An investigation of academic performance of grade 9 learners in computer studies: a case study of Chamunda secondary school in Masaiti district, Zambia.
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Development and teaching of Computer Studies in African Secondary Schools is vital if the continent is to reduce the knowledge, technological and economic gaps between itself and the rest of the world. But there had been few or no studies conducted to establish the performance of learners in Computer Studies subject so as to determine the worthiness of integrating it in school curriculum. There is a significant gap within the current bodies of research, most research does not focus on performance of learners in Computer Studies. This research aimed to fill this gap by addressing the performance of learners in Computer Studies since it was introduced in Secondary Schools in Zambia. A mixed method was adopted, using a convergent concurrent parallel design. The qualitative methods used interviews, while the quantitative used a descriptive cross sectional study. A 100 Pupils were randomly selected to respond to the questionnaire and 13 staffs that included the `Head teacher and teachers teaching computer studies were interviewed, making a total sample of 113. Fewer teachers were found teaching computer studies, while the Examination Council of Zambia archives of Grade 9 results for 2015, 2016 and 2017 showed a decreasing trend in performance. The pass rate in 2015 was 56%. In 2016 the pass rate was 38%. In 2017 the pass rate was 23%. Boys performed better than girls over the years. The study revealed a third of the learners had positive perception, with a dominance of males towards. Students challenges were computer accessibility and those that never had access were (65%). These challenges result in under performance of learners in the Computer Studies. Teachers reported a range of different challenges that they faced when teaching Computing. Challenges faced by teachers included not being confident in the subject matter and other comments focus on the fact that the students have difficulty understanding the material and in problem solving. These results suggested that simply increasing the educational input on computers at school may not produce the desired effect; instead, the quality of teaching also matters. %. Integrating computer use into effective instructional activities plays a more important role in influencing student academic performance
The University of Zambia