Information and communications technology (ICT) integration in Zimbabwean secondary schools curriculum: experiences of secondary school heads in Buhera rural district.
The study explores the experiences of school heads in leading and managing ICT integration in the curriculum in rural-day secondary schools in Buhera district. ICT usage in Zimbabwean schools can be traced back to the early 1980s mainly in trust schools. After the Nziramasanga Commission Report of 1999 which advocates the use of computers for teaching and learning, the momentum of computer usage was heightened culminating in the commencement of computer donations to schools by the President R.G. Mugabe in 2004. In 2005 the country adopted a national policy on ICT which makes reference to the promotion of ICT in education. This study is underpinned by theories of transformational leadership, change management and Miller’s Evolutionary theory of ICT integration. The study seeks to answer the following critical questions: What are the experiences of school heads in leading and managing ICT integration in the curriculum? What factors shape school heads’ experiences in leading and managing ICT integration in the curriculum? How are school heads mitigating the challenges posed by integrating ICT in the curriculum? This study is located within the interpretivist paradigm. Phenomenology was used as the design in carrying out this study. Semi-structured interviews were used to generate data from six secondary school heads from Buhera rural district. These secondary school heads were purposively selected. The findings indicate that meaningful ICT integration is still a distant reality in Zimbabwean rural-day secondary schools because there are a number of challenges that are experienced by rural school heads. Some of the challenges are lack of affordable and reliable internet provision, limited number of computers and computer illiterate teachers among others. Despite these challenges, there are some advantages that school heads have experienced such as access to current information. The study recommends the provision of cheap and reliable internet services in communities if ICT integration is to be really meaningful in these underserviced rural communities. More resources should be allocated to ICT integration since it is in infancy stages in rural schools. Government needs to mobilise more resources and engage donor communities to assist rural schools. In-servicing of school heads and teachers is of paramount importance if ICT integration is to bear fruits in Zimbabwean rural-day secondary schools.