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The application of information and communications technology in Nigeria and in African countries generally is increasing and dramatically growing. Over the past few years, ICT has turned out to be a step by step more imperative to schools at all levels and to the entire education system at large. There exist an extensive variety of researches focused on the investigation of the utilization of ICT in the process of teaching and learning in Nigerian secondary schools. This study aimed to assess how ICT is used in teaching and learning in Nigerian public secondary schools particularly those from the Northeastern States from the viewpoint of science students, instructors and administrators. Built on the three central research questions, the objective of this study is to assess the degree of usage of the ICT facilities in teaching and learning practices.
In this study, a mixed-methods approach for data gathering was applied by using questionnaires and interviews to collect data from science students, instructors and administrators in the studied states. The responses were then analyzed based on the research questions outlined in chapter one. The result shows that the use of ICT facilities are very low and this is attributed to the poor policy implementation, lack of basic social amenities and insecurity.
1.1 Background of the Study
Nigeria positions as the tenth biggest country on the planet, and by a long shot the biggest country in Africa. Found north of the Gulf of Guinea in West Africa, Nigeria is verged on the east by Cameroon, on the upper east by Chad, on the north by Niger Republic, and on the west by the Republic of Benin. Nigeria is separated geopolitically into six districts: North-Central, North-East, North-West, South-East, South-South and South-West, with the North-East being the most educationally backward and the most vulnerable to insecurity, poverty, illiteracy and lack of social amenities (Falola, 2011).
Enhanced post primary school training is vital to the formation of successful human capital in any nation (Evoh, 2007). In this way, the necessity for ICT in Nigerian post primary institutions can't be overstressed. In this innovation motivated time, everybody needs ICT capability to excel. Institutions are discovering it extremely important to prepare and re-prepare their workers to set up or expand their insight into PCs and other ICT services (Adomi and Anie, 2006). The above assertions appeal for right on time obtaining of ICT talents by science students not just in the northeastern part of Nigeria but the whole nation states.
The part of innovation in teaching and learning is quickly becoming a standout amongst the most imperative and broadly talked about issues in a modern-day education plan (Rosen and Well, 1995). Majority of the specialists in the area of teaching and learning concurred that, when appropriately utilized, ICT advances hold an incredible potential to enhance educating and learning apart from forming more job opportunities. Poole (1996) has demonstrated that nowadays IT literacy is considered a new literacy and its absence in education is viewed as the new ignorance. This has really gingered a yet another powerful urge to outfit schools with computer gadgets and trained people (educators) important to create mechanically capable and productive science students in developing nations of the world. In a quickly changing universe of worldwide labor market rivalry, industrial computerization, and expanding democratization, essential education is important for a person to have the capacity to get to the needed information and to be able to apply it appropriately. This capacity pointed toward the use of ICT as the only solution. It is strongly believed that ICT can facilitate the teaching methods and encourage learners` understanding as can be seen in using softwares like CAI, CAL, CBT etc. Numerous studies have discovered constructive outcome connected with innovation supported teaching and learning (Burnett, 1994, and Fitzgerald and Warner, 1996).
The use of computers in education have ended up as a significant instrument and innovatively affected how we learn and see the world in broad. Today, the place of ICTs in education cannot be quantified. Cutting edge organizations are operating in online and real time modes using smart ICT gadgets via the web. The marvel has brought forth the contemporary e-activities such as trading, marketing, healthcare, education, banking and government. Bamidele (2006) has described ICT advancement as something that revolutionarised the world through the use of computers and internet and it touches every facet of our lives.
Jimoh (2007) characterized ICT as the taking care of, preparing and transformation of data such as text, pictures, diagrams, and so on in to meaningful information using electronic specialized gadgets, for example, PCs, satellites and internet. Similarly, Ofodu (2007) likewise described ICT as computerized gadgets, helped by man and intelligent materials that can be utilized for an extensive variety of educational activities and for individual use. Going by the above delineations, it can be concluded that ICT is the processing of data using all kinds of technologies for the manipulation of information in every aspect of life.
Bearing in mind the part of education in the national development and the populace blast in government colleges in Nigeria nowadays, the use of computers in instructions delivery gets to be basic. This is on account of its acknowledgment by educators will upgrade powerful instructing. Issues like great course association, powerful classroom administration, self-study, collective learning, and compelling correspondence between the partners in the education area. Instructing and learning has gone past the educator remaining before a gathering of understudies and spreading knowledge to them without the science students` sufficient involvements (Ajayi, 2008). There are progresses in the Nigerian school systems which show some level of commitments in the utilization of ICT in teaching and learning. The Federal
Government of Nigeria, in the National Policy on Education (Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2004), identifies the conspicuous role of ICTs in the current world, and decided to incorporate it into her education system. To realize this objective, the charter expresses that government will give essential facilities and instructions at the primary school level. At the first three years of secondary school, computer studies has been made a pre-vocational optional, and is a vocational optional at the upper secondary schools. Furthermore, it is the target of government to give all vital frameworks and training for the incorporation of ICTs in the post primary institutions (Okebukola, 1997).
