Appraisal of problem facing the teaching and learning of computer science in secondary schools



Computer education technically in schools has become one of the most fast growing and far reaching developments in Nigeria (Okebukola and Ajewole, 1990). The transmission of information and instruction are now bending towards Computer technology. According to Okebukola (1990), the idea of using and studying computer in schools and its gradual acceptance started in  the late 1960 even though computers have been around much earlier. Computer is conceived as a device or machine designed specially to perform calculations, process data and store information which can be easily retrieved whenrequired (Aghadino, 1990; Adamu and Bello, 2002). To Ahore (1990), computer refers to a device for executing precisely stated rules with accuracy, rapidity and with great reliability. On his part Adamu (1994), described computer as a machine used by human beings to solve problems. This probably explains the role of computer in processing information for dealing with certain problems confronting human kind. From the foregoing, it is obvious that computer is a device or machine designed to help process information or data and for storing such information for future use in dealing with problems of daily living. Computer education, on the other hand, Okebukola (1990) described as the learning that can lead to computer literacy. This implies that the aim of learning and teaching computer science is to make individual develop the knowledge and skills of computer application or use. Computer science is a learning process in which the individual is taken through the rudiments of using the computer to store and process data/ information accurately and efficiently. The process seeks to equip the individual with skills and knowledge that can make him/her use the computer effectively (Adamu and Bello, 2002). Anyone who is literate in computer or has received computer education and instruction is expected  to tell the computer what he wants it to do and, this according to Gboboniyi (1989), Aghedino (1990), and Adamu and Bello (2002), include the ability to understand what the computer says. They add that to be literate in  computer science amounts to been able to read, write and speak the language of the computer.In modern world, the computer is being gradually  applied in all aspects of human endeavour. It has been stressed that the application of computer will enhance effectiveness and efficiency in this rapidly growing and technologically changing world. Computer education is being advocated because it is almost certain that computer literacy will have as much impact on career  opportunities in the fast growing information age (Adamu  and Bello, 2002). The relevance of computer science is therefore, hinged on its utility value. The National Policy of Education (NPE, 1981, revised in 1988, 1991, 1998 and 2004) introduced the teaching of computer science in Nigerian schools. The inclusion of the study of computer science in the school curriculum was aimed at providing opportunity for every student to become computer literate. The study of computer science has in effect, gained tremendous influence on the student and society. However, the use and study of computers in Nigeria is recent when compared to other parts of the world where computers have been in use in all facet of human endeavour including offices, schools, industries, research centre’s, communication, hospitals to mention but a few. The complex nature of present day school situation has

made transmission of information and instruction to students and the nature of learning and teaching in general more complex. This has made the role of the teacher in promoting learning more challenging. The new role does not just, involve mere transmission of information to students but also include looking at the problems associated with learning and instruction so that students can gain maximally from teaching and learning

process. Computers are now used where there is a lot of data to be manipulated, where complex tasks must be managed or where there is need for real time access to centralized information from arbitrary locations such as in education, telemedicine, telecommunicating and in several other area (Adewopo, 1995). The study of computer in school is therefore, aimed at helping the students cope with modern technological development, equip them knowledge and competencies or skills of programme and administrative management as well as, improve the learning process.. Students are expected to master the skills of computer appreciation or application and not just what it is and can do. Students are therefore, expected to be taught in such  a way as not only to conceptualize and understand the  computer, but also to be able to effectively manage their own learning, reinforce it and apply such knowledge or  training in practical situation. This new approach hasmade the teaching of computer science a little bit more complex and challenging. It has been observed that the teaching and learning of 193 computer science in schools has not been quite easy. Often time, people talk about inadequate equipments, facilities, and computers instructional resources for learning and teaching exercise (Aghadino, 1990;Okebukola, 1990). It is believed that teaching of science in general and computer science in particular is beset  with a number of problems (Adamu, 2000). The slow pace of learning and application of computer had been attributed to this. This presupposes that there are problems associated with the teaching and learning of  computer science education.


The first challenge in teaching and leaning Computer Science in nigeria is the problem caused by a lack of interaction between the teacher and the student/s that is a feature of face-to-face classroom teaching (Hentea, Shea, & Pennington, 2003). For technical subjects in Computer Science such as computer programming, database design and AI, this lack of interaction is exacerbated. In Computer Science subjects, the teaching requires a high level of communication between students and the teacher. In the class room  where students may be located at a great distance and studying in isolation(for example, outback Australia), interaction may be synchronous (real time) or asynchronous (anytime). Asynchronous methods use collaborative tools that enable students to communicate with their teacher and their peers at any time forms of asynchronous communication technology, and can be used for teacher-student communication and student-student exchanges. The problem of teaching and learning of computer science and be summaried.


