Ict Tools Its Application In Mauritius For Teaching Education Essay

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At the outset of the 21st century, it is undeniable that technology has become a dominant force of our life. Our youngsters, being from this technological era, are no longer interested in the traditional chalk and talk method. The use of ICT is becoming a growing need in the education system to retain students' attention in this information age. Thus educators can no longer lag behind and this explains the growing need to shift from traditional teaching to teaching with technology. This paper aims at studying the readiness of educators towards using ICT tools in the classroom. The findings show that educators are motivated and hold a positive attitude towards the integration of ICT in teaching and learning but are experiencing many obstacles. The major barriers found include lack of access to resources, lack of technical support, insufficient ICT tools, inadequate infrastructure, outdated computers and connection problems.

INTRODUCTION:

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Inventions have been driven by societal needs and slowly embedded in our culture.  Technology, the facilitator of inventions, has worked its way in our life today.  It can be defined as human innovation in action that involves the generation of knowledge and processes to develop systems that solve problems and extend human capabilities.  Since the beginning of the Prehistoric age, it has evolved from the simplest of tools of the cave men to the 21st century.  Just imagine if the cave men didn't discover fire and imagine the present life without technology?

Technology is sprouting at an astonishing rate.  Almost every aspect of human life is invaded by rapid technological innovations. Not only has it dramatically changed the ways humans work, learn, interact and spend leisure time but it has revolutionised nearly every aspect of life.  Today technology plays a vital role in society.  It increases efficiency and productivity of how things are managed. It also offers larger possibilities that people have not thought about in the past.

 With globalization, the world is becoming a small village eliminating all barriers and all countries are brought together to participate in the global competition. For developing countries, the ICT sector represents a means of progress to be competitive.  Therefore, this explains the wish and urgency to "e-power" people.

After independence, the Mauritian economy was mainly based upon agriculture followed by industrial revolution. Today, there has been a shift to this technological era. Following the same trend, Mauritius has the vision of converting itself into a "cyber island" and "a regional ICT hub".  Alongside with sugar, textile, tourism and financial services, ICT has become a determining part of the Mauritian economy and will be considered as the fifth pillar. In the same line, the Mauritian Government is putting a lot of stress on the need to empower its citizens, irrespective of age groups.

The education system in Mauritius patterned after the British model has improved greatly since independence. Various reports on education since independence have been published and attention had been laid on ICT since the Master Plan. Since 1990's, the government vision has been to promote computer education in our schools. In this connection there has been a whole chapter devoted to computer education in schools in the Master Plan for the Year 2000. The Action Plan for a New Education System in Mauritius (1998) highlights the importance of IT in schools. Our country can no longer be left behind in the field of I.T. The Mauritian system of Education for the third Millennium focused on teacher training and suggested that schools should be provided with access to the internet in order to give our children the opportunity of accessing the global village. According to the Education & Human Resources Strategy Plan 2008-2020, introducing technology as a support in the education system will be to ensure that all teachers use ICT facilities on a regular basis for teaching and learning.

Introduction of ICT at primary level has been the stepping stone for the Ministry of Education towards making Mauritius a cyber island and the future ICT leader in the region. For a sustainable socio-economic development of the country, the right environment needs to be created to harness Information and Communication Technologies. Hence the Ministry of Education, Culture and Human Resources must work in line with the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology to instill a "technology temper" in the new generation.

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Since Mauritius does not possess many natural resources, it has to depend a lot on its manpower. Therefore, much stress is being laid on education. The vision of the present Minister of Tertiary Education, Science, Research and Technology, Dr the Honourable R. Jeetah is to make Mauritius the intelligent island of the region and a Centre of Excellence in the global village. His objective is to achieve the development of a skilled, versatile and competent workforce and in doing so, he strives to reach an objective of "one graduate per family". To target this aim, ICT will become a fundamental tool in education.

Worldwide much emphasis is being laid on the use of ICT as a teaching tool in the educational sector. Technology has moreover been seen as a major facilitator in the educational system. It offers new ways of teaching and learning for all those involved in education. Fisher (2001) states that "ICT is a tool that has the potential to transform the way education is delivered." The development of high-technology learning tools holds promise for ensuring equity in educational opportunity for all students in all schools. Not only has technology become an essential tool for educators but it has become an appropriate vehicle for promoting meaningful and engaged learning for students. Tchombe, Maiga, Toure, Mbangwana, Diarra & Karsenti (2008) reinforced the same view: "ICT used appropriately can stimulate the development of higher cognitive skills, deepen learning and contribute to the acquisition of skills needed for learning for all lifelong and for working in today's job market". In addition, Schiller & Tillett (2004) also sustain: "ICT enhances what is possible by amplifying what teachers are able to do, by providing an entry point to content and enquiries that were not possible without the use of ICT, by extending what students are able to produce as a result of their investigations, and finally by providing teachers with the opportunity to become learners again."

