THE PROBLEMS AND PROSPECT OF TEACHING AND LEARNING OF COMPUTER SCIENCE IN NIGERIA
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This study investigated the problems and prospect of teaching and learning of computer science in Nigeria. Data was collected from 50 respondents comprising of 10 instructors and 40 students randomly selected from the Edo State institute of management and technology. The analysis of data collected revealed that inadequate professionally trained teachers, inadequate computers, inadequate instructional resources, inadequate instructional resources, lack of motivation and incentive for teachers, lack of encouragement and motivation for the students, student apathy and indifference are problems associated with the teaching and learning of computer science education. It was recommended inter alia, that computer science teachers should be given appropriate pedagogical training to provide them with the requisite knowledge needed for efficient and better performance and the relevant instructional resources and support infrastructural facilities provided to ensure effective teaching and learning of computer science education at the institution.
BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Computer education technically in schools has become one of the most fast growing and far reaching developments in Nigeria (Okebukola and Ajewole, 1990). The transmission of information and instruction are now bending towards Computer technology. According to Okebukola (1990), the idea of using and studying computer in schools and its gradual acceptance started in the late 1960 even though computers have been around much earlier. Computer is conceived as a device or machine designed specially to perform calculations, process data and store information which can be easily retrieved when required (Aghadino, 1990; Adamu and Bello, 2002). To Ahore (1990), computer refers to a device for executing precisely stated rules with accuracy, rapidity and with great reliability. On his part Adamu (1994), described computer as a machine used by human beings to solve problems. This probably explains the role of computer in processing information for dealing with certain problems confronting human kind. From the foregoing, it is obvious that computer is a device or machine designed to help process information or data and for storing such information for future use in dealing with problems of daily living. Computer education, on the other hand, Okebukola (1990) described as the learning that can lead to computer literacy. This implies that the aim of learning and teaching computer science is to make individual develop the knowledge and skills of computer application or use. Computer science is a learning process in which the individual is taken through the rudiments of using the computer to store and process data/ information accurately and efficiently. The process seeks to equip the individual with skills and knowledge that can make him/her use the computer effectively (Adamu and Bello, 2002). Anyone who is literate in computer or has received computer education and instruction is expected to tell the computer what he wants it to do and, this according to Gboboniyi (1989), Aghedino (1990), and Adamu and Bello (2002), include the ability to understand what the computer says. They add that to be literate in computer science amounts to been able to read, write and speak the language of the computer.In modern world, the computer is being gradually applied in all aspects of human endeavour. It has been stressed that the application of computer will enhance effectiveness and efficiency in this rapidly growing and technologically changing world. Computer education is being advocated because it is almost certain that computer literacy will have as much impact on career opportunities in the fast growing information age (Adamu and Bello, 2002). The relevance of computer science is therefore, hinged on its utility value. The National Policy of Education (NPE, 1981, revised in 1988, 1991, 1998 and 2004) introduced the teaching of computer science in Nigerian schools. The inclusion of the study of computer science in the school curriculum was aimed at providing opportunity for every student to become computer literate. The study of computer science has in effect, gained tremendous influence on the student and society. However, the use and study of computers in Nigeria is recent when compared to other parts of the world where computers have been in use in all facet of human endeavour including offices, schools, industries, research centre’s, communication, hospitals to mention but a few. The complex nature of present day school situation has made transmission of information and instruction to students and the nature of learning and teaching in general more complex. This has made the role of the teacher in promoting learning more challenging. The new role does not just, involve mere transmission of information to students but also include looking at the problems associated with learning and instruction so that students can gain maximally from teaching and learning process. Computers are now used where there is a lot of data to be manipulated, where complex tasks must be managed or where there is need for real time access to centralized information from arbitrary locations such as in education, telemedicine, telecommunicating and in several other area (Adewopo, 1995). The study of computer in school is therefore, aimed at helping the students cope with modern technological development, equip them knowledge and competencies or skills of programme and administrative management as well as, improve the learning process.. Students are expected to master the skills of computer appreciation or application and not just what it is and can do. Students are therefore, expected to be taught in such a way as not only to conceptualize and understand the computer, but also to be able to effectively manage their own learning, reinforce it and apply such knowledge or training in practical situation. This new approach hasmade the teaching of computer science a little bit more complex and challenging. It has been observed that the teaching and learning of 193 computer science in schools has not been quite easy. Often time, people talk about inadequate equipments, facilities, and computers instructional resources for learning and teaching exercise (Aghadino, 1990;Okebukola, 1990). It is believed that teaching of science in general and computer science in particular is beset with a number of problems (Adamu, 2000). The slow pace of learning and application of computer had been attributed to this. This presupposes that there are problems associated with the teaching and learning of computer science education.
1.1 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
The first challenge in teaching and leaning Computer Science in nigeria is the problem caused by a lack of interaction between the teacher and the student/s that is a feature of face-to-face classroom teaching (Hentea, Shea, & Pennington, 2003). For technical subjects in Computer Science such as computer programming, database design and AI, this lack of interaction is exacerbated. In Computer Science subjects, the teaching requires a high level of communication between students and the teacher. In the class room where students may be located at a great distance and studying in isolation(for example, outback Australia), interaction may be synchronous (real time) or asynchronous (anytime). Asynchronous methods use collaborative tools that enable students to communicate with their teacher and their peers at any time forms of asynchronous communication technology, and can be used for teacher-student communication and student-student exchanges. The problem of teaching and learning of computer science and be summaried.
- Inadequate Professionally trained computer teachers
- Inadequate computers
- . Lack of support infrastructural facilities
- Inadequate instructional materials or teaching aids
- Poor instructional delivery 104 2.08 Not accepted as problem
- Poor teachers attitude toward the subject
- General students apathy and indifference in computer science Lack of motivation and encouragement for students
- Lack of incentive and motivation for teachers.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The objective of the study are listed below:
- To understand the problem in learning and teaching of computer science.
- To set up a strategy in solving those problem.
- To set up a standard for teaching computer science in Nigeria
SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The limits of this study is the problems and prospect of teaching and learning of computer science in Nigeria. A means of ensuring standard teaching and learning of computer science. The study involves the development of strategy in solving the problem
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
- To understand the problems of teaching and learning of computer science in Nigeria.
- To know the methods or ways of solving them
- To know the standard to set up in teaching computer science in schools.
1.6 LIMITATION OF STUDY
This research work in carried out in Nigeria and as a result it is limited from other countries.
DEFINITION OF TERMS
- Computer: Computer is conceived as a device or machine designed specially to perform calculations, process data and store information which can be easily retrieved when required
- NPE: national policy of education
- CSETAQ: Computer Science Education Teaching Assessment Questionnaire (CSETAQ)
- PEFRN: Policy on Education Federal Republic of Nigeria
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