An investigation into the use of ICT in teaching of chemistry in Masindi and Hoima Districts
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A study to investigate the use of ICT in the teaching and learning of chemistry in Masindi and Hoima districts was conducted between 2008 and 2009. The specific objectives were: to establish how availability of infrastructure is influencing effective use of ICT in chemistry education; establish the mechanisms used in sustaining ICT’s in schools; to investigate the competency of chemistry teachers in using ICT, and to investigate the purpose and frequency with which chemistry teachers use ICT. The study participants were drawn from six secondary schools in the two districts. A cross sectional survey research design involving both qualitative and quantitative research strategies was used. A questionnaire for chemistry teachers and interview guides were the instruments used for data collection. Questionnaires were filled by fourty one randomly selected chemistry teachers. Then 10 teachers, 6 administrators and six ICT Coordinators in schools / ICT laboratory attendants were interviewed. The following were the findings: The lack of adequate infrastructure facilities is affecting the integration of ICT into chemistry teaching and learning. Over 77% of the respondents indicated insufficient number of computers and labs as leading constraints to ICT use in teaching. It was also found that most schools (83%) are unable to adequately maintain ICT facilities for effective ICT integration. Majority of them still rely on donor organizations. Teacher competence had a significant influence on ICT use in chemistry teaching and learning. Lastly it was found that majority of chemistry teachers who participated in the study are reluctant to extensively use ICT in their classrooms and or ICT laboratories e.g. only 4.8% of the teachers used ICT in classroom presentations. Based on the findings, it was recommended that: government or any relevant authority concerned should intervene in the funding of schools to assist them with ICT infrastructure; schools should develop mechanisms for maintaining ICT tools and infrastructure; Ministry of education and sports should organize regular in-service trainings for teachers on ICT as an instructional aid ; Ministry of education and sports should frame appropriate guidelines for teachers to serve as reference and also strengthen monitoring to ensure teachers to use ICT in the teaching- learning process; and finally secondary schools should acquire a wireless router which links a number of computers to a modem through radio impulses instead of wires to minimize on the maintenance costs of the ICT infrastructure.