Computer studies curriculum implementation in selected secondary schools in Mufumbwe district, Zambia: successes and challenges

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Masumba, Collins Kasoka
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The University of Zambia
Globalisation and technological development in the world has accelerated and created a new global economy fuelled by information and driven by innovations. One way in which information spreads is by the use of computers. In the 2013 revised curriculum, the Ministry of General Education in Zambia introduced Computer Studies into the education system. The few studies in this area were done in urban areas. The rural setting has been ignored as regards to implementation of Computer Studies Curriculum. Mufumbwe district being a rural setting is a special case especially in a Zambian context considering development trends in Zambia. Specifically, the study sought to establish the availability of facilities and equipment for the implementation of Computer Studies, find out the availability of qualified Computer Studies teachers, examine the appropriateness of teaching methods and establish the views of Head Teachers, Teachers, learners and parents on the implementation of Computer Studies in Secondary Schools in Mufumbwe district. The concurrent embedded design of mixed methods research approach was employed. Four head teachers of secondary schools and eight parents were interviewed and questionnaires were employed to collect data from twelve teachers of Computer Studies and fifty-one learners bringing the total to seventy-five participants. An observation schedule was also used to collect data from teachers. Quantitative data was analysed using descriptive statistics while qualitative data was analysed according to themes. The findings of the study revealed that there were insufficient facilities and equipment such as computer laboratories and computers, internet connectivity, printers, backup generators, overhead projectors and photocopiers. Findings further indicated that there were no qualified teachers of Computer Studies and inappropriate teaching methods such as lecture methods were being used during lessons. However, head teachers, teachers, learners and parents indicated that the introduction of Computer Studies was a good thing, hence there was need to encourage the teaching of the subject in rural secondary schools. From this study, it was concluded that there was need to provide facilities and equipment for Computer Studies in secondary schools in Mufumbwe district, teachers qualified to teach Computer Studies should be sent to schools in order to encourage the teaching and learning of the subject in rural secondary schools. Teachers teaching Computer Studies should also be in-serviced so as to enable them use appropriate teaching methods during computer lessons in order to encourage the teaching and learning of the subject in schools. The rural settings have been neglected as regards the implementation of the computer studies curriculum in Zambian schools of Mufumbwe district. Keywords: Computer Studies Curriculum, Innovations
Computer studies--Study and teaching--Zambia , Computer studies--Curriculum evaluation--Zambia