  • Inadequate Professionally trained computer teachers
  • Inadequate computers
  • . Lack of support infrastructural facilities
  • Inadequate instructional materials or teaching aids
  • Poor instructional delivery 104 2.08 Not accepted as problem
  • Poor teachers attitude toward the subject
  • General students apathy and indifference in computer science  Lack of motivation and encouragement for students
  • Lack of incentive and motivation for teachers.


The main objective is to Appraise on the problem facing the teaching and learning of computer science in secondary schools

The specific objective of the study are listed below:

  • To understand the problem in learning and teaching of computer science.
  • To set up a strategy in solving those problem.
  • To set up a standard for teaching computer science in Nigeria


The limits of this study is the problems and prospect of teaching and learning of computer science in Nigeria. A means of ensuring standard teaching and learning of computer science. The study involves the development of strategy in solving the problem.


  • To understand the problems of teaching and learning of computer science in Nigeria.
  • To know the methods or ways of solving them
  • To know the standard to set up in teaching computer science in schools. 


This research work in carried out in Nigeria and as a result it is limited from other countries.


  • Computer: Computer is conceived as a device or machine designed specially to perform calculations, process data and store information which can be easily retrieved when required
  • NPE: national policy of education
  • CSETAQ: Computer Science Education Teaching Assessment Questionnaire (CSETAQ)
  • PEFRN: Policy on Education Federal Republic of Nigeria


The role of computer in teaching and learning is rapidly becoming one of the most important and widely discussed issues in contemporary education policy (Fitzgerald, & Werner, (1996). Most experts in the field of education agreed that when properly used,computer (information and communication technology) holdsa great promise to improving teaching and learning in addition to shaping workforce opportunities. Ndiku, (2003) indicated that computer literacy is now regarded as the new literacy. This has actually encouragedthe desire to equip schools with computer facilities and qualified personnel necessary to produce technologically proficient and efficient students in developing countries of the world  (Nigeria). There is no doubt that computer can aid the instructional process and facilitates students ‘learning. Many studies have shown that there is a positive effect associated with technology aided instruction and teaching (Burnett, 1994;Fitzgenrald and Warner, 1996).

In Nigeria, concerted efforts have been made by many governments to initiate internet connectivity and technology training programs,such programs link schools around the world in order to improve educational research, enhance cultural understanding and skills that youths need to attainthe needed computer literacy level (Burnett, 1994). The rapid advancement in computer and communication technologies is changing the underlying fabric of the society from one that is industry based to one that is information based. The importance of computer is quite evident from the educational perspective; though the chalk board, textbooks, radio,


television and films have been in use for teaching purposes over the years, none has greatly within a short term, impacted on the teaching and learning like the computer. While television and film impact only on the audio-visual facilities of users, the computer is capable of activating the sense of sight, hearing and touch of the users.

Computer has the capacity to provide higher interactive potential for users to develop their individual, intellectual and creative-ability. The main advantage of computer over other teaching aids includes the development of human mental resources which allows people to both successfully apply the existing knowledge and produce new knowledge. Kaku (2005).The collective, rigid and passive nature of learning associated with use of radio, television and films do not contribute meaningfully, innovative changes to traditional methods in educational systems. In developed countries, computers (Information and communication technologies) are being usedfor instructional function which includes teaching and learning.Teachers and students will therefore, need such knowledge if they must succeedin a technologically developed world Okwudishu, (2005).

Computer usage in secondary schools has made positive impact and developments in learning by students. Literatures abound that learning and attitude are interconnected and that a positive correlation exists between the two.Tyler (1998)Reported that attitudes are evaluated beliefs, which predispose the individual to response in a preferential way. Educators therefore, have had the dynamic task of improving the curriculum, its delivery and resources in an attempt to improve positive learning attitude. Plante and Beattie (2004) pointed out that the interconnection of attitude and response existed in information and communication technology (ICT) education. However, the introduction of computer application in all facets of education and the quest for learning computer application is on the increase among staff and students. The aim of this study was therefore, to evaluate the problems and prospects of computer learning amongst students of in nigeria . Recommendations for improvement are offered.





There are developments in the Nigerian education sector, which indicate some level of ICT application in nigeria Adomi (2005). The Federal Government of Nigeria, in the National Policy on Education Federal Republic of Nigeria(2004), recognizes the prominent role of ICTs in the modern world, and has integrated ICTs into education in Nigeria. To actualize this goal, the document states that government will provide basic infrastructure and training at the secondary and tertiary institution . computer  science  has been made a pre-vocational elective, and is a vocational elective at the senior secondary school. It is also the intention of government to provide necessary infrastructure and training for the integration of ICTs in the tertiary  system.

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