In-service Teachers’ Perceptions about the Impact of the Computer Literacy Skills Course in Primary Schools in Botswana

Kamau, Judith W
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In 1999, the diploma in primary education in-service programme was initiated to upgrade academic and professional qualifications of primary school teachers who hold the Primary Teachers’ Certificate. The main delivery mode on this programme is printed materials supported by face to face contact sessions during school holidays and audio cassette tapes. All distance learners must take a computer course to enable them for efficient running of schools. However not all primary schools have computers to support computer literacy classes. Secondly, emerging technologies such as the internet and mobile phones have not been exploited in this programme because at its conception, such media were not accessible to many people particularly in the rural areas. Over the time however there are calls to introduce email contact and mobile phone instead of relying only on print and audio tapes (Sikwibela and Mungoo, 2009). But not all primary schools have computers and internet connectivity. If internet facilities were available in all primary schools, distance learners would be able to search the internet for educational resources, receive updates to the modules, submit their assignments, receive online tutorial assistance, receive feedback on their assignments and make enquiries to administration about their progress (Wright, 2008). It is necessary to understand the effects of access to computers on distance learners’ learning progress, acquisition of computer literacy skills and programme completion. In this regard the study set out to answer the following questions: (a) What are distance learners’ perceptions about the acquisition of computer literacy skills, on the diploma in primary education of the University of Botswana? (b) What are the strengths and weaknesses in the implementation of the computer literacy course? (c) How do tutors and stakeholders perceive their roles and responsibilities in the implementation of the computer literacy course? (d) What barriers and opportunities exist for the improvement of the implementation of computer literacy course?

Skills Development,Distance Education,Computer Science,Digital Literacy,Primary Education