PERCEPTIONS OF TEACHERS, LEARNERS AND SCHOOL PRINCIPALS ON THE INTEGRATION OF ICT IN TEACHING AND LEARNING OF SECONDARY SCHOOL AGRICULTURE IN BUNGOMA COUNTY, KENYA

ABSTRACT
Education is a basic right and an essential part of human rights as recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. For the right to education to be realized, the process of learning should reflect the needs and aspirations of society. Technology is one such avenue through which education objectives may be achieved. Whereas evidence shows an increase in investment in ICT in education in Kenya, perceptions of teachers, learners and school Principals on the integration of ICT in teaching and learning of secondary school agriculture is yet to be studied more so in Bungoma County. The purpose of this study was to establish the teachers’ perception on use of ICT in the teaching of secondary agriculture in Bungoma County. The study was conducted to ascertain the teachers’ perceived usefulness of ICT, ease of use and adoption of ICT and their preparedness to use the same as a pedagogical tool in secondary schools in Bungoma County. The study also gathered the perceptions of learners and school Principals on the use of ICT in teaching and learning of agriculture. A descriptive survey research design was employed. The target population of the study consisted of all Form three agriculture students, 498 agriculture teachers and 252 Principals of secondary schools in Bungoma County. Purposive sampling was used to select 65 Principals, 120 secondary school agriculture teachers and 780 Form Three agriculture students as respondents for the study. A questionnaire was used to collect information from the agriculture teachers and school Principals. An observation checklist was used to ascertain the state of ICT in the schools and a discussion guide was used for the focus group discussion with students of agriculture. To establish reliability of the instruments a pilot study was carried out using 30 secondary school agriculture teachers, 10 school Principals and 120 Form Three agriculture students selected through purposive sampling technique in Kakamega County. Validity of the instruments was established by the supervisors from the Department of Agricultural Education and Extension at Egerton University. Quantitative data were coded and analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences. Qualitative data was analyzed using document report analysis. The results were presented in frequencies, means and percentages. The study established that the perception of agriculture teachers, head teachers and students towards the use of ICT in teaching was positive. The study established that few teachers used ICT in teaching of agriculture as compared to other subjects. The study recommends formulation of policies that promote the integration of ICT in teaching of agriculture. It also recommends agriculture teachers to use ICT in teaching and learning.

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
Background of the Study
Vocational agriculture was introduced in Kenya’s secondary school curriculum initially at Chavakali High school in 1959 (Covington & Dobbins, 2004). Due to the premium the Kenya Government had on agriculture, it focused on developing a curriculum that would address the developmental needs of the country with agriculture as the main driving force. This resulted in the expansion of schools offering agriculture to six more schools; Rapogi, Kisii, Narok, Njoro, Kangaru and Bungoma High school (Konyango, 2010). However, vocational agriculture was taken as manual labor to take Africans back to the land creating a negative perception and attitude towards the subject by learners (Wanzala, 2013). The Ominde report of 1964 emphasized the teaching of agriculture in schools and this lead to more schools taking up the subject (Konyango, Onyango & Kibett, 2010). The Report recommended agriculture to be taught among the science subjects. Currently, agriculture subject is in Group 4 under applied practical skills and technical and vocational subjects, where students choose one subject from among a variety of subjects in the category. These technical and vocational subjects include; agriculture, wood work, metal work, power mechanics, electricity, drawing and design, building and construction, business education, art and design and music (Okaka, 2001).

Teaching and learning of agriculture has become an essential tool for achieving food security in many developing countries including Kenya, and therefore, much effort has been put in to make it more accessible, affordable and of quality. Such efforts include among others the integration of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the teaching and learning of agriculture in secondary schools (World Bank, 2004). Some of the ICT used in teaching include live broadcast for radio and television and generic software applications such as audio cassettes, CDs, tapes, video cassettes, DVDs, satellite, the internet, and web-based content. Electronic devices such as the radio, television, computers, telephones, video tapes, audio tapes, and projectors are classified as ICT (Adomi, 2010).

