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1.1 General Background of the Study
Computer science and its benefits in all facets of human life have received tremendous attention of many scholars (Ajayi, 2013). Specifically computer science has revolutionalize teaching and learning so much so that educational institutions are assessed by their extent on computer technology deployment. Very importantly, web metric ranking of educational institutions is one of the foremost criteria for measuring the quality of education by schools.
Although many initially believed it was impossible that computer themselves could actually be a scientific field of study, in the late 1950s the computer science discipline was very much in its developmental stage and such issues were common place. Time has seen significant improvement in the usability and effectiveness of computing technology. Modern society has seen a significant shift in the users of computer technology, from usage only by experts and professionals to a near-ubiquitous user base. Initially, computers were quite costly and some degree of human aid was needed for efficient use apart from professional computer operators. As computer adoption became more widespread and affordable, less human assistance was needed for common usage.
Development in science and technology has brought into limelight the indispensable roles of computer in the area of information technology. It is a new instructional system. The incursion of the electronic computer system into the educational system, according to Sherman (2005) provides the well within to solve teaching and learning problems even rapidly and accurately than wither conceived. This has eventually made the computer system the doyen of humanity as it continues to exert greater acceptance. Computer has been found to be an effective device for presenting an instructional programme. According to McCormick (1993) can be used to develop and improve the pedagogical relation of teaching and learning. Also technological development can be achieved through proper acquisition of scientific knowledge; which can only be realised through relevant training in science, mathematics and computer education. It was in this light that the Federal Government of Nigeria launched the National policy on computer literate at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels of education in 1987 with the following general aims
· To bring about computer literacy in each state in Nigeria
· To develop the use of computer as teaching tool in all the senior secondary school level in order to appreciate the potentials of the computer and be able to utilize the potentials of computer in various aspect of life and later occupation; and
· To expose the teacher and students to the latest scientific knowledge and skills.
Computer science is an industry, a profession and a body of knowledge. There are many career opportunities in the field of computer science. An urgent re-orientation of the youth is necessary in order to use one stone to kill many birds. Awakening the interest of youths into the field of computer will solve the problem of unemployment and social vices in the society. The starting point in the quest is to identify the factors that affect the perception of secondary school students in computer science. An understanding of these factors will enhance the formulation and implementation of strategies that will guarantee “catch the young” into the computing trade and profession.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The problem of this study is the determination of the perception of senior secondary school students on computer science in abeokuta metropolis.
1.3 Pertinent Research Questions
The perceptions of secondary school students on computer science have warranted a number relevant research questions in this study.
(i) Do parents have negative influence on student’s perception of computer science?
(ii) Are computer science teachers competent and friendly enough to the students?
(iii) Are there sufficient and stimulating practical opportunities in the school’s academic time table?
(iv) Are there conducive computer laboratory for teaching and learning?
1.4 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
The following null hypotheses were formulated to test the above research questions:
(i) There is no significant difference between the perception of male and female students
(ii) There is no significant difference in the perception of students of both parents and single parents
(iii) There is no significant difference between perception of students on teacher and teaching method and nature of computer science subject
(iv) There is no significant difference between teachers and teaching methods and equipment and facilities provided for teaching and learning of computer science
(v) There is no significant difference between peer and parental influence and teachers and teaching methods
1.5 Objective of the Study
The general objective of this study is to determine the perception of senior secondary school students on computer science. The following specific objectives are to be accomplished to achieve the general objective.
(i) To determine the influence of parents on perception of the students
(ii) To ascertain the influence of teachers competence on computer science
(iii) To ascertain the influence of computer science practical lessons on students perception of computer science
(iv) To ascertain the prevalence of computer science career counsellors in secondary schools
(v) To determine the effect of computer laboratory on students perception of computer science
1.5 Justification of the Study
Nigeria is blessed with abundant growing population, student’s enrolment in secondary schools was estimated at over 6.5 million (CBN 2006). The hope of making and sustaining Nigeria as one of the top twenty economies by the year 2020 depend very much on the contribution of this segment of the population. Secondary school students are mostly adolescents who are still in their formative years. They need to be guided aright on the choice of career and vocations that will benefit them and the country. Any attempts at determining those factors that influence their perception of computer science will expose the flaws in our educational curriculum. The result of such findings will serve to guide the managers of our education system in formulating and implementing the most effective policies that will enable our education contribute meaningfully to our quest for development as a nation.
This study is thus to identify the current mindset of our senior secondary school students with a view to correcting their negative perceptions of computer science.
1.6 Scopes and Limitation of the Study
The population of this study consists of all senior secondary school students in Abeokuta metropolis. In order to accurately capture the responses of this population, samples were taken from secondary schools chosen from different part of Abeokuta metropolis. In each chosen forty students of both sexes in senior secondary school level were randomly selected to respond to the questions in the research instrument. A total of ten secondary schools covering Abeokuta North, Abeokuta South and part of Odeda Local Government Area were sampled.
1.7 Definition of Terms
Computer: is an electronic device that accepts stores and processes raw facts (data) to give more meaningful information for an individual decision making.
Learning: it can be described as a process by which a relative permanent change in behaviour is brought about due to social interaction with the environment.
Education: is the process of transferring information, values, norms, customs’ from one generation to another.
Teaching: is the conscious and intentional effort by an experienced person to impact information, knowledge or skills to a less experienced person who is equally willing to learn.
Perception: is defines according to the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary as an idea, belief or an image you have as a result of how you see or understand something.
Assessment: assessment is the systematic collection, review and use of educational programs to improve students’ learning. Assessment focuses on what students know, what they are able to do, and what values they have when they graduate. Assessment is concerned with the collective impact of a program on students learning.
Evaluation: evaluation offers a way to determine whether an initiative has been worthwhile in terms of delivering what was intended and expected. However, good evaluation can also answer other important question.
Technology: is the scientific utilization of science in practical ways to make life easier for man. It is also a knowledge and use of mechanical art and science.
Instruction: A piece of information that tells the computer to perform a particular task or operation. It also gives detail information on how to do something
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