Evaluation OF
COMPUTER SCIENCE
C U R R I C U L U M
IN
FIJI SECONDARY SCHOOLS
ESTHER WILLIAMS, MAKI KATO & NATASHA KHAN
ICT Capacity Building at USP Project
2004
i

USP Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data
Williams, Esther Wininamaori Batiri.
Evaluation of computer science curriculum in Fiji secondary schools / by Esther B.
Williams, Maki Kato, Natasha Khan. – Suva, Fiji : ICT Capacity Building at USP
Project, The University of the South Pacific, 2004.
101p. : ill. ; 30 cm.
ISBN 982-01-0567-6
1. Computer science—Study and teaching (Secondary)—Fiji—Evaluation 2. High
schools—Curricula—Fiji I. Kato, Maki II. Khan, Natasha III. The University of the
South Pacific. ICT Capacity Building at USP Project III. Title.
QA75.27.W55 2004
004..071099611
ii

CONTENTS
Meet the Authors
v
Acknowledgements
vi
Abbreviations
vii
INTRODUCTION
1
METHODOLOGY
2
The scope
2
The design
2
Sampling
3
Schedule
4
CHALLENGES
5
Data collection
5
ANALYSIS
6
SECTION 1: PARTICIPANT ANALYSIS: DESCRIPTION OF CS/IT
STUDENTS AND TEACHERS
6
Age and form of students
6
Gender of students and teachers
6
Ethnicity of students and teachers
7
Internet access for students and teachers
7
Reasons for taking CS/IT
8
Analysis of teachers’ responses
9
Age and teaching experience
9
Teacher qualifications and academic background
10
Teaching subjects and levels, and relevant training
12
Job status
13
Salary range
14
Future plans
15
Incentives for the job
16
Computer ownership and Web creation
16
Teachers’ areas of interest in CS/IT
17
Summary
19
SECTION 2: PROBLEM IDENTIFICATION
20
Students and teachers
20
Agencies
22
Evaluation of CS/IT curriculum by the agencies
24
Summary
25
SECTION 3: PROBLEM ANALYSIS
26
Curriculum
26
Views of students, teachers and agencies
26
Professional view of the curriculum
28
Researchers’ view of the curriculum
29
Evaluation of the examination
29
Comparing the Fijian and
Tongan CS curricula
30
Assessment in Fiji
31
Teachers’ status and professional development
32
Status of CS/IT teachers
32
Learning opportunities for teachers
32
Teacher training
34
Accessibility of CS/IT education
35
Equipment for schools that offer
CS/IT education
35
Summary
38
SECTION 4: BEST PRACTICE
39
Identification of best practice cases
39
Analysis
42
Summary
44
DISCUSSION
45
LESSONS LEARNT
48
RECOMMENDATIONS
49
CONCLUSION
55
REFERENCES
56
iii

ANNEX 1: Educational Structure in Fiji
57
ANNEX 2: Results of the Fiji Seventh Form Examination, 2001
58
ANNEX 3: Staff resignations at the ITC Section in Fiji, 2000-2001
59
ANNEX 4: Maps
60
ANNEX 5: Schools offering CS/IT Education, 2002
63
ANNEX 6: Research Sample of Agencies, Students and Teachers
65
ANNEX 7: Nadi Muslim College Smart School Plan
66
ANNEX 8: Symposium Recommendations to the MOE
67
ANNEX 9: CS111 and CS122 (USP) Course Outlines
70
ANNEX 10: Fiji/Japan Comparison
71
ANNEX 11: Questionnaires
72
ANNEX 12: CS Prescription
82
ANNEX 13: Symposium programme
92
ANNEX 14: Ministry of Education Definitions
94
iv

MEET THE AUTHORS
Esther Batiri Williams was born in Fiji. She received her BA and
MA degrees from Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand
and her Ph.D (Government) from the University of Queensland in
Brisbane, Australia. She has worked for the University of the South
Pacific for many years and has served in a number of positions
including University Librarian, A/Director of Planning and Devel-
opment, and Pro Vice-Chancellor. She has also worked in a num-
ber of regional outposts and has been attached for varying periods
in libraries and organizations in Australia, Japan, United States,
United Kingdom and Canada. In 2000, she spent one semester
teaching at the International Women’s University, University of
Hamburg, Germany. Her work in libraries and information deals
largely with ICT and she has recently been involved in research
projects that include access to ICT by women for distance and flex-
ible learning, ICT and challenges of information access in the Pa-
cific, ICT and small and micro enterprises, and ICT and the cur-
riculum. Esther is a keen sportsperson and has represented Fiji in
Esther Williams
squash in three South Pacific Games. She is a member of a number
of committees including the PAN Asia ICT Research and Develop-
ment Committee, ICT for Capacity Building at USP, Fiji Commerce
Commission, and Fiji Audio Visual Commission.
Maki Kato was born in Niigata, Japan. She received a BEd in Educa-
tional Psychology from Tohoku University in 1992. From 1992 to 1995
she worked for a Japanese software company as a computer system
developer. From 1995 to 1998 she worked for the Botswana Govern-
ment Computer Bureau as a Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteer.
During her time in Botswana, she enjoyed camping, going on safari,
and barbecues. At the same time, she became interested in the role of
ICT in education and development. After working in Botswana, she
studied International Education and in 2000 obtained an MEd from the
University of Massachusetts in the United States. Maki then joined
Japan International Cooperation Agency as an Associate Expert and
worked for the ICT Capacity Building at USP Project. Since May 2002,
she has been in Suva, working for the Project as a coordinator and ex-
pert in the component “ICT Research and Training for Socio-economic
Development”.
Natasha Khan was born in Suva, Fiji. In 1996, she completed
a BA in Sociology, Population Studies and Demography at the
University of the South Pacific (USP) and was awarded the
gold medal for Sociology. From 1997 to 1999, she was a So-
ciology and Population Studies tutor while assisting academ-
ics in these two departments in various social science re-
searches. She joined the United Nations Fund for Population
Activities (UNFPA) as a Project Officer in 2001 and joined
the ICT Capacity Building at USP Project as a Research As-
sistant in 2002.
Natasha Khan
v

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
We wish to thank the many people who willingly took the time to meet with us, complete the question-
naires and share their knowledge, insights and opinions. We also thank the teachers, students and people
in the IT industry who assisted the team.
Specifically, we would like to acknowledge:

the Fiji Ministry of Education, particularly Mr Josefa Natau and Mr Viliame Dranivesi for
providing us with baseline data and liaising with secondary schools so that we could conduct the
interviews;

all the secondary school students, teachers and participating agencies who were part of the
study for completing the questionnaires, and attending the focus group interviews and the sym-
posium;

the field officers who conducted interviews under trying conditions;

all USP colleagues, especially Mr Ron Keesing for the support he provided during the entire
research period;

the JICA Fiji office personnel for their support;

Professor Fujinobu Takahashi for his sterling support, including technical advice and uplifting
the staff morale, during the entire research period.

Frances Pene, of the Institute of Education, USP, for editorial work and type-setting.
vi

ABBREVIATIONS
AusAID
Australian Assistance for International Development
CDU
Curriculum Development Unit
CQU
Central Queensland University
CROP
Council of Regional Organizations in the Pacific
CS
Computer Science
FNTC
Fiji National Training Council
FIT
Fiji Institute of Technology
GoF
Government of Fiji
ICT
Information and Communications Technologies
ISP
Internet Service Provider
IS
Information Systems
IT
Information Technology
ITC
Information, Technology and Computing Services Section in the Fiji
Government
JICA
Japan International Cooperation Agency
LTC
Lautoka Teachers’ College
MOE
Ministry of Education
NCES
National Center for Education Statistics
TCS
Temporary Civil Service teachers
TPAF
Training and Productivity Authority of Fiji
TVET
Technical Vocational Education Training Section in the Ministry of
Education (this is the section in charge of CS/IT Education).
UN
United Nations
USP
The University of the South Pacific
Terminology:
In the 1996 Fiji Computer Science Curriculum Prescription, the term CS is commonly used. However, the TVET
Section is planning to use IT in the near future. Therefore, in this report we will use CS/IT where it refers to the
present curriculum and IT where it refers to the revised curriculum.
vii

INTRODUCTION
This report represents the findings of the research project “Evaluation of the Computer Science Curriculum
in Fiji Secondary Schools” by the Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) Capacity Building
at the University of the South Pacific (USP) Project under Japan International Cooperation Agency
(JICA) funding. This is the first piece of research conducted under the ICT Research component of the
Project.
The curriculum for computer science for secondary schools in Fiji was initially developed in 1993 and
implemented as a pilot program in ten schools in 1996. Following the success of the pilot program, 74
schools implemented the curriculum in 2002 and in 2003 this increased to 86 schools.
Since its inception in 1996, the curriculum has not been reviewed, for political and financial reasons.
Since 2000, when the Fiji Islands Education Commission Report/Panel1 was published, some stakeholders
expressed an interest in a review and were willing to contribute towards upgrading the standard of
computer education to reflect their needs. They were also willing to provide computers and set up pilot
programs. Due to time constraints and lack of resources, however, little was undertaken at that time.
The need to revise the present CS curriculum for Fiji schools arose out of a request from the Government
of Fiji (GoF) to the USP’s Vice Chancellor’s Office. Prior to this request, the GoF, under the Terms of
Reference of the Education Commission/Panel, requested the Commission/Panel to examine the ICT
area in Fiji, both its role in education and the needs in the job market. In its Report, the Education
Commission/Panel (2000) highlighted the desirability of offering courses in ICT in all schools in Fiji. It
noted the rapid developments taking place in new technologies and forecast a high need for ICT in the
future. It recognized that many operations, systems, and businesses in both government and private
sectors would be moving towards the use of new technologies, and that it was time Fiji introduced CS
and IT courses as compulsory subjects in schools.
In 2002, the research project was initiated. It had two main objectives:
1. to describe the current CS/IT education in secondary schools, and
2. to make recommendations to revise the CS/IT curriculum.
In this report, the term curriculum is used to encompass the prescription, its intention, implementation
2
and attainment. The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Report observes that curriculum
is not content alone, but should be systematic in its approach regarding what it intends to achieve, how
it will be implemented, and what was attained in the end. This report hopes that such a holistic approach
is also utilized by the Ministry of Education (MOE) when planning a revised curriculum, as this report
goes beyond prescription revision.
The team of three researchers from the USP conducted the research from December 2002 to July 2003.
The team was able to interview students, staff, stakeholders and individuals who had special interests.
This research attempts to review Fiji’s current CS/IT secondary school curriculum with a view to expanding
it and making it more relevant and responsive to market and personal needs. The results of the research
will be submitted to the Ministry of Education’s National Curriculum Committee for review and further
action, and will also be used to assist the University’s computing science program, including the Bachelor
of Education (Computing Science/IT) program.
1. The Report includes a chapter on the importance of IT in education and the need for an IT curriculum in
schools.
2. U.S. Department of Education. National Center for Education Statistics. (2000). Monitoring School Quality:
An Indicators Report,
NCES 2001-030 by Daniel P. Mayer, John E. Mullens and Mary T. Moore. John Ralph,
Project Officer. Washington, DC: 2000. Accessible online at http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2001/2001030.pdf
1

Evaluation of Computer Science Curriculum in Fiji Secondary Schools
METHODOLOGY
A combination of quantitative and qualitative research methods were utilized to obtain realistic data.
The primary method was collecting data from students and teachers from 82 schools and some agencies,
using questionnaires. Baseline data were also obtained from the Ministry of Education’s Statistics
Department, the Bureau of Statistics and the USP database. The secondary method was focus group
interviews of stakeholders, teachers and students, using semi-structured questions to obtain in-depth
information. Two schools identified as ‘best practice’ were visited for in-depth interviews. As a
participatory action method, a symposium and a peer review meeting were held to share the research
results with some of the stakeholders, such as the MOE, some tertiary institutes and some non-government
organizations, in order to allow these stakeholders to contribute to formulating recommendations to
improve the current CS/IT curriculum.
The scope
A significant part of the research is dedicated to evaluating the present CS/IT curriculum:
identifying what needs to be changed;

postulating the effectiveness of the curriculum in terms of students’ proficiency in using computer
applications and also limitations in both learning and teaching, particularly in schools without
access to proper facilities;

investigating what areas could be identified for training to upgrade teaching skills;

identifying ways the stakeholders could contribute towards strengthening the delivery of CS/IT
in schools; and

identifying IT skill requirements of recent school-leavers from the agencies and suggesting
revisions in the curriculum to match the needs of potential employers.
The design
The interview was the main research tool used and separate questionnaires were designed for each of the
interviewed groups, namely agencies, students taking CS/IT as a subject and CS/IT teachers.
The student questionnaire had a total of 30 questions and 60 variables to be tested. The teachers’
questionnaire had 47 questions and over 100 variables and the agency questionnaire had 17 questions
and more than 35 variables. Please see Annex 11 for the questionnaires.
In the design of the questionnaires and conduct of interviews, a number of activities were undertaken.
These are listed below in chronological order.
1. Obtained baseline information such as the names of schools offering CS/IT education from the
MOE’s TVET Section, which is the supporting section for CS teaching in Fiji secondary schools.
2. Reviewed similar research questionnaires used in surveys in the United States, Australia and
New Zealand. Questions were formulated. These were reviewed by the research team and field-
tested. The agency questionnaires were pilot-tested by a few agencies; the student and teachers
questionnaires were tested by the field officers. The three questionnaires were revised and
printed.
3. Conducted a small pilot in the Suva area. Faxed an announcement letter to all schools and
agencies with an outline of the research, requesting their cooperation. For the agencies, the
cover letter was addressed to the Director and copied to the IT or Human Resource Manager of
the corporate agency. Similarly. for the schools, the cover letter was addressed to the principal
and copied to the CS/IT teacher. Both letters explained the purpose of the survey and requested
cooperation in completing the questionnaires provided by the field officer.
2

Methodology
4. Visited 82 of the 86 schools teaching CS to interview students selected by the schools.
Questionnaires were couriered to the Levuka and Kadavu schools, and posted to two schools in
the Sigatoka area which could not be visited.
5. Interviewed stakeholders from selected government departments, commercial businesses and
non-government agencies.
6. Conducted six focus group interviews in Suva, Lautoka and Labasa. The focus groups comprised
CS/IT students, USP Foundation students and personnel from invited agencies.
7. Conducted a two-day symposium to share the research results, deliberate on related issues,
collect more data and information, and exchange the latest knowledge and skills of computer
education in secondary schools. The participants deliberated on the research findings and
proposed recommendations for possible revision of the CS/IT curriculum.
8. Visited two schools to conduct semi-structured interviews and observation of facilities. These
schools were identified as ‘best practice’ schools by the symposium and focus group participants.
9. Reviewed the CS prescription of curriculum of the US, Japan and Tonga.
10. Held a peer review to obtain a critical view of academics and stakeholders on the research
findings.
Sampling
Eighty-six schools offer CS/IT education. All these schools were sent questionnaires. Of theses, 82
were visited in order to interview teachers. Students of 26 schools were also interviewed. Twenty-seven
agencies and other stake holders were visited for interviews. Table 1 shows the number of forms that
were sent and returned. See Annex 6 for a listing of all agencies and teachers that returned completed
questionnaires.
Table 1: Questionnaires sent and returned
Sector Questionnaires sent
Responses received (as of 20/3/03)
% Returned
Agencies
40
27
68%
Students
312
217
70%
Teachers
86
44
51%
Total
438
288
66%

In the first stage of selection, all secondary schools teaching CS/IT in Fiji (2002) were identified.
These are listed in Annex 5. As this represented 55% of the total number of secondary schools
in Fiji, it was decided to interview at least one CS/IT teacher from each of these 86 schools.

