A Comparative Study of Computer Literacy in Urban And Rural Primary Schools In Rivers State of Nigeria
Aims: To comparatively investigate factors affecting computer literacy in urban and rural primary schools in Nigeria.
Study design: This study was a descriptive survey.
Place and Duration of Study: Port Harcourt and Obiakpor (representing urban areas), and Asari-Toru and Gokana (representing rural areas) of Rivers State, Nigeria; between March and June 2011.
Methodology: A total of 480 primary school teachers were drawn from the four Local Government Areas. An eighteen-item questionnaire, ‘Computer Literacy Inventory’ (CLI) was developed by the researcher and used for data collection. CLI was distributed and collected at teachers’ workshop organized by the State Ministry of Education. Analysis was through simple tables of frequency counts and percentages
Results: Out of 240 respondents from rural and urban areas respectively, only 80(33%) rural respondents indicated that there are computers in their schools while 160(67%) were on the contrary, but all the 240(100%) urban respondents admitted that there are computers in the urban schools. The 80(33%) rural respondents that have computers in their schools responded to issues on teachers’ accessibility to computers as never (0(0%) rarely (16(20%), seldom (40(50%) and often (24(30%), always (0). Similarly, their urban colleagues responded: never (16(7%), rarely (63(26%), seldom (96(40%), often (65(27%), and always (0(0%). 184(77%) urban teachers affirmed their possession of computer skills and only 56(23%) did not; while in the rural schools only 40(17%) said they have the skill and the rest 200(83%) admitted that they lack the skill. Rural respondents indicated total absence of computer practical sessions while only 56(23%) urban teachers affirmed to practical computer lessons. The teaching strategy is mostly lecture-based as attested by 240(100%) rural teachers and 184(77%) urban counterparts. On the issue of learning environment, every Computer Science class in rural schools takes place in the classroom 240(100%) and never in any designated equipped room called Computer Lab. This case is only slightly different in urban areas because 32(13%) use computer lab while the majority, 208(87%), do not. Concerning socio-economic background of the class, only 39(16%) rural pupils come from rich homes while majority of them 88(37%) and 113(47%) come from poor and very poor families respectively, while majority (136(57%) of urban pupils belong to rich families with others coming from poor 72(30%) and very poor 32(13%) homes.
Conclusion: Challenges retarding computer literacy in Nigerian Primary schools, particularly in the rural areas, are enormous. This reveals the need for urgent interventions from the government and public spirited organizations and individuals. Government should not pay lip service to ICT-policies to afford the teeming population of Nigerian children the opportunity to meet up with rest of the world.
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