Impact of Programme Duration and Staff Commitment on the Effectiveness of ADAPTI in Colleges of Education in Cross River and Ebonyi States of Nigeria

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Impact of Programme Duration and Staff Commitment on the Effectiveness of ADAPTI in Colleges of Education in Cross River and Ebonyi States of Nigeria

IMPACT OF PROGRAMME DURATION AND STAFF COMMITMENT ON THE EFFECTIVENESS OF ADAPTI IN COLLEGES OF EDUCATION IN CROSS RIVER AND EBONYI STATES OF NIGERIA

 

By

Dr. Israel, Paul Chijioke

Psychology Department

Federal College of Education

Obudu

And

Mrs. Israel, Happiness Cherechi

Christian Religious Studies Department

Federal College of Education

Sponsored by the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (Tetfund)

Abstract

This study was executed to find out how the time allotted to the Advanced Digital Appreciation Programme for Tertiary Institutions (ADAPTI) and the commitment of the staff of colleges of education in Cross River and Ebonyi states of Nigeria are affecting the effectiveness of the programme. The descriptive survey research design was adopted in conducting the study.  Five approved colleges of education in Cross River and Ebonyi states of Nigeria formed the population of the study out of which a sample of three was purposively drawn. Subsequently, three hundred and sixty Academic and Non-academic staff were randomly drawn from the three colleges. Two research questions and one hypothesis guided the study. The data for the study were collected using researchers’ constructed instrument called Advanced Digital Appreciation Programme for Tertiary Institutions Evaluation Questionnaire (ADAPTIEQ). The instrument has a Crombach Alpha reliability coefficient of .86. The collected data were analyzed using both the descriptive and inferential statistics. The result of the analysis showed that the short period of time allotted to this programme was a factor militating against its effectiveness. Consequently, it was recommended among other things that a period of not less than one month be allotted to this programme in order to enable the facilitators cover the course content. 

Key words: ADAPTI, Capacity building, Intervention.

Introduction

     Since the realization of the critical role of Information and communication technology (ICT) towards the development of any nation, the Federal Government of Nigeria has taken different measures towards the building, encouragement, development, utilization and sustenance of ICT manpower Education (FME, 2019). These measures include:

  • The use of the National Policy on ICT in Education to drive the development and deployment of ICT in Education in the country,
  • The provision of relevant ICT infrastructure and services
  • Establishment of ICT laboratories in schools and Centers of Excellence in the tertiary institutions
  • Introduction of e-learning and application of ICT to Distance Education and Open Learning at all levels
  • ICT capacity building for teachers and educational administrators through nationally and internationally recognized certificates
  • Construction of e-libraries in Federal Schools and virtual libraries for universities
  • The development and use of the National Standards for IT education to set academic and professional standards for ICT Education at all levels, etc.

           Basic among these measures is the development of National policy on ICT in Education by the Federal Ministry of Education in conjunction with Federal and State Ministries and Agencies, the Private Sector, Non-Governmental Organizations and International Development Partners. The Policy Document for the development and deployment of ICT in Education was approved by the National Council on Education and the Federal Executive Council in 2010 (FME, 2019). At the tertiary education level, mobile learning is taking place in some states and virtual libraries are being constructed for tertiary institutions.

 In spite of the above initiatives, Bamidele and Bakare (2015) found that computer education as a subject was not taught in most public secondary schools in the country after a study of the impediments to the implementation of computer science education curriculum in public secondary schools in Osun state, Nigeria. Also in a study of the implementation of computer education policy in Cross River state Israel and Israel (2019) found that the effectiveness of teaching and learning of computer science and the application of ICT in education has been retarded by such factors as poor funding by the government, and especially non-availability of adequate number of trained computer/ICT teachers.

This development draws attention to the importance of building the ICT capacity of staff of various tertiary institutions on whose onus lays the task of driving ICT in education.   Capacity building refers to the process of improving the competencies and capabilities of an individual or a group of people or institutions with a view to enhancing their performance/output. Nwokedi, Amaewhule, and Nwafor (2018) define capacity building of lectures as a commitment to structured skills enhancement and personal or professional competence for effective service delivery. Contributing from the stand point of view of capacity building of lecturers in electrical/electronic technology, Bakare, Onah and Okereke (2018)   define capacity building as the set of activities directed towards improving competencies and capacities of lectures in electrical/electronic technology in operating e-teaching facilities for effective delivery in universities. The United Nations Environmental Programme (as cited in Akuegwu, Nwigwe and Etudo-Eyo, 2013) defines capacity building as building abilities, relationships and values that will enable organizations, groups and individuals to improve their performance and achieve their developmental objectives.