Interviewing all students taking CS/IT would have made a very large sample, so schools were
divided into districts in the Central, Western and Northern divisions as listed in Annex 5, and
then almost 30% of each division’s schools were randomly selected. These included 14 of the

Forty selected agencies from the Suva area were identified for interview in consideration of
their large scale use of IT, their recent employment record of recent school-leavers with some IT
skills, and the keen interest they had shown during meetings with researchers in the past with
regard to CS/IT education in Fiji schools.

Two schools were identified as ‘best practice’ case studies for this research. Nadi Muslim
College was selected in recognition of their facilities and school data management system,
while Labasa Sangam College was selected in recognition of its proactive role in Labasa in
promoting CS/IT education. Initially, these two schools were invited to present a paper during
the symposium. Arising from the participants’ questions and discussion, it was found that the
roles of the principal and the management were critical, so visits were made to the schools to
collect more in-depth information regarding their facilities, and the roles of management and
principals.
3

Evaluation of Computer Science Curriculum in Fiji Secondary Schools

The participants of the symposium were selected in consideration of their keen interest in the
CS/IT learning and teaching courses at all levels. Participants were from secondary schools, the
MOE, tertiary institutions such as the USP, the Fiji Institute of Technology (FIT), Lautoka
Teachers’ College (LTC), the Training and Productivity Authority of Fiji (TPAF),3 APTECH,
Central Queensland University (CQU), Information Technology and Computing Services Section
in Fiji (ITC), and from donor agencies, such as the Japanese International Cooperation Agency
(JICA), the United Nations (UN) and Australian Assistance for International Development
(AusAID).
Schedule
The CS/IT research was initiated in late December and finalised in mid-july.
Date
Activity
23rd December–10th January, 2003
Collected baseline data from MOE and finalized
the literature review.
12th – 14th January
Finalised questionnaires.
14th – 17th January
Completed sample selection, recruited field
officers and conducted pilot interviews.
20th Jan – 14th February
Conducted interviews in VitiLevu and
VanuaLevu
15th Feb – 10th March
Completed the initial analysis and prepared the
initial report.
27th – 28th March
Symposium on Evaluation of the Computer
Science Curriculum in Fiji Secondary Schools.
1st – 14th April
Assembled the workshop proceedings and
analyzed information from the workshop.
15th April – 15th August
Consolidated the above into the final report and
held a peer review on the report.
31st August
Launched the final report and the Web page for
discussion.
3. Formerly the Fiji National Training Council
4

Challenges
CHALLENGES
There were a number of challenges faced by the research team in the conduct of this research. However,
steps were taken to minimize them as much as possible.
Data collection

It was very time-consuming to obtain baseline data from the Ministry of Education, such as a list
of schools teaching CS/IT and their contacts, name, gender/subject and salary breakdown of all
secondary schools teachers, urban/rural breakdown of secondary schools, etc.

In a few schools, the principals were not very cooperative about filling in the questionnaire.
Time constraints resulted in questionnaires being left with those teachers who did not have time
to complete the questionnaire during the visit.

In some schools, we were allowed to interview only a few students, fewer than our target of at
least 12 students from selected schools. To some extent this was compensated for, as teachers in
other schools requested that most of the students in their form be interviewed.

The focus group interviews in Suva had a lower turnout than expected but this was improved by
organizing other focus group interviews during the weekday.

Although agencies were the smallest number in the sample, much time was spent on following
up interviews with them. Most of the first attempts were unsuccessful.

Some data collection was interrupted due to the abrupt departure of a field officer.
Limitations of the research
In this research, interviewing students and teachers in the school environment through the questionnaire
produced different results from the focus group interviews. It is assumed that requesting students and
teachers for personal details like name, address and contact may have skewed their responses when
filling in the questionnaires in schools. Students and teachers completing the questionnaires were
uncomfortable with the possibility of their comments being made public, despite assurances from the
researchers. On the other hand, in the focus group discussions, students and teachers provided more in-
depth responses, despite our request for personal details. Similarly in the CS symposium, the participants
aired many grievances which were not usually reflected in the questionnaire results.
In the analysis, we have compared Fiji’s CS/IT prescription with those of the United States of America,
Japan, and Tonga. However, as apparent, Fiji is at the beginning stages of CS/IT education, while the
USA and Japan are at a more developed stage. Tonga is interesting in that its CS/IT prescription is very
comprehensive and its focus is on practice. Therefore, any conclusion that may be drawn from this
comparison has to be treated with caution.
Computer
Science teachers
in Labasa

5

Evaluation of Computer Science Curriculum in Fiji Secondary Schools
ANALYSIS
SECTION 1: PARTICIPANT ANALYSIS: DESCRIPTION OF CS/IT STUDENTS AND
TEACHERS

The students and teachers were the main participants of the baseline research; the team considered
students as those learning CS/IT and the teachers as those teaching CS/IT in secondary schools. Data
were collected on their ICT environment, both at school and at home. Information about the teachers’
academic background, experience, salary, status, and incentives for teaching was also collected.
We began with analysing the data from the students’ interviews and compared them with the data from
the teachers’ interviews wherever significant.
Age and form of students
Most students (93%) who took part in the research were from Forms 6 and 7 (see Table 2). Although the
students’ age was not asked for in the interview questionnaire, according to the MOE (2000:84), most of
these students are between 16 and 19 years old. (See Annex 1 for educational structure in Fiji).
Table 2: Students by present form
Form 5
15 (7%)
Form 6
89 (41%)
Form 7 (USP Foundation 6%)4
113 (52%)
Total
217 (100%)
Q1: In which form are you presently studying?
Gender of students and teachers
In an analysis of students taking CS/IT courses in schools, it was found that there were slightly more
female students than male students (Table 3a). However, at the tertiary level at USP, enrolment figures
show that the number of female students giving CS/IT as their first or second major is much lower than
the number of males (Table 3b). This variation is discussed under the section: Reason for taking CS/IT.
Table 3a: Teachers and students by gender
Table 3b: USP CS students by gender
Teachers
Students
2003
2002
Male
26 (59%)
100 (46%)
Male
470 (74%)
419 (72%)
Female
18 (41%)
117 (54%)
Female
165 (26%)
162 (28%)
Total
44 ( 100%)
217 (100%)
Total
635 (100%)
581 (100)
Source: USP Statistics, 2003
4. The USP Foundation students mentioned in Table 2 were students participating in the focus group discussion.
They were requested to fill in the questionnaire, based on their experience of learning CS/IT at Form 6 level in the
previous year (i.e., 2002).
6

Participant Analysis
Ethnicity of students and teachers
In the questionnaire, we asked the teachers to state their ethnicity but did not ask the students to do so.
However, it was possible to obtain the ethnicity of the students based on their names. A high number of
Indo-Fijians were recorded as taking the CS/IT classes (Table 4).
Annex 2 shows that over 60% of Form 7 students are Indo-Fijians and just over 30% are Fijians. This
is expected, as of the 3822 students enrolled in Form 7 in 2002, 66% were Indo-Fijians and 31% were
5
Fijians. This issue will be discussed later under Examinations.
Table 4: Students and teachers by ethnicity
Ethnicity
Teachers
Students
Indo-Fijians
35 (80%)
152 (70%)
Fijian
8 (18%)
52 (24%)
Chinese
0
6 (3%)
Others
1 (2%)
7 (3%)
Total 44 (100%)
217 (100%)
Internet access for students and teachers
Internet access varies in Fiji. According to the World Telecommunications Development Report published
by ITU in 2002,6 Fiji has 610.05 Internet users per 10,000 population, while Samoa has 221.73 and
Tonga has 292.34. Table 5 shows that 21% of the students and 16% of the teachers had Internet access.
The survey indicated that students had slightly greater access to the Internet at home than did teachers.
Teachers attributed their low access to high Internet charges. This is confirmed by responses such as:
“I have Internet at home but with minimal usage because the cost is too high.”
Nasinu Muslim Secondary School.
“Internet is accessible at work, and it is too expensive anyway. We have just moved
to a new place and it does not have phone lines.” Adi Cakobau School.

When we examined Internet access by ethnicity (Table 6), 60% of the students and 86% of the teachers
with access to the Internet were Indo-Fijian. The Chinese also had a relatively high figure of access,
considering that they were very few in number.
Table 5: Students and teachers with Internet
Table 6: Ethnicity of teachers and students with
connection at home
Internet connction at home
Teachers
Students
Ethnicity
Teachers
Students
Yes
7 (16%)
46 (21%)
Indo-Fijians
6 (86%)
28 (60%)
No
28 (64%)
171 (79%)
Fijian
1 (14%)
10 (22%)
Chinese
5 (11%)
Not stated
9 (20%)

Others
3 (7%)
Total
44 (100%)
217 (100%)
Total
7 (100%)
46 (100%)
Q 27 (T): Does your home computer have Internet connection?
Q 16 (S): Do you have access to the Internet at your home?

5. Accessible online at <http://www.fijichris.gov.fj/Dr/DB-MOE11.htm>
6. Accessible online at <http://www.itu.int/ITU-D/ict/statistics/at_glance/Internet02.pdf>
7

Evaluation of Computer Science Curriculum in Fiji Secondary Schools
Reasons for taking CS/IT
Students were asked why they were taking CS/IT courses in school. Three major reasons were given.
1.
CS/IT will be useful when seeking work.
2.
Preparation for a career in the ICT field.
3.
Interest and entertainment.
About 64% of the students stated that they learn CS/IT because it will be useful in their future job.
Another 22% indicated that they were thinking of a future career in ICT. In the focus group interview,
students indicated that they wanted to get white collar jobs and that a career in ICT paid well. Students
expressed the view that everything was heading towards new technology now and they wanted to be part
of this development. Some students stated that they wanted to learn more about the Internet and the use
of emails and online resources.
In analyzing the data further, in terms of gender (Table 7a), it was found that 48% of the female students
and 36% of the male students regarded CS/IT as a useful subject when it came to looking for a job, while
25% of the male students and 20% of the female students saw CS/IT as a career option. Table 7a, which
reflects the low enrolment of females in the CS/IT major at USP, indicates that female students tend to
see CS/IT as an administrative or office tool, while the male students tend to be interested in CS/IT as a
career. USP enrolment statistics (Table 7b) show a similar tendency (CS: female 25% and male 75%
and IT: female 45% and male 55%). It is possible that females prefer to study IS (Information Systems)
as this is more application-based than CS.
Table 7a: Reasons for studying CS by students
Reasons
Male
Female
Useful when looking for a job
36 (36%)
56 (48%)
Plan to have a career in IT
25 (25%)
23 (20%)
Interested to learn computing
18 (18%)
19 (16%)
Keep up-to-date with modern technology
7 (7%)
7 (6%)
Not stated
14 (14%)
12 (10%)
Total
100 (100%)
117 (100%)
Q4: Please clearly state the reasons for selecting CS.
Table 7b: CS and IS students at USP by gender (2003)
CS
IS
Male
470 (74%)
664 (55%)
Female
165 (26%)
547 (45%)
Total
635 (100%)
1211 (100%)
Source: USP Statistics, 2003.
8

Participant Analysis
Analysis of teachers’ responses
There are factors that impact on student achievements; only some of which are easily defined and
measured. According to Hanushek, Kain and Rivkin (1999), the most important factor for student
achievement is teacher quality. Teacher quality can be contextual and individualistic. In order to describe
CS/IT teachers in Fiji, we used quantifiable indicators. Research suggests that students learn more
when teachers have more than a few years of experience, have high academic skills, teach in the field
they are trained in and participate in professional development programs (NCES, 2000). Among indicators
measuring teacher’s quality, we used the following:
1.
age and teaching experience;
2.
teacher qualifications and academic background;
3.
teaching subjects and levels, and relevant training;
4.
job status;
5.
salary range;
6.
future plans;
7.
incentives for the job; and
8.
environment and interest in ICT.
Age and teaching experience
Teachers were asked questions about their age, salary and years of teaching experience at secondary
school. The general picture arising out of this research was that CS/IT teachers are young and have little
experience: 58% of teachers are under 25years of age, 76% are under 31 years of age and 85% had 5
years or less teaching experience (Table 8).
Table 8: Teachers’ age by experience
Years of teaching Experience
Age
0-2
3-5
6-8
10
29
TOTAL
~25
18
8
26
~30
5
1
1
7
~35
3
2
1
6
~40
1
1
2
~45
1


1
Not stated
2
2
Total
29
9
4
1
1
44
Q22: As at the end of 2002, how many years had you been teaching?
We can suggest a number of reasons for this, confirmed in focus group interviews. First, CS/IT is a
relatively new subject which commenced in 1996 in Fiji. Second, a high 82% are Grant-in-Aid teachers.
Third, teaching is not considered a lucrative job for new CS/IT graduates and they enter into teaching
because they have no other offers. In focus group interviews, we were informed that many teachers took
up teaching as ‘stop gap’ work. Fourth, most CS/IT graduates who do not have relevant teaching
experience are Grant-in-Aid teachers and may not have long term job security .
“Because I was unable to secure any other forms of employment and had no other option as I needed to
stay in this area (Labasa) and there were no other jobs apart from teaching”. Labasa College

9

Evaluation of Computer Science Curriculum in Fiji Secondary Schools
Graph 1: Teachers’ age by years of teaching experience
Q22: At the end of 2002, how many years had you been teaching?
Teacher qualifications and academic background
Of the total number of teachers who responded, 50% have a degree and 32% have a diploma as shown in
Table 9a. According to the MOE data in Table 9b, 54% of all secondary school teachers are graduates
and 38% have a diploma. The teachers were not asked whether they held a teaching certificate, but it
was clear from the responses received on the question on qualifications and from the focus group interviews
that the majority of CS/IT teachers did not have a teaching qualification. A diploma in CS was the
minimum requirement for teaching CS in secondary schools, especially at higher levels, not a diploma in
teaching. However, when it is difficult to hire qualified personnel, some special arrangement is made
whereby teachers without CS qualifications are asked to teach CS courses.
Table 9a: Qualifications of CS teachers by job status
Civil Service teachers
Grant in Aid teachers
Total
Qualification
Masters
3
3 (7%)
Degree
6
16
22 (50%)
Diploma
2
12
14 (32%)
Certificate
5
5 (11%)
Total
8 (18%)
36 (82%)
44 (100%)
(T)Q4: What are your qualifications, and the major in each?.
10

Participant Analysis
Table 9b: (Ministry of Education) Secondary school teachers classified by qualifications (2002)
Qualification
Race
Sex
Grand Total
Fijian
Indian Other
M
F
Graduates
(54%)

Trained
595
1200
129
917
1007
1924
Untrained
81
215
12
159
149
308
Diploma
(38%)

Trained
718
654
50
720
702
1422
Untrained
62
100
4
92
74
166
Completed
Form
7

Trained
107
39
5
104
47
151
Untrained
38
28
7
43
30
73
Completed Form 6/ Higher




Trained
20
5
2
12
15
27
Untrained
16
5
0
12
9
21
Completed
Form
5

Trained
21
5
4
13
17
30
Untrained
7
2
1
6
4
10
Completed Form 4 & Lower




Trained
1
3
2
4
2
6
Untrained
4
0
0
4
0
4
TOTAL
1670 2256 216 2086
2056
4142
Table 10 gives the data on where teachers obtained their qualifications: 77% studied in Fiji, 55% of
them being graduates of the USP (Table 11). The second largest group is the FIT graduates. Three
teachers have Masters Degrees from overseas universities (India, USA, and Pakistan). Masters graduates
in IT are few, as reflected in Table 5.1 of USP Statistics of 2001. In 2001, only 16 students were enrolled
for the Postgraduate Diploma in Computing Science program at the USP7. This could, however, be
under-represented as MSc in CS is usually described as Masters in Science, so the exact title (e.g. MSc
in CS, MSc Info Sys) is not clear.
Table 10: Qualification by country of CS teachers
Country
Masters
Degree
Diploma
Certificate
Total
Fiji
18
12
4
34 (77%)
India
1
1
2 (5%)
PNG
1
1 (2%)
Egypt
1
1 (2%)
USA
1
1
1
1
4 (10%)
UK
1
1 (2%)
Pakistan
1
1 (2%)
Total
3 (7%)
22 (50%)
14 (32%)
5 (11%)
44 (100%)
(T)Q 5: Please state the country and institute where you studied for any qualifications relating to CS/IT.
7. Accessible online at <http://www.fijichris.gov.fj/Dr/DB-USP11.htm>
11

