Integration of Information and Communication Technologies into Instruction in the Nepad E-Schools, Kenya
Mogeni, Jackson Mobisa
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Societies world over look upon the 21st Century education sector to produce learners who are ready for the present technological demands of the workplace. Integration of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in education is seen as one of the best ways of preparing learners for the workplace. However, the education sector seems to lag other sectors in the uptake of ICTs. The NEPAD e-Schools initiative in Kenya is a Pan-African venture aimed to make learners and teachers ICT-literate, enable them access online information in their subjects, and benefit from e-learning and use ICTs in instruction. The focus of this study was to determine the extent of integration of ICTs into instruction in the NEPAD e-Schools in Kenya. Specifically, the objectives of the study were to: establish teachers’ readiness to integrate ICTs in instruction in the NEPAD e-Schools in Kenya; determine the extent to which ICTs are integrated in teaching and learning in the NEPAD e-Schools; establish the levels to which the NEPAD e-Schools are preparing teachers and learners for the digital world; determine teachers’ and students’ attitudes towards the use of ICTs; and, establish the challenges that teachers and learners encounter in integration of ICTs in instruction. The study was guided by three theories: Diffusion of Innovations by Rogers (2003); Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology by Venkatesh et al. (2003); and Technological, Pedagogical and Content Knowledge by Mishra & Koehler (2008). It adopted a descriptive survey design and targeted 6 e-Schools of which 5 were selected using stratified sampling. Principals and teachers who participated in the study were purposively sampled while students were randomly sampled. Both quantitative and qualitative data were collected using questionnaire, observation, and checklist. The instruments’ reliability was tested through piloting in one e-School. The questionnaires were re-tested and accepted at r=.70. Data were run for descriptive analysis: frequencies, percentages, measures of central tendency and measures of variability. The study revealed that teachers are insufficiently trained but willing to integrate ICTs. ICTs were inadequate and, sometimes, inaccessible. Schools lacked internet connectivity and consistent electricity supply. The frequency of ICTs usage by teachers was at least once a month, while the time students normally spent using ICTs was below 5 hours weekly; inadequately preparing them for the digital world. Most students demonstrated average practical skill levels in ICTs. Teachers’ and students’ attitude towards ICTs was positive. The challenges facing, teachers and learners included provision and maintenance of adequate, reliable, current and secure ICTs; limited internet; unreliable electricity supply; congested and inaccessible computer labs; and computer viruses. The study recommends, among others, that ICTs integration skills be made part of teacher pre-service curriculum, and in-service ICTs training be regular, extensive, and qualitative. The government should also provide schools with or assist them get more, quality, affordable, serviceable and sustainable ICTs as well as free or affordable, fully established and reliable internet. It should also lower tariffs and taxes on ICTs and internet to enhance access and/or use of ICTs in schools.