EVALUATE THE USE OF COMPUTER IN TEACHING AND LEARNING OF BASIC TECHNOLOGY AT THE SECONDARY SCHOOL IN ORUMBA SOUTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF ANAMBRA STATE
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
In recent times, the world has witnessed a rapid increase in technological innovations. This era ushered in the advent of the electronic computer system among other modern technologies. At present the computer technology has permeated nearly all aspects of human organizational roles and education.
Computer encompasses almost all facets of human endeavours. So much has been written on it and its relatedness to all areas of human disciplines, which include computer/information technology, engineering, agriculture etc. However, much work has not been done on computer and its application and relevance to education. This work aims to fill this gap, as it discusses it importance to the field of education Today, computer technology in schools is one of the most far-reaching and fast growing developments in education. Like maize in a plantation during a storm, countries all over the world are bending towards the fad of computer education (Joseph, 1990; Madu, 1990; Macaulay, 1993).
Development in science and technology has brought into lime light the indispensable roles of computer in the area of information technology. It is a new instructional system. The incursion of the electronic computer system into the educational parlance, according to Sherman (2005) provides the wherewithal to solve teaching and learning problems even more rapidly and accurately than hitherto conceived. This has eventually made the computer system the doyen of humanity as it continues to exert greater acceptance. Computer, according to Jayesimi (1985), has become the ‘nowology’ in our society and possibly futuristic years ahead.
In schools, computers are widely used; and the need for computer technology and literacy in the educational system has become more relevant. Computer has been found to be an effective device for presenting an instructional programme. According to McCormick (1993), computers can be used to diversify, develop and improve the pedagogical relation of teaching and learning. Also, technological development can only be enhanced through proper acquisition of scientific knowledge: which can only be realized through relevant training in Science, Mathematics and Computer Education. It was in this light that the Federal Government of Nigeria launched the National Policy on Computer Literacy at primary, secondary and tertiary levels of education in 1987 with the following general aims:
For the computer to transform the school system, as there is increased merger between the computer technology and communication; and To equip the individual or student with thorough understanding of the concept of computer in order to fit in to the next century.
The National programme on Computer Education as put in place by the Federal Government of Nigeria was received with open arms and regarded as a technological innovation in educational practice in Nigeria institutions of learning. Computer Education was perceived as a new instructional system that was designed to improve the quality of teaching and learning and to aid technological and socio-economic development. This was further corroborated by the then Federal Minister of Education, Professor Jubril Aminu in his address to the Adhoc Committee on Computer Literacy in Nigeria that the objectives of the nation’s Computer Education programme, among other things, were as follows:
To bring about a computer literate society in Nigeria within a short space of time.
To enable the present generation of school children at all levels, appreciate the potentials of the computer; and To enable them to be able to use the computer in various works of life and later occupation.
With these laudable objectives, all state governments throughout Nigeria follow the Federal Government policy to introduce Computer Education and Literacy in secondary schools in 1997 with the following general objectives:
To bring about a computer literacy in each state in Nigeria.
To develop the use of computer as teaching tool in all subject areas and to familiarize students with the use of computer technology.
To enable the present generation of school children at the secondary school level appreciate the potentials of the computer and be able to utilize the computer in various aspects of life and later occupation; and. To expose the teachers and the students to the latest scientific knowledge and skills.
From the foregoing, based on the importance of computer to learning, introducing it into the Nigerian educational system can be said to be a step in the right direction.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEMS
As excellent and important the computer, it has not really gained its root in our Nigerian schools, let alone the entire society. Its impact is not strongly felt by all, especially by our students. This is because there are some challenges facing its implementations in our society. Some of the challenges are listed below.
The challenges of computer education are both educational and administrative. The prominent among the administrative problems is cost. Over the years, the cost of computer has been on the high side. This has been a deterrent to the adoption of computer for instructional purposes in most Nigerian secondary schools. Coupled with this is the exorbitant price of software; it follows the same pattern as that for the hardware. Where attempts are made to purchase computers for instructional purposes, the costs of installation, maintenance and replacement are unavoidable.
The depressed economic situation of Nigeria has incapacitated the government to fund education effectively. The meager funding of education in Nigeria coupled with low technological level has been an impediment to the provision of instructional materials and use of computers for instruction in Nigeria at all levels of education.
In addition, death of trained personnel militates against the use of computer for instruction. Experts with the technical know-how of computers are few except the computer dealers who are profit conscious. Hence, there are no computer operators, keypunch operators, analysts, computer scientists, computer engineers and technicians to operate service and develop computer course ware for use on a large scale in education (Salisbury, 1998).
Another impediment to use of computer in the classroom could be attributed to the syndrome of resistance to change among the Nigerian teachers. They view the use of computer for education as a means of displacing them from their cherished job rather than an instructional material to enrich teaching and learning.
Also, they regard the use of computer as an increase in their tasks in the classroom without adequate compensation, hence the prayer for premature death for computer education.