Factors influencing the integration of computer technology in schools in Thika district
Wanjira, Christine Flora
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the state of computer technology integration in primary schools in Thika Municipality, Thika district. The objectives were to identify both the teacher and learner related factors influencing the integration of computer technology in schools and the macro-environmental factors influencing the integration of computer technology in schools in Thika Municipality. Literature reviewed indicates that staff development programs are ineffective in promoting significant improvement in teacher preparation for use of computer technology. At the same time, computer technology implementation is impeded by the lack of the necessary preparation time and support to' explore, plan, and implement new ideas to improve student learning on the part of the teachers. The most common barrier to adequate computer technology training is money, a situation that necessitates a need for improved staff development programs to facilitate effective use of computer technology. This study employed a descriptive design and basically involved the headteachers of the selected primary schools. Simple random sampling was used in the selection of the schools to be visited. Questionnaires formed the basic research instrument. And so to collect data, Questionnaires were administered to the headteachers of the selected schools. Data analysis was done using the SPSS to summarize the data into the main items and present in frequencies through tables and charts. Descriptive statistics were computed for the main items and accompanying measures of dispersion of the mean and standard deviation respectively. Inferential statistics used consisted of correlation analysis. The findings of this study indicated that there is a general belief that the government should provide for all that is associated with schooling, a belief that leads to consequences of learners missing out on opportunities to start acquiring such skills in good time. At the same time, the study revealed that it is not possible to realize a successful implementation of the integration of computer technology if the teachers lack the relevant skills. It was also established that negative attitudes are not a significant setback to the integration of computer technology in their schools. It was further established that teacher training has a significant impact on the integration of computer technology among primary school teachers thus teachers need to be trained if the integration of computer technology was to succeed. Finally, the study revealed that a number of aspects were lacking and on that basis, noted some priority areas including, purchase of computers, training of computer teachers, security and electricity, funds for maintenance of computers and computer laboratories. In the light of all these findings, the researcher has concluded that the integration of computer technology in primary schools in Thika Municipality is faced with a host of challenges which need to be addressed by the relevant stakeholders if the integration is to succeed and which include: Financing Integration of Computer Technology for Primary School Teachers, Government Policy on Integration of Computer Technology in Teacher Education, Teacher Attitudes on the use of Computer Technology in Education, Impact of infrastructure on, Integration of Computer Technology, Teacher Training and the Integration of Computer Technology, computer technology with their teaching programmes. The study therefore recommends that more collaborations be built around the area of financing the integration of computer technology in primary schools since the government is already saddled with the free primary education provision, ways of enforcing the implementation of this policy need to be sought and subsequently enforced, more awareness concerning the importance of pupils in primary school beginning to acquire computer skills as early as at primary school level scaling of the computer component in teacher training institutions, and the recognition of the importance of teacher training in the integration of computer technology.