AVAILABILITY OF COMPUTER SCIENCE LABORATORY IN TEACHING OF COMPUTER SCIENCE IN JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL
This study was conducted to investigate the availability of computer science laboratory in teaching of computer science in junior secondary school. Four research questions were developed to capture the topic and questionnaire is designed to elicit information from the respondents which comprise of teachers and students of the selected schools, 200 population samples were randomly selected from five schools in the Local Government Area.
Retrieved questionnaire were collected and analyzed using mean statistics. Any mean below 2.50 is rejected while a mean of 2.5 above is accepted. The finding revealed that there is significant relationship between teaching facilities and students academic performance in secondary schools in the ikere Local Government Area. There is significant relationship between physical facilities, personnel facilities, teaching facilities and teacher’s ability to implement laboratory facilities. There is cordial significant relationship between availability of laboratory facilities and students academic performance.
Background of the Study
Education is the greatest tool for the development of any nation, the major objectives of sending our children to school is to help them learn some basic concepts, skills, knowledge and beliefs necessary for the development of some specific goals. Observations have shown that in even level of schooling whether at the primary, secondary or tertiary level of education, there are basic facilities which make it possible for the school to attain her desired goals school facilities can also be referred to as school plant. According to Costaldi (2007), school facilities are those materials of education which enables a skillful teacher to achieve a level of instructional effectiveness that exceeds what is possible, when they are not provided, the materials of education or educational facilities are numerous, whatever materials or services that helps to facilitate teaching and learning fall under the term school facilities. They consist of land, buildings, playground, school farm, laboratories, libraries, assembly hall, classrooms, workshops, audio visual aids (radio sets, video sets, tapes) slide projectors and slide flip charts e.t.c. graphics (charts, posters, pictures) photographs, cartoons, graphs maps e.t.c) display materials chalkboard, flannel boards, magnetic boards and many others.
It has been observed that often times teachers of computer sciences mostly emphasis cognitive domain at the expense of the other two domains involves adequate exposition of students to practical activities in computer science. For computer science to make sense to students, teaching of science need to be done in a well equipped laboratory and workshop capable of giving students adequate scientific experience with practical and demonstration affords. Therefore, laboratory experience provides creativity for the learner and ability to plan ahead, design new problems, invent things and also enables the learners to synthesize data. Without the laboratory experience students can only their examination through memorization of theoretical aspect of science and as such practical activities in computer science. This study focus on the availability of teaching and laboratory facilities for effective teaching and learning of computer science in Junior Secondary School in Ethiope Local Government Area. The Webster’s Dictionary (1992) define laboratory as a place equip for experimental study in a science or for testing or analysis. Broadly, a laboratory encompasses a site providing opportunity or experimentation, observation or practice in a field of study. School laboratory includes these places or area where practical study or teachings are carried out to facility learning. Here the students practical what they have learnt theoretically in the classroom. By doing, knowledge is then registered permanently. Demonstration in the laboratory has been described as effective methods of learning because it involves several sense organs: seeing, hearing, touching and smelling. No doubt, it helps to concretize the understanding of certain principles learnt theoretically. Most people in the society are aware of the unemployment problem prevailing in the society or country and the role proper acquisition of skill could play in mankind graduates to be self employed. Computer science has an impact on our lives in a great number of ways. Therefore the study of computer science should never be separated from the study of the real world around us. If one is literate in computer science, one must be prepared to investigate, to observe, to carryout experiments (practical) and then record his/her result. Boulind (1979) define practical lessons as aids which are used by the teachers to help him/her communicate his/her ideas effectively. For computer science to be effectively learnt, practical lessons are therefore inevitable; in this view Gravernir (1986) notes that one of the major, if not the most important function of an educational system in the contemporary time, is to produce the prolong skilled manpower which a nation needs to grow economically. For this to be effective, both the teachers and students of computer science education need a good human and material laboratory equipment. If the study of computer science must achieve these roles in the nation’s development effort, the first step is towards providing for skill acquisition. Hence, the role, a well equipped computer science teachers plays in the teaching and learning of computer cannot be over emphasized. Therefore, the extent to which school laboratory facilities will contribute to effective skill acquisition in secondary school will depend generally in how far the needed equipment for imparting learning to students by doing and discovering inquiring approaches are used in a variety of ways and situations. Good teaching somehow depends upon the availability of teachers and variety of laboratory equipment to support the theory. This of course means that the computer science laboratory facilities must not only be in harmony with the goals also has a definite value for improving the learning of specific topics.
Statement of the Problem
The role of Computer science in the development of science and technology in modern economy cannot be over emphasized. This role is multifaceted and multifarious that no area of science and technology escapes its application (Okereke, 2006).
Ukaeje (1989) described Computer science and the basic sciences as the mirror or civilization and the most basic discipline for any person who would be truly educated an any science. Despite the importance place of laboratories on computer science, researchers (Odili, 1886) Salan, 1985; Amazigo 2000; Agwagah, 2001, had observed that students lack interest in the subjects and perform poorly in them. For instance, (Ukeje 1986) observed that mathematics is one of the most poorly taught widely hated and abysmally, understood subject in secondary schools.
Although (Okigbo and Oguafor 2008) have carried out research on the effect of computer laboratory on the achievement of computer science students, it is not certain how many of these schools have these computer laboratory or laboratories for the science subjects. We therefore need to adapt to the fast changing computer age.
Consequently evidence of poor performance in computer by junior secondary school students point to the fact that the most desired technological, scientific and business applications cannot be sustained. The study is therefore designed to find out the assessment on the availability of computer science laboratory for effective teaching and learning of Computer Science in Junior secondary school. It is also designed to find out the extent for which these Laboratories are equipped where they exist.