In the education sector, ICT is regarded as an engine for growth and tool for empowerment with profound implications for education change and socio-economic development (Gesci, 2013). Its impact has been felt as one of the most immediate imperatives and as a major trend shaping education, every facet of the curriculum, instruction and student engagement (Kidd, 2010). Instructional media such as interactive radio, television, e-learning and video conferencing dramatically expand options for engaging in teaching and learning at all levels (Abdulrasool, 2015). It is generally agreed that the use of technology in the instructional process could promote innovative approaches to teaching and learning by going beyond the classroom teacher (Gesci, 2013; Mahmud, 2014). Therefore, the potential that ICT offer to improve accessibility and delivery of education in developing economies is enormous (Gasco, 2012).

In the knowledge age, developments in ICT do not only affect what needs to be learnt, but also how learning will take place in the future (Redecker, 2011). This means that with the ubiquity of technology, learning will be accessible anywhere, anytime, and there will be a shift from having institutions of learning to ‘classrooms without walls’. Johnson, Smith, Willis, Levine, and Haywood (2011) also predict massive technological transformations influencing education in the coming decade, where abundance of resources and relationships made easily accessible through the internet will affect teachers’ roles.

The role of ICT in education not only leads to the transformation of teachers’ functions to that of instructional managers but also changes the whole school environment by giving teachers new instruments for the analysis and continuous monitoring of the learning process (Gasco, 2012; Van, 2015; Adam, 2010). However, although ICT are a critical tool in teaching and learning, and a facilitator for major education and development reforms, it is not a sufficient condition as it calls for focusing on the changing roles of the teachers. Teachers are agents of change in the adoption and use of ICT in education (Adomi, 2010; Gesci, 2013). Therefore, their perceptions determine whether or not they will integrate ICT in teaching and learning. Communication research done in developed countries and some parts of Asia indicates that teachers’ perceptions and other factors affect the extent to which ICT may be used (Li & Ni, 2011; Jones, 2012).

A study by Almadhour (2010) on the integration of ICT in pedagogy by secondary school teachers in teaching in New Zealand, identified tools such as the internet, digital cameras, video, video cameras and video players as pedagogical tools. The study found that these tools were used in teaching but the most used tool was the internet. Cameras were used only to take photos and videos of researched activities. Another study by Afamasaga-Wright (2008) on teacher perceptions of use of ICT in secondary school teaching in Samoa revealed similar findings, that the internet was mostly used by teachers to search for information for teaching.

In another study by Zhu (2010) on insights into innovative classroom practices with ICT in China, it was found that ICT was not a critical tool to transform teaching and learning. They are pedagogical tools that involve the use of software application to solve problems, to extend student capabilities, to create products or communicate and share their perspectives with each other (Johnson et al., 2011).

In Kenya, the use of ICT in education in general tops the Government’s agenda. According to ICT in Education Session Paper of 2010, integration of ICT in education not only helps learners acquire the 21st century skills of critical thinking, collaboration and problem solving, but also improve the quality of curriculum delivery (Government of Kenya, 2011). While the initial plans to introduce ICT especially computers were aimed primarily at developing ICT skills, the focus over time has shifted to leveraging ICT to address issues of access aiming at improving teaching and learning (Government of Kenya, 2012b).

The integration of ICT in all sectors of the economy has been emphasized in Kenya under the country’s Vision 2030 blueprint (Government of Kenya, 2010a). This commitment is re- emphasized in the education sector as stipulated in the National ICT Strategy for Education and Training, Sessional Paper No.14 of 2012, and the task force report on the realignment of the education sector to the 2010 Constitution (Government of Kenya, 2012a; 2012b). Consequently, a great deal of time and money is spent on the quest to provide appropriate ICT to teachers and students with expectation that they will use them effectively in teaching and learning. However, only a few of them fully exploit the opportunities offered by use of technology for teaching and learning, or as an alternative method for the delivery of the curriculum (Inan, 2014). The issue of agriculture teachers not effectively integrating ICT in teaching and learning then arose. A survey study carried out by Makhanu and Kamper (2012) to investigate the relationship between ICT access to secondary school heads and secondary school performance in Bungoma County of Kenya showed that school principal’s access to ICT has a positive influence on secondary school performance. It also revealed that a relatively low percentage of principals (42 percent) had access to ICT in schools. This study is a useful source of reference especially on the distribution of ICT in secondary schools in Kenya. However, the study only concentrated on school principals and did not involve agriculture teachers who happen to be the agents of implementing integration of ICT in teaching and learning in secondary schools. The availability and accessibility of ICT may not automatically translate into use.