The important role ICT plays in education underscores the need to build the capacity of teachers in this field of study. This reasoning explains Mbwana’s (2009) submission that the success in the use of ICT in education depends largely on teachers and their level of skills in integrating ICT into the teaching process and in utilizing ICT to provide learner-centered, integrative education.  Nwokedi, Amaewhule, and Nwafor (2018) also agree that the use of ICT devices help lecturers in teaching the students for effective service delivery and equally assist them in their academic research and development.  Similarly, UNESCO (2018) highlighted the importance of training teachers in ICT by remarking that teacher training and continued on-going relevant professional development for teachers are essential if benefits from investment in ICT are to be realized. Specifically, UNESCO pointed out that training and on-going support must enable teachers to develop the necessary ICT competencies so they can in turn ensure their students develop the relevant skills, including digital competencies for life and work.

The fact that capacity building is important to both academic and non-academic staff is attested to by Nwabueze and Edikpa (2018) when they posit that human capacity building is aimed at equipping the academic and administrative staff with skills that will enable them discharge their professional responsibilities effectively. The Federal Ministry of Education (2019) has also expressed the view that the development of human capital for realizing the national vision needs to be enhanced by a new set of knowledge, skills and attitude, and the individual citizen needs to be fully equipped to be competitive as well as meet the challenges of the emergent environment.

In response to this need, some ICT capacity building interventions for teachers and educational administrators have been embarked upon. One of such interventions is the Advanced Digital Appreciation Programme for Tertiary Institutions (ADAPTI). This programme is offered by the Digital Bridge Institute (DBI) –a body set up in 2004 by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to train both academic and non-academic staff of tertiary institutions in basic ICT, office productivity tools, including the internet, intranet, use of e-teaching and e-learning facilities as well as collaboration in course delivery at no cost to the participants (DBI, 2020).

In order to accommodate more trainees into this programme, the modality for the training was shifted from inviting staff from different tertiary institutions to a central place to taking the training to their respective institutions where a reasonable number of staff could participate. The Colleges of Education just like other tiers of tertiary institutions in the country have benefited   consistently in this programme since 2006 when the DBI started the ADAPTI programme. Experience has however shown that despite the participation of many tertiary institution’s staff in this capacity building initiative, many academic staff in tertiary institutions in the country are still not computer literate. It has also been reported that the extent to which education lecturers apply ICT packages in academic activities for knowledge building is low (Nwabueze, Nwokedi, and Edikpa 2018). The inability to meaningfully apply ICT skills in teaching on the part of some academic staff and to handle effectively some administrative functions using ICT tools on the part of some non-academic staff who have participated severally in the ADAPTI programme demands the investigation of some factors that may affect the effectiveness of this programme. Among such factors are the duration of time allotted to this programme and the commitment to the programme by those staff undergoing the training. The problem of this study therefore when stated in question form is: How adequate is the time duration allotted to the ADAPTI programme and what is the level of commitment of the trainees towards the programme?

It is the objective of this study to investigate the impact of time duration and staff commitment on the effectiveness of the ICT capacity building intervention offered by the Digital Bridge Institute tagged Advanced Digital Appreciation Programme for Tertiary Institutions (ADAPTI). The study will specifically determine:

  • How the time allotted to the training programme affects its effectiveness.
  • How committed to the training programme are the participating staff.

The significance of the study lies in the fact that it will serve as a basis for the DBI and the various Colleges to take appropriate measures towards enhancing the effectiveness of this capacity building intervention. When this is done, the staff will be able to apply ICT in their job performances and thus derive the benefits of increased productivity. Students who will be taught by such ICT competent lectures will also graduate with the needed ICT skills that will help them be either gainfully employed or become employers of labour themselves. 

The study was guided by the following research questions and hypothesis:

  1.   How adequate is the time period allotted to the ADAPTI programme in relation to the course content?
  2.  To what extent do the trainees demonstrate commitment to the training programme?

          H01: The Academic and their non-academic counterparts do not differ significantly on their mean perception of the adequacy of time allocated for the training programme.

Method

Design of the Study

 The study was aimed at determining, documenting and describing the current state of implementation of the ADAPTI intervention as perceived by the respondents and so was conducted using the descriptive survey research design.

Area of the Study

   The study was conducted in Cross River and Ebonyi states of Nigeria. Cross River state is located in the South-South geo-political zone of the country whereas Ebonyi state is located in the South-East zone. The two states however share a common boundary. There are a number of tertiary institutions in these states. These include universities, colleges of education, schools of nursing, midwifery, and polytechnics.  

Population of the study: The population of the study comprised all the five accredited colleges of education in the two states.  One of these colleges is owned by the Federal Government; two are owned by State Governments, whereas the other two are private institutions. In terms of staff, the population comprises all academic and non-academic staff in the five colleges.

