During the old days, computers were not used in many places like such and so,
computer skills were not necessary. In the recent times, computers have become widely and
practically used everywhere including offices, business firms, hospitals, hotels, in the homes
among other places. Nearly everything requires the use of a computer. These skills are acquired
from the learning institutions. They are important and should therefore be a fundamental part of
education curricular (Dennis and Evans) .
The introduction of computers has led to a revolution across all industries changing
the face of the society. Computers have proved to be the best and most efficient ways of data
storage and management. They conduct all sorts of transactions in the least possible time. They
have, therefore, become a daily utility of great importance in the daily life, making computer
skills a necessity of the day (Demand Media) .
Incorporating computer skills in the education curricula implies, providing concepts
of computer applications and also knowledge about computer operations to leaners during their
course of studies (St Paul Community Literacy Consortium) . Understanding the major
components of the computer, its applications followed by practical experience in operating the
computer is key to computer education.
These computer skills acquired in the course of academic studies are very helpful and
increase one’s chances to getting a job. Those with computer skills are considered to be easily
trainable in many kinds of jobs especially at this time when most organizations’ activities
involve use of computers (News) .
Computers are becoming widely available to many institutions and classrooms
nowadays. Worldwide, most countries do making diffusion of information and communications
technology an important priority. Also, in developing countries, the use of computers increases
dramatically (Scribd) . As ICT is spreading widely, teachers are facing a very difficult task on
how to integrate it into the learning process.
Changes in goals of education during the latter part of the twentieth century and
increased amount and type of the available technology have created changes at the way teachers
use technology. Formerly, students were only required to memorize a bit of information and
procedures that were regarded important (Roy) . There were very few computers and students
practiced at worksheets. Mostly, students worked alone. In case of consultations they would turn
for their text books for assistance. Currently, there has been more access to computers and
students can refer to the books as well as practise their knowledge practically on the computer.
In addition, there have been substantial changes in what the policymakers and
educators think the child should know. Mostly, students are exposed to computer skills that are
required in the job market. These include the office suit, programming, internet, database
management among others. Nowadays, knowledge in computers applications is a fundamental
requirement in the job market since most systems are computerized (News) . While other
institutions have made computer education a compulsory subject in their studies, others have not.
For example in the rural areas where access these facilities is a challenge, students are not
provided with these skills.
Research has indicated that learning to incorporate computer skills in the education
curricula follows a pattern (Tadeusz and Punsiri) . Initially, teachers incorporate new skills into
things they traditionally did. After observing the changes in the students such as improvement in
collaboration, behavior and independent learning, they tend to experiment using the skills of
technology to teach new ways. It can take as much four years or more to fully observe the
changes in the student learning.
Importance of making computer skills a fundamental part of education curricula
Computer education can arguably be regarded as the key to education. With sufficient
training on computer operations, leaners are equipped with good research skills thereby adding
value to human life. Learners are encouraged to look for information in the internet concerning
various topics from various books, journals and websites within a short period of time. The
internet provides a wide range of options that will expose the leaners to diverse ways of
obtaining information, which is very important in solving daily problems that affect humanity
(Cedric and Nusrat) .
Incorporating computer skills in the course of learning also influences career
aspirations. Students get inspired to undertake technology based careers and also enhance their
understanding on the impact of technology on peoples’ daily lives. Computer knowledge
acquired in the elementary and high school levels increase their interest to pursue computer
related fields during their studies in higher education (Cedric and Nusrat) . Also, computer
education offers students the basic knowledge necessary to undertake computer-related activities
including software management, for example, office suite, creating databases sheets and
computer programming. This knowledge can also be applied later in life to a range of
Computer lessons also allow students to put their creativity to use (Cedric and
Nusrat) . For instance, a class involving assembling and dissembling of the computer will get the
students to think more and understand how the components work. They can then transfer their
enhanced creativity to different fields including memorizing of mathematical concepts, scientific
facts and historical information. It is through such exposure that new technological
advancements are made.
Computer education enables students to become more involved in their school work
therefore improving their performance. Constant exposure to computers can enhance their
mathematical thinking, potentially improving their score in critical thinking and problem solving
tasks. This helps the students perform better in standardized assessment tests. Young children
exposed to computer education and supporting activities achieve developmental gains such as
good long term memory, abstraction, intelligence and nonverbal skills (Cedric and Nusrat) .
