EXTENT OF COMPUTER LITERACY AMONG SECONDARY SCHOOL SCIENCE TEACHERS
The research work focused on the extent of Computer Literacy among Secondary School Science Teachers in Ezza South Local Government Area of Ebonyi State. Purpose of this study is to determine if science teachers in Ezza South L.G.A are aware about the importance of computer, to examine if science teachers in Ezza South L.G.A possess computer literacy skills, to determine if gender has an effect on the degree of computer literacy possessed by secondary school science teachers in Ezza South L.G.A, to examine if subject area of specialization has any effect on the level of awareness of computer literacy possessed by secondary school science teachers in Ezza South L.G.A of Ebonyi State. The populations of study consist of all science teachers and all public senior secondary schools in Ezza South L.G.A which is 36 and 11 respectively. Data was collected through the use of structured questionnaire and was analyzed using mean and standard deviation. Cronbach’s Alpha was used to determine the reliability coefficient and the value of 0.74 was obtained. The results showed that secondary school science teachers are aware about the importance of computer, they do not possess skills associated with computer literacy, gender has an effect on the degree of computer literacy possessed by secondary school science teachers and subject area of specialization has an effect on the level of knowledge of computer possessed by secondary school science teachers. they study recommended among others that The Government especially the ministry of education in Ebonyi state should make sure that all public secondary schools in Ezza south local government area are well computerized to boost the teaching and learning of science. Finally, suggestions for further study were also made.
Background to the study
The quality of education in the world or a nation today could be determined by the extent of computer literacy possessed by her teachers. One of the most important factors in improving student’s achievement in science subject is by employing seasoned qualified science teachers who are computer literate in all schools (Abe, 2015). Ibrahim (2010) believed that the extent of computer literacy among science teachers would go a long way to bring about pupils’ high academic achievement. The availability of computer literate science teachers in secondary schools is low (Ngada, 2015). Extent in this research work means the area or distance over which something covers.
According to Iloanusi (2010), the term “computer” is an electronic device that is capable of accepting, storing and processing data with great speed and produces result. Okorie (2013) believed that the use of computer makes data fit into a small storage space and computer records can easily be updated as the need arises. Nwafor (2015) sees the word “computer” as a device or machine that under program control performs arithmetic and logical operation without human Intervention. It is also necessary to note some importance of computer as enumerated by Okolo (2015). It is as follows, in school’s computer helps the learners to comprehend the basic concepts better with the help of videos or audio in such a manner that will facilitate the understanding of the subject matter and speed up the students learning process. In medical industry, it helps the doctors in diagnosing diseases quickly and efficiently. In business, it makes staff efficient, productive and safe their valuable time. In higher institutions, it helps the professors and researchers do their work very fast and also share the same knowledge with their other members or staff. They are also a vital gadget in several sectors such as railways, banking, shopping carts and so on.
Computer literacy among secondary school science teachers is necessary for regulating entry into the classroom. Computer literacy is the understanding of the concepts, terminology and operation that relate to general computer use. It is a very important skill to possess while in the first world Pena (2015). It is also the ability to use computer and related technology efficiently with a range of skills covering from elementary use to programming and advanced problem solving (Williamson, 2016). There are some skills associated with computer literacy which include the ability to use a search engine, hook up a computer (connect cords to appropriate holes), know common keyboard commands, word processors, detect virus/ malware scanning. A search engine is a software program through the internet that searches document documents and files for keyword and returns the result of any files containing those keywords. A user enters keywords into a search engine and receives a list of web content result in the form of websites, images, and videos. Types of search engines include Yahoo, Moxilla firefox. Word processor is a type of software application that allows users to create, edit, print and save documents electronically. They have the following functionalities copy, cut and underline, delete. An example of word processor is the Microsoft word. Computer virus is a malicious software program loaded onto user computer without the user knowledge and performs destructive actions. They attach themselves to files, programs and activate once the program gets initiated. Example is trojan horses. Virus can be detected easily by installing anti-virus software example avast. Keyboard commands or shortcuts are common combinations associated with modern operating and software application. Their use is pervasive enough that users consider them an important element of their routine interactions with a computer. Examples are Ctrl + S which means save, F1 is to escape through windows when the computer is booting, Ctrl + A is used to select an entire document. Hooking up a computer means knowing the appropriate holes which cords can be connected.
Education in Nigeria is overseen by the Ministry of Education. The education system is divided into kindergarten, nursery, primary, secondary and tertiary education. We further found out that in Nigeria, secondary school consist 2 levels, the junior and senior secondary school. Students spend 6 years in secondary school that is 3 years in junior secondary and 3 years in senior secondary. It is the next step up from primary school. It is the next step up from primary school. It is a school intermediate between elementary school and college usually offering general, technical, and vocational or college preparatory courses for children between the ages of 11 and 16 or 18. Secondary schools are often called high schools in the United States. In the contribution of the researcher, secondary school is a school for students who have completed and obtained First School Leaving Certificate and Common Entrance to acquire more education. This research is however interested in senior secondary schools to find out the extent of computer literacy among science teachers in Ezza South L.G.A of Ebonyi state. A science teacher is a person who teaches science (Sheehan, 2015). In the opinion of these researchers, science teachers are teachers that have basic knowledge of all the science subjects such as biology, chemistry that can be proved in standard way but trained and specialized in any science subject.