Educational reform has played a crucial role in the initiation of students into the world of ICT at a younger age. Following the various reforms in the educational field and responding to our students' needs, we need to bring forward technology - enriched learning activities to close the gap between technology and education. This is henceforth the challenge for educators as well as secondary schools. Educators will need to build on professional and educational expertise.

ICT can no longer be restricted as a subject but needs to come forward as a support to the curriculum. It can prove to be the key to the challenge awaiting educators. According to ICP Council Meeting, Auckland, New Zealand, (2002) results indicate: "ICT has the potential to transform learning in and beyond the classroom. ICT benefits include increased productivity, professional presentation of students' work and enriched learning environment"

EVOLUTION OF ICT IN THE MAURITIAN EDUCATION SYSTEM:

Educational reforms started in late 1990's with the School IT Project. In 2003, a number of primary teachers were trained at the Mauritius Institute of Education (MIE) in ICT. Following this training ICT was introduced as a subject at primary level. Teachers of other subjects have also been encouraged to integrate ICT in their teaching. Dywer (2000) pointed out: "It changes the way different subjects such as science is taught as IT tends to accord more closely the way students think."

For secondary educators, training is being given at MIE whereby educators are taught how to use ICT tools in classrooms. For Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) students a module 'ICT in classrooms' has already been included. Furthermore, ICT is already being taught as a compulsory subject in lower classes from Form I to Form III. The syllabus covers the basics of hardware and software with emphasis on practical assignments and projects. At Form IV and higher levels, ICT is offered as an option to students and the syllabus is more extensive. Due to increasing workforce demand in the ICT sector, more and more students have opted for this subject at school.

The number of students sitting for ICT at School Certificate (SC) and Higher School Certificate (HSC) examination has increased over the years as shown in Figure 1.

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Figure 1: Students examined in ICT at School Certificate (SC) and Higher School Certificate (HSC). Source:Central Statistics Office, Government of Mauritius.

As part of Government's broader strategy to make Mauritius a Cyber Island, schools are being encouraged to introduce and adopt ICT as a pedagogical tool across the curriculum. Hence, in line with the government's policy to introduce ICT into the curriculum at all levels of the education system in Mauritius various initiatives have come up such as:

An interactive multimedia pedagogical support CD - ROM for the standard 4 & 5 primary students was introduced by The VCILT (Virtual Centre for Innovative Learning Technologies);

Microsoft Partnership,

Interactive whiteboard

The NEPAD1 e-schools initiative

i.Net2

The Partners in Learning (PIL) is another project which promotes innovative teaching strategies using IT and the use of search engines as a pedagogical tool. Recently Webcasting has been introduced for educational interactions between the different stakeholders namely Rectors, educators and students.

For students taking mathematics at advanced level, an interactive multimedia CD-ROM has been launched by the MCA to help them master five important chapters namely complex numbers, differential equations, permutations and combinations, probability and vectors. Also, the "Physics ICT Data Logging Project", an innovative project for the use of ICT in the teaching of science, has already been launched on a pilot basis in 12 secondary schools.

Following the various reforms being carried out in the educational field and responding to students' needs, it has become today a prerequisite to bring forward technology - enriched learning activities to close the gap between technology and education.

PROBLEM STATEMENT:

Youngsters nowadays live in a totally different world and their mind is focused on everything linked to technology such as mobile phones, Ipod3, laptops and various other gadgets. Retaining the attention of today's youth has become a major challenge for educators. Hence the growing need for educators "to speak their language"; therefore bring technology to teaching.

An educator needs to create interest in class by being dynamic, innovative and challenging. Being aware of the societal demands, there is a need to modify, change, adapt and keep abreast the needs of the society. The educator can no longer be the sole dispenser of knowledge. Newton and Rogers (2003) support that; "ICT facilitates clearer thinking, and develop interpretation skills with data."

