Evaluation of Application of Information and Communication Technology in Instruction in Public Primary Schools in Thika Municipality, Kiambu County Kenya
Maingi, Regina Mbatha
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Information and knowledge are essential for the advancement of human well-being and progress. This study evaluated the use of ICTs in instruction in public primary schools in Thika Municipality, Kiambu county. It focused on quantity of computer use, and the levels attained in terms of using ICTs to support, expand and transform teaching and learning. The study addressed the following objectives: To find out what types of ICTs are used in instruction and how they are used, to assess the availability of ICT infrastructure in public primary schools in Thika Municipality, to analyze the extent to which teachers are using ICTs in instruction, to find out the challenges encountered by teachers when using ICTs in instruction and to establish possible mechanisms that can be put in place to encourage teachers to use ICTs in instruction. The literature review covered the concept of ICT in education, importance of ICT use in instruction and challenges facing ICT use in instruction. The study was conducted using descriptive research design. The sample population was nineteen head teachers and fifty seven teachers. Nineteen schools which made up 79.2% of the target population were selected using proportionate sampling. Simple random sampling was used to select 3 teachers from each school giving a total of 57 teachers out of the total population of 242 teachers in the 19 schools. 57 teachers made up 23.6% of the target population. All the 19 head teachers from the schools selected participated in the study. Data was collected using interview schedules, questionnaires and observation schedules. Quantitative data was analyzed using the statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) and tabulated into frequencies, ratios, tables and percentages. Qualitative data was analyzed by organizing it into themes and according to the research questions and objectives. This was followed by a discussion of the findings, drawing conclusions and giving recommendations based on the findings of the study. The study findings revealed that poor internet connectivity, inadequate ICT infrastructure, negative attitude towards ICT use by teachers, lack of ICT skills and lack of technical support staff as constraints that hinder use of ICTs in instruction in Thika Municipality, Kiambu County. The findings of this study will therefore be useful to policy makers at the MoE and Parents Teachers Associations in primary schools as it revealed the underlying issues and challenges affecting use of ICTs in instruction in primary schools. The researcher recommends that there is need for the government to give priority to providing teachers with access to ICT through professional development, quality digital content and ICT infrastructure.