Evaluation of Computer Science Curriculum in Fiji Secondary Schools
Table 11 shows where the teachers obtained their training. A high pertentage of them trained at the
USP.
Table 11 and Graph 2: CS teachers and where they obtained their training
Cybernetic Col ege
FIT
of Management & IT
24%
USP
19
3%
FIT
8
Pacific Adventist
Cybernetic College
1
College
3%
Pacific Adventist College
1
NZPTC
1
NZPTC
3%
FNTC
1
USP
FNTC
Others
3
55%
3%
Total
34
Others
9%
Teaching subjects and levels, and relevant training
In Fiji, teachers are required to teach two or more subjects. Table 12 shows the subjects taught by the
teachers in the study. Nineteen (43%) are teaching mathematics and 42 are teaching CS/IT as their main
subject. Of all the teachers interviewed, 93% are teaching CS/IT at Form 6 level, as well as teaching CS
and other subjects at other levels as identified in Table 13a.
Table 12: Main teaching subjects by percentage of teachers
Subjects
Percentage of teachers
Computer Science
42 (95%)
Mathematics
19 (43%)
Accounting
7 (16%)
Economics
3 (7%)
Physical Education
1 (2%)
Physics
2 (4%)
Religious Studies
2 (4%)
Vernacular
2 (4%)
Q14: What are your main teaching subjects? (The total exceeds 44, as respondents gave multiple responses.)
Table 13a: Grade and subject taught by CS teachers
Grade
Computer Science
Mathematics
Accounting
Others
Form 1
2 (4%)
1 (2%)
Form 2
2 (4%)
1 (2%)
Form 3
7 (16%)
4 (9%)
2 (4%)
1(2%)
Form 4
8 (18%)
5 (11%)
2 (4%)
1 (2%)
Form 5
33 (75%)
14 (32%)
5 (11%)
10 (23%)
Form 6
41 (93%)
18 (41%)
6 (13%)
10 (23%)
Form 7
24 (55%)
8 (18%)
1 (2%)
3 (7%)
Total no. teaching
42 (95%)
19 (43%)
7 (16%)
12 ((27%)
a particular subject
Q14: What are your main teaching subjects? The % is calculated with 44 as the total number interviewed.
12

Participant Analysis
Regarding teaching the subject that they studied at a tertiary institution, 18% of the teachers did not
have the relevant background in higher education (Table 13b). However, 81% of all the 44 teachers
have CS/IT background.
Table 13b: CS teachers by their majors in tertiary institutions
CS
12 (27%)
CS/IS/IT subject
5 (11%)
CS and another non-IT subject
19 (44%)
Other subject
8 (18%)
Total
44 (100%)
Q4: What are your qualifications? Please specify the major in each. (Check all that apply)
Job status
Of the 44 teachers, 82% are Grant-in-Aid teachers, while 18% are Civil Service teachers (Table 14).
Annex 14 provides the Ministry of Education’s definition of Civil Service and Grant-in-Aid teachers.
There is a strikingly high number of Grant-in-Aid CS/IT teachers. This subject will be discussed in
more detail in Section 3.
Table 14: Status by years of teaching experience of CS teachers
Status
0-2
3-5
6-8
10
29
Total
Civil service teachers
6
1
1


8
Grant in Aid
23
8
3
1
1
36
Graph 3: Status by tears of teaching experience of CS teachers
29
10
6-8
3-5
Grant in Aid
0-2
Status
Regular f ullt ime t eacher
0
5
10
15
20
25
13

Evaluation of Computer Science Curriculum in Fiji Secondary Schools
Salary range
Teachers are paid according to Public Service Commission salary scales. In recruiting teachers,
qualification, experience and subject areas are taken into consideration. Data from our interview responses
show that teachers’ salaries range from F$5,000.00 to F$17,000.00. One observable tendency is that a
higher qualification attracts a higher salary (Table 15). The present CS/IT teachers’ salary is not
competitive when compared to salaries in the private sector, especially in the IT area8 . In the focus
group interview, most of the teachers agreed that, compared to their colleagues in the private sector, they
were paid a “very measly” salary. Considering the pros and cons of working as a teacher, some teachers
stated during the symposium that they were looking for a better job with a higher salary and better
conditions.
Table 15: Salary scale by qualification
Salary Scale
Total
Master Degree Diploma Certificate
Civil Service
Grant in Aid
(F$)
teachers
teachers
5000-6000
1 (2%)
1
0
1
6001-8000
1 (2%)
1
0
1
8001-10000
6 (14%)
1
4
1
1
5
10001-12000
9 (20%)
2
6
1
1
8
12001-14000
4 (9%)
2
2
0
4
14001-15000
10 (23%)
9
1
2
8
15001-16000
7 (16%) 2
4
1
1
6
16001-17000
5 (12%) 1
4
2
3
Not Stated
1 (2%)
1
1
0
Total
44
3 22 14
5
8 36
(T) Q6: What is your present annual salary?
Graph 4: CS teachers’ post by salary
8
Regular Fulltime
7
Grant in Aid
6
5
4
3
2
1
0
5000-
6001-
8001- 10001- 12001- 14001- 15001- 16001-
6000
8000
10000
12000
14000
15000
16000
17000
Salary Scale ($)
8. Interviews with the IT personnel from a few large scale private companies located in Fiji revealed that the
minimum starting salary for new IT recruits is $15,000 – $19,000 for technicians and anything from $19,000 –
$23,000 for programmers.
14

Participant Analysis
Future plans
In response to the question: Do you plan to continue teaching CS in the near future? thirty four (77%)
of the 44 teachers indicated that they would continue teaching while ten (23%) responded that they
would not continue or were not sure (Table 16a). Table 16b shows that 82% of the 34 CS teachers who
plan to continue teaching have some CS/IT background.
During the focus group interview, only four out of 13 teachers stated they would continue teaching; they
love teaching, find it easy to work with students, enjoy their work and have the opportunity to work part-
time. Others, however, said that it depended on a number of factors, such as whether or not their
contract is renewed by the MOE and the possibility of being offered a better job, in which case they
would resign because teaching is a ‘stop-gap’ job. Teaching CS/IT in school is preferable to being
unemployed. They would like the MOE to play a more pro-active role in providing them with relevant
ICT training and to upgrade their post to Civil Service teachers status.
In examining those leaving CS/IT teaching, three times more Indo-Fijian than Fijian teachers resign and
since 80% of teachers of CS/IT courses are Indo-Fijians, as shown in Table 17, it is likely that resignation
causes a high turnover. This high turnover is also reflected in the general IT sector in Fiji. Annex 3
shows that out of the 12 staff who resigned in 2001 from the Information Technology and Computing
Services (ITC) Section in the Ministry of Finance, 11 of them had IT skills.
Table 16a: Plans to continue teaching by status
Table 16b: CS teachers’ major by plans to
continue teaching

Total
Civil service
Grant-in-aid
Yes
No
Not sure
Yes
34
6
28
CS/IT
13 (30%) 3 (7%) 3 (7%)
No
4
1
3
CS/another subject
15 (34%) 1 (2%) 3 (7%)
Not sure 6
1
5
Non-IT subject
5 (11%)
Total
44
8
36
Not stated
1 (2%)
Total
34 (77%) 4 (9%) 6 (14%)
(T) Q18: Do you plan to continue teaching CS in
(T) Q18 and Q4
the near future?
Table 17: Summary of resignations, retirements and deaths - 2001
Secondary School Teachers
Fijians
Indians
Others
Total
Resignations
30
108
138
Retirements
2
2
Deaths
4
1
1
6
Total
36
109
1
146
Total No. of secondary
1587
2107
200
3894
school teachers
Source: Ministry of Education Annual Report 2001:16
15

Evaluation of Computer Science Curriculum in Fiji Secondary Schools
Incentives for the job
Identifying the incentives to retain CS/IT teachers in their jobs is crucial. In answer to the questionnaire
request: Clearly state what incentives schools, the MOE, tertiary institutes, businesses and other
stakeholders should provide for teachers in the CS field,
77% of the teachers indicated that a good
incentive for continuing in a job is training; 34% said that schools should be provided with better hardware
or infrastructure; 14% said job security, and 7% said a salary increase (Table 18). The teacher participants
in the symposium stated that a secure post as Civil Service teachers and an increase in salary would be
good incentives.
Two types of training are involved: training for a teaching certificate and training in the latest technology.
Teacher training will give teachers a certificate that will lead to better paid positions compared to those
without. Also, considering the changing trends in the ICT industry, the teachers’ request for training is
reasonable. There are many new developments and opportunities. Open source movement is one of
these and training in the use of Linux is seen as benefiting many people, as it will allow trainees to
develop software source code voluntarily and share the work. Teachers could become developers and
obtain honour for their work. Gaining technological knowledge and skills is a strong incentive to keep
teachers in their position. However, according to the MOE, no such training has been provided for the
past three years. Concern was raised on how these teachers could refresh their knowledge and skills.
Table 18: Teachers’ suggestions for incentives to continue teaching
Suggestions
No.
Percentage
Training
34
77%
Provide updated facilities
9
20%
To have enough PCs for student
6
14%
To be given Civil Service teachers post
6
14%
ED courses not to be compulsory
4
9%
Extra classes from internet
3
7%
Better pay
3
7%
Not stated
1
2%
(T) Q20: Please clearly state what incentives the schools, the Ministry of Education, tertiary institutes,
businesses and other stakeholders should provide for teachers in the CS field. (The total exceeds 100% as this
was a multiple response.)

Computer ownership and Web creation
According to the ITU 2003 report, Fiji had 610.05 Internet users per 10,000 population and 4.88 PCs
per 100 inhabitants in 2002 9 . Our data showed that 50% of the teachers have a PC at home and 16%
of all the teachers interviewed have Internet access. One teacher (2%) has a personal Web page.
*9. Accessible online at <http://www.itu.int/ITU-D/ict/statistics/at_glance/Internet02.pdf>
16

Participant Analysis
Table 19: Teachers’ access to PC, the Internet and own Web page
PC at home
Access to Internet
Own Web page
Yes
22 (50%)
7 (16%)
1 (2%)
No
22 (50%)
28 (64%)
35 (80%)
Not stated
9 (20%)
8 (18%)
Total
44
44 (100%)
44
(T) Q25: Do you have a computer at home? Q27: Does your home computer have Internet connection?
Q 28: Do you have your own Web page?

Teachers’ areas of interest in CS/ICT
Many teachers (64%) indicated an interest in learning Web design and 48% showed an interest in learning
networking skills (Table 20). Almost 60% indicated that their interest in the fields they ticked on the
questionnaire was to acquire more knowledge, while 40% stated that the field could have business
potential (Table 21). Both Web page and networking skills could be utilized in teaching and for business
opportunities. The least favourite among the provided fields is Online Learning (16%) and Desktop
Publishing (21%). Both could be used to make their teaching effective but teachers did not show a strong
interest. In the focus group interview, however, teachers stated that if they were to obtain further education,
it would be in Accounting and similar fields in order to acquire qualifications that are more marketable
in the private sector, as they would have a higher salary and more secure jobs.
Table 20 and Graph 5: CS/IT teachers’ interest in learning an IT subject by preference
Web Design
28 (64%)
Networking
21 (48%)
Computer Graphics
18 (41%)
IP Technology
17 (39%)
Operating System
14 (32%)
Database Management
11(25%)
Desktop Publishing
9(21%)
Online Learning
7(16%)
(T) Q9: Is there any specific topic in CS that you would like to learn? (Tick all that apply)
(Total exceeds 100% as this was a multiple response.)

70%
0.636
60%
P
e

0.477
50%
r
0.409
c
0.386
40%
e
0.318
n
0.25
30%
t
0.2045
a
0.159
20%
g
e
10%
0%
Web Design
Net wor king
Comput er
IP Technology
Oper at ing
Dat abase
Deskt op
Online
Gr aphics
Syst em
Management
Publishing
Lear ning
Subject of Interest
17

Evaluation of Computer Science Curriculum in Fiji Secondary Schools
Table 21 and Graph 6: Reasons for interest in a particular field
Reasons
Percentage
Gain more knowledge
26 (59%)
Has business potential
17 (39%)
Interested in this topic
7 (16%)
Install network for the schoo
l2 (5%)
Design webpage efficiently
2 (5%)
IT field has a lot of scope
1 (2%)
Interact with different cultures
1 (2%)
(T) Q10: Please explain why you are particularly interested in this area of CS.
(Total exceeds 100% as this was a multiple response.)

30
25
20
15
10
5
0
Gain more
Has business
Interested in Instal network
Design
IT field has a lot Interact with
knowledge
potential
this topic
for the school
webpage
of scope
different
efficiently
cultures
Reasons
18

Problem Identification
Summary
Typically, CS/IT teachers in Fiji are Indo-Fijians, in their middle 20s with less than 2 years teaching
experience, working as Grant-in-Aid teachers, having studied in Fiji and majoring in CS/IT. Barring
any incentives to encourage them to continue teaching, they would take up more lucrative job offers in
the private sector if these become available.
Typically, students taking CS/IT as a subject in Fiji secondary schools are between 16 and 19 years old,
in Forms 6 and 7, are Indo-Fijian, more likely to be female than male, and interested in CS/IT mainly for
career purposes. Students tend to have better IT skills than their teachers and also have greater access to
the Internet than most teachers.
All Saints Secondary
School computer lab

Labasa Sangam Form
Seven students

19

Evaluation of Computer Science Curriculum in Fiji Secondary Schools
SECTION 2: PROBLEM IDENTIFICATION
Students and teachers
Students and teachers raised a number of issues and concerns. Some of the major problems identified
were:

the theoretical curriculu

the lack of teaching skills of CS teachers;

the lack of access to computers;

the extended time taken to have school PCs repaired;

the use of old PCs;

the slow rate of Internet access;

the high cost of Internet access.
There were also problems relating to the status of CS/IT teachers and the impact on the student,
limited training opportunities and limited networking among teachers. These will be addressed in
Section 3.
On the problem of the curriculum being too theoretical, 60% of the students stated that CS classes were
too theoretical while 50% of teachers stated that students’ attitude was a problem in learning (see Table
22). That the CS/IT courses were too theoretical could be explained by several factors: the design of the
curriculum emphasizes rote learning; the lack of knowledge of teaching CS/IT amongst the teachers;
and the lack of teaching resources, such as texts and digital equipment. As one student commented:
“The curriculum is boring most of the time. Some of us are learning how to use the Internet from our
siblings at home and those things are more interesting than learning [computer] history at school. The
curriculum should be made more interesting.” (Labasa Muslim College)

The issue of curriculum will be addressed in depth later.
Thirty three percent of all the students and 43% of teachers identified a lack of trained teachers as a
problem. In the focus group interview, students noted that the knowledge, skills and poor attitude of
some teachers were serious issues. Some students in the focus group interviews stated that the teachers
were not thorough enough and attended classes unprepared; other teachers dictated copious notes and
tended to rely heavily on textbooks. A number of teachers’ computing knowledge was too basic. One
teacher admitted that some students were more knowledgeable than teachers in using basic applications
such as Microsoft Word and Excel. On the other hand, teachers identified equipment as a major concern.
Many teachers (80%) identified the long time it takes to have PCs repaired as a barrier to teaching and
learning and 73% of students and 84% of teachers identified the lack of PCs as another concern. We will
discuss this in depth later (p. 35).
For a CS/IT curriculum to be successful in schools there must be adequate technical support. There must
be equipment, educational materials and access to the latest technologies and networking facilities. In
this research, the problem of lack of computers (84%), the long time it takes to repair a computer (80%),
and the general lack of access to computers were identified as major problems, particularly in rural
schools and those schools far from maintenance services centres.
The limited Internet access because of cost and availability was seen as a major problem by teachers.
Over 75% of the teachers noted that an Internet connection was too expensive for students.
20

Problem Identification
Table 22 and Graph 7: Barriers to teaching and learning CS in schools
Barriers
Students
Teachers
Lack of PCs
158 (73%)
37 (84%)
Classes too theoretical
130 (60%)
27 (61%)
Students’ attitude
109 (50%)
19 (44%)
Old Software applications
106 (49%)
30 (68%)
PCs often out of order
100 (46%)
29 (67%)
Maintenance of PCs takes long
98 (45%)
35 (80%)
Large classes (40+ students)
91 (42%)
22 (50%)
Old PCs
80 (37%)
25 (57%)
Students have no access to PCs during CS classes
79 (36%)
22 (50%)
Little guidance to students by teachers
76 (35%)
17 (38%)
Lack of trained teachers
72 (33%)
19 (43%)
Lack of electricity/ frequent power cuts
65 (30%)
13 (30%)
Little cooperation from parents and senior staff
54 (25%)
15 (34%)
Little priority given to teaching CS
50 (23%)
9 (20%)
Inadequate facilities to house PCs
41 (19%)
14 (32%)
Internet connection to too expensive for students to use
33 (75%)
217
44
(S) Q21: Indicate whether any of the following are barriers to learning CS in your school.
(T) Q35: Indicate whether any of the following are barriers to teaching CS at your school.