1.http://www.uiowa.edu/ifdebook/faq/NEPAD.shtml

2.http://www.ssat-inet.net/countrynetworks/mauritius.aspx

3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPod

Jonassen (1995) emphasises that "ICT has opened wide opportunities for educators to integrate technology supported materials in the teaching - learning process and to improve the achievement of students."

Much is expected from educators to contribute towards the visionary mission of the government. Various policies in education are meant to provide pupils with access to IT in all learning areas. The role of educators will not be only of providers of information but must change to that of facilitators, mediators and guides in bringing meaningful learning. Educators are the key agents of the reforms to be brought in the educational system. However, taking into account the present situation, the vision of using ICT as a teaching tool is far from being achieved.

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE RESEARCH PROJECT:

Delineate the claimed benefits and issues arising from the use of technology enhanced support in the school curriculum;

Investigate whether teachers are aware of how to use and integrate ICT in their teaching;

Are teachers ready to shift from traditional teaching method to teaching with technology;

Look up whether teachers have adequate facilities and infrastructure to integrate technological tools in their classroom.

PROPOSED RESEARCH QUESTIONS:

What is the attitude of educators towards the implementation of ICT as a tool in their teaching?

Are educators cognizant of new technologies that can support the learning and teaching procedure?

Do educators have the sufficient expertise to integrate ICT in their teaching?

Are our secondary schools equipped with the necessary facilities to support this ambitious project?

Can ICT tools be useful and effective as a tool to stimulate interest of learners?

RATIONALE BEHIND THE PROJECT:

Today, the world is moving rapidly towards globalization, fierce competition and technology. The present school curriculum requires enquiry, interpretation, logical thought from students. Students need to be prepared for critical and creative thinking skills. This has called upon educators to review their conventional teaching methodology. Educators will have to foster their students' innate sense of wonder and curiosity, encourage creativity, imagination and critical thinking skills. This calls for a major shift in the mindset of educators.

To be able to bring about these changes, weaknesses of the current education system has to be identified. Various factors have to be considered while planning to integrate technology in classrooms such as the classrooms set up, teaching methods, ability to work with technological tools and the required IT expertise. Baylor and Richie (2002) have highlighted: "technology will not be used unless teachers have skills, knowledge, and attitudes necessary to infuse it in the curriculum". Hu et Al (2003), Gilbert (1996) perceived that "Despite the tremendous increase in the role of IT in education, it is facing considerably high resistance". This empirical research aims at finding the root causes of resistance in integrating ICT as a tool in secondary schools.

METHODOLOGY:

For this study, 6 State and 2 Private Secondary schools have been chosen. The aim behind this study is to address the readiness for ICT tools and its application in teaching and learning in Mauritian Secondary schools. To collect data for this research, a questionnaire comprising of 76 questions were designed. This questionnaire survey allowed the collection of a large amount of data within a short period of time. The accessible population in this study was all secondary school educators across the island.

For this survey, the sample size was 300 educators. The study investigates the following:

Teacher willingness to use new technology in the classrooms

Teacher ability and readiness to integrate e-learning into teaching

The establishment of the factors influencing teacher readiness and ability

The questionnaire consists of 4 sections. The first section concerns the respondents' profile such as gender, age, qualifications, number of years of experience. The second part is designed to assess the respondents' ICT knowledge and skills. The third part regards ICT accessibility and usage at school and finally, the last part focuses on constraints to the usage of ICT tools.

The questionnaires were distributed to selected secondary schools and were collected two weeks later. After the collection, each school packet was sorted out and data was filled in SPSS version 16.0. Out of our 300 respondents, 288 completed questionnaires were received and data was analysed. Descriptive statistical techniques were used to assess the relationship between dependent variables using the Chi - Square test. Then factor analysis was performed to examine the usefulness of ICT in learning.

