 248, a sample of 148 was recommended. The sampling technique used was purposive sampling technique. Purposive sampling is a sampling technique that enables the researchers to make judgment on the suitability and appropriateness of any selected sample considering its peculiarities (Ekeh, 2003). The study uses purposive sampling technique because the respondents were at the best position in knowledge and experience to provide the needed information.

INSTRUMENT FOR DATA COLLECTION

The research instrument used for data collection in this research work was questionnaire.  The questionnaire used for this study was based on a 5-points Likert scale and was tagged “Implementation Gaps of Computer Education Policy (IGCEP) questionnaire. The questionnaire items were 30 designed in sections, with each section containing statements aimed at attaining a particular objective set by the study. Mean of 4.50 – 5.00 was considered Very High Extent, 3.50 – 4.49 was considered High Extent, 2.50 – 3.49 was considered Moderate Extent, 1.50 – 2.49 was considered Low Extent and 1.49 below was considered Very Low Extent.

VALIDATION OF THE INSTRUMENT

In order to ascertain the validity of the instrument for this study, the questionnaire was given to two experts to ascertain its content and construct validity. Experts in Measurement and Evaluation and Computer Education in University of Uyo, Uyo assisted in that regard. The questionnaire items were subjected to thorough scrutiny to ensure the validity of the instrument. The reliability coefficient of 0.81 was obtained, which is high enough to prove that the instrument is reliable for use in the study.

METHOD OF DATA ANALYSIS

The data collected in the study were analyzed using mean to answer the research questions and independent t-test to analyse the hypotheses. The copies of questionnaire filled correctly and returned was 135.

RESULTS

Research Question 1

What is the extent of availability of functional computer hardware in secondary schools in Akwa Ibom state?

Table 1: Mean response of principals and teachers on the extent of availability of

   Functional computer hardware in secondary schools 

Table 1 revealed that the mean response of principals is 3.95 and the mean score of teachers is 2.65. The gap is 1.31. This shows that the extent of availability of functional computer hardware in secondary schools in Akwa Ibom state is to a low extent. 

Research Question 2

What is the extent of availability of computer software in secondary schools in Akwa Ibom State based on principals and teachers responses?

Table 2: Mean response of principals and teachers on the extent of availability of    computer software in secondary schools 

Table 2 revealed that the mean response of principals is 4.41 and the mean score of teachers is 2.91. The mean gap is 1.50. This shows that the extent of availability of computer software in secondary schools in Akwa Ibom state is to a low extent.

Research Question 3

What is the extent of the provision of qualified computer teachers in secondary schools in Akwa Ibom state based on principals and teachers responses?

Table 3: Mean response of principals and teachers on the extent of the provision of qualified computer teachers in secondary schools

Table 3 revealed that the mean response of principals is 2.24 and the mean score of teachers is 2.53. The mean gap is -0.15. This shows that the extent of the provision of qualified computer teachers in secondary schools in Akwa Ibom state as compared to policy is to a low extent.

Research Hypothesis 1

There is no significant difference between the mean responses of principals and computer teachers on the extent of availability of functional hardware computers in secondary schools in Akwa Ibom state based on principals and teachers responses.

Table 4:  t-test summary of mean responses of principal and teachers    on the extent of availability of functional hardware computers in secondary schools in Akwa Ibom state

In Table 4, the calculated t-value is 4.84 and it is greater than the critical t-value which is 1.95 at 133 degree of freedom and 0.05 level of significance, the null hypothesis is rejected. Therefore, there is significant difference between the mean response of principals and computer teachers on the extent of availability of functional hardware computers in secondary schools in Akwa Ibom state.

Research Hypothesis 2

There is no significant difference between the mean responses of principals and computer teachers on the extent of availability of computer software in secondary schools in Akwa Ibom state based on principals and teachers responses.

Table 5: t-test summary of mean responses of principal and teachers on the extent  of availability of computer software in secondary schools in Akwa Ibom        state.

In Table 5, the calculated t-value is 3.54 and it is greater the critical t-value which is 1.95 at 133 degree of freedom and 0.05 level of significance, the null hypothesis two is rejected. Therefore, there is significant difference between the mean response of principals and computer teachers on the extent of availability of computer software in secondary schools in Akwa Ibom state.

Research Hypothesis 3

There is no significant difference between the mean responses of principals and computer teachers on the extent of the provision of qualified computer teachers in secondary schools in Akwa Ibom state based on principals and teachers responses.

Table 6: Result of t-test analysis of mean responses of principal and teachers on the      extent of the provision of qualified computer teachers in secondary schools In Akwa Ibom state. 

In Table 6, the calculated t-value is 0.87 and it is less than the critical t-value which is 1.95 at 133 degree of freedom and 0.05 level of significance, the null hypothesis three is accepted. Therefore, there is no significant difference between the mean response of principals and computer teachers on the extent of the provision of qualified computer teachers in secondary schools in Akwa Ibom state as compared to policy.

DISCUSSION

From the data presented in Tables 1 and 4, both the principals and teachers indicated that functional computer hardware needed to appropriately implement the National Computer Education Policy had not been adequately provided as mean response of the principals (3.95) and teachers (2.65) indicated that the functional computer hardware for the implementation of the National Computer Education Policy are available at a low extent. Also, the calculated t-value was 4.85 and it is greater than the critical t-value which is 1.96 at 133 degree of freedom and 0.05 level of significance, the null hypothesis was rejected. Therefore, there is significant difference between the mean response of principals and computer teachers on the extent of availability of functional hardware computers in secondary schools in Akwa Ibom state. This finding is similar to the findings of Isyaku (2016) who carried out a research on the “Assessment of the implementation of computer science education in Colleges of Education in Kano and Jigawa states” and Jegede and Owolabi (2003) that researched on “Computer Education in Nigerian Secondary Schools: Gaps between Policy and practice”. Policy dictates a minimum of 8 personal computers per school. This number was calculated based on the assumption that each computer class comprises 40 students or one computer for every 5 students, National policy on Computer Education (1988) in (Jegede and Owolabi, 2003). The research finding has shown that despite minimum number computers stipulated in the policy, the provision of adequate functional computer hardware to implement the policy is to a low extent as some schools in Akwa Ibom state do not have functional computers hardware to cater for the increased rate of students in the school to the extent of one computer to every five students.

