n South African Journal of Higher Education - Understanding the role of principals and the use of computers in secondary schools

Volume 27, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



This article reports on a study that investigated principals' views of the use of computers in 35 secondary schools in Cape Town, South Africa. School principals use computers to assist them in their administrative and managerial duties. The principals' promotion and support regarding the use of computers in their schools, depends on how useful the principals consider computers to be. The research question of this study discusses principals' views on the importance of computers, the Information Communication and Technology (ICT) policy, computer resources and issues related to the use of computers in schools. Qualitative analysis was used because it allowed the researcher to investigate trends or patterns in similarities. Content analysis was used to analyse the data. The researcher was searching for themes and trying to get a sense of the 'why' and 'how' of principals related to the use of computers in their schools. Data were collected from 35 questionnaires completed by school principals. The objective of the study was to investigate the role played by principals regarding the use of computers in their schools. The study found that principals strongly believe that computers must never replace the value of educators. The role model position of the educator in the classroom is critical, especially to those learners who come from poor backgrounds. Principals professed that the purchase, maintenance and support of computers are their biggest constraints.

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