RESPONDENTS' PROFILE:

Gender

Male(%)

Qualifications

Diploma

Bachelor's degree

Post Graduate Certificate

Master's Degree

3.1

18.1

12.5

10.4

Age

Under 30

6.2

30-40

24.3

41-50

4.5

over 50

9.0

No. of years of teaching experience

0-10

21.2

11-20

14.2

21-30

4.5

31-40

4.2

Type of School

Private

9.4

State

34.7

Subjects taught

Science

20

Language &Arts

7.6

Economics &Commercial

6.9

Technical

9.4

Table 1: The profile of the respondent

The purpose of this research work is to find out the degree of educators' access to ICT tools, computers and the internet, explore the relationship between technology accessibility and academic achievement

For this study, questionnaires have been distributed to all educators from the different schools, irrespective of age, experience, gender or subject taught, with the objective to be unbiased.  Among the respondents, the majority were degree holders in their respective fields.  6.9% respondents had a diploma. 54.9 % of the respondents' population was between 30-40 years of age (24.3 % male, 30.6% female) while 13.2% have more than 50 years.  In addition, 22.9% were below 30 years. It is also noted that the majority of the respondents are young.  Most of the respondents of this study have less than 10 years of experience (58% - male and female) whereas only 7 % have more than 30 years of experience.  This indicates that the majority are fresh in the teaching profession. 

The study was conducted in both private and state secondary schools to be able to analyse if secondary schools and educators in general are ready to integrate ICT in teaching and daily activities.  Since educators from all subject areas have been aimed at, the subjects taught have been classified in 4 categories to make them more concise due to the large number of subjects which are taught in secondary schools.  The subjects have been categorised as such:

DATA ANALYSIS AND FINDINGS:

Association between the age of the educators and their ICT skills:

Quantitative results of a research carried out by Summers (1990) indicated that the majority of teachers have a positive attitude towards the use of ICT in teaching and learning process.

Albirini's (2004) research conducted in Syrian High Schools using both quantitative and qualitative methods also confirmed the same results. Albirini (2004), Theo (2008), Huang and Liaw believed that the use of ICT tools for educational purposes depends upon the attitudes of teachers towards the technology.

Table 2: Cross Tabulation between age and skills

AGE

SKILLS

Under 30

30-40

41-50

Over 50

Good basic:

Count

21

39

5

8

Expected Count

16.5

40.2

6.6

9.7

% of Total

7.3%

13.6%

1.7%

2.8%

Confident:

Count

30

74

12

10

Expected Count

28.5

69.4

11.4

16.7

% of Total

10.5%

25.8%

4.2%

3.5%

Total:

Count

65

158

26

38

Expected Count

65.0

158.0

26.0

38.0

% of Total

22.6%

55.1%

9.1%

13.2%

From the research carried out, 22.6% of the 287 respondents were under 30 years of age, 55.1 % were between 30 - 40 years, 9.1% were between 41 - 50 and 13.2 % were over 50 years of age. It is observed as per the expected count in the Table 2 that a relationship does prevail between ICT skills and the age of educators.

Using the chi-square test, a hypothesis was developed where the null hypothesis (Ho) is assumed to have no association between ICT skills and age of educators and the alternative hypothesis (H1) assumes a relationship between ICT skills and the age of educators.

Table 3: Chi-Square Tests

Value

df

Asymp.Sig. (2-sided)

Pearson Chi-Square

13.138a

6

.041

No. of Valid Cases

287

a. 0 cells (.0%) have expected count less than 5. The minimum expected count is 6.61.

Table 4: Symmetric Measures

Value

Nominal by Nominal

Phi

.214

Cramer's V

.151

From Table 3, since p < 0.05, Ho was rejected and H1 was accepted. Hence, at 5% level of significance, there is an association between ICT skills and the age group of educators. However, since the Cramer's V = 0.151 as per Table 4, there is a weak relationship between ICT skills and the age of the educators.

In a study by Jennings and Onwuegbuzie (2001), teachers of younger age were found to be associated with more positive attitudes towards ICT. According to De Vry, et al, 1996 in Rogers (2000), ICT integration to instruction is basically a new movement; it can lead older teachers to anxiety or resistance. The reason might be that older teachers prefer to stick with the pedagogies they were used to. For older teachers, learning a new way of teaching might be too cumbersome for them. However in  relation to the same study, Jennings and Onwuegbuzie (2001) also found that senior teachers were found to be highly positive towards ICT use in the teaching and professional teachers of elderly age are very open to new technology.

