Vol. 2, Issue 11 (2015)
Review of literature on information and communication technology (Icts) in Zambian schools: A reactive rather than a problem solving Ict education approach
Author(s): William Phiri, Richard Silumbe
Abstract: This paper is an extract of reviewed literature for an on-going PhD study titled “A problem-solving ICT education and its implications on the teaching and learning of mathematics and statistics in selected secondary schools of Lusaka and Central province, Zambia.” The background of the paper emanates from the fact that there has been a growing body of research in recent years that has stressed on the importance of ICTs in the teaching and learning process especially in the field of Mathematics, Statistics and science. For instance, studies have shown that integrating the use of ICTs in teaching and learning does benefit both the teacher and learner. It is argued that ICTs play critical role in the teaching and learning process as they lessen teacher centred curriculum, and that students will be self-directed learners thereby enabling students to better comprehend and easily understand mathematical or statistical problems. Despite such empirical benefits that come along with ICTs, the approach that has been adopted by government and other key stake holders are mainly reactive rather than proactive. The pupils are mainly taught how to use ICTs that have already been developed by other developed countries. The curriculum and syllabus are tailored to teach pupils how to merely use rather than offering pupils skills that will enable them idealise, design, implement, monitor and evaluate the use ICTs in the learning and teaching process. In other words, the anatomy of ICTs as far as its benefits are concerned in relation to the Zambian secondary schools context, lies in a problem-solving type of education. In this regard, education tailored towards problem-solving sets a strong foundation for ICTs spurts. The type of education being offered in this 21st century must be different from the one that occurred in the 1900s. Moreover Nations that will develop superior technologies will also be nations that will lead in the 21st century. Zambia cannot afford to lag behind in this regard. Technology is one of the three ingredients of economic growth. Therefore, this paper argues that pupils in Zambian secondary schools should not only be taught how to use but more important how to create, invent and innovate ICTs.