Evaluation of ICT Preparedness in Public Secondary Schools: A Comparative Study of Public Boarding and Day Secondary Schools in the South Rift Region in Kenya
It is now widely acknowledged that a fundamental role for schools is to prepare learners with skills relevant to the challenges of the 21st century through acquisition of suitable knowledge and skills. The centrality of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) as an essential skill in the new world order cannot be gainsaid. In view of this, majority of developing countries are reviewing their education policies to align instructional curricula offered in schools with knowledge and skills that incorporate competencies in ICT. However, despite the acclaimed centrality of ICT, there are indications that public secondary schools in the South Rift Region of Kenya, are slowin putting in place the necessary infrastructure to support implementation of ICT. The purpose of this study was to evaluate ICT preparedness in public day and boarding secondary schools in the South Rift Region in Kenya. The study was guided by the following objectives, to; find out if public secondary schools have trained ICT personnel and find out the infrastructural preparedness in the implementation of ICT in public secondary schools in the South Rift Region in Kenya. The target population for the study comprised 69 teachers in public secondary schools in the South Rift Region of Kenya who were attending a Strengthening of Mathematics and Science in Secondary Education (SMASSE) training. The study employed the census technique to include the entire population into the study because the universe was a manageable number. Data was collected using a questionnaire and analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. The study established that availability of trained ICT teachers in public secondary schools in the study locale was average and availability of ICT technicians was low in public secondary schools in the South Rift Region. It had been hypothesized that there was no statistically significant difference in the level of ICT preparedness in boarding and day secondary schools in the South Rift Region in Kenya. One way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) was computed and yielded a p-value = .261 which was more than the alpha value α > 0.05 indicating that the differences in ICT preparedness in the two school categories were not statistically significant. Therefore, the null hypothesis was accepted and it was concluded that the preparedness of schools to implement ICT infrastructure in boarding, and day secondary schools were largely the same. The study recommends the need to promote the use of ICT in all school categories and in particular the day secondary schools. This implies the need for sensitization of all stakeholders and provision of resources to develop ICT infrastructure and training of personnel in public secondary schools in Kenya.
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