Relationship Between ICT skills of educators and their number of Years of Experience

Table 5: Cross Tabulation between ICT Skills &No. of years of Teaching Experience

Experience

SKILLS

0-10

11-20

21-30

31-40

Some basic:

Count

43

22

11

12

Expected Count

50.9

23.0

8.0

6.1

% of Total

15.0%

7.7%

3.8%

4.2%

Good basic:

Count

48

17

3

5

Expected Count

42.2

19.1

6.6

5.1

% of Total

16.7%

5.9%

1.0%

1.7%

Confident:

Count

75

36

12

3

Expected Count

72.9

32.9

11.4

8.8

% of Total

26.1%

12.5%

4.2%

1.0%

TOTAL:

Count

166

75

26

20

Expected Count

166.0

75.0

26.0

20.0

% of Total

57.8%

26.1%

9.1%

7.0%

According to Binghimlas, 2009, Koehler and Mishra, (2009), as in positive attitudes, feeling of adequacy could be an important factor for teachers to be willing to utilize ICT in and out of classroom for educational purposes. Studies show that teachers who are further in their careers(nearing to the retirement), tend to feel inadequate and have more negative attitudes towards ICT most probably because of the difficulty in acquiring new knowledge and skills on how to integrate ICT. However, from Table 5, it can be observed that all the respondents have a least some basic ICT skills, with 30.7% having some basic ICT skills only, 25.4% having some good set of basic ICT skills and with 43.9% feeling confident using ICT. It can also be depicted that 57.8% have less than or equal to 10 years of teaching experience, 26.1% between 11-20 yrs, 9.1% between 21 - 30 yrs and 7.0% between 31 - 40 years of teaching experience.

Table 6 : Chi - Square

Value

df

Asymo.Sig. (2 - sided)

Pearson Chi Square

15.209

6

0.019

No. of Valid Cases

287

0 cells (.0%) have expected count less than 5. The minimum expected count is 5.09.

To determine whether there is a relationship between ICT skills and the number of years of teaching experience, the Chi - square test has been used where the null hypothesis was assumed to have no association between ICT skills and the number of years of teaching experience and the alternative hypothesis was assumed to have an association between ICT skills and the number of years of teaching experience.

Table 7: Symmetric Measures

Value

Approx. Sig.

Nominal by Nominal

Phi

.230

.019

Cramer's V

.163

.019

N of Valid Cases

Since p <0.05, there exists a relationship between ICT skills and the number of years of teaching experience.

However, since Cramer's V (0.163) is closer to 0 as per table 7, a weak relationship prevails. The main reason could be that senior teachers having a greater teaching experience, better classroom management and pedagogical skills can use ICT tools in their teaching. Research by Bee Theng Lau & Chia Hua Sim (2008) confirms that senior teachers feel comfortable with ICT and see its value in education, and have tried to enrich their lesson and make teaching lively with texts, sounds and images.

Effectiveness of ICT tools in teaching and learning in secondary schools:

Lefebvre, Deaudelin & Loiselle, (2006) underlined that modern technology offers many means of improving teaching and learning in the classroom. Dawes (2001) shares the same views that new technologies have the potential to support education across the curriculum and provide opportunities for effective communication between teachers and students in ways that have not been possible before. Due to the high impact of various technologies in our society and education, ICT has become a valuable tool.The results were worked out through the principle component Factor Analysis with Varimax employed on eight views items. Below are the findings.

Table 8: Descriptive Statistics

Mean

Std. Deviation

Stimulate Interest of learners

2.56

.525

Educators in teaching

2.62

.508

Students in learning

2.59

.506

ICT can have a positive effect on learning

1.48

.534

ICT has radically changed the way I teach

1.84

.368

ICT makes learning more goal-oriented

1.78

.473

ICT makes learning more constructive

1.72

.465

ICT makes learning more active

1.70

.465

Table 9: Effect of ICT in learning

Component

1

Stimulate Interest of learners

Educators in teaching

Students in learning

ICT can have a positive effect on learning

.461

ICT has radically changed the way I teach

.763

ICT makes learning more goal-oriented

.776

ICT makes learning more constructive

.829

ICT makes learning more active

Total % of variance explained

.756

43.334

Notes: Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin Measure of Sampling Adequacy (KMO-MSA): 0.777; Bartlett's Test of Sphericity :883.262;df: 28;

Extraction Method: Principal Component Analysis.

Rotation Method: Varimax with Kaiser Normalization.

