The integration of Information and Communication Technology in the Curriculum of North West Province schools: Mafikeng High Schools
Mmolawa, Evelyn Mashudu
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The integration of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in and for education is rapidly expanding in many countries and is now seen worldwide as both a necessity and an opportunity for improving and enhancing education offered to citizens across the globe (UNESCO, 2006). The education system does not only pursue the integration of ICT into the curriculum because of its popularity in the market system, but because of the role it is perceived to play in the changing curriculum. According to the White Paper 7 on eEducation policy (2004: 17) every South African learner should be able to use ICT tools confidently and creatively to develop the skills and knowledge they need to achieve personal goals and to be full participants in the global community by 2013. The central role played by teachers in teaching and learning requires them to have a holistic understanding of ICT integration. Furthermore they should be able to analyse when integration is appropriate according to what is expected from the learner in the teaching and learning process. The study sought to address this research question: what are teachers' perceptions regarding integrating ICT with the curriculum in the classroom? Drawing on the evidence from a survey of eighteen/twenty one high schools in the Mafikeng Area Office of North West, the findings show that teachers use ICT tools to differing degrees, depending on their perspectives relative to ICT and their levels of professional experience. The significant ideas of how teachers perceive the integration of ICT tools into the curriculum emerge from what they view as benefits of using ICT and what they view as challenges when integrating ICT into the curriculum. In order to integrate ICT meaningfully into the teaching and learning activities teachers need both commitment and the technological skills. Contrary to expectation, the degree of ICT integration within the curriculum did not correspond directly with the availability of sufficient hardware, software or internet connectivity at the participating schools.