factors affecting COMPUTER SCIENCE STUDENTS' performance IN JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL
The Study's Background
Nigeria has recognized the value of functional education for the benefit and service of humanity. This understanding is reflected in the National Policy on Education (FRN, 2004). Where it is emphasized that, among other things, the overall philosophy of education in Nigeria should be directed toward building a united, strong, and self-sufficient nation through educational activities geared toward scientific and technological progress.
In the developing world, educational policymakers face a major challenge: how to create opportunities for success for all children and their citizens as a whole. It is critical to address the issues of illiteracy and school failure, as well as to improve students' intellectual capacities. Education is the process of teaching, training, and learning, particularly in schools or colleges, in order to improve knowledge and skills.
Education, according to Paulson-Ellis and White Church in (Eze 2002), is the imparting and acquisition of knowledge designed to develop a broad range of abilities, knowledge, and skills of general application. Education is inextricably linked to life, because there is education in virtually every aspect of life, and one continues to learn for the rest of his life.
According to Okeke (2004:3), “available literature on the development of education attests to the fact that education has been influenced by great thinkers, computer illiterate, law, forms of government, and modes of social life.” Prof. A. Babs Fafunwa, a renowned Nigerian educationist and former minister of education, defined education as “an aggregate of all the processes by which a person develops abilities, attitudes, and other forms of positive behavior in the society in which he lives.” Fafunwa changed his mind (2004:3).
Because of advancements in information and communication technology, the world is quickly becoming a global village due to the interconnectedness that exists between countries, organizations, governments, and other bodies (ICT). Olagunfu (2003) defines information technology as the integration of computer technology, primarily in the form of the internet, and information management.
It allows users to handle texts and images, numbers and graphs, sound and music, and process information in the following ways: storage and analyzing; presenting and organizing retrieving communication. Access to information and communication is improved in other worlds thanks to basic computer technologies. The internet is a network of interconnection.
According to the World Bank (2007), the internet is a powerful tool for improving the efficiency and quality of a wide range of public services, particularly education and health. Teachers and students can use the internet to access outstanding and current education-related books, journals, magazines, international conferences, workshops, invitations, and information on research focus and research grants.
Computer-mediated communication is becoming more popular among people from all walks of life in both developed and developing countries. A computer is any device capable of accepting, storing, and processing data and producing information in a specific format. According to Akukwe (2003), it is an electronic device capable of accepting, storing, and processing data, as well as outputting the result by following a set of instructions known as a program and electro-mechanical information.
french (1992) defined computer science as the use of scientific principles in the design, construction, and maintenance of computer systems. Computer science is the scientific study of the theory and practice of data and information, processing and knowledge of computer puts and their functions. Computers are used not only as storage devices and processing units, but also as excellent communication media.
They provide access to the internet as well as effective audiovisual media. A computer can be used to access a vast knowledge based on research for information over the internet as a means of documenting the backbone management software that is part of a computer system that assists the student in managing large amounts of data.
It has been observed that a large proportion of students fail computer science in their internal and external examinations, and as a result, they hardly achieve the acceptable level of good performance in their results in most junior secondary schools.
It has been claimed that their inability to master and pass computer has always been a stumbling block. Unlike other courses, because of the internet difficulties associated with subject learning. Because computer knowledge is universal and diverse, computer science is now being explored in all fields of life.
In research, engineering, business, medicine, communication, weather forecasting, education, finance, art, healthcare delivery, and most other areas of human activity. The computer is a necessary tool. Knowledge of and ability to use computers has become so important and widespread that it has become an integral part of education and literacy. Today, however, many of our young boys and girls, as well as men and women, lack computer science education and literacy.
Secondary school students who are unfamiliar with computers or have never used or even seen one appear to find computer science difficult. Some students who have seen the computer have a limited or even incorrect understanding of what it is and what it can do.
It is therefore critical to teach and educate our young boys and girls about computer science, particularly in secondary schools. Students' computer science knowledge, applications, and skills must be improved in order to prepare them for the new demands of the modern technological world.
Many factors appear to be blamed for the difficulties that students face while learning computer science. According to Okorie (2000), students lack interest in learning computer science because the tools or equipment used in teaching students are not provided, which includes:
a) An insufficient number of qualified teachers
b) Inadequate learning environment, among other things
Based on the foregoing assumptions, the researchers were motivated to investigate the factors that influence students' performance in computer science learning in junior secondary schools in Enugu North Local Government Area.
Statement of the Issue:
Certain factors have been affecting the performance of junior secondary school computer science education students for several years. According to Njoku (1999), the lack of necessary infrastructure for secondary school students has become a barrier to effective teaching and learning.
Ukeje (1996) supported the argument by stating that schools lack classroom teaching resources as well as practically everything related to teaching and learning, all of which contribute to students' poor performance in junior secondary school subjects.
Although efforts have been made to achieve positive outcomes from computer education teaching and learning in junior secondary schools, effective learning has not been achieved. This is also one of the reasons why computer science is still taught primarily in junior secondary schools in all secondary schools in Enugu North Local Government Area.
In recent times, society has recognized the importance of computer education, and efforts are being made to determine what can be done to eliminate all of the factors that affect student performance in almost all Nigerian Secondary Schools, so that the technological achievement and advancement aspired by many nations can be achieved in Nigeria. It is therefore necessary to identify the factors that influence the performance of computer science students in Enugu North Local Government Area of Enugu State's Junior Secondary Schools.
The Study's Goal:
The study's objectives are as follows:
1) Determine whether there is a shortage of qualified teachers in Enugu North Local Government Area Junior Secondary Schools.
2) Determine whether adequate instructional materials and computer laboratory facilities are available.
3) Determine the teaching methods used to teach the students.
4) To find out if teachers can attend refresher courses.
The Study's Importance:
The significance of the study, if carried out effectively, will benefit students, teachers, school authorities, and the government. The study's findings will assist students in determining how they contributed to the factors that affect their performance, as well as in changing their obnoxious behavior patterns that have a negative impact on computer science education.
The study's findings will assist teachers in determining which areas require extra effort to maintain effective computer science teaching and learning and how to improve such situations.
As a result of the study, school officials will be aware of the factors that contribute to ineffective computer science teaching and learning and will work to improve the situation.
The study's findings will assist the government in determining the factors influencing students' performance in secondary schools in Enugu North Local Government Area, Enugu State. Such knowledge would aid the government in the provision of infrastructure and instructional materials to improve computer science teaching and learning.
The study's scope is as follows:
The study's scope is limited to identifying the issues or factors influencing the performance of computer science students in junior secondary schools in Enugu North Local Government Area, Enugu State.
Questions for Research:
1. Is there a scarcity of qualified teachers to teach computer science in junior secondary schools in Enugu North Local Government Area, Enugu State?
2. Does a lack of instructional materials and computer laboratory facilities affect computer science learning in junior secondary schools in Enugu North Local Government Area, Enugu State?
3. What factors influence computer science teaching and learning in junior secondary schools in Enugu North Local Government Area, Enugu State?
4. Does the government provide refresher courses for computer science teachers?
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