AN EXAMINATION OF THE INCLUSION OF COMPUTER SCIENCE IN SECONDARY SCHOOL CURRICULUM: PERSPECTIVE OF TEACHERS

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1     BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Computers have a significant history of existence. Today, computer technology has experienced a succession of modifications. According to Kremer (2005), a computer is an electrical machine that functions with amazing speed and dependability. Although originally, many felt it was inconceivable that a computer could be a scientific aspect of study, in the late fifties it progressively became acknowledged among the wider academic community.  Computer science, which is the science that deals with the theory and technology of processing information in digits, It could also be regarded as the merging of principles, concepts, and applications of technology that underpins the availability of information.  The information that a computer scientist uncovers, processes, stores, and communicates is frequently encoded in a computer memory. Computers were created to answer numerous mathematical problems in the early phases. But now, computers have progressed beyond that, and there is rarely any sector of life where a computer cannot be utilized.

In a continuously changing environment, basic education is vital for an individual to be able to acquire and utilize information. Such competence must involve the competent usage of a computer. The Economic Commission for Africa has highlighted that the skill to utilize computers for obtaining information is no longer a luxury, but a requirement for growth. Unfortunately, many developing nations, particularly in Africa, are still poor in computer application and usage (Aduwa, 2005).

Furthermore, the necessity for the integration of computer science in the education curriculum of Nigerian secondary schools cannot be overemphasized. In this technology-driven world, everyone needs ICT ability to live (Adom & Anie 2006).  This demands for the early learning of computer skills by students. As a consequence, Oduroye (2002) emphasized the growth in demand for computer literacy in Nigeria. Thus, the study of computers as a subject in secondary schools is vital since, at this point, education is fundamental and critical to the child’s future growth.

The inclusion of computer science as a subject in the secondary school education curriculum is to acquaint learners with the usage of computer systems and associated social and ethical concerns.  It allows users the option to handle words, photos, figures, music, sound, video, etc., and to process data by analyzing, organizing, storing, retrieving, displaying, and communicating. According to IFIP-UNESCO (2006), computer science is such an essential subject that it aids the industrial and commercial progress of a nation. The introduction of computer science into the secondary school curricula will allow students to access, choose and analyze information, detect patterns, correlations and behavior model and speculate.  It further enables students to assess dependability and correctness, examine and revise their work to enhance the quality, connect with others and increase efficiency, be creative and take chances, and acquire confidence and independence (Dreyfus, 2001).

The inclusion of computer science would also have an impact on how students learn school subjects because it would enable students to experiment and learn from feedback, think logically and develop problem-solving skills; observe, explore and explain patterns in number, shape, and data; make and test hypotheses and predictions which can be based on large amounts of  The effect of computer machines on the teaching and learning of school topics would also help students to form generalizations that might be based on experimental data and increase vocabulary and language skills (Briggs 2002).

Furthermore, the inclusion of computer science in secondary school, among other things, will expose its usefulness in many areas like computer awareness, computer appreciation, basic computer operations and concepts, computer application, computer ethics and human issues, information age, information communication technology, computer problem solving skills, computer application package and many more (Simonsori 1998).

The spread of computers to many sectors of life has made knowledge about computers vital for all secondary school levels.

1. 2     STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

Despite the relevance of computers in the education system, numerous issues have inhibited the development and acceptance of computer science in Nigerian secondary schools.  Such issues vary from a lack of interest in computer science on the side of the students to a lack of devotion on the part of the teachers. The issue we have today in a developing nations like Nigeria is to discover a manner of confronting the existing obstacles that limit the full implementation of teaching computer science.  It is also emphasized that the inclusion of computer science in secondary school curriculums influences students’ understanding in numerous ways. An example is pupils’ viewing porn videos on the computer system. All of these spurred the need to research teachers’ perspectives of the integration of computer science in the secondary school curriculum.

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