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THE STATUS OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY IN POLYTECHNICS AND UNIVERSITIES
This research work has been carried out to determine the status of Information and Communication Technology in Polytechnics and Universities in Imo State. The population of the study consists of 40 students in the selected institutions of higher learning viz; Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO), Imo State University (IMSU), Federal Polytechnic Nekede (FEDPONEK) and Imo State Polytechnic (IMOPOLY). Five research questions were used to guide the study. About 30 full completed copies of questionnaires were used to analyze the data collected. The result of the findings show that Information and Communication Technology (ICT). Meanwhile, equipments such as computer was recommended as a major hindrance in teaching and learning of Information and Communication Technology in these institutions of higher learning in Imo State. It was recommended that this Information and Communication Technology should exist in all institutions of higher learning in Imo State and the schools should provide adequate equipments such as computer for the teaching and learning of Information and Communication Technology so that students will have the adequate skill and knowledge of Information and Communication Technology as to work in any computerized organization after graduation.
Background of the Study
In this fast growing and moving world faced with globalization, the core of economic development today depends on knowledge and technology but successful economics excel at generating and disseminating knowledge, as well as exploiting it. Technology is the engine of change that transforms resource based economy to knowledge based economy but at the macro-level, technology enables national leverage in the modem world and it brings about wealth and better welfare for the people.
In as much as development is concerned, these is now a new trend of religion that is sweeping across the world like a wild-fire in both length and breath and thereby transforming the entire world as a global unit-Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has been defined by many elites from different perspective thus: Lucy, (1990) defined it as term involving the process of acquisition, processing, storage and dissemination of local pictorial, textual and numeric information. Information technology is not merely seen as a hardware development but also as software which is advantageous in changing works, attitude to work, in establishing efficiency in business transaction, in achieving efficiency in communication, increasing profits margin creating new jobs and effective in mass education. Ohakwe, (2001).
Information Technology has applications in almost all spheres of human endeavours; Akpore (2005) states that developing suitable economy through information technology implies applying information and communication technology in all the main sectors of the economy hence as the world is transiting from being a resource based one into a knowledge – based one. Much as natural resource can provide as much as can be realized from the output of a society that has truly become a knowledge – based society”.
Sadly enough, our schools (The learning environment is a shadow of itself in terms of quantity and quality of items of information and communication technology… the result being that we are using yesterday’s knowledge, skills, abilities and competencies” in this era. Consequently, the introduction and use of such technologies in communication and information such as internet, computers, Microelectronics Tele communication tools as the e-mail, e-commerce, e-banking just to mention but a few is a mirage. Even many educators and students in higher institution are yet to be in abreast with some of this soft and hardware’s what an education tragendy; Ohakwe, (2001).
Recently, in e-learning, that is, electronic learning, project embarked by Zinox Technology across 40 institutions of higher learning with the aim to train Nigerian undergraduates to internationally acceptable standards hence coming to the heels of computerizing Nigeria thereby taking this venture to all the nooks and crannies of this country, hence the establishment of Information and Communication Technology parks in institutions of higher education with Imo State inclusive, therefore, it becomes imperative to determine the status of Information and Communication Technology in polytechnics and universities in Imo State.
Statement of the Problem
The information and communication technology as a new trend in linking several African universities to the global village with ultra modern world class information and communication technology tools is aimed at capacity building, youth empowerment, expert information technology (IT) training and information and communication technology certification which in the short-run will help address the shortage of expert information and technology skills in the country and in the long run as a lunch pad for attracting global out-sourcing opportunities for Nigerians with graduates in particular.
Therefore this approach towards capacity building as an effective model to bring training, technology and digital access to people within the geographical location and there need for effective global competitiveness.
But in higher institutions in Imo State especially the universities and polytechnics, this approach towards capacity building seems to be a far cry in as much as information and communication technology is not seen either to be talked about nor thought, even is existence and usage among the student are nothing to write on its foundation, thereby using the yesterdays knowledge abilities and competence in today’s educational sector. thereby leaving their undergraduates groping in the dark, as far as modern and information and communication technology is concerned.
Therefore based on this problem identified, motivated the researcher to ascertain the status of information and communication technology in the polytechnics and universities in Imo State.
Purpose of the Study
The major purpose of this work is to ascertain the status of information and technology (ICT) in polytechnics and universities in Imo State.
Other objectives include;
1. To identify areas of information and technology open to the students.
2. To determine the level of knowledge and skills of the undergraduates in the information and technology.
3. To determine how information and communication technology is taught in this institutions.
4. To ascertain the degree of existence and usage of information and communication technology in polytechnics and universalities in Imo State.
5. To highlight hindrance to teaching and learning information and communication technology in these institutions.
Significance of the Study
This study is an attempt to provide empirical base for ascertaining the status of information and communication technology in polytechnics and universities in Imo State.
Equally, the study will be great benefit and assistance to institutions of higher learning, the government and other stake holders in education in Imo state in knowing there position in the global world as far as information and communication technology is concerned and to impact the greatest information, communication and technological skills to their undergraduates.
The study also highlighted the numerous benefit accruing from information and technology which will encourage the population under study to embark on full information and communication technology system.
More so, it will help in guiding the national and state boards for technical education and national universities commission in Imo state to plan and design their academic curriculum.
Finally the findings of the study are of great benefit to educational institutions where office workers like secretaries are trained. The information obtained will enable them update their curriculum and also increase their training facilities.
This research is focused on the following questions as to determine the status of the information and communication technology in Imo state polytechnics and universities.
1. Does information and communication technology exist in the polytechnics and universities in Imo state?
2. Does the students have the knowledge and skills of information and communication technology tools?
3. Does the students benefit from the usage of information and communication technology tools in these institutions of higher learning in Imo state?
4. Are there any hindrance in teaching and learning of information and communication technology in institutions of higher learning in Imo state?
5. Is the knowledge of information and communication technology taught in these institutions of higher learning in Imo state?
Scope of the Study
The study is only interested in determining the status of information and communication technology in universities and polytechnics in Imo state.
In addition, some factors may be beyond the researchers control such as:
a. Time constraint which may not permit a fully detailed work.
b. Acquiring/obtaining of vital text books and information may not be very easy. So the researcher may be forced to use only a few available journals, magazines, seminar papers text books and internet.
c. The researcher may have to limit this study to only selected universities and polytechnic due to financial constraints.
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