90
80
70
60
age
50
students
ent
c
teachers
40
per
30
20
10
0
s
al
e
r
s
s
s
s
e
ar
ng
C
er
ty
iv
f PC
tudes
lo
ricity
ation
r PC
ns
o
retic
d P
oftw
(40+) ol
idance
ach
er
priori
fo
ck
eo
of orde too
ses
s to PC gu
te
la
th
d s
es
d
elect
expe
ol
o
coop
low
om
too
clas
acc
little
/n
ro
le
t too
ses
students' atti
rge
no
f traine
little
given
uate
as
s often out
la
o
liab
erne
cl
repair takes
PC
ck
re
CS
eq
Int
PC
la
un
ad
in
barriers
21

Evaluation of Computer Science Curriculum in Fiji Secondary Schools
Agencies
ICT skills of school leavers required by agencies
Agencies were asked about the skills they expected recent school leavers to have. Table 23 shows that
46% expected some level of ICT skill, while 15% indicated that they required no prior skill.
Table 23 and Graph 8: Level of general computer skills required of school-levers by agencies, on average
Level of Skills
Average %
Sufficient
Skills
Sufficient Skills
10 (36%)
Not stated
36%
Minimum Skills
3 (10%)
39%
No Skills
4 (15%)
Not stated
10 (39%)
Minimum
No Skills
(A) Q6: Please rate what level of skills your
Skills
15%
agency requires from school-leavers in the use
10%
of these applications.
Table 24 shows that agencies require students to have sufficient skills in computers in general (63%),
word processing (48%), and e-mail (41%), while fewer skills are required for Webpage development
and Desktop publishing, although all 27 agencies interviewed have Web pages. In discussions with a
number of agencies, it was clear that the level of expertise needed varied from one agency to another. A
number of companies indicated that advanced skills were not necessary and it depended on the type of
work that is required to be undertaken. If it was for inputting data as in the banks, then basic computer
knowledge was all that was needed. Some agencies have their own internal training programs which
their new recruits undertake to familiarise themselves with company operations.
Table 24: Level of specific computer skills required of school-leavers by agencies
Type of Skill
Sufficient Skills
Minimum Skills
No Skills
Not Stated
Computers in general
17 (63%)
1 (4%)
1 (4%)
8 (30%)
Word
13 (48%)
2 (7%)
2 (7%)
10 (37%)
Spreadsheets
12 (44%)
3 (11%)
2 (7%)
10 (37%)
Email
11 (41%)
3 (11%)
3 (11%)
10 (37%)
Databases
9 (33%)
3 (11%)
4 (15%)
11 (41%)
Presentation
8 (30%)
4 (15%)
4 (15%)
11 (41%)
Graphics
7 (26%)
4 (15%)
4( 15%)
12 (44%)
Desktop Publishing
7 (26%)
2 (7%)
6 (22%)
12 (44%)
Internet activity
7 (26%)
4 (15%)
5 (19%)
11 (41%)
Webpage development
7 (26%)
1 (4%)
9 (33%)
10 (37%)
Average 10 (36%)
3 (10%)
4 (15%)
10 (39%)
(A) Q6: Please rate what level of skills your agency requires from school-leavers in the use of these
applications.

22

Problem Identification
Graph 9: Level of specific computer skills required of school-levers by agencies
0.7
Suf f icient Skills
Minimum Skills
No Skills
0.6
0.5
0.4
0.3
0.2
0.1
0
Co mp ut ers in
W o rd
Sp read sheet s
Dat ab ases
Grap hics
Present at io n
Deskt o p
Int ernet
W eb p ag e
Email
g eneral
Pub lishing
act ivit y
d evelo p ment
Applications/Activity
Chief guests at the CS Symposium
23

Evaluation of Computer Science Curriculum in Fiji Secondary Schools
Evaluation of CS/IT curriculum by the agencies
Responding to the question: Do you think that the present CS curriculum in secondary schools provides
good basic training in computer application usage?
22% of the agencies evaluated the current CS/IT
curriculum positively and 37% negatively. The agencies that evaluated it positively include 2 banks, 2
telecommunication companies and an electronic company. Agencies evaluating the current curriculum
negatively include the Council of Regional Organizations in the Pacific (CROP), 3 finance companies,
1 radio station, and 4 others. Of those that viewed the curriculum negatively, 26% indicated that it is
outdated. One focus group participant puts it lucidly:
“The prescription should be changed yearly as this is IT we are dealing with and things change
very fast in this sector. My daughter is taking CS in high school and they still teach about
magnetic tapes and stuff. I wonder who uses these things nowadays?” Telecom representative

Graph 10: Percentage of agencies by whether they think the present CS curriculum provides good basic
training .

Yes
22%
Not sure
Yes
41%
No
Not sure
No
37%
Table 25: Agencies’ reasons for saying the present curriculum does not provide good basic training
Reasons for view on the present curriculum No. (%)
Curriculum not improved to keep up with advances in technology
7 (26%)
Not enough computers in schools
2 (7%)
Too theoretical
2 (7%)
Schools need more qualified teachers
1 (4%)
Total
12
Two agencies that responded to Q9 that they were not sure if the present curriculum provided good basic
training gave their reasons. This was required for only those who responded ‘No’ to Q9. Therefore, the total
exceeds the 10 who stated ‘No’ for Q9.

24

Problem Identification
Summary
This research identified many problems in the current CS/IT education. Teachers and students
identified the following: the theoretical nature of the CS/IT curriculum, problems relating to the lack
of equipment and appropriate PC laboratories and Internet access, high costs of equipment and
Internet charges and slow maintenance services. The insecure status of CS/IT teachers, limited
opportunity for further education for them and little networking among stakeholders were also
highlighted as problems and will be discussed in more detail in Section 3.
From this research we were unable to obtain a good understanding of the agencies’ and industries’
expectations in terms of skills requirements for a specific job and problems they may have when recruiting
people with CS/IT skills. Agencies tend to require of school-leavers that they have basic CS/IT skills,
such as familiarity with word processing, spreadsheets and E-mail. However, a more in-depth study
might reveal more valuable insights.
In relation to the identification of problems, a number of issues were raised that needed attention. These
key concerns were: 1. the urgent need for a CS Curriculum review; 2. a review of the present examination
and assessment style; 3. upskilling of teachers’ so that they can teach CS/IT more effectively; 4. increasing
accessibility to equipment and the Internet for teachers and students; 5. improving maintenance services;
6. introducing more up-to-date software in the curriculum. All these will be discussed in greater detail in
the following section.
Teachers and students identified problems relating to the current CS/IT education more critically than
the agencies. As the teachers and students are the most crucial groups to be affected by any changes in
the CS curriculum, their views should be taken into consideration when plans for revising the curriculum
are made.
Left: students in a CS class
Below: a well-equipped CS lab

25

Evaluation of Computer Science Curriculum in Fiji Secondary Schools
SECTION 3: PROBLEM ANALYSIS
Curriculum
We embarked on an evaluation of the present curriculum from two perspectives: the perspective of the
stakeholders (agencies, students and teachers) in the questionnaire and focus group interviews and,
secondly, the perspective of the academics involved in education and the ICT area at tertiary institutes.
The team wanted to ascertain the major areas for curriculum revision.
Views of students, teachers and agencies
a very high 98% (Table 26) of the teachers and 45% of the students stated that the CS/IT curriculum
should be revised. As the teachers and students are the major players in the teaching and the learning
fields, their views are critical.
Table 26 and Graph 11: View of the present CS curriculum by teachers and students
Students
Teachers
70%
60%
Students
Needs drastic revision
9 (4%)
13 (30%)
Teachers
50%
Needs some revision
91 (42%)
30 (68%)
40%
Very effective
111 (51%)
1 (2%)
30%
Not stated
6 (3%)
20%
Total
217
44
10%
0%
Needs dr ast ic
Needs some
Very ef f ect ive
Not st at ed
revision
r evision
Students
Fifty-one per cent of the students stated that CS/IT class is effective. However, in the focus group
interview, students were more critical of the curriculum. Most of the students stated that their school
taught CS/IT classes from Form 3 but not as an examinable subject, and most of these classes taught
theory only. Comparing themselves with students from Suva International Secondary, a private and
well-equipped school, they considered themselves as disadvantaged as they only get to learn CS/IT in
higher forms. They suggested that CS/IT education should be taught as an examinable subject in all
schools from Forms 1 to 3, and from Form 4 upwards the curriculum should be more challenging than it
is now.
“... the present curriculum should be taught to the lower forms like Forms 1 to 3 and from Form
4 upwards the curriculum should be more challenging and tougher than now.” USP Foundation
student

The curriculum was also too theoretical. Students found the CS/IT classes boring as there was too much
note taking and very little hands-on practice;
“Need to be taught more programs and Pascal, Basic Programming, how to use the Internet,
emails and how to search the net.” Labasa Sangam
“Boring — too much note taking and the Internet is slow.” Yat Sen

Students stated strongly that they found the history portion of the CS/IT curriculum extremely boring;
some students stated that in their schools, history of the computer was taught for over two weeks with a
great many notes, reading and self learning.
“Yeah, I agree that we need more practical exams. At the moment we have questions like write
the commands to open a file, etc. In real life we don’t need to know the written commands; we
just click on icons so the tests are useless in testing our knowledge. Also take out [computer]
history from the present lessons, it’s too boring, take out things such as magnetic tapes lessons,

26

Problem Analysis
and teach us about new additions like MPs etc.” Labasa Muslim College
“Also [computer] history should be taught for only a few hours maybe. Now it’s too long and
boring. We only do it to pass exams.” Ratu Sukuna Memorial School

The interviews with teachers indicated that although they would like to change the contents, they could
not, as teachers had little choice in making changes to the curriculum. Two problems were highlighted,
inflexibility and the contents. A few students stated that the CS/IT curriculum was treated as a Bible and
that usually the teachers did not want to divert from its outline. The students added that many teachers
lacked creativity and a vision to improve the curriculum.
“We told teachers that it is boring, but they said they have to follow the curriculum”.
Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna Memorial School

Teachers
Almost all teachers (98%) were using the current curriculum, even through they stated that a drastic
revision is needed. In the focus group interviews, teachers explained that it was essential that they
followed the curriculum, as the external examinations are based on this curriculum and they could be
evaluated based on the pass rate for their classes.
It was realized during the interview that some teachers understood the students’ complaints clearly.
However, these teachers said that trying to make suggestions for change was hopeless because they had
to follow the curriculum. They did realise that at times some junior students who have PCs at home were
more computer literate than some senior students taking CS/IT in school. In response to students’
complaints that the subject was boring, the teachers responded that the curriculum should concentrate
on the practical use of a PC to allow students to become familiar with PCs and make the classes more
interesting. The teachers stated that the environment was also a key factor in learning. According to the
Form 7 prescription, students have to visit private companies or agencies to see a database for complet-
ing their project. One teacher in the focus group mentioned that this was not practical as 90% of the
students were not allowed access to private business systems and therefore were not able to complete
that section of their project. In the evaluation of the MOE, 30% of total assessment is based on practice;
10% each for word processing and spread sheet; 5% for programming and 5% for other tasks, such as
projects.
In essence, the teachers did recognize the need for a review but had to operate and teach within the
existing curriculum because of the demands placed on them by the examination system and their own
personal assessment as teachers.
Agencies
A participant from an agency in the focus group interview suggested that a drastic change of the curricu-
lum was needed. He suggested that there be separate instructional text books and, as computers are used
mostly for practical purposes, teachers should have prior knowledge of computers both in theoretical
and practical terms before teaching students. He also reiterated that the prescription should be changed
each year, since we are dealing with matters that are changing very fast, a permanent trend in ICT. He
emphasised that the MOE should have forward-thinking people in the IT section who would liaise
closely with the private sector to obtain user knowledge, and base the CS/IT prescription on this.
Nineteen of the agencies interviewed indicated that they employed recent school-leavers. Nine indicated
that they were willing to be part of the CS/IT curriculum evaluation committee. Also, ten agencies
stated that they were willing to train teachers as part of industrial attachment. These agencies view this
as their possible contribution to society and were seeking added value for their business opportunities.
It was apparent that the agencies were concerned about the quality of education that Fiji children were
eceiving, and were willing to collaborate with the MOE to review and develop CS/IT curriculum.
27

Evaluation of Computer Science Curriculum in Fiji Secondary Schools
Professional view of the curriculum
In Semester 2, 2001, Mr Keesing, USP Lecturer in Computing Science, conducted a small survey of the
relationship between achievement in CS/IT in Form 7 and the first year USP course entitled CS122
Information Systems II (results sent by email on 19 June, 2003). Approximately 50% of the students
enrolled in this course completed the survey. Almost half (117 out of 240) students stated that they had
studied CS/IT in secondary school. Their final course marks at USP for CS122 were not significantly
different from the marks of those who had not studied CS/IT at school. The mean for students answering
“Yes” to studying CS/IT in secondary school was 57.26% and the mean for students answering “No”
was 56.56% (Or even close to it, p<0.4). It was concluded that there was no difference in performance
between students who had studied CS/IT in Form 7 before coming to USP to join degree studies and
those who had not. However, there was a significant difference in performance for students who had
completed the USP course CS 111 entitled Introduction to Computing Science when compared with
those who had not, clearly indicating that the ”right” programming experience makes a big difference.
The means are 66.17% vs. 51.15% (p < .001) . CS 111 is the introductory course for CS/IT studies at
USP and has no strong relation with CS 122 ( see Annex 9 for the course outlines of CS 111 and CS 122).
10
In his presentation entitled “Towards a New Curriculum” in the Symposium, Mr. Keesing highlighted
the problems of new students at USP, particularly those who join USP straight from secondary school.
These problems were observed by USP Maths and CS staff. Mr. Keesing surveyed the faculty staff via
email for their views on the preparedness of incoming students for CS/IT courses. There was a consensus
that:

programming experience has little effect,

students struggle in programming courses due to lack of background in:
algorithmic thinking
problem-solving vs. memorisation
specific background knowledge (Base 2, Boolean logic).
Mr Keesing also compared Fiji’s current CS/IT Form 7 curriculum to the following curricula:

1993 ACM Model High School Curriculum,

2002 ACM Model Curriculum for K-12,

Ontario (Canada) CS & IS (Grade 11 & 12),

2003 Advanced Placement Curriculum (US),

NZQA Sixth Form Certificate – Computer Studies,

NSW Board of Studies Computing Applications course.
In conclusion, he stated that while other curricula emphasize the importance of computing skills and
concepts, the current Fiji Form 7 CS/IT curriculum has the following peculiar characteristics:

it is more theoretical, less practical;

it covers many unusual topics that are not covered by other curricula such as Systems A &
D, Database management;

programming is one unit out of total 8 units; (programming is optional, if offered at all, in
most similar curricula);

material on history of computers is atypical;

there is no coverage of Internet/WWW/email; and

the program is relatively inflexible.
10. The text of Towards a New Curriculum can be obtained online at <www.usp.ac.fj/jica/CS>
28

Problem Analysis
Researchers’ view of the curriculum
The team undertook an analysis of the CS/IT curriculum in Fiji and Japan (See Annex 10 for overview
of the curriculum types). However, this comparison is general as there are huge environmental, economic
and cultural differences between these two countries and they have different visions of what kind of
country they are seeking to become. This information is purely for reflective purposes at this stage and
may not be used in any other context.
The differences between the Japanese and Fiji curricula sre given below.