Sample and Sampling Technique

The multi-stage sampling technique was used to constitute the sample. In the first stage, the purposive sampling was used to draw three public colleges out of the five colleges of education in the two states. The restriction of the study to public Colleges of Education was to ensure that only the Colleges where the ADAPTI Capacity Building Programme is offered are included. The second stage consists of the stratification of the staff into two groups on the basis of their job description. Thus, we have the academic and non-academic strata respectively. From the academic staff category, 220 staff were drawn whereas from the non-academic staff category, 140 staff were drawn to make up a sample of 360 staff from the three colleges.

Instrument for Data Collection

The data was collected using a researchers’ constructed questionnaire called Advanced Digital Appreciation Programme for Tertiary Institutions Evaluation Questionnaire (ADAPTIEQ). The ADAPTIEQ has two main parts. The first part was used to collect biographical information from the respondents whereas the second part is made up of 12 items divided into two sections in line with the research questions.

 Reliability of the Instrument

Following a pilot testing of the instrument, a Cronbach Alpha correlation coefficient of .84 was computed for ADAPTIEQ. This high magnitude of the reliability coefficient warranted the use of the instrument for the study.

 Method of Data Collection

The researchers with the help of their research assistants administered the instrument to respondents in the three colleges. The apathy exhibited by some of the respondents, made it difficult to collect all of the administered copies. Thus, only 312 completed copies used for the study could be retrieved from the three colleges after more than one week of administering them.

Method of Data Analysis

The research data were analyzed using both descriptive and inferential statistics. Specifically, the descriptive statistics (mean and standard deviation) were computed for each item and for each sub-section and used to answer the research questions.  Also, the independent sample t-test was used to test the hypothesis.

Results

Research question 1: What is the impact of the programme’s duration on the effectiveness of the training?

The data in table 1 furnish the basis for answering this question. Any statement that has a mean score below 2.50 is said to be disagreed with; a statement with a mean score of between 2.50 and 3.49 is said to be agreed with; whereas a statement with a mean score of 3.50 and above is said to be strongly agreed with.

Table 1

Impact of Programme Duration on the Effectiveness of ADAPTI Training (N=312)

S/N                      ITEMS MEAN S.D.* REMARK
                  The short period assigned to the programme                    resulted in the following:      
1 Facilitators rushed their lectures in order to cover the cause content   3.28   .86   Agree
2 Many topics in the training manual were not taught 2.62 .82 Agree
3 The trainees did not master thoroughly the topics taught   2.67   .97   Agree
4 The practical application of the topics in the work place were not emphasized   2.34   .85   Disagree
5 The trainees still find it difficult to utilize ICT tools in both teaching and office works   2.70   1.00   Agree
  Grand mean 2.7 .80 Agree

*=Standard deviation

Table 1 shows that the respondents agreed to 4 out of the five statements that assessed the impact of the programme’s duration on the effectiveness of the training. A grand mean of 2.7 shows the acceptance of these statements. It goes to say therefore that the short period of time assigned to this programme impacts negatively on the effectiveness of the programme.

Research Question 2: To what extent do the trainees show commitment to the training?

This question is answered using responses to items in table 2.

Table 2

Trainees’ Level of Commitment to the ADAPTI Training (N=312)

S/N              ITEMS MEAN S.D.*    REMARK
1 Attended classes regularly 3.54 .54 Strongly agree
2 Were always punctual to classes 3.40 .53 Agree
3 Listened attentively to the teachers 3.48 .54 Agree
4 Participated  actively in class activities 3.26 .55 Agree
5 Stayed in class till the end of each day’s lectures   3.27   .74   Agree
6 Did all the assignments given by facilitators   2.84   .60   Agree
7 Played truancy during classes 2.01 .91 Disagree
  Grand Mean 3.11 .42 Agree

*=Standard deviation

Table 2 shows that the respondents agreed with 6 out of the 7 items that investigated trainees’ level of commitment to the programme. They however disagreed with the statement that the trainees played truancy during the training session.  A grand mean of 3.11 is an indication that the trainees were committed to the training though not at a very high level.

Hypothesis: There is no significant difference (P< .05) in the mean perception of the impact of the programme duration on the effectiveness of the training by the Academic and Non-academic staff of the colleges.

 This hypothesis was tested using the independent t- test statistics. Table 3 shows the result of the test.

Table 3

Independent t-test of Mean Difference between Responses of Academic and Non-academic Staff to the Impact of ADAPTI Duration on the Programme’s Effectiveness.

Staff Status N Mean Mean Difference df Std Error Diff. t Sig
Teaching Staff   Non-teaching 202   110 2.855   2.932   -.0764   310   .0678   -1.127   .261

Table 3 shows a t value of -1.127. This value as seen in the table is significant at .261 level. Since this value is greater than .05, the computed t-value is not significant at 5% level. This means that the null hypothesis is accepted at .05 level of significance. It goes to say that the Academic and Non-academic staff in the colleges agree to the view that the duration of the programme impacts negatively on the effectiveness of the ADAPTI programme.

