An extent to which ICTs are being used in the teaching and learning of mathematics in selected secondary schools of central province, Zambia
William Phiri, Richard Silumbe
This article is an extract of one of the objectives from the PHD study entitled ďA Problem-Solving ICT education approach and its implications on the teaching and learning of Mathematics in selected secondary schools of Central Province, ZambiaĒ. The background of this study is anchored on the fact that the implementation and integration of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) especially in the learning and teaching of Mathematics has remained one of the huge challenges facing most African countries including Zambia. This scenario has been compounded by a number of factors at play. Some of which include but not limited to the following: lack of technological equipments, uncoordinated implementation of the ICT policy, high cost of acquiring and maintaining technology, lack of technological know-how and problems that borders on pupilsí, teachersí, parentsí and policy markersí attitudes (MoE, 2012).  This article therefore argues that an appraisal on the design, implementation and integration of ICTs especially in the teaching and learning of Mathematics in secondary schools is not only relevant but also an issue that should be treated with the sense of urgency (Demana, 2000; Dick, et al. 2011).¬†rn
In light of the above challenges, this study sought to establish the extent to which ICTs are being integrated and used in the Zambian education system a case of selected secondary schools of Central Province. In achieving this task, the study employed a descriptive research design which adopted both qualitative and quantitative paradigms. Data was collected through semi-structured questionnaires for pupils and interview guide for teachers. The sample comprised of 150 participants. A simple random and purposive sampling procedure was used to select pupils and teachers respectively. Thematic analysis was employed to analyse qualitative data while the Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) and excel was used to analyse quantitative data.¬†rn
The study found that despite teachersí and pupilsí having a strong desire to use ICTs, the application and use of ICTs was to a larger extent not integrated in the teaching and learning of Mathematics in Zambian secondary schools. For those pupils and teachers who did use ICTs in the learning and teaching process, they did so due to their own curiosity. It further emerged from the study that the calculator was the commonest technology which was being used by both teachers and pupils in the process of teaching and learning of Mathematics. Furthermore, the study revealed that both teachers and pupils faced similar challenges of which the biggest was lack of ICT facilities and infrastructure that made the use of ICTs in most Zambian secondary schools a fallacy at the time the study was being conducted. Based on the findings, the following recommendations emerged among others: 1. Policy makers and curriculum specialist should develop the curriculum that supports the use of ICTs in the teaching and learning of Mathematics. 2. School management in collaboration with government, Parent Teacher Association (PTA) and the private sector should acquire more ICT equipments such as overhead projectors, making internet easily accessible, television, radios, tablets and CDs with pre-loaded educational materials, computers and other various ICT based application software that would promote problem solving ICT education in the Zambian secondary schools. 3. Government through the Ministry of Higher Education should develop ICT training programmes in all the colleges and Universities so that all our graduates would acquire strong ICT skills.
William Phiri, Richard Silumbe. An extent to which ICTs are being used in the teaching and learning of mathematics in selected secondary schools of central province, Zambia. International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research and Development, Volume 2, Issue 11, 2015, Pages 411-417