Year of establishment: Fiji in 1996 and Japan in 1999.

Assumption: Students will have had limited opportunities with computers in Fiji while Japan
envisions its society with ICTs.

Objective: Fiji uses the term “Computers” while Japan uses “ICT”. ICT11 has broader definition
and application compared to the term computer. The terminology difference gives the impact to
the whole design of the curriculum.

General impression: Fiji’s curriculum seems out of date as it still uses old hardware such as
magnetic tapes and five inch floppy diskettes, while the Japanese curriculum includes current
trends such as ICT security using new technologies, allows students more flexibility and fits
into the students’ proposed future plans. In addition, in Japan, the focus is more on basic concepts
and is more logical and algorithm oriented with a clear focus on practice, while Fiji’s curriculum
is focused on rote learning and little practical application. There is no history section in the
Japanese curriculum.
Since 1996, the ICT situation and environment in Fiji has changed greatly. More students now have
computer access as well as Internet access at home. The society in general is showing more interest in
CS/IT and the community seems to be getting more involved in the education of their children. Another
area of concern for the Fiji curriculum is the lack of up to date teaching materials and resources for both
teachers and students. Fiji’s education system is exam oriented and teachers and schools are measured
by results. Therefore, the teachers stick closely to the MOE CS/IT curriculum with little flexibility and
creativity.
Evaluation of the examination
In Fiji, the Seventh Form Examination is a national examination that is sat by all students completing
their seventh form studies; a pass in this examination is a requirement for entrance into university studies.
In contrast, the equivalent Japanese examination is used as a first test for higher education entrance. In
addition, in Japan, each university requires its applicants to sit a different second test. This is because
the first test, which is sat nationally, contains only multiple choice questions to test a student’s basic
knowledge and skills.
In the Fiji Seventh Form CS/IT examination there are attempts to cover all layers of topics, such as
system design, application and programming. It gives the impression that all students should have the
same level of basic knowledge for future use, even though students are diverse in their career preferences
regarding ICT. A review of past examination papers reveals that the examination questions test recall;
90% of the exam questions could be answered by memorization of text, whereas only 20% of the Japanese
exam is of a similar nature. In consideration of the limited access to PCs and other equipment and the
large class size in Fiji, the extensive teaching of theory can be understood. A more practical content
would need better access to essential resources, such as computers and network, which is a problem in
Fiji.
11. ICT includes learning about the “technologies of telecommunicatoons, computing and microelectronics and
their convegence which has created a range ofnew possibilities for information collection, storage, manipulation,
transmission and presentation” (Byron and Galgiardi 1998).
29

Evaluation of Computer Science Curriculum in Fiji Secondary Schools
When we examine the results of the Form Seven CS/IT Examination in 2001, we find two points of
interest: one, that students do quite well in CS examinations (total pass rate is 74%) compared to English
(65%) and Maths (65%); and two, that there is a difference in performance by Fijian and Indo-Fijian
students (Annex 2). Of the 120 Fijian students who sat CS, 48% passed, compared to 81% of the total
457 Indo-Fijians.
Comparing the Fijian and Tongan CS Curricula
The plan for examining the Tongan CS curriculum was to make some comparisons with another country
in the South Pacific region that offers CS/IT. However, we did not have the opportunity to have interviews
with students, teachers and other stakeholders, so our review of the curriculum is not in-depth. It touches
largely on the processes and mechanisms of CS/IT curriculum development in Tonga, and is based on
interviews with a number of teachers and stakeholders. The curriculum can be found on the website
<http://www.tongatapu.net.to/compstud/context/default.htm>.
In interviews, it was noted that Tonga had introduced CS/IT with a number of objectives. These include
a focus on the process of continual development and change to the curriculum to reflect new developments
in ICT globally; a focus on raising academic standards in this area together with the acquisition of
practical skills, flexibility in content and teaching methodology; and more task and practical oriented
assessment of the students. It was clear from the interviews that Tonga aimed to produce more technicians
than programmers or electronic engineers. This is further confirmed when examining the prescription
for CS/IT curriculum.
An examination of the curriculum indicated that the prescription covered some areas in CS that were
outdated, namely old hardware and old operations. An emphasis was placed on word-processing,
spreadsheets, databases, networking and desktop operations. There was limited emphasis on more logical
thinking and an algorithmic approach. In discussing the matter with a number of teachers and officers
we found that they recognize the need to change the curriculum to introduce more logical thinking, and
to change the focus to include more programming. However, the lack of trained CS/IT teachers and new
computers in the schools has meant that the curriculum is designed to give students an understanding of
general computer knowledge and develop their competencies in the use of computers. In addition, the
lack of an ICT infrastructure and industry has also impacted on the focus of the curriculum.
Those interviewed were committed teachers and keen to see some changes to the curriculum. The
flexible processes and mechanisms in place will allow Tonga to push on with its plan to introduce CS/IT
into all schools and at all levels. The government recognizes the importance of CS/IT and plans to divert
more resources to this area but the number of CS/IT teachers now leaving to join the private sector has
created a further problem for the country. Tonga faces a major challenge in this area.
Table 27: How CS/IT students say they are assessed and how teachers say they evaluate their students
Assessment Methods
Students’ response
Teachers’ response
Short tests regularly
180 (83%)
38 (86%)
Projects & assignments
200 (92%)
31 (71%)
Presentation
89 (41%)
7 (16%)
Individual exercises
85 (39%)

Others
11 (5%)
12 (27%)
Total
217
44
(S) Q 22: How does your teacher assess you for CS? Check all that apply.
(T) Q 42: How do you evaluate your students?

30

Problem Analysis
Assessment in Fiji
Teachers indicated that they are using various methods of assessment: short tests, projects, examinations
and assignments. In the focus group meeting, students were critical of the way they were being assessed
as the assessment method did not test their understanding and use of the technology. They said that they
were disappointed that they were not tested on the practical use of the computer itself, especially as this
was a CS/IT course. A request for practical assessment was the strong request from students. They also
criticized the “Project topics” stating that plagiarism was rampant; they copied projects from their older
siblings or friends as the topics are always the same. Students requested fewer essays, more group work
and more programming lessons.
Graph 12: How CS/IT students say they are assessed and how teachers say they evaluate their students
100%
Students' response
80%
Teachers' response
60%
40%
20%
0%
Regular short
Projects,
Presentations
Exercises
Others
tests
assignments
(S) Q 22: How does your teacher assess you for CS? Check all that apply.
(T) Q 42: How do you evaluate your students?

Awarding certificates at the CS Symposium
31

Evaluation of Computer Science Curriculum in Fiji Secondary Schools
Teachers’ status and professional development
Status of CS/IT teachers
As shown in Table 14, 82% of teachers are Grant-in-Aid teachers with salary ranges of $5,000-$6,000
and $16,001–$17,000, as indicated in Table 15. One of the major concerns amongst the CS/IT teachers
is job insecurity. The teachers under the Grant-in-Aid scheme who participated in the focus group
interviews reiterated their anxiety of being at the mercy of the education officers and the school
management. Most of the Grant-in-Aid teachers complained about the late payment of salary every
year, particularly at the beginning of the year when they have to wait for 3-4 months to get an approval
letter from the IT Section of the Ministry of Education. Teachers felt that they were not given adequate
remuneration and treated their temporary appointment as a ‘stop gap’ job as they were insecure as a
Grant-in-Aid teachers. All CS/IT teachers in the focus group interviews agreed that the MOE should
send the appointment letters to the Grant-in-Aid teachers much earlier to prevent the feeling of insecurity
amongst them. Concerns were also raised that new USP graduates with Education and IT qualifications
would replace them as they were not certified teachers, even though they have more teaching experience.
The Grant-in-Aid teachers said they have less favorable conditions than the Civil Service teachers.
Some teachers stated that, as Grant-in-Aid employees, they were not paid as much as Civil Service
teachers and this, combined with the insecurity in their status, makes them apply for other jobs.
According to one school principal, there is a high turnover of CS/IT teachers and full-time positions are
given to teachers based on their experience and performance. Additionally, retention of CS/IT teachers
is difficult because of better salaries offered by the IT industry. However, our data (Table 14) did not
show a strong relationship between the number of years’ experience and status. One teacher pointed out
that the reason for the unstable status was the lack of teaching experience in CS/IT for in-service teachers.
Fifty five per cent of the CS/IT teachers who graduated from USP did not have a CS/IT Teaching
Certificate. Only in 2003 did USP commence offering studies in Teacher Certificate with Computing
Science majors.
Computing Science/Computer Studies is now a teaching subject major in the BEd (Secondary)
in-service programme, and the new concurrent 4-year BA/BSc GCED programme for secondary
teachers. Students do the Computer Studies courses in the Maths & Computing Science

12
Department, and the teaching methodology in the Department of Education & Psychology .
Learning opportunities for teachers
Limited learning opportunities were identified as a constraint amongst CS/IT teachers. About 43%
(Table 30) of teachers stated that they had attended some workshops/seminars, 32% stated they were
part of some committee or study group and 27% said they were taking a university course. However, in
the focus group interviews, the majority of the teachers stated they had few training opportunities.
No training is provided. MOE staff are always awarded overseas training but we [CS/IT teachers]
are never given any training by the MOE. The MOE should give teachers like us at least a few
days’ training.

At the same time, some teachers indicated that they were too busy with their workload and family
commitments to pursue further studies. In the focus group interview, some teachers stated that if they
were to obtain further education on their own, they would enroll for Accounting and other such courses
to become more marketable in the private sector. Those presently enrolled for further studies were
enrolled, not in CS/IT but in other fields of study. The teachers were concerned that if they spent time
and resources on further studies in the CS/IT field but still did not obtain a secure post and increased
12. Confirmed by the Department of Education and Psychology at USP (2003).
32

Problem Analysis
salary, then their attempts would have been in vain. If teachers were given sponsorship opportunities,
these teachers would be keen to study further in the CS/IT related fields. Teachers also mentioned that
their school principal did not usually encourage them to attend workshops/training, and any such
attendance was commonly granted as annual leave.
About 85% (Table 28a) of the teachers stated that they would prefer a flexible (including on-line course)
mode of learning while working and 20% preferred intensive courses of a few weeks or months.
Table 28a: Teachers’ participation in developmental activity in the past year
Developmental Activity
Yes
No
Not stated
Workshops/Seminars
19 (43%)
23 (52%)
2 (5%)
Committees
14 (32%)
28 (64%)
2 (5%)
Study Groups
14 (32%)
28 (64%)
2 (5%)
Course by Tertiary Institutions
12 (27%)
31 (71%)
1 (2%)
Teachers’ Clubs
9 (21%)
33 (75%)
2 (5%)
Conferences
4 (9%)
38 (86%)
2 (5%)
Internships
4 (9%)
38 (86%)
2 (5%)
Teacher Resource Centre
4 (9%)
39 (89%)
1 (2%)
Others
3 (7%)
39 (89%)
2 (5%)
Q8: In the past year did you participate in any of the following types of professional development activities
related to technology? (Multiple responses).

Table 28b and Graph 13: Preferred mode of learning
Flexible learning while working
28 (64%)
A few months’ attachment
11 (25%)
Online courses
9 (21%)
A few weeks’ intensive course
9 (20%)
A course lasting more than a year.
3 (7%)
Not stated
1 (2%)
70
60
50
40
t
a
ge

30
r
c
e
n

pe
20
10
0
Flexible
A f ew
Online
A f ew
A course
Not stated
learning
months'
courses
w eeks'
lasting
w hile
attachment
intensive
more than
w orking
course
a year
Q11: In what mode of teaching would you prefer to learn the above? (Referring to the 10 CS topic options
listed in Q9, multiple responses).

33

Evaluation of Computer Science Curriculum in Fiji Secondary Schools
Teacher training
A low 39% of the teachers stated that they had been trained to teach CS/IT but only 14 of these 17
teachers (Table 29a) named the institution where they had trained. In the focus group interview, two
teachers said that they had already enrolled for a Teacher Certificate course and hoped to become Civil
Service teachers upon completion of this course. However, they found it required a lot of essay writing
and other assignments which they found boring. There was limited practical application in the training.
Of the teachers who did not have any formal teaching qualifications, 98% stated they used the MOE
prescription and other reference books to teach CS/IT, and that they had on-the-job training. In the focus
group interview, teachers stated that they learnt mostly by themselves and through books. It was assumed
that they had gained experience to teach but without any basic discipline of teaching. Some teachers
were aware that USP would offer the courses for teaching qualification, and were concerned that new
USP graduates with teaching qualifications would be recruited as Civil Service teachers ahead of them,
and they could be terminated even though they had more teaching experience.
Table 29a: Where were you trained to
Table 29b: If you have not been trained to teach CS,
teach CS?
how do you manage to teach?
USP
5 (29%)
Use reference books, MOE’s prescription
19 (70%)
FIT
5 (29%)
Get assistance from other teachers
9 (33%)
STTC
1 (6%)
Through experience over the years
5 (19%)
NRC
1 (6%)
Not stated
4 (15%)
FSAE
1 (6%)
Total
27
NZPTC
1 (6%
Not stated
3 (18%)
(Multiple responses)
Total 17 (100%)
Above: Participants at the CS Symposiom
Left: Mr Tomobo and Mr Turaganivalu at the CS
Symosium
34

Problem Analysis
Accessibility of CS/IT education
In 2002, 86 of the 156 secondary schools in Fiji offered CS/IT education (Annex 5). Table 30 shows that
75% of all the secondary schools in Fiji are connected to Fiji Electricity Authority power and Annex 5
shows that 35 (41%) of these 86 schools have Internet access. Twenty (57%) of all 35 schools with
Internet access are in the Central Division within the larger Suva-Nausori vicinity. This access is illustrated
geographically in Annex 4, which shows that almost half of the Vitilevu schools teaching CS/IT have
Internet access, particularly schools in the Suva-Nasinu-Nausori corridor. Overall, schools teaching CS/
IT are concentrated in town areas like Suva, Nasinu, Nausori, Lautoka, Ba and Labasa. Many schools
outside the town areas and in small islands do not benefit from Internet access as they do not have
telephone connections.
In the focus group interview, it was found that some schools in Suva provide free Internet access for their
students, and encourage students to obtain online resources for projects and assignments. However, in
many other schools with Internet access, access is strictly controlled and usually available only to teachers.
Students have to pay a fee for the use of the Internet and a printer and other such equipment. On the other
hand, all the students from the western and northern schools who participated in the focus group interviews
indicated that they did not have Internet access at all in their homes. They did not have Internet access
in their schools either, not even paid access. There was consensus amongst all respondents ¯ students,
teachers and stakeholders ¯ that the high charges hinder access to the Internet and those schools that
did have access noted their frustration at the slow speed of access.
“The Internet charges in Fiji are currently too much. Not everyone can afford to pay up to 11
cents per minute now. Probably that’s why most of the schools do not provide the students with
free Internet services.” Mahatma Gandhi Memorial School

