A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF AVAILABILITY OF E-LEARNING RESOURCES AND PUPILS’ PERFORMANCE IN SELECTED PRIMARY SCHOOLS IN KISUMU CENTRAL AND MUHORONI SUB COUNTIES, KENYA

ABSTRACT
Globally, the integration of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in education systems has become a practice which studies have shown to significantly influence academic performance. Disparities in pupils’ performance in Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) have been occurring every year, although some researchers tend to link the same with availability of e-learning resources. This gap has informed the study. Kisumu Central schools’ pupils have been performing better than other sub counties in KCPE every year. For example, between 2011 and 2014, Kisumu Central had an overall mean of 278.14 while Muhoroni Sub County had an overall mean of 243.17. While the digital divide between the urban and rural parts of Kenya has not been investigated, its influence on disparities in pupils’ performance in KCPE remains unknown. The purpose of this study was to compare availability of e-Learning resources and pupil’s in selected primary schools in Kisumu Central and Muhoroni Sub Counties. The objectives of the study were to compare the e- learning resources for instruction; establish the extent of utilization of e-learning devices for instruction, and to evaluate the challenges facing utilization of e-learning resources for instruction among primary schools in Kisumu Central and Muhoroni Sub Counties. Piaget’s theory of intellectual development and Holmes’ problem solving approach were used to guide the study. The study adopted the ex post facto research design. The population of the study included 104 and 54 primary schools from Kisumu Central and Muhoroni Sub County respectively. Through simple random sampling technique, 10% of the schools (10 in Kisumu Central and 5 in Muhoroni) were sampled. Purposive sampling method was used to select 10 pupils, 2 teachers, and 1 head teacher from each sampled primary school. Questionnaires for teachers and pupils, as well as an observation guide, were used for data collection. Instrument validity was ensured through consultations with the supervisors and lecturers in the Faculty of Education and Community Studies of Egerton University. Instrument reliability was ensured through test retest during a pilot study and a co-efficient of 0.70 obtained. Data was analysed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences version 21. Results revealed that: there is no statistically significant difference in the e-learning resources; there is no statistically significant difference in utilization of e-learning resources, and there is no statistically significant difference in the challenges facing e-learning for instruction by schools between Kisumu Central and Muhoroni Sub Counties. The researcher concludes that disparities in pupils’ performance in KCPE are due to other factors and not utilization of e-learning resources in schools from the two regions. It is recommended that e-learning resources that support school curriculum should be procured and utilised with regard to training levels of users. There is also need to build the capacity of teachers so that they are able to use e- learning for instruction. The results of this study are significant in informing the various primary education stakeholders such as head teachers, teachers, school management committees and the Ministry of Education on the benefits of using e-learning for instruction, the challenges teachers and students face in using ICTs and on how to strategize for better use of ICT for instruction for improved academic performance.

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
Background of the Study
E-learning offers a great promise as a powerful tool that can be integrated into curriculum and instruction to enhance education (Etherington, 2008). Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) provide new opportunities for delivering information, and ease communication and resource sharing, apart from challenging educational institutions to integrate them into their curricular and utilize them in diverse ways (Simsek, 2008). Sociologist Bell (1973) observes that the use of ICT has become part and parcel of modern days’ life, and appreciates that a bigger percentage of the worlds’ population makes use of the utility. Gibbons (1987) also notes that domestically, the use of electronic devices for purposes of information dissemination is evident through mobile phones, television sets, video players and telephone lines. Through the interconnectedness, people are able to get information that flows at nearly the speed of light (Gibbons, 1987). Such access to information at that rate has reduced the world into a global village. Different types of ICTs have been used for given roles in e-Business, e-Health, e-Governance and e-learning both internationally and locally so as to improve efficiency in performance, delivery and hastened intellectual exchange between people of diversified culture (Hainline, 1987).

E-learning has received myriad of definitions. Some related terms that share similar characteristics with e-learning include distributed learning, online learning, web-based learning, distance learning, network learning and technology based learning (Wentling, 2000). Integrating ICT in education is significant to primary education for teaching and learning purposes. Thus, e-learning has become a widely accepted learning module in recent years as attested by Cleole (2001) and Mcpherson (2005). Although there are numerous studies that acknowledge the appropriateness of ICT, they have faced two main difficulties. On one hand, standard performance of students has not been agreed upon and there is still confusion about its definition. On the other, ICT entails evolving technologies and their effects are difficult to isolate from their environment. Consequently, the relationship between the use of ICT and educational performance is unclear, and contradictory results are presented by different authors (Youssef & Dahmani, 2008).

