Adequacy and sustainability of secondary schools' computerization in meeting instructional needs in selected schools in Kitui County, Kenya
Ndirangu, Joseph Kamau
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One of the main problems in deployment of computer technology in Kenyan schoolsis unclear objectives and misplaced priorities. Many schools have initiated expensivecomputer projects, whose sustainability is questionable. The software installed in thesemachines might not be tailored to meet specific instructional needs and therefore computersare likely to be underused and unappreciated by those they were meant to benefit. This studysought to assess the sustainability of these projects and their appropriateness in meetingteaching and learning needs in Kitui County, Kenya. Users" accessibility to computers,project costs, specific instructional needs and user-friendliness of hardware and softwarewas investigated. To achieve these objectives, the study investigated a host of indicatorsidentified during the literature review. These indicators included financing initiatives, thenature and numbers of computers, availability of digital content, and the level of ICTskills among teachers .The study employed survey design. Quantitative and qualitativeapproaches were used in the collection and the analysis of data. The target populationconsisted of teachers, students and administrators in provincial secondary schools. Sixout of 19 provincial secondary schools were purposively selected. A sample size of 120Studies and 163 students participated in the study. The researcher used questionnaires, interview schedules, checklists and document analysis in data collection. Collected datawas scrutinized for completeness and analysed using MS-excel for quantitative and CDCEZ-text software for qualitative data. It ~as then presented by using relevant themes, tablesand percentages. The findings of the survey revealed that Schools lack a comprehensiveICT policy to guide acquisition, use and sustenance of computerisation. Consequently,they did not have reliable financing arrangements to set up and run computerization. Thestudy observed that this inadequate funding impacted negatively on the number of use ablemachines and the availability of up-to-date user-friendly software, severely hamperingaccess to the machines and digital content. In addition, the study found out that althoughthe teachers and learners are aware of their ICT instructional needs, there is little contentin schools that can be integrated in teaching and learning. The study concluded thatsecondary school computerization is neither adequate nor sustainable in its current state.The researcher recommends that the government should get more involved in establishingICT centres in schools and in conducting a sensitization campaign to equip teacherswith knowledge on ICT integration into their daily instruction tasks. The findings ofthe study have implications for teachers practices and the policy approach to secondary computerization. These results can be used by school administrators as a benchmark forimproving ICT policies in their schools and to facilitate optimum access to and productive use of available computers. These results can also be used by the government to improve e-preparedness of schools as we move towards the realization of computerization of all schools by the year 2012. Finally, suggestions for further research are made.