This article compares Nigeria National Computer Policy (1988) with what is obtainable practically in school.
Information gathered from 10 publicly owed secondary schools and 10 privately owned secondary schools situated within six dissimilar states in Nigeria through an opinion poll and consultations with teachers and students shows that relationship of accessible schools’ conditions showed that extensive gaps subsisted.
At some point in the 32nd ministerial committee conference of the nationwide convention on Education in 1987, the Federal government of Nigeria determined to establish computer education into the country’s secondary school structure. This was tracked by the investiture of the National Committee on Computer Education that same year.
The purpose of the committee comprise “planning for a dynamic policy on computer education and literacy in Nigeria as well as devising clear strategies and terminologies to be used by the federal and state governments in introducing computer education” (Nigerian Tribune, April 11, 1988).
The broad-spectrum objectives of the guiding principle include:
- To convey computer literacy to the Nigerian society by the mid-1990s.
- To allow current school children to welcome and use the computer in a variety of facet of life and in upcoming employment. (Report on National commission on Computer Education, 1988).
According to the nationwide Computer Policy (1988), the first idea is to make certain that the general public welcomes the impact of information and computer education technology (IT) on our society, the significance of its efficient utilization, and the expertise that develop, supervise, and convey the information.
The second broad-spectrum goal is to make certain that Nigerians will be acquainted with the knowledge of how to operate and program computers, build up software packages, appreciate the configuration and function of computers and their historical record, and to understand the profitable, societal and emotional impact of the computer.
The modalities and the approach for attaining the said objectives comprise:
- Instructing teachers and related personnel
- Hardware capacities
- Curriculum expansion
- Software developments and evaluation
- Preservation of hardware and tangential
The guiding principle advocates for an ongoing assessment of advancement. The preliminary part of this assessment is to evaluate obtainable school practice with guiding principle requirements.
Moreover, in order to satisfactorily act in response to the altering requirements of the schools, it is essential that the Ministry of Education, prospectus and national curriculum developers, and teacher trainers to comprehend on hand practice in contrast to national objectives.
Computer education is still restricted to Federal union Secondary Schools. It is hardly offered in any of the state secondary schools, which make up more than 80% of Nigerian schools.
Despite the fact that some private schools have started computer education in their school, the amount of schools that taught computer education is insignificant when put side by side the wide-ranging schools’ population.
It was observed from the investigations that the teaching of computer education in the federal government schools is restricted to JSS levels alone. Although a small number of private schools taught computer education at the SSS level, approximately 80% of the junior school students consulted accepted that they could not maneuver computers.
Hence, the utilization of computers in education is uncommon in Nigerian schools. Again, the computer literate society predicted roughly one decade ago is still an optical illusion.
To determine the congruency of school practice with these stipulations, the number and type of computers in schools were obtained and the result show that approximately 80% of schools have no less than five computers.
The 8 computers per school stipulated by the guiding principle are not yet obtainable in the schools. The conventional computer class number in schools is 40 with regard to the policy, but most civic schools very much go beyond this number with a standard class association of about 50.
Therefore the prevailing student-computer ratio of 10:1 obtainable in publicly owed schools does not tarry with the policy stipulations. Moreover the computer configurations stated by the policy are now out of date.
However, this is not to largely a deviation from the policy which stipulates the utilization of out of date computers. Though this wasn’t the case when the policy was formed and shows how the revisiting of the policy on computer education is long overdue.
Also the result of the research shows that about 17% of teachers observed were truly qualified computer education teachers while the rest were unqualified. Teachers of computer education are anticipated to be talented in LOGO and BASIC since these are the languages used for programming as mapped out by the policy.