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Attitude of secondary students on difficulties in learning computer studies

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of the Study

Education systems around the world are to use computers to teach students the knowledge and skills they need in the 21st century. Computers have the potential to transform the nature of education. Computers provide an array of powerful tools that may help in transforming the present isolated, teacher–centered and text bound classrooms into rich student focused interactive knowledge environments. Lecturer in public Federal College of Education s must make use of computers to teach their students. In this way, they will move towards the goal of transforming the traditional paradigm of teaching. Lecturer do not need to learn about computers. They need to learn how to use computers to enhance their learners’ understanding and critical thinking skills. Enhancing basic information and communication skills like reading, writing, and speaking should be the focus of using computers in the classroom (Duffy and Cunnigham, 1996). Oketch and Asiachi (2002) states that “the teacher is the kingpin in any educational innovation. No curriculum can achieve its objectives without good teachers. The quality of curriculum implementation process is of paramount importance. Curriculum is only as good as the quality of its teachers.” Bransford (2000) is of the view that computers have the potential to support education across the curriculum and provide opportunities for effective communication between lecturer and students in ways that have not been possible before. He further states that computers have the potential to be influential in bringing about changes in ways of teaching. Computers can play various roles in learning and teaching processes. According to Bransford (2000), several studies have reviewed the literature on computer and teaching and have concluded that it has great potential to enhance student achievement. Wong (2006), points out that computer can play a part in supporting face-to-face teaching and learning in the classroom.

One of the fundamental rights of every human being is education. Education prepares the individual for challenges in life. Consequently, Gujjar (2010) opined that education does not only deliver information, but for developing complete personality of a child. In Nigeria there are three levels of education: primary, secondary and tertiary level. Secondary education is the level between primary and tertiary education. It equally prepares students to be productive members of the society (Jegede2013). In developed countries, Federal College of Education  is seen as the gateway to providing not only an educated citizenry but also a capable workforce. According to World Bank in Etim (2006), Secondary education is now being recognized as the cornerstone of educational system in the 21st century. It therefore means that quality Secondary education is indispensable in creating a bright future for individuals and nations alike.

The term Computer Studies have been used interchangeably, in some cases it has been referred to as computer education while in other cases it is called computer literacy. In whatever way, it means the same thing. Computer education is the effort or the ability to make the generality of the people computer literate. Computer literacy is the ability to be able to read, write and speak the language of the computer. It can also be looked at as a process of educating the people on how to use a computer to run a program and diverse application including business, industry and commerce (Okorie, 2012). Computer studies according to Edhuze (2003) involved teaching and inculcating in the learner the basic skills required to independently manipulate the computer to achieve educational goals. He further stated that, computer studies as a subject is aimed at making students acquire skills and competencies required in this digital word of competitiveness. Such basic skills and competencies upon graduation make them conversant with term and practices embedded in the world of computer. Computer studies, therefore a subject organized toenable people understand the function, uses and limitations of the computer and to provide an opportunity for the study of the modern methods of information processing.

The intention of Nigeria to include computer studies into the Federal College of Education  curriculum dates back to 1988 when the National Policy on Computer Education was enacted and launched (Abimbade, 1999). The policy on computer education suggested the following as some of the computer curriculum context at the Federal College of Education  level: A basic appreciation of how the computer works, an understanding of the basic principle of operating the computer, hands-on experience using the pre-programmed packages which are relevant to the interest of the students as teacher aids in different subjects. According to the National Policy on Computer Education (2006), it is expected that by the end of secondary education, the child has acquired reasonable competence in software such as word processing, spreadsheet, database analyzing programs that allow learners interact with the computer the way they desire (Ayogu, 2008). It therefore means that to achieve these objectives as stated in the National Policy on Education, strategies are needed.

In modern world, the computer is being gradually applied in all aspects of human endeavour. It has been stressed that the application of computer will enhance effectiveness and efficiency in this rapidly growing and technologically changing world. Computer education is being advocated because it is almost certain that computer literacy will have as much impact on career opportunities in the fast growing information age (Adamu and Bello, 2012). The relevance of computer education is therefore, hinged on its utility value. The National Policy on Education (NPE, 1981, revised in 1988, 1991, 1998 and 2004) introduced the teaching of computer studies in Nigerian schools. The inclusion of the study of computer studies in the school curriculum was aimed at providing opportunity for every student to become computer literate. The study of computer studies has in effect, gained tremendous influence on the student and society. However, the use and study of computers in Nigeria is recent when compared to other parts of the world where computers have been in use in all facet of human endeavour including offices, schools, industries, research centre’s, communication, hospitals to mention but a few. The complex nature of present day school situation has made transmission of information and instruction to students and the nature of learning and teaching in general more complex. This has made the role of the teacher in promoting learning more challenging. The new role does not just, involve mere transmission of information to students but also include looking at the problems associated with learning and instruction so that students can gain maximally from teaching and learning process. Computers are now used where there is a lot of data to be manipulated, where complex tasks must be managed or where there is need for real time access to centralized information from arbitrary locations such as in education, telemedicine, telecommunicating and in several other area (Adewopo, 2015). The study of computer in school is therefore, aimed at helping the students cope with modern technological development, equip them knowledge and competencies or skills of programme and administrative management as well as, improve the learning process. Students are expected to master the skills of computer appreciation or application and not just what it is and can do. Students are therefore, expected to be taught in such a way as not only to conceptualize and understand the computer, but also to be able to effectively manage their own learning, reinforce it and apply such knowledge or training in practical situation. This new approach has made the teaching of computer studies a little bit more complex and challenging. It has been observed that the teaching and learning of computer studies in schools has not been quite easy. Often time, people talk about inadequate equipments, facilities, and computers instructional resources for learning and teaching exercise (Aghadino, 2014). It is believed that teaching of science in general and computer studiesin particular is beset with a number of problems (Adamu, 2010). The slow pace of learning and application of computer had been attributed to this. This presupposes that there are problems associated with the teaching and learning of computer studies education. In the circumstance therefore, one is prompted to ask: what exactly is the situation? What are the problems associated with the teaching of computer studies education? It is against this backdrop this study was designed to assess the difficulties associated with computer studies education using Enugu East as a case study.

Statement of the Problem

Computer integration in the classroom is the application of technology to assist, enhance and extend student knowledge. Computers in education mean more than simply teaching learners on how to use computers. Computer is a means of improving education and not an end in itself. Thus computers should be used to promote information literacy the ability to access, use and evaluate information from different sources in order to enhance learning, solve problems and generate new knowledge. Computers determine more than anything else, the quality of our education.

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Updated: 6th April 2020 — 2:21 pm

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