From Tables 2 and 5, the mean responses of the principal and teachers were (4.41) and (2.91). This revealed that the availability of computer software in secondary schools in Akwa Ibom state is to a low extent. Also, the calculated t-value was 3.54 and it was greater than the critical t-value which is 1.96 at 133 degree of freedom and 0.05 level of significance, the null hypothesis two was rejected. Therefore, there is significant difference between the mean response of principals and computer teachers on the extent of availability of computer software in secondary schools in Akwa Ibom state. This finding corroborates with the findings of Isyaku (2016) that computer facilities and equipment are not adequately available.

From Tables 3 and 6, the mean responses of the principal and teachers were (2.24) and (2.53). This shows that the extent of the provision of qualified computer teachers in secondary schools in Akwa Ibom state as compared to policy is to a low extent. Also, the calculated t-value is 0.87 and it is less than the critical t-value which is 1.96 at 133 degree of freedom and 0.05 level of significance, the null hypothesis three is accepted. Therefore, there is no significant difference between the mean response of principals and computer teachers on the extent of the provision of qualified computer teachers in secondary schools in Akwa Ibom state taking cognizance of the National Computer Education Policy.This finding is inline with the finding of Owolabi and Jegede (2003) that qualified computer teachers are in short supply. Despite the policy dictates that three teachers be selected as the computer teaching personnel and that qualified graduates in computer education should be employed in the schools when possible, one teacher was still seen teaching computer in a school and most of these teachers were those from another discipline like Mathematics, Physics and others.

CONCLUSION

Based on the findings, it can be concluded that the extent of the implementation of the National Computer Education Policy in secondary schools in Akwa Ibom state is low. There is a wide disparity between policy pronouncements and policy implementations in Akwa Ibom state. This has marred the development of the state and country on the whole, technologically. 

RECOMMENDATIONS

Based on the findings, the following recommendations were made:

  1. Ministry of Education should form a body that will regulate, monitor, evaluate and verify progress in computer education on a regular basis; this will help give the government up-to-date information and status of computer education programme in our secondary schools. This body would act as an informed lobby group to the government, stressing the need for policy implementation.
  2. Effort should be made by the government to provide new computer hardware and software to at least meet the stipulated 5-1 student to computer ratios. Making hardware and software available should be a governmental priority.
  3. Graduates of computer education should be employed adequately to cater for the low extent of qualified computer teachers in secondary schools. Also, Colleges of Education and Universities should be assisted in the formulation of successful computer education programs so that within a few years qualified computer teachers will be available to schools.
  4. Education stakeholders should have the right attitude to a great extent for the successful implementation of Computer Education Policy.
  5. Computer technicians should be employed in each school for regular maintenance and repairs of the computer facilities.
  6. The National Computer Education Policy should be reviewed as it is long overdue for revision. 

REFERENCES

Adeuwa-Ogie, G. (2003). The Development of ICT Computer Skills through the National Computer Education Curriculum. Proceedings of the 2003 Annual Conference of the Science Teachers Association of Nigeria. Ibadan: Heinemann Educational Book (Nigeria) PLC.

Bamidele, E. F., & Bakare, O. O. (2015)  Impediments on the Implementation of Computer Science Education Curriculum in Public Secondary Schools in Osun State Nigeria. Asia Pacific Journal of Education, Arts and Sciences, 2 (4), 12-17.

Bichi, M.Y. (2004). Introduction to Research Method and Statistics. Kano: Debis Publishers

Bukaliya, R. & Mubika, A.K. (2011). Teacher Competence in ICT: Implications for Computer Education in Zimbabwean Secondary Schools, International Journal of Social Sciences,1(4 ), 89-97.

Ekeh, F.I (2003). Research Methodology and Statistics in Education. Abakaliki: Madol Press Ltd.

Etesike, C. N.  &  Ogugua E.O. (2005). Poverty and effective formal Education:  The Nigerian situation. International  Journal  of Forum for African Woman Educationalist Nigeria, 1(2), 34-55

Federal Republic of Nigeria (2013). National Policy on Education. Abuja: Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council.

Isyaku, I. (2016). Assessment of the Implementation of Computer Science Education in Colleges of Education in Kano and Jigawa states, Nigeria. Unpublished M. Sc. Dissertation of          Department of educational foundations and curriculum, Ahmadu Bello university Zaria.

Jegede, P.O.  & Owolabi, J. A. (2003). Computer Education in Nigerian Secondary Schools: Gaps between Policy and practice. Meridian Computer Technologies Journal. Retrieved from Http://www.Ncsuedu/Computer Education/Nigeria/Index.Html

Morgan, R. & Krejcie, M..(1970). Determining Sample Size for Research Activities.

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Mkpa, M.A. (2007). Moving secondary education forward in Nigeria through information communication technology (ICT). A paper presented at a seminar organized by All Nigeria Conference of Principals (ANCOPPS). Abia State Chapter at Kopling Hotels,  Umuahia on February, 13.

Okoroma, N. S. (2016) Educational policies and problems of implementation in Nigeria. Australian Journal of Adult Learning. 46, (2), 242-263

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AUTHORS: NSEABASI. P. ESSIEN, PhD, V. A, UWAH AND EMMANUEL PHILIP ODODO

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