On the basis of Hair et al. (1998) criterion, factors with eigenvalues greater than 1.0 and factor loadings that are equal to or greater than 0.50 were retained. The table 9 above clearly indicates that the factor analysis discloses the positive effect of ICT on learning. From the Varimax rotated factor matrix on the views, 2 factors with the same eight variables were extracted, representing 63.7 % of the overall variance. The Varimax process produced a clear factor structure with relatively higher loadings on the appropriate factors. The variables with higher loadings signaled the correlation of the variables with the factors on which they were loaded. The communality of each variable was relatively high, ranging from 0.594 to 0.838. This indicates that the variance of the original values was captured fairly well by these 2 factors. The component 1 accounted for 43.334 % of the variability and had four items loaded on this factor. The component 2 accounted for 20.364 % of the variance and contained three items. According to the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted, 2009), "Using ICT was contributing positively to the personal development and future economic well-being of pupils and students. It developed their skills of working independently and cooperatively and was in most cases motivating and engaging." Furthermore, it is supported by Anderson (1998) & Potyrala (2003a) that effective computer aided curriculums may quicken the pace of learning even three times.

Then, Cronbach's coefficient for each dimension were calculated and subjected to reliability assessment. The items for each subscale were subjected to reliability analysis and the alpha coefficient for the total scale was 0.776 and 0.839 respectively for the dimensions of Effectiveness of computers and Advantages of ICT in learning. According to Nunnally (1978), reliability coefficients should be greater than or equal to 0.50. From the results obtained above, ICT is important in learning and a determining factor. To conclude, according Grabe and Grabe (2007) technologies can play a role in students' skills, motivation and knowledge.

Cross Tabulation on allocation of time in use of ICT in teaching:

Newhouse (1999) reported lack of time, lack of equipment, and lack of training as barriers to technology integration. Lack of time is also a big barrier: teachers need time to learn how to use the hardware and software, time to plan, and time to collaborate with other teachers. Furthermore Sicilia (2005) states that the most common challenge reported by all the teachers was the lack of time they had to plan technology lessons, explore the different Internet sites, or look at various aspects of educational software. In the same context, Goktas, Y., Yildirim, S., & Yildirim, Z. (2009) also noted that lack of time makes educators stay away from ICTs, and they cannot fulfill their personal developments in this field.

Table 10: Time to prepare PowerPoint versus Don't have time to make

good use of ICT in my teaching

Time to prepare PowerPoint

Don't have time to make good use of ICT in teaching

Strongly Agree

Agree

Disagree

Strongly disagree

Yes

Count

4

32

137

46

Expected Count

9.2

47.3

125.1

37.4

% of Total

1.4%

11.1%

47.7%

16.0%

No

Count

8

30

27

3

Expected Count

2.8

14.7

38.9

11.6

% of Total

2.8%

10.5%

9.4%

1.0%

Total

Count

12

62

164

49

Expected Count

12.0

62.0

164.0

49.0

% of Total

4.2%

21.6%

57.1%

17.1%

From the findings above 47.7 % respondents affirmed to have time to prepare PowerPoint and make use of ICT in teaching. 2.8 % respondents do not agree to prepare PowerPoint and do not have time to use of ICT in teaching. Out of the respondents, 4.2 % strongly agree, 21.6 % agree, 57.1 % disagree and 17.1 % strongly disagree to not having time to make good use of ICT in teaching. 23.7 % respondents do not have time to prepare PowerPoint while 76.3 % agree to have time to prepare PowerPoint.16.0% and 47.7% of the respondents agree to have time to prepare PowerPoint and disagree to not have the time to make good use of ICT in teaching. These results were obtained by using the chi-square test where a null hypothesis assumed to have no association between having time to prepare PowerPoint and Not having time to make good use of ICT in teaching. However, the alternative hypothesis assumes that there is a relationship between these two items. As a result of the findings, the alternative hypothesis was accepted since Hence, at level of significance, there is an association between having time to prepare PowerPoint and Not having time to make good use of ICT in teaching. However, since the Cramer's V = 0.151 (), we find that there is a weak relationship between having time to prepare PowerPoint and Not having time to make good use of ICT in teaching.

Table 11:Chi-Square Tests

Value

df

Pearson Chi-Square

46.277a

3

N of Valid Cases

287

(12.5%) have expected count less than 5. The minimum expected count is 2.84.

Table 12: Symmetric Measures

Value

Nominal by Nominal

Phi

.402

Cramer's V

.402

N of Valid Cases

287

Numerous studies pointed out that many educators have the required know-how and motivation in using computers in the classroom, but they still make limited use of technologies due to lack of time. However, from this research, the majority of respondents show a positive attitude towards devoting time to use of technology in preparing PowerPoint and in using it in teaching. This can be confirmed by research carried out by Hadley & Sheingold (1993) and Karsenti et al.(2006), "teachers who are motivated and have a strong commitment to foster learning processes integrate technology more easily in their teaching." Furthermore, Sang et al stress that "teachers are more willing to adopt new modes of ICT when the school aims underpin these modes of teaching and learning."

