Academic journal article International Journal of Cyber Society and Education

The Diffusion of Information and Communication Technology in Primary Schools in Nigeria: Utilization and Challenges

Academic journal article International Journal of Cyber Society and Education

The Diffusion of Information and Communication Technology in Primary Schools in Nigeria: Utilization and Challenges

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT

This study is a critical overview of the efforts of the Nigerian government to integrate Information and Communication Technology (ICT) into education. It also assessed the availability of ICT facilities and infrastructure as stated in the strategic ICT objectives, and investigated whether the sample used (i.e. students) has the skills needed for ICT utilization and factors or challenges that affect the diffusion of ICT in education. This is with the ultimate view to providing empirical information on the extent of achieving the vision and objectives of the National Policy for ICT in Nigeria. The study employed exploratory research design. Three hundred participants (N=300) that constituted the sample was selected from ten primary schools using stratified sampling technique, based on the Local Education Authority Area, school types, and location. The research instrument is made up of a self-designed questionnaire on a five-point Likert Scale. They were derived from relevant literature and validated by experts from the Department of Educational Technology, Department of Educational Foundations and Counseling, and ICT teachers in public schools in Ile-Ife for content validity. The reliability of the instrument was determined using Pearson Moment Correlation. A correlation of 0.87 was found. The data were analyzed using One-way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA). The findings showed that ICT facilities were not universally available. It was also found that 10 years after the enactment of the Nigerian National ICT Policy, internet services are yet to be fully made available in all government institutions in Nigeria.

Keywords: Information and Communication Technology, Strategic Objectives, Digital Divides, Millennium Development Goals

INTRODUCTION

The utilization of Information and Communication Technology (Paul, 2004) is currently a topic of discussion in all sectors. The shift of interest to education is not contradictory because of its impact on education and on economic development (Dewan & Kenneth, 2000). This shift of interest has implications for education concerning how the society can use Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to strengthen education (D' Hagan, 1998). It also involves how ICT can be used effectively to promote a better world (Hawking, 2000). However, Nigeria may not likely achieve this goal because it lacks improved efficiency in education. The above may affect the country in providing equitable access to quality education. Equitable access to quality education at all levels is needed for us to achieve self-sufficiency in a highly competitive global economy that is based strictly on the new technologies (Brauld & Chisenga, 2005). No wonder then, Nigeria decided to reform the entire educational sectors. Prior to this period, the Nigerian educational system was experiencing:

(i) severe shortage of ICT skills and personnel needed to take advantage of the new technologies

(ii) inadequacy of qualified ICT teachers

(iii) weak ICT backbones

(iv) inadequate funding of ICT for development

(v) low ICT related research

(vi) problem of power supply (Egwu, 2009)

Consequently, Nigeria decided to reform the whole educational system with ICT playing a major role. According to the Executive Summary (2001), ICT is seen as the bedrock of the survival of Nigeria and its development. The policy categorically states that ICT will be used for development and to produce a reliable human resources and infrastructure.

ICT Policy in Nigeria

The Nigeria National Policy on Information Technology (NNPIT) became operational in 2001. According to the Executive Summary (2001, p. 3), the IT vision was to make Nigeria an IT capable country in Africa and a key player in the information society by 2005. Nigeria also proposes using IT as the engine for sustainable development and global competitiveness. In order to fulfill this vision, the country came up with the following general objectives (Adebayo, 2003, 2006). …

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