The success of any educational change, like ICT utilization, mainly depends on the availability of e-learning resources, their utilization in respect to teaching and learning, and the teacher preparedness since they are responsible for deciding the medium and the tools through which the educational materials are passed on to students (Gakuu & Kidombo, 2010). Etherington (2008) appreciates that E-learning pedagogy at the primary school level encourages the mind and body to be active in the learning process. However, some studies have revealed that there are situations which tend to impede utilization of e-learning resources, and possibly influencing performance of learners. Rogers (2003) identified five technological characteristics or attributes that influence utilization of e-learning resources: being user characteristics, content characteristics, technological considerations, and organizational capacity as factors influencing ICT adoption and integration into teaching. Equally, Balanskat, Blamire and Kefalla (2007) identified the factors as teacher-level, school-level and system-level. Studies have however not clearly compared availability as well as utilization of ICT resources to performance of learners, particularly among primary schools in different regions.

Evidence is available of teachers having ICT devices in their possessions, although limited information is available with regard to how the same aids performance of learners among schools from different regions. Albirini (2006) employed a questionnaire to collect evidence from high school teachers’ view on computer attributes, cultural perceptions, computer competence, computer access, and personal characteristics in England. The result revealed that 57% of the respondents had computers at home and 33.4% had access to computers at school. Similarly, Afshari, Bakar, Luan, Samah, and Fooi (2009) examined factors affecting teachers’ use of information and communication technology among 30 public secondary schools in Tehran. The findings revealed that over 50% of the respondents used computers for research and lesson preparation in their schools. About 78% of the respondents complained of inadequate access to computers in classroom. Of this percentage, 38% of the respondents stated that inadequate computers were not great barriers to ICT use in their teaching. However, Albirini (2006) and Afshari et al (2009) have not indicated whether availability of ICT resources among the teachers have enhanced performance among learners.

Utilization of e-learning resources among teachers has also not been linked with performance of learners, particularly among primary schools situated in different geographical locations. Tella, Tella, Toyobo, Adika and Adeyinka (2007) examined Nigeria secondary school teachers’ use of e-learning resources and its implications for further development. The results showed that teachers generally have access to ICTs in their various schools except e-mail and Internet because their schools are not connected. Technical support were lacking in the schools and teachers lack of expertise in using ICT was indicated as being the prominent factors hindering teachers readiness and confidence of using ICTs during lesson. In Kenya, Mbugua, Gori, and Tanui (2015) used a survey method to examine integration of e-learning resources in teaching in public secondary schools in Nakuru County, Kenya. They found that ICT facilities were inadequate and teachers had only basic or no ICT skills. Financial constraints and lack of facilities and equipments were some of the challenges teachers faced in integration of ICT in teaching. It is critical to note that both Tella et al (2007) and Mbugua et al (2015) have not compared utilization of e-learning resources with performance of learners in primary schools from different regions.

The first main difficulty scholars have faced is that student performance is hard to observe and there is still confusion about its definition. Secondly, ICT entails evolving technologies and their effects are difficult to isolate from their environment. Consequently, the relationship between the use of ICT and educational performance is unclear, and contradictory results are presented in the literature (Youssef & Dahmani, 2008). However, this study adopts the definition of Zander (2011), that academic performance is measured using a standardized assessment as well as grade point average (GPA) or mean score.

This notwithstanding, performance of students on achievement tests administered within many developing countries suggests that academic achievement is often very low in some regions and high in others (Byamugisha, 2004). The relative poor school performance may be partly explained by the leadership qualities of head teachers, teachers and pupils from school, lack of teacher engagement in the classroom, and other low key performance indicators, including pupil-teacher ratio, pupil-classroom ratio and lack of availability of instructional materials. Glewwe and Kremer (2006), in their assessment of quality of education, found that the quality of education in developing countries remains far lower than in developed countries despite the huge accomplishments in enhancing the educational quantity in the former, through policies which articulate free education for all.

There has been urgent need to improve knowledge dissemination procedures so as to enhance students’ undertakings (ALthobeti, 2013). In order to achieve good results in the performance of learners, integration of electronically motivated learning with the traditional ones is necessary, according to Adjei-Bisa (2011). Although learning institutions may have differences in ICT resource, utilization and challenges, this may however not entirely result into disparities in academic performance of learners since information providing this link has remained scarce.

There have existed regional disparities in performance of learners in Kenya every year, as evident from KCPE examination results. For instance, results obtained from the Ministry of Education (MoE, 2015) for between 2011 and 2014 KCPE examination indicates a big difference in performance between primary schools in Kisumu County. Table 1 present KCPE results for 2011 and 2014 KCPE results for Kisumu County.

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Item Type: Kenyan Material  |  Attribute: 76 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
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