The perceptions of Teachers and Learners on the role of ICTs in teaching religious education in Zambia: A case of selected Secondary Schools in Kabwe District
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Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) are widely being integrated in most sectors of the Zambian society including secondary schools. This study thus investigated the perceptions of teachers and learners on the role of ICTs in the teaching and learning of RE in three selected secondary schools in Kabwe District of Zambia.This was necessitated by the fact that so much has been said about the use of ICTs in Science-based subjects but little, if any, is known about the role of ICTs in the teaching and learning of RE.The purpose of the study was to establish the perceptions of teachers and learners on the role of ICTs in the teaching and learning of RE in three selected secondary schools in Kabwe District. The objectives of the study were, to establish the kind of ICTs facilities that were available in the selected secondary schools, to find out the levels of ICTs usage in the teaching and learning processes across the curriculum, and to establish the perceptions of teachers and learners on the role of ICTs in the teaching and learning of RE in the selected secondary schools. A qualitative approach and case study design were employed for the study. Data were collected through face-to-face interviews, focus group discussions, and non-participant observation. Data were mainly in form of views and opinions. Analysis of data was accomplished through thematic analysis which revealed recurring themes from the data. The findings were that Computers, DSTV kits, DVD players, TV’s, printers, and phones were the available ICTs in the three selected schools. The schools had computer programmes like Bible Pro, What the Bible Says, Bible commentaries, and the Bible in softcopy. The levels of ICTs usage varied from teacher to teacher, pupil to pupil, subject to subject, and school to school. Science-based subjects employed more usage of ICTs compared to other subjects, including RE, because sciences had more readily available materials. The perceptions of teachers and learners on the role of ICTs in RE were that ICTs were valuable pedagogical tools in enhancing the teaching and learning of the subject. ICTs were perceived to help RE teachers teach better and learners learn better. It was therefore, perceived that ICTs promoted participation, ambiance transformation in class, creativity, motivation, easier understanding, and higher retention levels among learners in RE. In other words, this study showed that teachers and learners consider ICTs as beneficial to RE as they create a more enabling environment that best fits the present social scenario of increased ICTs in Zambia. In view of the foregoing, the study recommended that teachers of RE should acquire the necessary skills to enable them make full use of available ICTs in schools; CDC should integrate ICTs in the teaching of Zambian RE; and MESVTEE should formulate a deliberate policy for the creation of the position of Education Standards Officer-ICTs at district and provincial level to oversee the correct and safe use of ICTs in schools; Government and school Boards should provide schools with modern ICTs and not e-waste; and MESVTEE, ZEBS and ZICTA should formulate an effective e-safety policy to regulate the safe use of ICTs in schools.