Perceptions and conceptions about e-education among learners in KwaZulu-Natal.
Mazibuko, Zandile Roseline.
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This research project forms part of a comprehensive coordinated project to determine whether it is feasible to introduce e-Education in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) public schools by 2013, as envisaged in the Department of Education's 2003 White Paper on e-Education. This project mainly focuses on human problems that need to be solved among learners in urban schools of KZN for e-Education to be introduced successfully. The following problems are under investigation: 1. Before e-Education can be introduced in public schools in KZN by 2013 it must be empirically established whether learners are ready to learn effectively in an electronically managed educational environment. 2. Before the South African education and training authorities can establish clear standardized e-learning evaluation criteria it must first be established whether such criteria exist abroad, and if they do, how they are to be applied in die emerging South African e-education context. 3. Before e-Education can be introduced in public schools in KZN it must be determined what e-Education facilities are available in public schools in KZN, to serve as base line for what facilities need to be provided to schools by the educational authorities in order for e-education to succeed. This research used a quantitative research method to ascertain what the attitudes of learners in the Umlazi District of the Ethekwini Region in KZN, are towards e-Education. The research instrument that was used was a questionnaire to collect data. 800 questionnaires were disseminated and retrieved personally by the researcher at six approved schools. The survey was conducted among learners in Grade 9 andl 1 from a random selection of urban schools in theUmlazi District by the researcher, fellow researchers and the supervisor. The researcher used all 800 responses to set up the data base. The statistical program SPSS 13 was used to process and analyze the data that was collected. The following major findings emanate from this study: 1. No significant prior empirical research has been done about the state of ereadiness of learners in KwaZulu-Natal public schools. 2. The vast majority of learners are very positive about studying in an e-education environment. 3. Very few learners have been exposed to any form of e-education. 4. According to a case study reported, neither teachers nor learners were able to make effective use of sophisticated and expensive active boards that were donated by the British Department of Trade and Industry.