The Implementation of a Mobile Application for enhancing School Home Communication for day Secondary Schools in Nairobi
Mukuma, Augustine Kimau
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Parent involvement in their children‟s education helps ensure children's education success. The importance of parental involvement as an accelerating and motivating factor in their children's education is a worldwide accepted fact. Communication of information by school to parents about school activities and students‟ progress is an essential part of achieving parent involvement in their children‟s education. According to the U.S. Department of Education, parental participation involves “the participation of parents in regular, two-way communication involving students' academic learning and other school activities”. It is undisputable that ICT can be used to enrich and enhance communication between school and parents and thereby enable parents to be more involved in their children‟s education. With this premise, the researcher embarked on a research to analyze how high schools in Nairobi are using ICT for school home communication. The research revealed that high schools in Nairobi are not exploiting ICT to facilitate communication between school and parents. The major challenge for schools towards embracing ICT for school home communication was the lack of access to ICT tools such as the computer and the internet by a majority of parents, plus the lack of time needed by both teachers and parents to engage in frequent communication about children‟s education. High schools in Nairobi are therefore not utilizing an important resource which could help school and parents engage in effective communication that can increase parent involvement in their children‟s education and consequently achieve child success. Seeking to find a way of using ICT to enhance teacher-parent communication to the effect of increasing the involvement of parents in their children's education, the study suggests that the high proliferation of mobile phone ownership provides a suitable platform to develop m-communication applications that parents and teachers can use in engaging in frequent two-way communication about children‟s education. The mobility of mobile phones also enables parents and teachers not to worry about the need to find time to sit in front of a computer in order to communicate certain information: they can do it from anywhere. The researcher therefore came up with an implementation of a mobile application to make participation of parents in regular, two-way communication involving their children's education really attainable. A working prototype of this application was developed and tested.