Komba, Sotco Claudius*
Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Mvomero District Council, Tanzania (email@example.com)
One of the objectives of teaching and learning information and communication technology subject in primary schools is to enable pupils to have abilities to use information technology tools, including computers. This article is based on the study which sought to investigate the extent to which primary school pupils in Tanzania were able to use computers after attending Information and Communication Technology lessons. The specific objectives of the study were four, including: To examine pupils’ abilities to start a computer; to use a Microsoft Office Word program; to find information from the internet; and to shut down a computer. The study employed a quantitative research approach in which a case study research design was adopted. A total of 120 pupils from six primary schools in Morogoro Municipality were involved. The data were mainly collected through performance tasks in which the pupils demonstrated their abilities in using computers. The percentages of pupils who were able and those who were unable to perform tasks related to computer use were computed using computer software, Statistical Package for Social Sciences. The main findings were as follows: First, most of the pupils who were involved in this study did not have problems in starting a computer as more than 95% of the pupils were able to start a computer. Secondly, the majority of pupils had basic skills needed to use a Microsoft Office Word program. Third, more than half of pupils exhibited basic skills for finding information from the internet and a significant proportion of pupils did not have the skills. Lastly, more than 90% of pupils who were involved in this study were able to shut down a computer. These findings imply that the interactions among pupils, between pupils and teachers and between pupils and information and communication technology materials were effective. In light of these findings, it is recommended that the government should provide all primary schools with computers to enable all pupils in the country develop computer skills which are essential in improving their academic performance.
Keywords: primary school pupils; computers; information and communication technology; Tanzania