Discussion

      The first research question sought to know the impact of the programme’s duration on the effectiveness of the training. The finding in this regard was that the short period of 5 days usually assigned to the ADAPTI programme impacted negatively on the effectiveness of the programme. Specifically, the facilitators did rush their lectures in order to cover the course content; many topics in the training manual were not taught; the trainees could not master some of the topics taught; and the trainees still find it difficult to utilize ICT tools in their teaching and office work respectively. This finding is a negation of the objective of the ADAPTI programme which according to Adinde (2016) aims at equipping senior members of staff of tertiary institutions with ICT skills thus enabling them to translate the acquired knowledge and skills into improved teaching and work performance.

      The second research question 2 tried to investigate the extent of commitment to the trainings by the trainees. The finding in this regard was that Staff of Colleges of Education displayed some level of commitment to the ADAPTI programme in the course of their training. This finding is backed up by the responses that the trainees were regular and punctual to classes, listened attentively in the course of lectures, participated in class activities, completed the assignments given to them, and stayed in the class as long as their lectures lasted without playing truancy. These actions are among the responsibilities of students that make for effective learning as noted by Burnaby Schools (2022) namely attending classes on time and regularly, completing all homework assignments, participating in classroom activity, contributing to discussions and group activities, listening carefully to teachers and parents, etc.

       The test of the null hypothesis led to the finding that both the academic and non-academic staff agree to the fact that the duration of 5 days allotted to the programme impacted negatively on the effectiveness of the ADAPTI training. Specifically, the short period of 5 days used to run the ADAPTI course makes the facilitators rush their lectures with the effect that the trainees could not master well the topics treated and as such find it difficult to utilize ICT tools effectively in carrying out their office works and in teaching. This finding corroborates that of Bakare, Onah and Okereke (2018) who reported lack of skills and knowledge to operate e-teaching facilities and inadequate knowledge to prepare e-teaching lesson as some of the prominent barriers to effective utilization of e-teaching approach. It stands to reason therefore that the effective delivery of the ADAPTI programme demands an extension of its time duration.

        The implication of the above findings is that the programme as is being presently run cannot sufficiently equip staff of colleges of education with the needed ICT skills to enhance their work performance.

Conclusion

A look at the content of ADAPTI shows that the programme is a well thought out intervention for building the ICT capacity of both academic and non-academic staff of tertiary institutions. The effectiveness of the programme has however been hampered by the short period of time devoted to running the programme which makes no room for the facilitators to teach for mastery. The implication of this is that the programme as is presently being implemented cannot equip the staff of colleges of education with ICT skills as well as enable them apply ICT tools and knowledge in teaching and in administrative duties respectively. This is irrespective of the commitment to the training displayed by both the academic and non-academic staff of the colleges.

Recommendation

The duration of the ADAPTI programme should be extended to at least one month of intensive lectures. This, it is believed will afford the facilitators enough time to teach thoroughly all the topics in the course content with emphasis on the application of ICT tools and knowledge in teaching and in administrative duties respectively.

References

Adinde, I. (2016). Embracing capacity building opportunities in the digital era: Global ICT capacity building symposium at Kenya September 5 – 8, 2016. Retrieved from https://www.itu.int/en/ITU-D/Capacity-Building/Documents/CBS%202016

Akuegwu, B. A., Nwigwe, F. D., & Etudor-Eyo, E. (2013). Lectures participation in capacity building programmes in South-South Nigeria: Implications for sustainable development. Makarere Journal of Higher Education 4(2), 279-292 doi http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/majohe.v412.11

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Burnaby Schools Board of Education (2022). Responsibilities of students. Retrieved from https://burnabyschools.ca>responsi…

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  Digital Bridge Institute (2020). Request for nominations for the advanced digital appreciation    programme for tertiary institutions (ADAPTI) training for 2020. Retrieved from   https://www.futa.edu.ng/home/newsd/441

Federal Ministry of Education (2019). National policy on information and communication technologies in education. Abuja: Author

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Nwokedi, O.C.U., Amaewhule, W., & Nwafor, S. O. (2018). Capacity building needs of education lecturers in information and communication technologies in universities.  African Journal of Education Research and Development (AJERD) 11(1),145-158.

Nwabueze, A. I., & Edikpa, E. (2018). Capacity building needs of education lecturers in information and communication technology in universities. International Journal of Scientific and Engineering Research 9 (6) 1266-1285. Retrieved from   https://www.ijser.org

Mbwana, M. S. (2009). Capacity building of ict in education for rural areas: A case study of Lugoba secondary schools- Tanzania. Retrieved from https://www.diva-portal.org>…pdf

UNESCO. (2018). ICT competency framework for teachers. Retrieved from https://creativecommons.org/licences/by-sa/3.0/igo/…

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