BARRIERS TO THE USAGE OF ICT TOOLS:

Teachers were asked to indicate their views on the barriers that hinder their use of computers and internet at school. 288 educators responded and the results are as shown in the Table 13.

Table 13: Barriers hindering educators' use of computer and internet as school

Percentage

Security or privacy concerns

93.4

Connection problem

82.3

Outdated computers

73.6

Lack of technical support

72.7

Insufficient access to computer

57.3

Insufficient ICT tools in classrooms

83.7

Insufficient computer labs

66.8

Inadequate lecture rooms with technology

84.7

The results suggest that security problems and connection problems were observed to be the main barrier to the use of computer and internet in schools. Many educators complained that there are many download restrictions to many links by the Ministry of Education to prevent students from getting access to non educational sites. Consequently, educators are often unable to prepare their work at school. In addition to this, educators also complained that the computers available were full with viruses and with expired anti-virus software preventing them from using it for their work from fear of losing data.

Moreover, lack of technical support was also perceived by educators as being a strong obstacle to the use of ICT in schools. This is consistent with the findings of Cox et al. (1999) which reported lack of technical support as the school-level barrier in the uptake of ICT in teaching. In the same line, research carried out by Cuban (1999) demonstrate the lack of available technical support is likely to lead to teachers avoiding ICT, for concern of a technical fault occurring cannot be rectified, and lessons being unsuccessful. Preston (2000) also concluded that lack of technical support to be key inhibitor to the use of ICT in classroom.

Table 13 also depicts insufficient access to computer by educators as another ICT barrier in schools. According to Becta (2004), the inaccessibility of ICT resources is not always merely due to the non - availability of the hardware and software or other ICT materials within the school. It may be the result of some factors such as the poor organization of resources, poor quality hardware, inappropriate software, or lack of personal access for teachers. The result is consistent with Pelgrum, W.J., (2001) who revealed that it is the organisation of resources, rather than the physical lack of them, which is creating a barrier to the use of ICT by teachers.

Through the response of educators for the survey, it was also found that some schools had only one computer in the staff room and educators had to wait for it to be free to be able to use it. Furthermore, IT educators were given priority towards computer labs as compared to other educators.

Outdated computers were also depicted by the educators as being another factor in hindering use of ICT in schools. Many of the information available online are not compatible with the ones available at school.

Results also depict that ICT infrastructure including computer labs, insufficient ICT tools in classroom is still a major issue. Availability of technology which is not up to date often hinders successful integration of ICT. Research carried out by Pelgrum (2001), demonstrated that lack of equipment is the highest rated barrier internationally, often cited even in well resourced country. Guha's study(2000) further showed that teachers who used technology were most likely to complain about lack of equipment.

RECOMMENDATION:

Therefore, after this study it has been found out that steps can be taken to ensure that teachers have adequate infrastructure which will provide them with a more enabling environment. In addition, teacher training is fundamental to effective integration of ICT in teaching and learning. Educators often after ICT integration courses tend to adhere to traditional teaching. Thus, appropriate monitoring and feedback is essential at school level to ensure that teachers make use of the knowledge and skills gained in training. Furthermore, proper technical support is essential to assist educators. It can also be suggested that a teacher with ICT competency be appointed as ICT coordinator in each school to provide technical and pedagogical support to teachers. This is vital to support teachers to make full use of ICT in classroom, and not losing time fixing technical problems. For the successful implementation of ICT integration in schools, all stakeholders need to be committed.

CONCLUSION:

This study investigated educators' readiness to integrate ICT tools in their teaching. Results show that educators are motivated and hold a positive attitude towards integration of ICT in teaching and learning but are experiencing many obstacles such as lack of access to resources, lack of technical support, insufficient ICT tools, inadequate infrastructure, outdated computers and connection problems. Moreover, as per the survey, it has been observed that majority of educators are not even aware of the existing technological tools in the education sector. It has therefore been noticed that to derive the benefits of ICT in teaching and learning, mechanisms have to be put in place for necessary training, for adequate support and infrastructure. A sense of commitment and dedication on the part of educators is necessary to fully realize the benefits of ICT integration