Table 30: Secondary schools with access to electricity
Source of electricity
No. of Schools
Percentage
Fiji Electricity Authority (FEA)
117
75%
Generator
37
24%
Solar
2
1%
Total
156
100%
Source: Ministry of Education Statistics
Equipment for schools that offer CS/IT education
Many schools (81%) have 10-25 computers (Table 31a) while one school has 95. Table 31b shows that
76% of all the schools in the survey have between 10 and 25 computers for their students and 12% of the
schools had 35 and more computers for students. The Implementing Guidelines of the MOE Computer
Studies Prescription, section 4.0 Ratio of Students per Machine (see Annex 12) states: “The maximum
number of students per machine in a computer class is two (2). This ratio is necessary to insure that
students have sufficient time to interact with the computer.”
67% of the schools interviewed indicated
that the two students per PC guideline was followed, 17% of the schools interviewed had one PC per
student, and 12% had more than two students per PC. Table 26 shows that the greatest barrier to learning
and teaching CS/IT is “lack of PCs” but 67% of the schools achieved the 2 students per PC ratio.
However, one CS/IT teacher explained that this high access is due to distributing students and sharing
computers for practical classes in such a way as to give most students access to PCs.
35

Evaluation of Computer Science Curriculum in Fiji Secondary Schools
Some computers are relatively old but still capable of being used to teach basic computing skills. 75% of
the schools have at least 5 computers for teachers’ use, and 50% of the teachers stated that they use a
computer to type assignments, 9% use it to play games, while only 18.5% use it to prepare for CS/
lessons.
Table 31a: Total number of computers in schools
No. of PCs
No. of Schools
% of Schools
5




2
5%
10
7
17%
15
11
26%
20
3
7%
25
13
31%
30
1
2%
35
1
2%
40
2
5%
45
1
2%
50
1
2%
55
1
2%
95
1
2%
Total
42
100%
(T) Q30: How many usable computers does your school own? (Include portable computers and laptops.)
Note: The total is 42 as in two schools more than one CS teacher filled in the questionnaire.

Table 31b: Total number of PCs available for students
No. of PCs for Students No. of Schools
% of Schools allowing students
to access PCs
0
1
2%
3
1
2%
5
4
10%
8
1
2%
10
13
31%
15
5
12%
20
10
24%
25
4
10%
35
1
2%
40
1
2%
45
2
5%
75
1
2%
Total
42 100%
36

Problem Analysis
Table 32: Main purpose of computer use by teachers
Main purpose of PC use
Typing assignments
22 (50%)
Preparing computer lessons
8 (19%)
Learning more
8 (18%)
Internet access
5 (11%)
Playing games
4 (9%)
Making work easier and faster
1 (2%)
Programming
1 (2%)
(T) Q29: What is your main purpose of computer use?
(Multiple responses, so the total exceeds 100%.)
Right: Ratu Kadavulevu School computer lab
Left: Limites facilities in a lab, a common
sight in many schools

Right: PCs out of order, another common sight
37

Evaluation of Computer Science Curriculum in Fiji Secondary Schools
Summary
Students, teachers and stakeholders, including USP lecturers and other professionals in the IT industry,
reiterated the urgent need for a change in the curriculum. Generally, it was recommended that the new
curriculum should:
• be oriented more toward logical thinking and algorithms;
• be more up to date with terminology;
• be more balanced with practice and theory;
• be more flexible so that it prepares students for various options in the job market or further study;
• have an effective assessment procedure.
Students found the present CS/IT curriculum boring. Teachers agreed with the students, but they were
bound by the strong link between curriculum and external examination and so continue teaching the
MOE prescription. Furthermore, a USP academic in his comparative analysis of CS curricula, concluded
that, while a CS curriculum should emphasize the importance of computing skills and concepts, the Fiji
curriculum was not practical enough, used outdated programming language and had no coverage of the
Internet. Students were assessed internally and externally. The internal assessment style of the CS/IT
curriculum left room for plagiarism, while the external assessment focused more on rote learning and
did not assess students’ knowledge of the use of technology.
In the focus group interviews, many students judged their teachers as very helpful. Others, however,
judged them as being too bookish and needing practical training. Teachers wanted to obtain further
training opportunities, particularly in Education and CS/IT courses, in order to secure their post and
learn the latest technology. Two thirds of the teachers interviewed had learnt to teach CS on their own
and 85% of all the teachers wanted to learn online, if opportunities were available.
Accessibility to IT education for the less affluent schools, Internet access and equipment were also
major concerns. Although the MOE standard of two students per PC was achieved in most of the schools,
many of the computers were old or were not functional. While the Internet was available in 41% of the
CS/IT teaching schools, in the focus group interviews, it was found that many schools strictly control
Internet use by students, and in most cases only teachers were allowed access.
Participants of the
CS Symposium

38

Best Practice
SECTION 4: BEST PRACTICE
In this research we utilized the ‘best practice’ method to learn, highlight and share opportunities of
leverage to improve upon what has been done before. While each combination of teachers, students and
classrooms is different, it is important to take into account relevant work done by others that is considered
best practice. A best practice case would usually offer the following:
1.
compelling stories from schools or educators;
2.
fresh insights into problems;
3.
new ideas to try that may work in your setting;
4.
tips for success in applying existing ideas;
5.
pitfalls to avoid;
6.
examples of success in action that can be communicated;
7.
explanations for why things worked (or did not); and
8.
resources, funding and partnership opportunities.
Identification of best practice cases
Two schools were identified as best practice cases after the research team learned about them from
teachers and students during the various focus group interviews and other informal discussions before
and after the questionnaire interviews. Nadi Muslim College was singled out for its impressive facilities
and system while Labasa Sangam College was singled out in respect of its proactive role in promoting
CS/IT education in the local community (Labasa). The CS/IT teachers from these two schools were
invited to speak at the symposium to enlighten the participants on their activities relating to CS/IT
learning and teaching. Discussions focused on the role of the principal and management of these schools.
To collect more in-depth information, the researchers visited the schools and held informal discussions
with the management and principals.
Interview Results
Overview

Items
Nadi Muslim College
Labasa Sangam College
Location
Within Nadi town area
Within Labasa town area
Number of
Approximately: 1200 students
Approximately: 1100 students
students
Gender ratio: female 60; male 40;
Gender ratio: female 65: male 35;
Ethnicity ratio: Indo-Fijian 70: Fijian 30
Ethnicity ratio: Indo-Fijian 60:
Fijian 40
Number of
Five (four in early 20s)
Four (three in early 20s)
teachers in
Only Head of Department, with 6 years
Only Head of Department, with 12
CS/IT
experience, is a Civil Service teacher.
years experience, is a temporary
Others are Grant-in-Aid.
Civil Service teacher.
Others are Grant-in-Aid.
Proactive
A school reform project was undertaken to
n/a
developments
increase the roll and pass rate of students.
worthy of
This resulted in an increase to 1200
mention
students in 2003, from 400 in 1997, a
threefold increase. During the same period, the Fiji School
Leaving Certificate pass rate increased to 95% from 41% in 1997.
Implemented a digital school management system that was developed by the school.
Have a “Smart School” vision and plan (attached as Annex 7).
39

Evaluation of Computer Science Curriculum in Fiji Secondary Schools
Items
Nadi Muslim College
Labasa Sangam College
CS/ICT
PC: around 100.
PC: around 50.
facilities
Furniture, machines, and cabling
Equipped by school management. Have
donated by donor originally from Fiji
not networked the equipment yet but are
and running a computer company
planning to do so. Students cannot use
overseas. Students have Internet access.
the Internet because of former misuse by
a teacher.
Initiative
Instigated by school led by principal:
Management initiated the fundraising to
“The donor only assisted us because we
obtain facilities.
had already started.” “No donor would
“I give credit to the Manager”.
want to help you if you don’t help
yourself.” “In some schools, there are
computers on very neat tables covered
with a piece of cloth and nobody is
allowed to use it.”

Proactive
Offering Short CS/IT course for
A CS/IT teacher started a Computer Club
developments
community:
for all CS/IT teachers in Labasa to:
worthy of
A course for the business sector;
share knowledge and information,
mention
A 3-week basic computer course for
such as examination papers;
teachers in a neighbouring school.
submit a letter to the MOE to change
“The attendance was very good and all
the curriculum, etc.
the teachers learned the basics of
computers and we charged them
nothing.”

Role of
Liaises amongst school management,
Encourages CS/IT education and counsels
principal
staff and students.
students about not misusing facilities.
Key factors of
Dedicated principal, teachers,
Dedicated principal and school
success
management and donors, and also
management.
partnership.
Time
Initiated more intensive teaching
Notes are photo-copied for students so
management
so eliminated note-taking and
they spend less time writing during class.
encouraged more interaction between
This encourages more discussion in class.
students and teachers.
Community
Initially the school was pressured by
Community is very supportive.
involvement
parents for evening class, and now they
“The parents are highly impressed with
are involved in most other activities.
computer education”.
“People know that Nadi Muslim
College has got the system and is giving
our children the best.”

Vision
Expand target from Form 7 and increase
Expand target before Form 5.
classes for adult education.
Education for
Offering evening classes to give basic
The plan to teach lower forms is still in a
lower grades,
computer skills and knowledge.
visionary stage.
such as Forms 3 “By the time they come to Form 5 they
“I hope in years to come to give
and 4
are in a position to use a computer to do computer education to every student”.
assignments and online research even if
they don’t want to take computer studies
in higher forms.”

40

Best Practice
Items
Nadi Muslim College
Labasa Sangam College
Issues and
Maintenance and cost to repair the
Demand with limited resources.
concerns
machines. “To maintain the system the
“More students want to take computer
cost can be a problem” but “teachers
classes but we have to keep the number
are learning how to repair PCs.”
down.” “We need more equipment but
don’t have it because of some financial
difficulties.”

Refreshing
Teachers are trained by donor to be
Question of very few training courses and
training for
computer literate.
workshops for CS/IT teachers.
teachers
“Very few. None. I don’t think I have ever
sent my staff for any training whereas in
the other areas there are lots of workshops
and other things.” “If there are any
computer workshops I will be very happy
to send our teachers.”

Principals’ views
Items
Nadi Muslim College
Labasa Sangam College
Learning of
Self-learner with interest. “We, some of
“Frankly speaking, I do not have much
CS/IT
the older guys in the school, were told
computer knowledge but I am very eager to
that we would come last in this area.
learn”.
And that’s exactly what happened but
the younger teachers were faster.”
However, “If you have an interest, you
will learn”.

Reason for
Because it is a marketable skill.
In order to adjust to the computerized society
encouraging
“Every industry is turning to computers” and to get better job opportunities. “After
CS/IT
“If you know computer science it is very
becoming computer literate they are able to
education
easy to moving towards it.” “You cannot keep pace with this fast moving world.” ”In
only target the Fiji market”.

other countries, everything is computerized.”
“In Vanua Levu, there are some families
disadvantaged in terms of finance and I
believe that if their children have some
computer knowledge they will be able to get
better jobs.”

A well-equipped Labasa Sangam College CS lab Nadi Muslim College CS lab
41

Evaluation of Computer Science Curriculum in Fiji Secondary Schools
Analysis
Key factors for success
Some identified key factors are:

leadership and support of school principal and management;

dedicated CS/IT teachers, and

initiative coming from the institution followed by planning and action. In the case of Nadi
Muslim College, we could say that they were lucky to have a wealthy donor. However, we have
to keep in mind that the school had planned for this project and then applied for funding for it.
“I think management plays a very important role.” – Teacher, Labasa Sangam College
“I think the important factor is that we have good computer teachers.” – Principal, Labasa
Sangam College
“You cannot build a system in a year. When we start ed off we never thought that Mr Khan was
going to assist us.” Principal, Nadi Muslim College

It should also be noted that implementing an ICT project in schools where the management and principals
are not technology literate would be very challenging. However, in these two schools, they managed to
convince their principal and management of the long-term benefits of implementing such projects and,
on achieving the desired results, they were encouraged to invest more time and finance into these projects.
As one principal stated:
“They (other principals who do not tackle CS/IT education) can’t hide for too long. You have to
get into it.” – Principal, Nadi Muslim College

Learning ICT knowledge and skills
Both principals said that they were self-learners of ICT knowledge and skills. They pointed out the
importance of challenge. They also mentioned the dynamics of the ICTs and the importance of refreshing
knowledge and skills of teachers. When the Project offered a training course opportunity through JICA,
a teacher from Nadi Muslim was so motivated that he arranged all procedures, which would normally
take more than a week, in only one day.
“Now that we have learnt it seems easy for us but in the initial stage we didn’t know what was happening.
It’s like being thrown in an open sea and told to swim.” - teacher, Nadi Muslim College
New approaches in teaching
Both schools prioritised interactive teaching instead of asking students to copy notes written on the
blackboard during class. With the use of new and creative technology such as the Internet and some
creative media, the teachers are finding that their roles are changing from knowledge-provider only to
facilitator as well.
Community support and vision
The schools stated that their communities were quite supportive, even though the principal of Nadi
Muslim College indicated that he had been pressured by parents to move into CS/IT studies. Both these
schools opened the computer lab for evening classes and Nadi Muslim College offered a course for
Form 3 students in the evening. They also offered short, intensive courses for communities, including
industry personnel and staff of other schools. Both have a vision ¯ to expand the target audience and
beneficiaries of CS/IT education in the future. Nadi Muslim College will target adult education after
Form 7 and Labasa Sangam will target students in the lower grades such as Form 3.
42

Best Practice
Initiatives
These two schools were not particularly well known in Fiji. However, with their current computer
education, they have become important schools in the areas they serve and this achievement in CS/IT
education has also flowed to other activities such as sports. This trend has been reported in other countries
13
too.
“Students don’t have to go to Lautoka and get fatigued during the long commuting
every day. We are active in sports and others activities, too. They have a computer club
here. The idea came from the teachers themselves and when I asked what the computer
club was going to do they said that they were going to mount evening classes,
competitions and all that so the interest is being generated in the whole school
environment.” – Principal, Nadi Muslim College

“I have seen that children have also changed mentally and physically. We have noticed
that the students who take Computer Studies are mostly the ones who are ready to
participate in other internally organized functions.” Principal, Labasa Sangam College

However, it is too simple to say that CS/IT education has a positive impact on the whole education of a
student or improves students’ attitude in the schools. We could, however, say that the energy and active
atmosphere in the school have led to a successful computer education and other achievements.
Financial management
ICT education is costly, not just the initial investment but also maintenance and relevant training. Nadi
Muslim College has a donor and Labasa Sangam has management to support CS/IT education, including
provision of computer lab facilities. Neither of these schools increased school fees or charged extra for
CS/IT education However, they raised concerns about finance.
The principal and CS teacher of Labasa Sangam College
13. In a number of countries, studies have shown that the use of ICT in the curriculum and CS/IT studies have
decreased drop-out rates, recorded achievement gains in the initial stages, improved interest and competence of
teachers, and improved student/teacher relations, even though this is still at an anecdotal level.
The Malaysian smart school: The story so far. <http://www.mdc.com.my;Kaewsaiha,Thailand-http://
www.unesco.org/bangkok/education/ict/ict-enabling/ap_policy/Learntec-Tongyoo.pdf.>
43

