Public secondary schools' preparedness for integration of computer technology for instruction in Nkuene division, Meru county, Kenya
Mwirebua, Lucy Waithera
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Effective implementation of computer technology for teaching and learning requires preparedness in areas such as availability of government ICT policy, infrastructural facilities and teachers' skills and attitudes. In Kenya, computer education was first introduced in public secondary schools in 1996 so that students could learn computer literacy skills. The purpose of this study was to assess the preparedness of secondary schools teachers in Nkune Division to integrate Computer technology in Education for instruction. The objectives of the study were, (i) finding out the availability of computer facilities required in public secondary schools for successful integration of computers for instruction in schools, (ii) finding out the availability of computer technologies required by public secondary schools for successful integration of computers for instruction in schools, (iii) investigating teachers' preparedness for integration of computer technology for instruction in public secondary schools, (iv) investigating learners' preparedness in use of computers for learning in public secondary schools. The literature reviewed covered the use of ICT in developed countries, strides made by developing countries, and finally status of ICT in education in Kenya was examined. The study was conducted using descriptive survey research design. The target population was 10 principals and 20 teachers and 80 students. Ten schools were selected using proportionate sampling. All the 10 principals from the schools selected participated in the study. Two officials from the DEO's office were selected using purposive sampling. Data was collected using questionnaires and key informant interview. Quantitative data was analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences and tabulated into frequency tables, percentages, Pie-charts and Histograms. Qualitative data was analyzed by organizing it into themes, and according to the research questions and objectives. Findings indicated that 100% of the schools studied were connected to electricity. However computer laboratories were only available in 30% of the schools. Sixty percent of the principals and 80% of teachers have had training on the use of computers for instruction. The researcher noted that generally all the categories of the respondents were ready for integration of computers in teaching and learning. This is because though many respondents ascertained that they were computer illiterate, they also, cited that they were ready to learn on computers applications. A number of the respondents also said that they currently use more computers for basic operations. The study concluded that there weren't adequate facilities and resources necessary for the integration of computers in teaching and learning in schools. Amongst the facilities lacking were the computer laboratories. The study recommends for the launching of an in-service training for secondary teachers on the integration of computer technology in their lessons and in particular on the application of available instructional software. Universities and teacher training colleges should launch a course on programming so that both preservice teachers will gain skills on developing and applying instructional programs. There should be an increased investment strategy to improve and equip the secondary schools with computer-literacy training facilities and resources for both teachers and students in Nkuene Division. This will ensure technical skill readiness, and leverage teachers' skills so as to reverse the slow rate of computer technology adoption trend and improve the pace of diffusion in the secondary schools. The researcher suggests that a quasi-experimental study needs to be carried out where teachers are trained on the use of computer technology in their classes so has to establish their effectiveness in teaching compared to those who apply conventionai approach to teaching. The study will have practical significance because the findings may aid policy makers especially Ministry of Education (MoE) and Kenya Institute of Education (KIE) in developing strategies to prepare teachers effectively for integration of computers for instruction in secondary schools.