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This project is focused in implementing ICT in rural area, and the case study is on fufore local government in Yola. As we all know rural areas in Nigeria lack quality and basic education, when you talk about education in rural area what comes to our head is low standard of learning, poor education, not well equipped class rooms for student's education or lack of proper infrastructure suitable for education. Fufore Local Government is settled area in the southern part of Adamawa with five major languages known as Fulani (largest), Bata, Verre, Laka and Pere, it consist of 1500 people that live there, most of them engage in cattle rearing, poultry, farming etc. When i went to observe these schools i noticed there were at least 300 children that went to both nursery and secondary schools, but the problem is they lack facilities that will make these students feel they are learning which makes some students even drop out of schools and start engaging in house work activities. This project focuses on schools in fufore that need ICT services to improve student's knowledge and ability to learn in order for these schools to have equal education as the students in urban schools, if students in the rural area are not given equal education as students in the urban area there is a result of inequality. "Unequal tools in an unequal environment create unequal results" (Ukpe, 2010).
Implementation/ Application of ICT in class rooms in rural area is going to benefit both the society as a whole, the teachers, and the students. It goes a long way to help the society, because when students start using ICT in classrooms some of their friends at home will also find it interesting this will make them also want to start schooling and know what school is about. This study will also be used as a case study to many parts of rural areas in Nigeria, making them aware of how value ICT is in our generation and also making these local students to fit into any schools they find themselves in in urban schools because this implementation of ICT will not only make these students concentrate on just computer and information studies they will also learn how to apply the knowledge in their various courses.
In order to have reasons for the implementation of ICT in classrooms, i will have to compare this primary/secondary schools in rural area with the once in urban. The methods i used are personal observation, interview and online research (internet). We can see most urban schools have well functioned classrooms with well equipped IT services such as using projectors in class rooms, computers, wireless LANs, File management using databases. In order to convince these organisations we have to state the reasons why we think ICT is important for these locals in rural area. Just looking at an example of an urban schools such as Abti Academy in Yola, Capital science in kuje, El-Amin International school in Minna; we can see they all have what it takes for them to have a well knowledge of what IT is all about, they do class interactions, they submit their works in timely manner especially the senior students, it broadens their minds which they can relate to other courses and apply them when necessary, The students have full access to the lab to do research, take courses in computer education, type documents and gather information on relevant topics for their coursework and from every observation i noticed that schools in the urban area have high rankings in their external and internal exams such as mock exams, WEAC exams .
In order to know what is really the problem of these schools towards their lack of ICT knowledge an interview was taken with most principals in these rural schools shown below.
Do you know what a computer is?
Do you intend to learn how to use it and do you intend to teach these students if you have the chance to?
Do you own a computer? And do you know how to surf on the internet with it?
What do you think about implementing ICT in classrooms?
How do you think it will affect the students?
The interview was conducted with three different principals of three different areas in fufore, but all their answers were closely the same. They stated they've had an experience using a computer, that it would be great to have such an opportunity to use computers and other IT services in their schools, it will surely help the students and enlighten them about what the world is all about now. They stated that they've all being provided by the school with just one computer and an internet connection, and in a rural place like fufore I believe there is a limited amount of power supply which makes it even more difficult to use this computer by anyone. They stated students in their area are in need of ICT in classrooms in order to making teaching easier for both the teachers and students, they also have a problem with their teachers who don't acquire computer skills, it will be difficult for them to teach and guide these students through. ICT will greatly affect and have a positive influence on these students, they will have an opportunity to be going for national competitions because these services will not only improve them in one area, they will also have the ability to speak proper and fluent English, they can also learn how to type by doing their course works on their computers and doing research on the internet which will even help the senior students in history classes. They also mentioned that students in this area are always willing to learn, so it won't be a problem for them to get used to it.