Evaluation of Computer Science Curriculum in Fiji Secondary Schools
Summary
Nadi Muslim College (NMC) and Labasa Sangam College (LSC) were identified as best practice cases
and they provided the research team with opportunities for observation and discussion so that the
researchers could learn from their success stories. NMC had impressive facilities and system, while
LSC played a proactive role in Labasa in promoting CS/ICT education in schools and the community.
Key factors of success were identified as 1) leadership and support of the principal and school management,
2) dedicated CS/IT teachers, 3) initiative, 4) finance. The principal and the school management played
a very important role in initiating IT education, fundraising for the purchase of resources and encouraging
their staff. Both schools indicated the use of technology as a teaching aid, and they had the support of
the community and plans to offer IT education to the lower forms and adults. A combination of the
above four factors is needed to bring success to any school that wishes to introduce CS/IT and to sustain
the program. Initiative was seen as one of the major factors leading to success in these two schools.
Despite the success, both schools raised their concerns regarding finance, particularly in relation to the
maintenance of equipment and provision of relevant training for the teachers. Neither of these schools is
affluent but achieved prominence due to their overall good results in examinations. The principals
attributed this achievement to their strong use of IT in education as well as to approaches to CS/IT
curriculum.
Nadi Muslim College server
44

Discussion
DISCUSSION
This research commenced in December 2002 and was completed in August 2003. During this period,
the team had the opportunity to discuss many of the issues regarding CS/IT education with students,
teachers and stakeholders individually, in groups and in a symposium. A peer group evaluation of the
draft report was also conducted. A discussion of the issues raised is given below followed by ‘lessons
learnt’ and recommendations. (Recommendations from the symposium are attached as Annex 8.)
Running through the discussions was the desire to see a review of the present CS/IT curriculum as well
as to put in place processes and mechanisms that would allow efficient continuous improvement. It was
apparent from the discussions that this revised curriculum should reflect the new and changing trends in
CS developments and training, as well as the needs of the market place, the workforce and Fiji’s plan or
vision for ICT in the future. This would be in line with Fiji’s Strategic Development Plan (2002:90–91)
where the objective is to align Fiji’s ICT training to developments in the employment market, producing
trained people with basic generic CS/IT skills and a cadre of trained technicians, engineers and
14
programmers. There was also a call to be mindful of the available technology, resources and improved
infrastructure, including Internet in schools, if CS/IT was to be introduced in all schools, particularly
rural and remote schools. In addition, a number of human resources development issues would need to
be addressed. These include teacher education, job security, teacher networking, and capacity building
in the CS/TVET section in the MOE.
It was clear from the discussions and findings that if Fiji is to work towards having a quality CS/IT
curriculum, these issues will all have to be addressed as a whole. In other words, a more holistic approach
to CS/IT curriculum development is needed. The central idea about how these changes may be undertaken
is represented in Figure 1. This illustrates the inter-relating nature of CS/IT studies. In order to improve
the CS/IT curriculum, improvement in each of the many inter-relating areas is necessary. In this research,
we identified the following areas: resources, infrastructure, CS teachers’ job security, CS teachers’
professional development and training, management (including principal and parent capacity building),
networking among stakeholders and quality CS/IT.
Participants during
a discussion session

14. An additional ten schools per year with Internet access and computers, upgrade teachers’ skills, IT employ-
ment skills training modules adopted by IT training providers.
45

Evaluation of Computer Science Curriculum in Fiji Secondary Schools
Figure 1: A holistic approach toCS/IT curriculum revision
1. More logical and algorithm oriented
2. Up to date with changing technology
3. Balance of theory and practice
4. ICT education for literacy and budding professionals
Resources
Good CS/IT
E.g. PCs
curriculum
CS teachers’
professional
Networking
development
among
Quality CS/IT
stakeholders
education
CS teachers’
job
Management/
security
principal/parent
capacity building
Infra-structure
e.g. Internet
In the discussion that follows, these areas have been grouped into four categories: resources and
infrastructure (equipment, Internet, educational materials), human resources (CS teachers’ job security,
professional development and training), capacity building (management, schools and parents) and
curriculum (quality CS/IT curriculum).
In the area of resources and infrastructure, this research found that there is generally:
a lack of equipment and computers;
a lack of educational materials, such as those available on CD-ROMs and related textbooks;
poor maintenance and uncertain sustainability of equipment;
an increased access to the Internet, but the divide still exists.
The essential points that we would like to convey are that to teach CS/IT well and develop high quality
curriculum, the equipment and infrastructure problems noted above need to be addressed urgently. In
those schools that do not have sufficient computers, every effort will have to be made to supply these
schools with computers and the necessary equipment. Financial resources will have to be identified to
purchase educational materials and related textbooks.
46

Discussion
In the area of human resources, particularly teachers, we identified the following problems:
low number of teachers that have a teaching certificate and fewer still have qualifications to
teach CS/IT;
high number of Grant-in-Aid teachers;
a lack of training opportunities for CS/IT teachers;
a lack of professional support in TVET, MOE due to staff shortages;
poor job security for Grant-in-Aid teachers;
We also identified the need for teachers’ professional development and upskilling. Many of the teachers
interviewed highlighted their lack of skills in the CS area as a factor that needed urgent attention. Many
would like to undertake more formal and short-term training but opportunities were scarce.
The essential point we wish to make here is that teachers are and will be important in the whole curriculum
review process, as they contribute to learning as well as to curriculum development. Ultimately, it is to
them that we must return. We believe that they play a critical role in the classroom and help set the
standards through their experiences. It follows, therefore, that to establish and build a good quality
curriculum, we need to expand our CS/IT teaching force and enrich our teachers.
In the area of capacity building for management, principals and parents, we identified the following:
that community support is a key factor in best practice;
that if management sees CS/IT education as critical, they support it strongly;
that parents also play a key role in encouraging students; and
that if a school offers a CS/IT course to the community, they might forge strong limks with that
community.
While these problems and needs may be relevant for other curriculum review processes, for CS/IT the
concern is one of providing a framework that will allow for continuous innovation and review to reflect
the changing IT environment. It can be argued that parents and school committee members will need to
be regularly informed and updated of the importance of CS/IT studies and the additional resources that
may be required. Their help and support will also be needed to push CS/IT studies in schools.
Developing a new, revised good CS/IT curriculum will need the input of stakeholders, as it can be
argued that the stakeholders, particularly the market and businesses, will set the type of school leavers
and graduates that they may need in the workforce. Regular communication between the stakeholders
and TVET, MOE, teachers, schools and tertiary institutions will be important in the review process.
It is suggested that any revision of the curriculum will require wider consultation between the different
players and stakeholders, including the agencies, teachers, teachers’ associations, tertiary institutions
and teachers’ colleges, community leaders, school managers and students. The MOE will need to work
with these different stakeholders in any plans to develop a good CS/IT curriculum.
Participants during a group discussion
47

Evaluation of Computer Science Curriculum in Fiji Secondary Schools
LESSONS LEARNT
Many lessons were learnt from this research and we include some of them here as we feel that they are
important to our understanding of CS/IT education in Fiji.
The first lesson we learnt is that it is important to listen to the voices of the people. Through interviews
and questionnaires, focus group interviews and discussions with different groups and stakeholders, new
insights can be gained. In this research, the breadth and depth of information provided was useful and
down-to-earth, with people giving personal experiences and explanations of the current CS/IT education
situation and ICT environment in Fiji that cannot be found in any textbook or documentation. This
method of acquiring qualitative data is effective and gives a good understanding of the CS/IT situation
in the country.
We also learnt of the different attitudes that exist among the stakeholders regarding the digital environment
and CS/IT education in Fiji. The children were all keen to learn more and study IT in schools. They
were generally excited about the developments in this area and many were very up-to-date with IT. We
learnt that many teachers were frustrated, either because of their insecure job status or because of lack of
training opportunities in the area of IT. We found that some academics in tertiary institutions and a
number of school principals were not very keen on IT developments and the emphasis that is being given
to CS/IT education. More time was placed on concerns for problems that existed including the issue of
the digital divide within the country rather than acknowledging the advantages and opportunities that
the new technologies bring and finding ways to make things happen. However, in some tertiary institutions
and schools, academics and principals placed emphasis on the possible way forward in CS/IT and the
need for action to be taken to understand how students perform in CS/IT. There was general support to
introduce CS/IT widely in schools, both primary and secondary.
Regarding the state of technology in Fiji, we know that this is changing very rapidly, and learnt that,
increasingly, we have to move with the flow and acquire new knowledge and skills almost daily. Against
this development, we have to make sure that teachers have greater awareness and in-depth knowledge of
CS/IT education. Many tend to dwell too much on constraints and difficulties of new technology rather
than on solutions.
A significant lesson was to learn what is possible and how to get some action moving. It was evident in
our discussions with MOE officials and management that they strongly supported IT education and saw
the potential of new technologies in taking schooling to rural areas and expanding access to educational
materials through the Internet. Yet, any review of the CS/IT curriculum and the implementation of a
revised curriculum will not happen quickly, as the MOE has to follow through a process which may take
twelve months. For CS/IT, this is a long process as changes are happening daily in the field of IT.
While it is is necessary to focus our own internal national processes in CS/IT education and curriculum,
a lesson we learnt is that it is useful to also look at other countries for new ideas. We looked briefly at
CS/IT education in Japan, the United States and Tonga, but there are many other examples we could
look at that can help Fiji’s case, particularly when it puts together its strategic master plan for CS/IT
education.
48

Recommendations
RECOMMENDATIONS
We have drawn attention to the problems and limitations faced when offering and teaching CS/IT in
schools in Fiji. We have also highlighted the need for a review of the CS/IT curriculum. We have learnt
many lessons. Our research evidence suggests that, to offer good quality IT education, a sequence of
activity starting with the ‘big picture’ and moving through short-and mid-term phases is needed.
To offer quality IT education in secondary schools, this report recommends the following, categorised
for short- and mid-term action;
Short-term recommendations (less than 3 years)
Recommendation 1 – Curriculum Revision
We analysed the current curriculum based on the opinions of teachers, students, agencies and professionals.
The majority of them agreed that the current curriculum needs to be revised as a matter of great urgency
due to the fast-changing nature of ICTs. The curriculum should reflect this dynamic progress of technology
and the accessibility of resources among students due to differences in their socio-economic background.
During the study, it was found that some teachers did not have the prescription, so placing it online is an
alternative to make it transparent and accessible for teachers. However, half of the schools still do not
have access to the Internet so the prescription could be made available on CD-ROM.
The current procedure of curriculum revision was noted to be too long and suggestions were made to
critically review this process to become active and effective. The process may need to be speeded up
to some degree to enable more innovation and new ideas to be incorporated into the revised
curriculum.
We recommend:
1.1
That the IT curriculum prescription be revised as soon as possible;
1.2
That the IT curriculum prescription be revised to become more:

oriented towards logical thinking and algorithms;

up to date with changing technology;

balanced with practice and theory;

flexible depending on students’ future plans and providing options, such as two streams;
one offered to students for ICT literacy and one for students who are interested in a
professional career in ICT;

effective in assessment style with less focus on rote learning.
1.3
That the National Curriculum Review Committee becomes more proactive and organized, and
hosts regular meetings with personnel from higher education and the private sector.
1.4
That processes and mechanisms be put in place to allow regular review and changes to the
content of the new curriculum.
1.5
That the prescription be made accessible on-line and on CD-ROM.
49

Evaluation of Computer Science Curriculum in Fiji Secondary Schools
Recommendation 2 – Capacity Building – TVET, MOE
Considering the current capacity of the MOE’s TVET section, which is responsible for CS education,
we recommend the following short-term plans for ICT in education.
15
IT education should be given higher priority, considering national and regional strategies. At present,
there is only one officer in charge of CS/IT education at the MOE. There should be more staff to
improve the quality of CS/IT education, working in conjunction with USP and other tertiary institutions.
The officer in TVET did not have Internet access. Internet access at the MOE is limited to certain senior
officers. However, it is almost impossible to formalise meaningful use of the Internet at school if the
Education Officers are not allowed to explore the Internet for effective use themselves in order to help
them in their management roles.
We recommend:
2.1
That the MOE increase the number of staff in the TVET section.
2.2
That the MOE provide staff in the TVET section with Internet access.
2.3
That the MOE strengthen the TVET section to undertake a monitoring and evaluating role to
continually monitor teachers, all students’ performance and progress, and progress in CS/IT in
schools.
Recommendation 3 – Universal access to CS/IT studies
This research targets only those secondary schools offering CS/IT education, which is almost half of all
secondary schools in Fiji. Accessibility of CS/IT education was highlighted as critical. In order to
achieve universal access to CS/IT education in all secondary schools in the near future, we recommend
creating a master plan with a feasible action plan and supporting implementation plan.
This study provides a suggested action plan for CS/IT education in Fiji. We have learnt from this and
other projects, that the provision of a practical and achievable master and action plan with a logical
development framework identifying possible risks is necessary to get work more focused, moving,
monitored and productive, achieving the set outputs in the agreed timelines. This will be a major task
for TVET, MOE.
In this research, we targeted secondary schools only, as the current curriculum is for Forms 5 to 7.
About 20 schools, however, have started teaching IT in Form 1. In our interviews, students requested
that IT education be started in lower grades and made compulsory. We therefore recommend having a
future plan which will include IT in lower grades in all schools.
Only 86 of the total 854 schools in Fiji offer CS/IT studies. These are all secondary schools. Under Fiji
Government’s Strategic Development Plan 2003 – 2005, CS/IT studies will be introduced in 10 schools
16
each year over the next 5 years. This means that by 2009 only 136 schools will have CS/IT studies.
This is not very good progress, considering the rate of rapid change taking place in IT developments
worldwide and locally. It can be argued that in Fiji many of the schools in the rural and remote areas are
disadvantaged in that they face many barriers of access to new technologies and will continue to rely on
texts and handouts for learning for some time. The MOE and GoF will have to review and step up plans
to introduce CS/IT studies in remote and rural schools and this will mean that more CS/IT teachers,
resources, computers and laboratories will be needed.
15 and 16. There is a draft ICT National Policy and a paper entitled e_fiji. In these documents, ICT is given priority
in national development with goals to get CS/IT curriculum in all schools, all schools to have Internet access at
subsidised rates, schools to have tax free concessions on all IT equipment,and teachers’ skills to be upgraded.
Recent education aid projects, such as the Fiji Rural Education Project funded by the European Union and com-
mencing in 2004 and the Fiji Education Support Project funded by AusAID, have ICT components.
50

