Preparedness of Ghanaian Senior High School Instructors for Application of Online Learning in Social Studies Instruction amid the Covid-19 Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic brought about school shutdowns across the globe to prevent the spread of the virus. To avoid learning losses among students, online learning has been adopted by many countries including Ghana to continuously deliver instructions to learners. In Ghana, schools have been encouraged to reach out to students using virtual platforms but not without challenges. This research was therefore conducted in the Northern Region of Ghana to assess senior high schools teachers' preparedness for the integration of online learning in Social Studies teaching and learning. Three research questions were posed to guide the study. The data was collected using checklist which assessed schools digital readiness for virtual learning. Questionnaires, as the second instrument for data collection, were administered to 972 students and 84 Social Studies teachers from 12 secondary schools. The internal consistency of the questionnaires were established using Cronbach alpha formula which yielded r = 0.89 for teachers and r = 0.73 for the students. The study discovered that all schools had ICT laboratories and were connected to electric power for online learning. However, most classrooms were not connected to electricity to support virtual learning. Schools were not sufficiently equipped with ICT tools and lacked local ICT in education policy guidelines to guide E-learning. Teachers had content and pedagogical knowledge but lacked ICT technical skills do deliver online learning. Students’ rate of integration of digital technology in Social Studies learning was low and ineffective. The study recommends connecting classrooms with electricity and internet, supply schools with adequate ICT tools, train and guide schools to design their local ICT in education policies, and organize periodic in-service training for teachers to build their capacity on how to integrate online learning in Social Studies teaching and learning to improve students learning outcomes.
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