The best science teachers of the 21st century are the ones that can equip students for the direction the future is taking. Obviously, this is impossible if the teachers are ill-equipped that is why science teachers need to be computer literate. Computer literacy among science teachers is important because it enables easier job management. It encourages appreciation and utilization of computers during teaching learning process which invariably aid teacher’s job effectiveness such as record keeping, support students academic performance. Bork (2015) also enumerated that computer literacy among science teachers offer cheaper avenue for teachers to directly cut spending on some recurring classroom resources. The relationship between science teachers and computer literacy is that science is a discipline that requires knowing the facts, theories and what is known. Computer literacy among science teachers helps to verify these theories in their various disciplines. Computer science teachers are those teachers that have basic knowledge of the concept, terminology and operation that relate to general computer use. Gender is a fundamental category for ordering and classifying social relations in the world (Evans, 2014). Research has over the years shown that males dominate in the use of computers compared to women even when given equal access (Oluyide, 2014).
Traditionally, girls tend to be interested in computers, use them less often in their spare time and have more negative attitude towards computers (Williamson, 2015). Consequently, girls are often less computer literate than boys while boys are interested in how the technology works which enhances their chances of computer literacy. Also, studies have showed that computer inexperience for female users have been cited as an important factor in determining their attitudes and anxieties as computer literate science teachers.
Ebonyi state is located at the southern part of Nigeria. It is inhabited and populated primarily by Igbos. It was created in 1st October, 1996 with its capital and largest city as Abakaliki. It has 13 Local Government Area which include Ezza South, Ezza North, Afikpo South, Ishielu, Izzi and so on. In this research we found out that Ebonyi State has more than 100 secondary school such as Uburu secondary school in Ohazara, Bethel Comprehensive Academy in Abakaliki, Ezza High School in Ezza South, Government Secondary School in Afikpo, and so on.
In our society today, we full understand that the propensity of information technology (IT) has showed that the world is becoming digital world with all its operation being converted from manual to computerize system. Therefore, I made this research in order to find out the extent of awareness of computer, its uses and application that science teachers have in different secondary school in Ezza South Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.
Statement of the problem
The world has totally become computer age and the entire globe has become a global village through the explosion of application of computer. One can easily read from the background of this study that computer, its uses and application have impacted tremendously on all human endeavors today which can be seen in the following areas education, medicine, military, and businesses. This means that for anybody or any cooperate body to function effectively and efficiently in any field of human endeavor today, computer literacy is a basic necessity more so for science teacher to properly deliver in different field of specialization in today computer age.
The questions that agitate the minds now are to what extent are science teacher versed in the awareness of this electronic device called computer? How much of its uses are known or simply put to what extent are they computer literate? This researcher set out to find out the level of computer literacy among secondary school science teachers in Ezza South Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.
Purpose of study
The general purpose of this project aims at the extent of computer literacy among secondary school science teachers in Ezza South Local Government. Specifically, the project work seeks to ascertain
(1) Science teacher’s awareness about the importance of computer?
(2) The extent of computer literacy skills (using search engines, word
processor, hook up a computer, detect virus, keyboard commands) possessed by science teachers.
(3) If gender has effect on the degree of computer literacy possessed by secondary school science teachers.
(4) Whether subject area of specialization has any effect on the level of awareness of computer literacy possessed by secondary school science teachers.
The Significance of the Study
They significance of this study cannot be over emphasized as it can be of immense benefit to the government, parents, teachers and researchers.
To the government, it will enable them know the accurate number of science teachers that are computer literate.
To the parents, It will enable them know the necessity of computer literacy in our society which will motivate them to give their children full support in acquiring the knowledge of computer no matter their field of study.
To the students, having known the importance of computer from this project work, it will give them courage and strength to study computer with full interest and can also develop their own project topics.
To researchers, it will give them knowledge about project work, research method and how to go about it. There is so much ideas and pieces of information the researchers will gain from this project that will equip them even to write book/ novel on their own. They will know the number of local government in Ebonyi state, location of some secondary schools in Ebonyi state.
Scope of the Study
The scope of this study is to find the extent of computer literacy among secondary school science teachers in Ezza South Local Government Area of Ebonyi State. This study is limited to 11 secondary schools in Ezza South Local Government of Ebonyi State. The content scope focuses on Science teacher’s awareness about the importance of computer, the extent of computer literacy skills (using search engines, word processors, hook up a computer, detect virus, keyboard commands) possessed by science teachers, If gender has effect on the degree of computer literacy possessed by secondary school science teachers and if subject area of specialization has any effect on the level of awareness of computer literacy possessed by secondary school science teachers.
The following questions were formulated to guide the study.
(1) To what extents are secondary school science teacher’s aware about the importance of computer?
(2) To what extent do secondary science teachers possess computer literacy skills
(3) To what extent does gender has effect on the degree of computer literacy possessed by secondary school science teachers.
(4) To what extent does subject area of specialization have any effect on the level of awareness of computer literacy possessed by secondary school science teachers?.