Statement of the Problem
The integration of ICT in all sectors of the economy has been emphasized in Kenya under the country’s Vision 2030 blueprint. Whereas evidence shows an increase in investment in ICT in education in the country, perceptions of teachers, learners and school principals on the integration of ICT in the teaching and learning of secondary agriculture remain unclear. This study was geared towards generating information on perceptions of teachers, learners and school principals on the integration of ICT in teaching and learning of secondary school agriculture, in Bungoma County, Kenya. Without such information it will continue to be difficult to enhance the use of ICT in teaching and learning of agriculture in the county and beyond.

Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study was to establish the teachers’, learners’ and school principals’ perceptions on the use of ICT in teaching and learning of secondary agriculture in Bungoma County.

Objectives of the Study
This study was guided by the following objectives:

i. To document the status of ICT for teaching and learning of agriculture in secondary schools in Bungoma County.

ii. To determine the extent of use of ICT by agriculture teachers in teaching and learning in secondary schools in Bungoma County.

iii. To determine the perceptions of agriculture teachers on the use of ICT in teaching and learning of agriculture in secondary schools in Bungoma County.

iv. To determine the perceptions of learners on the use of ICT in teaching and learning of agriculture in secondary schools in Bungoma County.

v. To determine the school Principals’ perceptions towards ICT use in teaching and learning of agriculture in secondary schools in Bungoma County.

Research Questions
The research questions below guided the study

i. What is the status of ICT for teaching and learning agriculture in secondary schools in Bungoma County?

ii. To what extent do secondary school agriculture teachers use ICT as a pedagogical tool in Bungoma County?

iii. What are the perceptions of agriculture teachers towards ICT use in teaching and learning of agriculture in secondary schools in Bungoma County?

iv. What are the perceptions of learners towards ICT use in teaching and learning of agriculture in secondary schools in Bungoma County?

v. What are the perceptions of school Principals towards ICT use in teaching and learning of agriculture in secondary schools in Bungoma County?

Significance of the Study
The findings of the study can inform the Ministry of Education and Teachers Service Commission on the hindrances to ICT integration in the teaching and learning of secondary agriculture. The information can enable the ministry of education and teachers service commission to identify mechanisms that will ensure successful ICT integration in secondary school agriculture. The research will also guide policy-makers, decision-makers and investors to make well-informed decisions about policies and investment in ICT as regards secondary education by understanding the perceptions of teachers, learners and school Principals on the use of ICT as a pedagogical tool in secondary agriculture. Additionally, the study will be beneficial in building a knowledge base of perceptions of teachers, learners and school Principals on the use of ICT in teaching and learning secondary agriculture. The knowledge may serve as a guide for overcoming challenges that teachers face while using ICT in teaching and learning of secondary agriculture. Furthermore, the study is intended not only to shed light on the teachers’, learners and school Principals’ perceptions towards ICT integration in teaching and learning but also to reveal the factors obstructing their positive attitudes towards the use of ICT. The knowledge from the study will enable parents and communities to consider investment in ICT as a priority for effective teaching and learning. Finally, the study will help future researchers to make references on this work with the aim of building more knowledge in the field of ICT in relation to teaching and learning of secondary agriculture.

Scope of the Study
This study was confined to Bungoma County, Kenya and focused on the agriculture teachers, learners and principals of secondary schools as they were the ones who are best suited to provide information on the extent to which ICT is utilized in the teaching and learning of agriculture. The research examined the agriculture teachers’ attitude and awareness of ICT and readiness to use and to train on use of ICT and perceived ease of use and usefulness of ICT as a pedagogical tool. The study also investigated the adequacy of ICTs tools in secondary schools and gathered the perceptions of learners and Principals on the use of ICT in teaching and learning of agriculture in the County.

Assumptions of the Study
This study was carried out under the following assumptions:

i. Teachers in selected schools would be willing to participate in the study and that they will voluntarily give the correct information.

ii. Agriculture teachers have ICT knowledge.

Limitations of the Study
The study had the following limitations:

i. Not all secondary schools in the Country were covered. Any findings and generalizations of the study were therefore, to be confined to the County.

ii. The sampled respondents included agriculture teachers who were 60 years old that were not well versed with new technology. In such cases, the researcher interpreted and assisted in filling of the questionnaire.

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Item Type: Kenyan Material  |  Attribute: 70 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Price: KSh900  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.
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