Modern instructional techniques required the use of ICT which provide a more simplified and reliable teaching and learning methodologies. From the science students` viewpoint the integration of ICT education help in both cooperative and self-paced learning. Science students can adjust their learning paces with immediate feedback and selfassessment in an institution where the new technologies are being used. Such science students extend their learning capabilities beyond classrooms as they can communicate with peers from everywhere around the globe. This novel achievement of the 21st century is presently not fully employed in the north-eastern region of Nigerian public secondary schools. This negative development might not be unconnected with the lack of ICT facilities in our public schools, negligence from the authorities concerned or the misuse of the available ICT equipment on the ground by the science teachers. This unfortunate situation is in fact, what motivates the researcher to evaluate the level of ICT usage in our public secondary schools.
1.2 Statement of the Research Problem
Science education has it roots in the recognition by Victorian society that it had changed – changed form an agrarian society to one dominated by and reliant on scientific and technological expertise. In 1851, the great exhibition brought the realization that this new society could only be sustained by ensuring that a body of people were educated in science and technology. However, whilst there was little disagreement about the necessity for incorporating science into curriculum, the form and content of that science education has since that time been a matter of considerable debate Osborne et al (2003). They went further to say that opposing camps have laid between, on the one hand, those who would emphasize the need for science education to develop a knowledge and understanding of the basic scientific principles the foundation on which the edifice rests and, on the other, those who would argue for an emphasis on the processes of science thinking. Osborne et al (2003) said, the dominant model of curriculum has been on which has seen science education as a pre-professional form of training for the ministry of today’s youth who will become the scientist of tomorrow. This characteristics has arguably been responsible for the under valving of science within the British establishment who have historically regarded it as a lesser form in contrast, were often seen as offering an education of the complete individual.
According to Apagu and Wakili (2015), most of the research works on ICT in science education focuses on the availability of the ICT facilities and the perceptions of the use of ICT in the nation`s institutions. Researchers pay less attention to the judicious use of the available ICT resources on the ground. Considering the economic, social and political status of our country and the acceptability of the western education itself, especial in the northern part of the country. One will not expect general acceptance and the availability of adequate ICT resources in our public schools.
There is widespread acknowledgment of the necessity to employ the use of the new technology in teaching and learning as we move in to the time of digitalization of data streaming by means of satellite and the web ruled worldwide data and information dispersal. As of now, Nigeria is still on the negative side of the worldwide digital divide because she is yet to incorporate ICT into science education . Most of the educational and managerial tasks in Nigeria collages are still completed physically. Probably, because there are no enough ICT facilities deficiency in science teachers` competency or resistance from the side of the science teachers. Again it is perhaps due to lack of good policy and readiness from the side of the administrators to get together with the complications of the 21st century. This study is considered so important especially at this present era of information age as it will look in to in-depth understanding of the current perceptions by all the stakeholders and also to understand the policies and politics surrounding the integration and application of computers in the public institutions particularly in that region of the country.
1.3 Aim of the Study
The main objective of this study is to investigate the level of use of ICT in Teaching and Learning basic science in Public secondary schools in North-Eastern Nigeria.
1.4 Research Questions
This study intends to achieve the above aim through the following research questions.
1. What are the science students’ perceptions on the availability and usage of ICT facilities in their class rooms?
2. What are perception of science teachers and their level of competencies in the use of ICT facilities in their teaching profession?
a. What are the science teachers opinions on the availability of these ICT facilities and how much they are been used?
b. What are the science teachers opinions regarding the policies and interventions toward the use of ICT in schools?
3. What are the opinions of the administrators regarding the use of ICT in Teaching and Learning basic science in Public schools?
a. What are their views about the policies and interventions either by government, private organizations or individuals with respect to the use ICT in schools?
b. What are their opinions on the availability of these technical facilities and how much they are been used?
1.5 Significance of the Study
A statistical survey report released by Join Admission and Matriculation Board reveals that the enrolment of the science students In the computer based test (CBT) in the north-eastern states is very low (JAMB, 2015) in view of the above and some related challenges it’s a strong reason why this research work is considered important.
Moreover, the study is timely and relevant because today it’s the use of ICT that is making some nations a highly advance in education. So if ICT is properly integrated in to education system it can make not only the region but the country at large a highly progressive nation.
This study will also provide an enquiry through which the application of this new technology in education can be assess so as to help the administrators to ascertain the level of science teachers` competencies and the perception of both the instructors and the learners in using ICT in teaching and learning practices. Again the study will be useful in discovering the weaknesses of the instructional materials (if any) which will be beneficial to the policy makers because they will make the findings of this study a basis for formulating policies and developing a better strategies for incorporating ICT in academic activities. Furthermore, the study will again be helpful in identifying possible causes of poor usage of ICT facilities in the national exams so that a remedial measures will be instituted to solve the problem and to use the situation as an avenue to seek for more intervention from the federal government and other relevant ICT facilities donor agencies.
This research work, the assessment of the use of ICT in teaching and learning was conducted within the period of July to December, 2015. The study was limited to the public schools in towns and cities of the selected states due to a number of reasons which include insecurity, bad roads and financial constraint.
1.7 Definitions of Key Terms
ICT: Information and Communication Technology/Technologies- is a general term comprises of any communication device or software and the various services and applications associated with them (wikibooks, 2015).
CAI: Computer Assisted Instructions- A self-learning system, generally offline/online, including communication of the science students with modified instructional materials (wikieducators, 2008).
CAL: Computer Assisted Learning- is defined as learning through computers using a set of learning packages/materials (wikieducators, 2008).
CBT: Computer Based Training: these are programs occasionally called
"courseware" that give two-way instructional meetings to all disciplines (whatis.com,
ICT in Education: this refers to the teaching and learning using ICT (wikibooks,
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