An investigation of the role of principals in promoting computer usage in selected Namibian schools

Katulo, Mighty Masiku (2009) An investigation of the role of principals in promoting computer usage in selected Namibian schools. Masters thesis, Rhodes University.

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Abstract

Globalisation and technology change have created a new global economy fuelled by information and driven by knowledge. Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) have been touted as potential powerful tools for enabling educational change and reform. Namibia is among those countries that have adopted the use of ICTs as a vehicle for change. This thesis explores the role of school principals in promoting and managing computer usage in selected schools in Namibia. The study was conducted at four schools in the Caprivi Region. The study employed a qualitative case study to collect and analyse data. A total of four school principals and four computer coordinators were interviewed, and responded to questions pertaining to the role of principals in the following areas: acquiring ICT equipment; providing access to the computer labs; promoting the use of computers; maintaining computers; capacity-building of teachers, and addressing challenges that could prevent computer usage. Two focus group interviews were also conducted at two schools, to find out what they perceived to be the role of school principals in supporting and ensuring the effective use of computers in schools. The findings on acquisition of computers reveal that principals were often the initiators of the acquisition process. Ministerial deployment is the most common form of acquisition, followed by the use of the school’s development fund to purchase administrative computers. Only one of the participating schools did not acquire its computers through Ministerial deployment. Some schools were more resourced than others. Availability and maintenance of equipment depended on the kind of school (advantaged or disadvantaged) and the way the computers were acquired rather than on the role of the principal. Schools that acquired their computers through the ministerial deployment received satisfactory technical support from the ministry while schools that acquired their computers through other sources had to rely more heavily on the principal to pro-actively seek support. School principals that demonstrated the qualities of transformational leadership promoted the usage of computers by taking part in training offered to teachers and encouraged teachers on different platforms to make use of computers. The study also found that schools in which principals actively supported and promoted the use of computers were successful in the usage of the computer labs, while in schools where principals left the running of the computer lab to an individual teacher, the usage was minimal. It was found that a number of challenges are hampering the usage. These include lack of internet connectivity, qualified personnel to cascade training, and minimum infrastructure. The study recommends that school principals should adopt trategies that encourage teachers to use computers in their daily routines. It also makes suggestions for further research on the impact of school culture on ICT integration.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Computers|xStudy and teaching - Namibia, Educational technology - Namibia, Information technology - Namibia
Subjects:L Education > L Education (General)
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Education > Education
Supervisors:Dalvit, Lorenzo
ID Code:1871
Deposited By: Mrs Carol Perold
Deposited On:20 Jan 2011 07:29
Last Modified:06 Jan 2012 16:21
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