An evaluative case study conducted on the Integration of ICT into Education project (IIEP) run by Savana Signatures to build the capacity of schools in Northern and Volta Regions of Ghana in the effective use of ICT has shown positive result.
The research was conducted by Jig Saw Consult, and commissioned by International Institute for Communication and Development (IICD) and supported by Edukans measured the impact of the IIEP project on quality education delivery using appropriate ICT tools. It also determined the learning outcomes using ICT tools in lesson delivering in schools which has been improved according to the report.
Savana Signatures, since 2011 has been implementing IIEP project in eighteen (18) schools in the Northern and Volta Regions of Ghana to facilitate effective use of ICT tools to prepare and deliver lessons to enhance quality of education.
The project has established several computer laboratories for schools, trained teachers, circuit supervisors, head teachers and school administrators on ICT pedagogy and basic computer maintenance and trouble-shooting including rendering technical support, and installation of useful computer software such as the school management system (SMS).
IIEP was designed to facilitate a shift from the conventional methods of lesson preparation, lesson delivery, and management of school data to a technological approach using ICT tools. This, the research indicated has had a significant positive impact on both teachers and students.
“The analysis examines the way in which the project has had an impact in the following areas: the impact on teachers, the impact on head teachers and school administration, and the impact on students. The research suggests that the project has had a significant positive impact on some teachers. This is expressed primarily in their increased confidence in using ICT in teaching and planning lessons, and in after school activities”, it said,
Teachers in the beneficiary schools have had their confidence in the use of ICT to prepare, and deliver lessons increased. The research demonstrated that their confidence and motivation, and efficiency in carrying out administrative tasks, had significantly improved, it stated.
“The benefits of the project are naturally compounded in the head teachers due to their role and their regular access to a dedicated computer. The potential role of ICT to enable head teachers to be more effective in their oversight and administrative capacity is an important building block for technology in education” the research stated.
The research findings indicated that, the majority of students in the participating schools had little or no prior exposure to ICT before the project. Within this context, the input of ICT into the project schools has played a contributing role in increasing enrollment and attendance and that during the project life-cycle attainment levels have increased significantly in the majority of the participating schools.
The research cautioned “however it is not yet possible to attribute the change directly to the project inputs alone”. The research demonstrates that the ICT inputs and training provided by the project have contributed to a positive impact on ICT use in school management, teacher confidence and capacity. However, substantial and sustained improvement in learning outcomes is likely to require on-going, in-depth inputs over several years as part of a comprehensive educational plan.
“The impact of ICT on teachers lies primarily in the effect on their confidence in its use, though this is impossible to isolate from general trends towards greater exposure to ICTs. The increased confidence to use ICTs, however, did not appear to result in consistent changes in teaching practice, particularly in the areas of lesson preparation and presentation.
Nonetheless the findings of the research are positive from a confidence and attitudinal perspective, as teachers felt more confident, but also felt their teaching had improved”, it said.