An assessment of the implementation of computer studies curriculum in selected peri–urban secondary schools of Kitwe district.

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Kwaleyela, Njekwa
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The University of Zambia
The 21st century has been dominated by advancement in Information Communication and Technology. This has led to the globalization of the world which has evidently shrunk to a global village. Consequently, all countries both developed and developing are incorporating ICT as part of their culture in their daily lives. Zambia has not been left out in this desire to improve on ICT and see to it that it benefits the country socially, economically and politically. In Zambia ICT has contributed to improving developmental outcomes in two main ways: firstly, ICT-based knowledge and products have contributed directly to wealth creation and secondly, the use of ICTs have contributed indirectly to national development through its impact on the social and economic sectors such as agriculture, health and education, and by empowering individuals to take advantage of new opportunities. In order to be in sync with the rest of the world in the field of Information and Communication Technology, the Zambian government through the Ministry of General Education introduced computer studies as a compulsory subject at primary and secondary schools in 2014. However, its implementation has faced a number of challenges all over the country. The objective and purpose of this study was to investigate the implementation of the Computer Studies curriculum, whether it has been a success or failure in peri urban areas Kitwe district of Zambia. A descriptive design was used in this study. The target population was three(3)peri-urban secondary schools in the District. Purposive sampling techniques were used to select a study sample of three(3) schools. In this study, fifty-six (56)respondents were reached which included three(3) head teachers, eight(8) computer studies teachers and forty-five(45) computer studies learners. Purposive sampling technique was used to select the three(3) head teachers, the eight(8) computer studies teachers and the forty-five (45). Interview schedule guides were used to obtain information from the Head teachers and computer studies teachers, while focus group discussions were conducted to pupils. Observation checklists and document analysis were also used. The researcher administered the interview guides and focus group discussions personally. The data collected was analyzed using descriptive statistics and presented in tables, charts and graphs. This study established that all the schools in the study sample had implemented computer studies curriculum though with a number of challenges. Inadequate funds to procure computers, their accessories and set up infrastructure such as computer laboratories, lack of trained computer teachers and inadequate books/materials were found to be the major challenges in the implementation process. The major issue expressed by the respondents is the inadequacy of teaching and learning materials. The findings of this study are likely to be of use to the policy makers in the Ministry of General Education. It will aid in formulation of appropriate strategies to address the implementation of computer studies curriculum in Zambia. Further, basing on the findings, the researcher recommended that the government should provide grants to schools to procure more computers, their accessories and set up infrastructure such as computer laboratories. The MoGE should also recruit computer studies teachers in all peri-urban schools, organize regular seminars, workshops and Continuous Professional Development for teachers and further all Colleges of Education should incorporate Computer studies in their curriculum.
Computer studies--Curriculum--Schools.