THE PROBLEM MILITATING AGAINST EFFECTIVE TEACHING AND LEARNING OF COMPUTER SCIENCE IN JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL IN IGBO-EZE NORTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF ENUGU STATE

THE PROBLEM MILITATING AGAINST EFFECTIVE TEACHING AND LEARNING OF COMPUTER SCIENCE IN JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL IN IGBO-EZE NORTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF ENUGU STATE

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Computer science is the study of the theory, experimentation, and engineering that form the basis for the design and use of computers. It is the scientific and practical approach to computation and its applications and the systematic study of the feasibility, structure, expression, and mechanization of the methodical procedures (or algorithms) that underlie the acquisition, representation, processing, storage, communication of, and access to, information. An alternate, more succinct definition of computer science is the study of automating algorithmic processes that scale. A computer scientist specializes in the theory of computation and the design of computational systems.

Its fields can be divided into a variety of theoretical and practical disciplines. Some fields, such as computational complexity theory (which explores the fundamental properties of computational and intractable problems), are highly abstract, while fields such as computer graphics emphasize real-world visual applications. Other fields still focus on challenges in implementing computation. For example, programming language theory considers various approaches to the description of computation, while the study of computer programming itself investigates various aspects of the use of programming language and complex systemsHuman–computer interaction considers the challenges in making computers and computations useful, usable, and universally accessible to humans.

A successful career in vocational education can only be guaranteed by a proper and accurate keeping of financial records. Whatever affects the effective development of vocational education affects the economic development of any such nation. Vocational education prepares people for occupations requiring manipulative skills. Indeed, it is designed to develop skills, knowledge, abilities, attitudes and work habits needed for self-sufficiency (Azikiwe, 1995). It is basically occupation oriented because it is essentially intended to provide skills and manpower for commerce and industry in any nation. Hence

Arukwe (1992) noted that the solutions to Nigerian present economic problems couldn't exclude the intensification of vocational education for the citizenry. Olaferu-Olagbegi (1988), observed that combating unemployment in Nigeria through the creation of self-employment, emphasizes the establishment of small-scale enterprises in rural areas by skilled personnel who are products of vocational education. The possession of the necessary skill in financial record keeping is a priority and computer science process is a solution.

The problems facing computer science in Secondary Schools are two fold: the teaching on the one hand and learning on the other hand. The performance of students in the subject in the SSC Examination has not been encouraging. Students are generally deficient in numerate subjects like computer science and mathematics. Fakuade's (1980) report, that pupils had been deficient in simple knowledge, abilities, attitudes and work-habits needed for self-sufficiency (Azikiwe, 1995). It is basically occupation oriented because it is essentially intended to provide skills and manpower for commerce and industry in any nation. Hence Arukwe (1992) noted that the solutions to Nigerian present economic problems couldn't exclude the intensification of vocational education for the citizenry. Olateru-Olagbegi (1988), observed that combating unemployment in Nigeria through the creation of self-employment, emphasizes the establishment of small-scale enterprises in rural areas by skilled personnel who are products of vocational education. The possession of the necessary skill in financial record keeping is a priority and computer science process is a solution.

The problems facing computer science in Secondary Schools are twofold: the teaching on the one hand and learning on the - other hand. The performance of students in the subject in the SSC Examination has not been encouraging. Students are generally deficient in numerate subjects like computer science and mathematics. Fakuade's (1980) report, that pupils had been deficient in simple mathematics can also be applied to computer science. The ever-increasing poor performance of students in computer science in secondary and post secondary Schools is a serious concern and unpalatable signal to the development of accountancy (Oloidi 2003a). No doubt the poor performance in computer science can be traced, in part, to the poor methods of teaching the subject. As Agbenta (1981) has pointed out on the need for practical lessons in the physical sciences, it can also be stated that teaching of computer science in secondary school without the use of computer science laboratory for practical lesson, inhibits the study of the subject. Teachers should improve on their teaching methods and processes. While it is not the objective of this paper to be teaching methodologies, it is of utmost necessity that computer science teachers should note that the enduring solutions to these problems are from the teachers. Computer science teacher should be 'efficient, effective and qualitative. Marving, Kinder and Schunert (1977) argued that the effective teacher should have good understanding of the subject he teaches. Lack of good preparation was identified by Clark (1977) as causing poor teaching.

On the part of the students, the findings of Ajogbeje (1998) on mathematics can logically be applied. He stressed sex- stereotyping, transfer of poor attitude between peers and from older students, and poor self-concept towards the subject, the influence of the environment on the student, .as affecting learning. The government on its own part needs to provide adequate fund, materials and human resources and necessary motivation of student and teachers (Oloidi, 2003b).

Against the foregoing background, it would therefore be very necessary for computer science teachers, the secondary school administrators and the government to take a critical look at the ways of improving the status of computer science as a subject in secondary school. This paper shall identify the problems facing teaching and learning of computer science in secondary schools and proffer far reaching solutions to these problems.

STATEMENT OF PROBLEM

The concern for computer science as an important aid to vocational education has led to studies identifying the problems of teaching and learning the subject. Much of the concern centers on the student, the teacher and the government and the effect on the performance of students in the subject. It is obvious that the performances of students in this subject at the SSC Examination are not encouraging (Oloidi 2003a).

RESEARCH QUESTION

The questions then arise; what are the problems facing teaching and learning of computer science as a vocational subject in the secondary schools in Nigeria?

OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

1.                  Identify the problems facing the teaching and learning of Computer science in secondary schools in Igbo eze north LGA of Enugu State

2.                  Ascertain whether some of these problems are very serious, serious or not serious Igbo eze north LGA of Enugu State

3.                  Ascertain whether the same problems are facing both public and private schools in Igbo eze north LGA of Enugu State

4.                  Determine whether the identified problems are a function of the types of the schools (girls only, boys only, or mixed) in Igbo eze north LGA of Enugu State

5.                  Ascertain whether some problems are functions of location of the schools in Igbo eze north LGA of Enugu State.

6          Proffer solutions to the problems.

RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS

The following Ho were formulated by the researchers and tested at 0.05 level of significance.

There will be no significant difference in the perception/rating of the respondents on the problems of teaching and learning computer science in public and private schools

SCOPE OF STUDY

The study is restricted to finding out the problems of teaching  and learning computer science in secondary in Igbo eze north LGA of Enugu State. The study limits the collection of data to Enugu state, Nigeria. The findings of this study were gotten  from observation and interaction with senior teachers in computer science.

DEFINITION OF TERMS

Some variables need to be explained so as to ensure a good grasp and understanding of the paper:

1.                  Type of School - School in  State can be classified into three types:

a.                   Mixed School - Such Schools are co-educational, allowing both sexes to study together. This is typical of those schools established by the government.

b.                  Boys Only - Only the male students are allowed in such schools.

c.                   Girls only -Only the female students are allowed in such schools. The school in band C and (b) are characteristics of mission schools before being taken over by the government.

2.                  Mode of School - This is simply the public school owned by the government or the private schools managed by business minded sole proprietorship.

3.                  Location - A local government is a location and all the schools in each of the local governments are a location unit.

4.                  Computer science laboratory - This is a special room equipped with materials and equipments like ledger cards, long span chalk board rules in ledger form, sample source documents used for financial transactions, sample currency notes in various denominations for buying and selling, adding and listing machines, electronic calculators, duplicating machines, over head projector, tape recorder with play back, flip chart board, magnetic board, TV and Video. These are used for practical lessons in computer science.


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