Training needs of primary school principals in the use of ICTs in school management of township and rural schools
Malan, Annadene Charlotte
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The constant and rapid change in technology is creating opportunities as well as challenges for schools. School leaders need to embrace the use of information communication technology (ICT) to enhance the effectiveness of management in a school. A great deal of concern, however, is the ineffective use of ICT in school management. Although some school leaders are aware of the multiple advantages of the use of ICT in school management, they do not incorporate it in the management of the school. Research has identified that one of the main advantages and opportunities for the use of ICT in school management is that it is less time consuming because it reduces paper work. The ineffective use of ICT in school management seems to be even more of a problem in rural and township primary schools. The White Paper on e-Education states that “every South African manager, teacher and learner in the general and further education and training bands will be ICT capable” by 2013. The most important finding is that, despite the increase in educational and technological development of information communication technology in South Africa, school leaders are still not capable of using ICT effectively to manage their schools. Even though the use of technology is encouraged, it is not used efficiently by school leaders to manage their schools. Literature indicates that little research has been done as yet regarding the use of ICT by school leaders in school management. In the light of the above-mentioned, the need arises to determine and understand what the training needs of school leaders are for them to effectively use ICT in managing their schools. The aim of the research was firstly, to determine the importance of the use of ICT in the management of schools. Secondly, to establish the role ICT currently plays in the management of schools. Lastly, to determine the specific training needs of school leaders for them to effectively use ICT in managing their schools. In this research qualitative methodology was used which is embedded in the interpretive paradigm. The qualitative strategy of inquiry was phenomenological. The qualitative approach attempted to examine personal experiences and viewpoints of interviewed school leaders with regards to their training needs concerning the use of ICT in school management. The method of data collection was individual semi-structured interviews, based on the literature review. Interviews were recorded by the researcher using an audio recorder. The trustworthiness of the collected data was ensured. Collected data was transcribed and analysed by means of the computer software programme Atlas ti™. The main findings of the research include: - Findings with regard to the importance of the use of ICT in the management of schools. ICT is an important tool that makes school management easier and less time consuming. - Findings with regards to the current role ICT plays in school management. Even though school leaders realise the importance of the use of ICT, it does not play an important role in school management. The most important role ICT currently plays in school management is merely communication. - Findings with regards to training needed by school leaders in the use of ICT in the management of schools. School leaders need ICT training starting from basic courses to more advanced ICT courses in all aspects of ICT, software and hardware included. Finally, recommendations are made to assist school leaders to obtain the necessary skills and knowledge regarding the use of ICT in the management of schools. Training needs of school leaders regarding the use of ICT should be addressed in training programmes which are specifically designed for leadership. Courses should be short, hands-on and aimed at developing ICT skills for use in school management. Follow-up and refreshment courses need to be presented on a regular basis, while progress is monitored regularly.
- Education 
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