Factors that hinder incorporation of computer skills into the education curricula
Despite the efforts by governments, NGOs, corporate organizations and individuals to
donate computer facilities to schools and colleges, there still remain a good number of schools
that cannot purchase them as they are very expensive making them unavailable (Scribd) . These
institutions opt to operate the analogue way something which brings about disparities in the
performance of these students.
In most developing countries, computer education has been introduced recently into
their education systems especially in the secondary schools and very few elementary schools. In
fact, some colleges have also not been offering computer education for long (Marina et al) . This
means there are very few qualified personnel to train students on how to use the computers. It is
therefore not easy to meet the increasing demand of qualified teachers to offer computer
education in these institutions. There are more students willing to learn computer skills with very
few teachers to guide them.
To support computer education, there is need for constant and reliable power supply.
Unfortunately, power supply is a big challenge in other countries with developing countries most
affected. Most schools in the rural areas do not have electricity supply in their schools. These
schools, therefore, remain handicapped and may not offer computer education despite their
understanding of its ever increasing demand in the current world (Marina et al) .
Sometimes, the types of computers acquired by institutions for learning are of poor
quality. Characterized by low memories, very low processing speeds, fake computers and even
old-refurbished-computers make computer studies a big problem. Such computers take too long
to start, operate very slow and easily break down making the institutions incur heavy repair and
maintenance costs (Marina et al) . In addition, these types of computers increase the amount of
electronic wastes leading to environmental degradation.
How to overcome the hindrances
First and foremost, it is prudent to train teachers who take computer subjects.
Providing teachers with computer facilities and proper training from experienced masters can
assist in reducing the gap between the number of available teachers verses the number of
students (Marina et al) . Teaching skills should continually be sharpened through providing time
for them to attend courses, participating in computer training conferences to share lessons and
ideas with other teachers. This will enable them to advance their skills which they will
subsequently transfer to the students.
It is important for the governments to acknowledge the role computer skills play in
contemporary world (Science Daily) . It is through this that they can prioritize securing funds for
acquisition of these facilities. It could also involve other organizations to assist in donating
computers and other necessary training facilities to institutions thus providing the learners with a
chance to access these skills. With these facilities in schools, they can make computer studies a
compulsory subject and through this, everyone will be able to learn and acquire the skills
It is necessary for the government to subsidize the cost of computers for learning
institutions through different programs that will enable the students acquire them at cheaper
prices. This can be done through partnering with other organizations such as the manufacturing
companies. This will help the students from poor background that cannot raise the high amounts
of money required to purchase a computer (Scribd) .
Enhancing power supply to remote places is good step to support computer education.
This problem is common with most rural areas especially in the developing countries. The
government can seek funds from other developed countries to assist in supply of electricity to the
remote areas so as to support these facilities. This will help reduce the gap between the schools
in the urban areas and those in the rural areas in terms of accessing computer education (Marina
et al) .
To ensure durability and good performance, those supplying computers to institutions
should sign for contracts with genuine companies who sell good quality products. Having new
and powerful computers enables students to learn fast and the computers will not break down
easily (Cedric and Nusrat) . This also reduces the burden of accumulation of electronic wastes
therefore reducing the level of damage to the environment.
As the computers become widely used in the recent world, several institutions have
taken up the role of providing these skills to their students. This has, however, been a gradual
process considering the high number of requirements to set up the computer systems (Tadeusz
and Punsiri) .
Computer education offers a number of benefits to the students as well as the society
in terms of development. It enhances research skills which are important in problem solving. It
enables students to put up more creativity leading to major innovations. It also improves the
performance of the students by enabling them get more involved in their school work (Cedric
and Nusrat) .
Despite strong efforts to overcome them, challenges still exist. These range from the
costs of the computer facilities, few qualified teachers, lack of power supply in most places and
also poor quality machines in the market (Marina et al) .
To meet the ever increasing demands in computer skills, it is encouraged that the
government, institutions and organizations combine effort to enable students find access to these
skills. Employers should also specify the kind of skills they need to help teachers know what to
focus on when offering the skills (Dennis and Evans) .
It is also recommended that more funds be set aside for establishment of these
facilities in various institutions. Fundraisings can be done by the supporting agencies to raise
money for these facilities. Also, for these students to get sufficient knowledge, it is required that
their teachers get proper training from experienced masters (Marina et al) .
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