Teachers' response to the Punjab ICT education project: a case study

2017-02-24T02:02:31Z (GMT) by Kaur, Ramandeep
Acknowledging the importance of digital technologies in education, the Government of India introduced the ICT in Schools Scheme in 2004 to improve the ICT skills of school students. Under this scheme, the government of Punjab state launched the ICT Education Project for computer education in 2005. This research study aims to explore the perceptions and practices of a small number of teachers in one government, rural girls’ senior secondary school in Punjab in relation to integration of ICT into teaching to enhance learning. The purpose of my study is to evaluate the effectiveness of the Punjab ICT Education Project (2005), focusing on the teachers’ and the Principal’s responses. I explore factors that promote and limit the teachers’ use of ICT and whether students’ learning has been enhanced through access to, and teaching with digital pedagogies. The study employs a mixed method approach and case study method to investigate the effectiveness of integration of ICT in school education and the extent to which the project has achieved its goals in this school. Data include a questionnaire, semi-structured interviews, observations and policy documents. Findings reveal that most teachers in the cohort sample did not use ICT for teaching. Teachers’ use of digital technologies, apart from those who teach Computer Science, is limited to supervising classes receiving ‘expert’ lectures delivered through the Education Satellite. The study further revealed that although the perceptions of the teachers towards the integration of ICT were positive, their practices were hindered by a number of factors. These factors include insufficient ICT infrastructure, lack of adequate training in use of computers in teaching, lack of pedagogical knowledge to use ICT and lack of technical support. Finally, I draw implications for ICT integration in teaching in Punjab schools based on the findings of this study.