Development and Implementation of ICT in class rooms in rural area: fufore LGA
Through ICT in rural schools it will expand the access to student's education, now that technology is one of the things that helps us develop in this world. So we have to make the rural schools aware of that which will greatly affect both the students and their lectures, it will also make them aware of what is happening in our world today (News) by browsing on the internet, also help them improve interactions in terms of video conferencing and distance learning; through video conferencing it will enable to share ideas and know about other courses that are not offered in the school. ICT is an extensively strong technology for extending and expanding educational opportunities in formal and informal ways, in this case rural schools.
"ICT is a technological development that reflects the new society and has its place within education. However, as with many new initiatives, ICT obviously has its problems that over time will be addressed. Meantime, ICT should continue to be promoted to assist with education and learning.
I will heartedly agree with anyone who states that ICT is a valuable tool for both teaching and learning - speaking as someone who got the last lessons plan for my teaching from the Internet- but I can't help feeling that the emphasis on the use of ICT detracts from other current 'sexy' education issue - socialisation. I believe that developing teachers' social and counselling technique is a greater priority than their ICT skill" (Sime & Mark, 2005)
Access to remote learning resources: Teachers and students no longer have to rely on printed textbooks or even buy them due to how expensive they can be, they teachers can just find textbooks on the net and direct the students to access them too. With the Internet and the World Wide Web, a wealth of learning materials in almost every subject and in a variety of media can now be accessed from anywhere at any time of the day and by an unlimited number of people. This is significant for many schools in developing countries.
Students will have control towards self learning: For example, teachers can just give a research paper as an assessment for the students, during that research they also learn a lot through searching and browsing different articles. This also broadens their minds to also think fast, observe the situation of the research, allowing their minds to take over and have control of what they are doing and also making their own opinions and what they think.
Motivation to learn: the use of multimedia computer software that include sound effects, pictures can be used in learning process for people in rural areas, also as interactive radios and other performance. This will motivate the locals to learn because it's new to them and then i believe that some locals tend to understand pictures or graphics rather than reading them that way they understand better.
Use of modern teaching tools: in rural areas they still have an old way of teaching their students; some don't even have notebooks, or other writing materials. Through ICT, students can learn how to manage their files on computers rather than writing notes in their notebooks, also teachers have PowerPoint to present to the class by that they can just write short notes on what the teacher is talking about.
In order to improve the school from my own point of view it needs these requirements for students to have a basic idea of ICT is about.
Provision of hardware resources for internet connectivity such as WAN, LAN, MAN.
Software packages for learning or academic related CDs which they can install in their computers to improve self learning.
Television for the nursery school students because children in nursery school learn faster with images rather than using books, and Projectors for the primary and secondary students.
A well functional and equipped computer that contains at least 15 computers.
Power supply via solar energy, because electricity isn't that reliable and effective in rural areas, and besides this implementation is based in fufore which is always sunny every day. So solar would be a good source of electricity.
These implementations can be done with the help of private organisations and even the government, we all know nothing is free; these organisations can get profit out of this successful implementation and project. They will keep implementing ICT and improving other schools in this area. Since i noted that not all teachers have enough computer skills to handle the students learning or to control these equipments, the organisations also have to supply the schools with well trained teachers/experts to show them how to take care of things just for some time. This is an expensive and vital project due to many resources that are needed, power supply because without power supply these resources are just going to end up being there without no one using it and also this is the future of our children to enlightened them and making them have a knowledge of IT, making them have the same and equal education the urban schools are having so they won't feel left out.
From all observations we can see how value education is and rural education cannot be compared to the urban because they have more experience in ICT than the locals have. ICT in class rooms has a lot of advantages and benefits to our daily life now, makes students acquire skills, skills that will take them to the next level, skills that will improve their way of thinking and will also change their lives because after school they can go to these urban areas and get a good job instead of staying in their area and doing the basic occupation such as farming. Technology is part of our world now and its used in our daily activities, with the aid ICT in class rooms they will have access to distance learning which will enhance their learning skills and ability, not only within the class room but globally or worldwide. In order for these students to be equal with students from other developed schools, they need to be given a chance; they need to be given the opportunities that are being given to the more fortunate schools/students. Nigerian Government, private organisations and private sources have to come together to make this possible for our generation and also to help the nation.