Development Communication in Education: An analysis of eLearning in selected schools in Nairobi County.
This study is about development communication in education, with special focus on eLearning in selected schools within Nairobi County. Generally, the study aimed at interrogating eLearning in schools while taking a closer look at its contribution towards enhancing education communication and delivery. The study was guided by four research objectives, namely, to establish the role of eLearning in education. To determine the availability, access and use of eLearning materials in schools in Nairobi County. To explore the influence of eLearning to standard classroom-based learning and education delivery in Nairobi County. Finally, to interrogate the appropriate solutions to the challenges facing eLearning uptake in schools. This study used a sample of 135 respondents comprising 10 key informants/experts in education matters, 65 teachers and parents/guardians and 60 learners in both primary and secondary in selected schools within three district sampled from the county. The study used non-probability and probability sampling procedures, adopting purposive and simple random sampling methods. The study used a mixture of qualitative and quantitative research techniques that comprised collection of data using instruments such as questionnaires, key informant interviews and focus group discussions. Data is presented in charts, graphs, photographs and direct verbatim quotations from respondents. Data is analyzed systematically. Principal finding of the study indicated that a majority of stakeholders acknowledged eLearning is very useful for learning purposes. 80% of respondents understood the potential benefits of eLearning while 20% didn’t. Even so, a majority of respondents felt the access levels to eLearning facilities in schools are at less than 5%, confirming existence of a significant mismatch on perception and the situation on the ground regarding eLearning in schools. Findings also indicated secondary school learners used eLearning devices mostly to access social media sites and search engines more than educational course content. On the other hand, primary school pupils use devices to play games and get entertainment. There is also a negative mindset among some key stakeholders in government and the public regarding eLearning it schools. This is largely attributed to the limited awareness campaigns and/or negative publicity (politicization) of education issues. There was also lack of a proper eLearning implementation model and curriculum, affecting negatively the adoption of eLearning in schools. In addition, most public schools lack or have inadequate eLearning facilities. Further the study found out that curiosity in most learners drove them to use estate cyber cafes and/or borrow their parent’s gadgets or friends to practice computer skills whilst unmonitored. This exposed them to greater risks when online. The findings of the study led to conclusions that, eLearning plays a vital role in the provision of education services. It is fast becoming an important aspect of all educational systems as the most cost-effective way of providing a ‘democratized’ education. There is also significant knowledge on eLearning and its import to education delivery. In addition, ‘Gamified’ learning for children could make learning interesting thus yielding positive outcomes in class. This study recommends that, there should be an implementable robust eLearning policy in place, teachers to be equipped with relevant competencies in ICTs for learning, provision of appropriate eLearning infrastructure and devices to learners. In addition, the government should provide adequate support for local digital content development. Finally, the government should conduct more awareness campaigns on eLearning in schools.