The challenges faced in the implementation of ICT in secondary schools in Cameroon
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The challenges faced in the implementation of ICT in secondary schools in Cameroon
During the past decade there has been an exponential growth in the use of information communication technology (ICT) which has made a pervasive impact both on society as a whole and in the daily lives of individuals.
This explains why we find increasing interest, attention and investment being put into the use of ICT in education all over the world.
In addition to the efforts to employ ICT to improve learning, the emergence of the knowledge economy has also brought about a much greater emphasis on education.
A number of master plans on ICT in education have been produced in many countries.
These plans reveal that educational innovations in ICT have been increasingly embedded within a broader framework of education reforms that aim to develop students’ capacities for self-learning, problem solving, information seeking and analysis, and critical thinking, as well as the ability to communicate, collaborate and learn; abilities that figured much less importantly in previous school curricula.
1.1 Background of The Study
With the government’s strategic plan on ICT implementation in schools launched in the past decade, Cameroon entered a very exciting period of rapid expansion and development in this area.
The challenges involved were not simply a case of technological adoption, but rather a process of innovation, which required both financial and training support for schools, as well as cooperation between teachers and school leadership to ensure success.
Cameroon promulgated a National ICT Policy that aims to “Improve the livelihoods of Cameroonians by ensuring the availability of accessible, efficient, reliable and affordable ICT services.”
This national policy has several sections, including information technology, broadcasting, telecommunications, and postal services.
However, it is the section on information technology that sets out the objectives and strategies pertaining to ICT and education. The relevant objective in this section states that government will encourage “…the use of ICT in schools, colleges, universities and other educational institutions in the country so as to improve the quality of teaching and learning.”
The related strategies, under the heading “E-Learning,” are to Promote the development of e-learning resources.
This can only be done with good implementation of ICT in secondary schools. It is therefore a necessity to investigate the factors affecting the implementation of ICT in secondary schools in Cameroon.
With new trends in teaching, one can point to many innovations and developments in education.
Over the last decade, there have two major forms of innovation in education which impact directly on education or on schools.
The first is the rise in information technology and the second is the changes being shaped in pedagogy, the organization, structure and style of teaching and learning.
The rise of information technology introduces the possibility of new individualized and co-operative problem solving, student centered learning and flexible learning approaches that were not practicable before.
This has implications for the teachers’ role and ‘authority’, particularly when many students are more computer literate than their teachers and when internet, e-mails, public access databases networking, interactive programs, virtual reality and powerful personal computer programs combine with the rapid obsolescence of knowledge to render problematic the notion of what is important fixed and enduring knowledge.
Further, it is not difficult to envisage this role of the teacher changing from a deliverer of fixed knowledge to a facilitator and supporter of student centered learning: thus learning becomes negotiable.
The new emerging methods of teaching and learning are driven by accessible new media.
There is no doubt that the use of computers in education in Cameroon, and the adoption of ICT have been promoted as a key step in bridging the digital divide.
The considerable increase in the number of computers acquired by Cameroon schools in recent years and the significant effort which has been put in place by the Cameroonian government, there has been little evaluation of their effectiveness in line with the attitude of teachers and students toward such implementation.
Implementation of ICT in education is closely connected to curriculum implementation. And considering the fact that some best curriculum, however well design, has failed the test of implementation, this demonstrates that the implementation of any educational programmes takes place within a complex society, economic, cultural and political context.
Some parents and teacher argue that print media which is a product of ICT such as newspapers, may also deviate from the intended idea of instruction and have negative effects on the students. Some of them suggest that the students being in the vulnerable teenage years may feel obliged to imitate some of the societal ills that may lead to their downfall.
The fact that the print media influences education systems cannot be ignored. This happens in our daily life when we find out that in some schools and other learning institutions, learners are provided with newspapers, books, magazines, pamphlets, from which they may also extract information for their daily studies.
The European countries are known as world leaders in the area of ICT in education. Ever since the early nineties, the Europen countries have invested in ICT in the education sector, based on the strong belief that the realm of ICT goes far beyond the immediate business and industrial applications, and ICT is seen as an essential cultural technique which can significantly improve the quality of education.
At the same time, however, there is lack of measurable evidence showing the overall impact of ICT on education. It asks questions such as do pupils learn more with ICT? Have any new teaching methods emerged? This is also a problem in most of the African countries that have embraced ICT as a way of delivering knowledge to the learners.
Moreover, the case of Cameroon is so special in that the Cameroonian government has set a goal in what she called vision 2035. Education has been pronounced as one of the strategic social means to achieve these goals.
1.2 Statement of The Problem
There is a stereotypical response among teachers and parents on the effects of ICT in schools. This is partly as a result of poor academic performance of some students.
Some of the components of ICT such as internet browsing are taking more of the students’ time. internet browsing causes poor academic performance in many schools in Cameroon.
Other teachers also argue that students who spend their time on the internet do well in current affairs.
This is also applicable in the quizzes in class as those students do well as far as academic is concern.
Internet browsing helps students to develop very fast when it comes to current affairs in some subjects offered in the school.
Cameroon has made remarkable progress putting in place an ICT policy framework and implementation strategy, complete with measurable outcomes and time frames. The process has
had the benefit of sound advice from the ministry of secondary education officials and stakeholders.
However, universal implementation is always challenging. The Government of Cameroon sees education as a platform for equipping their nation with ICT skills in order to create dynamic and sustainable economic growth.
Apart from the traditional use of ICT in the schools, as a vehicle for improving the existing schools’ curricula and schools’ management processes, the Cameroonian government holds that the implementation of ICT in education will play a major role in disseminating skills in society and create positive impact in the economy.
More than half of experienced teachers that we have nowadays did their studies in the pre computer age when there was no Internet.
The question we need to ask ourselves therefore is; do we really have experienced and qualified teachers good enough to handle the smooth implementation of ICT in our schools?
Through the ministry of secondary Education, the government of Cameroon had officially introduced and designed a curriculum and syllabus for computer studies in schools.
This was to enable learners and teachers in the secondary schools to have adequate skills in computer studies which would help in the running of the school and would be used by the school administration in compiling school records.
This therefore points to the problem of implementation of this curriculum in secondary schools in Cameroon.
None of the reviewed studies is addressing the issue to do with ICT implementation in secondary schools. The researcher feels that this is a gap which needs to be looked in to.
The researcher therefore will investigate the challenges facing the implementation of ICT in Cameroon secondary schools.
1.4 Research Questions
1.4.1 General Research Question
What are some of the difficulties face in the implementation of ICT in secondary schools in Cameroon?
1.4.2 SPECIFIC RESEARH
- How does the lack of ICT tools affect the implementation of ICT in secondary schools in Cameroon?
- How does lack of trained teachers affects the implementation of ICT in secondary schools in Cameroon?
- How does lack of electricity affects the implementation of ICT in secondary schools in Cameroon?