Recommendations
We recommend:
3.1
That ICT in education should expand the CS curriculum to include lower grades such as
primary school students, particularly in rural and remote areas;
3.2
That IT education be offered in all secondary schools;
3.3
That IT education be introduced in all primary and secondary schools by 2007;
3.4
That this be part of the master plan that is to be prepared for IT education in schools in Fiji.
3.5
That an action plan be developed and costed;
3.6
That this process involve wide consultation with teachers, students and stakeholders.
Recommendation 4 – CS/IT Teachers
We found that almost three out of four teachers have unsecured Grant-in-Aid status. Few have teacher
training and there are few professional development opportunities. This situation makes a CS teaching
career less attractive and will result in a continuing high turn-over rate.
Logically speaking, if IT is a priority area for Fiji, basic IT education also should be prioritised. The
possibility of promotion to Civil Service teacher status and an inducement salary for IT teachers depends
on MOE budgeting, but the overall costs and benefits should be considered in the current context of the
very critical lack of sustainability of human resources development in both (a) the immediacy of teaching
CS/IT in schools, and (b) the long-term consequences of ineffective training of students in an essential
field like CS/IT in terms of their future livelihoods and productivity.
The research results show that some students questioned the knowledge and skills of CS teachers.
Traditional one-way teaching might need to be reviewed and CS teachers should brush up their knowledge
and skills as ICT is continually changing. Since teachers view ICT hardware maintenance as a major
problem, this could be one of the possible training topics for teachers.
We recommend:
4.1
That CS/IT teachers have better job security, inducement salary, and scholarship opportunities;
4.2
That CS/IT teachers have opportunities for regular and relevant ICT training and teacher training,
including industry experience which enables them to deal with new equipment and maintenance.
Recommendation 5 – Equipment and Infrastructure
The research results show that lack of PCs is a big concern among teachers and students, but 67% of
schools stated that they achieved the 2 students per computer ratio in their CS classes. The source of
funds was varied: schools themselves, the Government of Fiji, private companies, and International
donor agencies. The two schools investigated as best practice schools have quite well equipped laboratories
but raised financial concerns. Also, when schools use PCs for other subjects, more PCs are required. We
recommend that schools open their labs to the community, which will generate income for the school
and also benefit adults in the community
Internet access is a critical issue. After gaining special communication treatment for education, the
MOE should also negotiate with Telecom for a special telephone charge. Considering Internet Service
Provider charges, the MOE could approach possible institutions, such as USP, that could provide the
function of ISP service for all secondary schools.
We recommend:
5.1
That an appropriate amount of good quality equipment be installed in schools to allow them to
offer IT education;
5.2
That opening school computer labs for community use be established as a way to raise money to
buy equipment;
51

Evaluation of Computer Science Curriculum in Fiji Secondary Schools
5.3
That the MOE works with the ICT Regulator to provide Internet access to all secondary schools
at a special or free rate;
5.4
That the Government provides meaningful support in infrastructure development, including
Internet access for staff and students.
Recommendation 6 – School Principal and Management
Unless school principals and management support IT education, they will not provide equipment nor
release teachers for IT-related training and meetings. Conducting awareness workshops for them to
emphasize the importance of IT education is an essential step to let them take a leadership role in IT
education.
We recommend:
6.1
That principals and management committees take a leadership role to promote IT education in
secondary schools.
Recommendation 7 – Networking
In interviews and discussions with teachers and stakeholders, it was made clear to us that regular contact
and linking among CS/IT teachers, teachers and TVET, and teachers and stakeholders be encouraged. It
was important that all involved be constantly aware of ICT in education and the opportunities that ICT
provides.
7.1
That a network linking CS/IT teachers, schools, TVET and stakeholders be established;
7.2
That the South Pacific Computer Society be approached to facilitate and maintain the network
in its initial stages;
7.2
That more attachments to smart schools locally and abroad be encouraged by the MOE.
Mid-term recommendations (less than 5 years)
Recommendation 8 – ICT in Education
The current curriculum is very limiting as new teaching approaches and methodologies in IT go beyond
computers and are using new communication technologies and multimedia for learning. Furthermore,
there is now an emphasis to integrate ICT into general education. This would mean that not only curriculum
issues need to be looked at but also pedagogical practices of teachers and students. Fiji’s curriculum
could examine the possibilities of the more inclusive ICT approach to optimise opportunities.
Although this was beyond the scope of our research, education professionals emphasised that there
should be seamless usage of ICT in all subjects. Although this might be wishful thinking to some, taking
into account the current situation in Fiji, ICT could be integrated into education in all schools in the near
future. ICT could be used as a teaching aid so that the delivery of quality education might be discussed
once schools are connected, and it was suggested that this might also alleviate the teacher shortage in
schools, especially in the rural areas.
We recommend:
8.1
That the seamless use of ICT in all subjects in schools be initiated;
8.2
That the use of ICT as a teaching aid to alleviate teacher shortages be initiated.
52

Recommendations
Recommendation 9 – National ICT Standard
There is no national standard in CS/IT curriculum in Fiji. There are also no established indicators for IT
use in education. Establishing national standards in CS/IT curriculum, as well as identifying indicators
for IT use in education, can be moved on ahead if a body was set up and given this responsibility. In a
number of countries, for example Australia, New Zealand, the United States and Germany, such bodies
perform useful roles at a time when significant action is being taken towards developing and reviewing
CS/IT studies curricula to reflect the needs of society and the changing IT environment.
It is very tempting to make comparisons between the very different best practice schools and also
international comparisons, but one should be cautious in doing this as this study dealt with CS/IT curricula
and included very broad descriptions and is not a comparative education study. However, it would be
interesting to analyse the effects on the education systems of the selection of students in secondary
schools, the different kinds of schooling and the performance of students. It can be argued, though, that
best practice and case studies can serve as a benchmark for establishing national CS/IT curriculum
standards and indicators for IT use and integration in schools. The studies could encourage change in the
overall Fiji CS/IT curriculum, refocusing schools in terms of teaching practices and school management,
and also assist in developing ICT indicators in schools.
Indicators would include quantitative and qualitative data. Quantitative data usually includes ICT
infrastructure and connectivity. This includes hardware and physical networks that connect computers
locally and globally. Indicators that measure ICT infrastructure usually include: availability of computer
hardware, ratios of computer/student, computer/classroom, computers/teacher, types of computer,
availability of connectivity and bandwidth of the computers. Some of these were identified in this study.
Useful indicators would also be data that can show how ICT is used as a communication tool which
promotes the development of creativity (multimedia and presentation), collaborative learning (class
17
shares), critical thinking and problem solving (programming and networking).
It is important that Fiji establishes standards and if we are seriously concerned about this, then one of the
first steps in the process is to support teachers and the practice of teachers. There is a need to listen to
the teachers and understand what their needs are in the area of CS/IT. Most critical is the fact that
standards of excellence are driven upwards by teachers who are keen, interested and innovative, who
challenge themselves as well as their pupils, and who are constantly developing and extending the
curriculum, as we witnessed in the two best practice case studies.
This research has actually provided some measure of indicators but this was not the intention of the
research. Further investigation and the development of indicators for Fiji schools will be advisable as
this will assist in any review of the curriculum which seeks to ensure that all students leaving school are
confident, creative and productive users of new technologies, especially ICTs, and who also understand
the impact of these technologies on society.
We recommend:
9.1
That Fiji establishes standards in CS/IT education;
9.2
That investigation and the development of indicators for Fiji schools be undertaken;
9.3
That the standards in CS/IT education be monitored by the strengthened TVET, MOE section.
Finally, the whole process and review will require the commitment and support of the government of the
day as in the final analysis they control the national curriculum design and the resources allocated to CS/
IT.
17. Developing and using indicators of ICT use in education. Bangkok: UNESCO, 2003.
53

Evaluation of Computer Science Curriculum in Fiji Secondary Schools
Further possible research topics
A number of issues were raised in this research and they need to be examined further. These are described
below.
Performance
We did not investigate students’ performance in IT subjects. Nor did we identify the factors associated
with poor performance and gaps in achievement. This issue should be pursued further. The performance
of school leavers in the marketplace could be a good measure of the relevance and appropriateness of the
CS/IT curriculum. A more detailed assessment needs be undertaken to establish the level of skills and
competencies needed by agencies and the marketplace.
Best solution for computer laboratory installation and networks
Analysis is needed of the best solution for computer laboratory installation and networks at secondary
schools in areas with limited resources, since we found that finance is a major problem even within the
best practice schools. Computers should be available for IT education. Using networked PC labs without
installing Operating System into all PCs or recycling PCs could be an alternative. Using Open Source is
an option too. Freeware application, establishment and trial, and piloting of small projects might be one
component of research.
Changing role of the teacher
It has been argued that the introduction and greater use of new technologies will impact on the role of the
teacher in a number of ways. There is a need to undertake in-depth investigation to identify whether
there is any change taking place in the role of teachers in the current and future IT environment and in
relation to culture and pedagogy. New technologies have brought in new ways of teaching and new
styles. Studies should be undertaken to determine how traditional knowledge as well as traditional methods
of teaching such as “talanoa” could complement the modern methods.
Education planning and policy
Studies have shown that a continuous 5-year contract for teachers has a positive effect on student
achievement, teacher performance and development, compared to when teachers have shorter contracts.
There is a need to carry out an in-depth investigation on the impact and effect on student performance
and quality of CS/IT teaching of having different categories of teachers – Grant-in-Aid, temporary Civil
Service teachers, Civil Service teachers. This can be viewed from the perspective of the teachers, from
the students, from MOE management and from a financial point of view. A cost benefit analysis may
provide some solution to ensuring security and retention of good teachers within limited budgetary
allocations.
54

CONCLUSION
The Government of Fiji acknowledges the potential of ICT to provide great opportunities in education
and development in the country. Its Strategic Development Plan (2002) provides the Government’s
vision and plan, aligning Fiji’s IT training to developments in the employment market and producing
trained people with basic generic CS/IT skills as well as trained technicians, engineers and programmers.
With this objective, IT education should be given priority, including appropriate funding to improve
student achievement. This can be done by strengthening the capacity of many schools that offer or plan
to introduce IT education and also strengthening the TVET section in the MOE that deals with IT
education. Such recognition would encourage more school management boards and principals to place
priority on IT education.
This research attempted to review the current CS/IT curriculum and evaluate its effectiveness and
appropriateness for the students. While the research results could not confirm the agencies’ strong
demand for school leavers to have more IT knowledge, it was clear from the students, agencies and
teachers that the present CS/IT curriculum must be revised. Tertiary institutions, CS/IT teachers and
other stakeholders in Fiji were demanding a change in the current CS/IT education at secondary school.
In addition, while we did not pursue the performance of the students in detail, we found that the young
generation is keen to learn ICT for their future career, and is frustrated with the old curriculum and
traditional classroom approach. They argued that the curriculum should 1) be more updated, 2) be more
practice oriented, 3) be more flexible for learners’ future plans, and 4) prioritize logical thinking. However,
what we found most important was the need for a holistic approach to having quality IT education at
secondary schools as a desired output.
Hence, the need for a curriculum update, review and change. This is seen as urgent, now and even more
so in the future, with the rapid developments and changes taking place in technology. There is a need to
put in place mechanisms and processes to periodically review and update the curriculum.
In this research we identified many difficulties and challenges in the current CS/IT education: lack of
appropriate PC laboratories and Internet access, limited financial and learning resources, uncertain
sustainability situations, job insecurity of CS/IT teachers, limited opportunities for further education for
CS/IT teachers, and little networking among stakeholders. All are interrelated and, together, contribute
to the status quo.
To ensure that some consolidated effort in curriculum review is undertaken, and the whole issue of ICT
use in education is addressed, the research identified the need to develop a strategic master plan for CS/
IT education and training in schools as one of the short term activities. This should encompass the needs
of industry, the ability of the institutions to meet the demands made by students and the community,
teacher training needs, resources needs and research programs and the role of CS/IT in the future
development of the country. It is hoped that the plan will include efforts to take CS/IT education to rural
schools. It is also hoped that the plan will address the wider issue of ICT integration in schools. This
will ensure quality IT education and education overall. This undertaking will require the collaboration
of the various stakeholders, including students, parents, teachers and agencies.
This research has achieved a number of positive outcomes, the most important of which are that it has
raised the profile of CS/IT in the schools, it has highlighted the needs of students and teachers in IT, it
has established a much-needed network of teachers of CS/IT and it has provided many new ideas, actions
and plans for the future. We expect this relationship will continue and take the CS/IT teachers’ training
agenda to a higher level.
The research has highlighted important needs to improve IT education. We expect our research will be
a small first step to enhance basic ICT education in Fiji to improve people’s lives.
55

Evaluation of Computer Science Curriculum in Fiji Secondary Schools
REFERENCES
Byron, I. & R.Gagliardi (1998, January 28). Communication and the Information Society: The Role
of Information and Communication Technologies in Education
. UNESCO: International Bureau of
Education (IBE). http://www.idrc.ca/ACACIA/old/studies/ir-unesco-1.html
Fiji Information Technology Development Policy. (2003) Suva: Government of Fiji.
Fiji. Ministry of Education. Annual Report, 2000-2002.
Fiji. Ministry of Education. MOE Database. Accessible online at http://www.fijichris.gov.fj/Dr/DB-
MOE11.htm
Fiji. Parliamentary Paper. (2002) Strategic Development Plan 2003 – 2005: Rebuilding Confidence
for Stability and Growth for a Peaceful, Prosperous Fiji. Suva: Government of Fiji. Parliamentary
Paper No 72 of 2002.
Goldhaber, D., & D.Brewer, (2000, Summer). Does teacher certification matter? High school teacher
certification status and student achievement. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 22(2), 129-
145. (EJ 615 883).
Hanushek, E.A., J.F.Kain and S.G.Rivkin (1999) Do Salaries Buy Better Teachers? Working paper
No. 7082. Cambridge: National Bureau of Economic Research.
Cwikla, Julie (2002) Differential Mathematics Performance on the TIMSS-R Across Delaware
Students of Colour
. Delaware, University of Southern Mississippi.
International Telecommunication Union. Trends in Telecommunication Reform 2002. Geneva: ITU,
2002. Accessible online at http://www.itu.int/ITU-D/ict/statistics/at_glance/Internet02.pdf
Kimbell, R. (1997) Assessing Technology: International Trends in Curriculum and Assessment.
Buckingham: Open University Press.
Kober, N. (2001) It takes more than testing: Closing the Achievement gap. A Report of the Centre on
Education Policy. www.ctredpol.org
Learning Together: Directions for Education in the Fiji Islands.(2000) Report of the Fiji Islands
Education Commission/Panel. Suva: Government of Fiji (Ministry of Education).
56

ANNEX 1: EDUCATIONAL STRUCTURE IN FIJI
Pre-school Education
Primary Education
6–8 years: Classes 1–6/8
Junior Secondary Education
3–5 years: Forms 1–3/4/5
Secondary Education
3–7 years: Forms 1/3–6/7
Post-secondary Education Teachers’ College
Vocational institutes
Tertiary Education
USP / Overseas Universities
Source: USP Knowledgebase, 2002–2003,<http://www.rkb.usp.ac.fj/rkb/default.asp>
57

Evaluation of Computer Science Curriculum in Fiji Secondary Schools
ANNEX 2: RESULTS OF THE FIJI SEVENTH FORM EXAMINATION, 2001
GRADES OF PASS PER SUBJECT BY RACE

SUBJECT
TOTAL NO. OF
GRADE A
GRADE B
Total
CANDIDATES SAT
No. of
Passes
FIJ
IND
OTH
TOT
FIJ
IND
OTH TOT
FIJ
IND OTH TOT
English
1232 2351
175
3758
30
106
13
149
176 514 49
739
2457
31%
62%
Mathematics
1151 2307
151
3609
3
138
7
148
121 650 25
796
2345
32%
64%
Biology
387
873
52
1312
4
59
5
68
30
238 12
280
896
Chemistry
381
1044
71
1496
1
68
4
73
34
312 19
365
1063
Physics
252
763
70
1085
74
5
79
27
250 18
295
858
Geography
615
708
62
1385
11
26
2
39
30
140 14
184
864
History
329
36
35
400
3
1
1
5
29
5
5
39
182
Accounting
329
1163
45
1537
57
1
58
20
302 5
327
1051
Economics
543
1111
71
1725
3
66
3
72
45
287 17
349
1138
Agri.
Science
143
182
12
337

4
28
1
33
146
Apparel &
Design

6

6








3
Introduction to
Technology
38
96
8
142
7
1
8
4
33
4
41
110
Food
Technology
63
142
9
214

3
24
1
28
110
TecH Drawing
& Design
84
141
22
247

13
1
14
6
41
2
49
174
Computer
120
457
34
611
38
1
39
11
141 9
161
451
Studies
20%
75%
6%
6%
6%
26%
74%
Fijian
193
1
194
6


6
48


48
54
Hindi
117
117
1
1

17
17
69
Urdu
18
1
19
1
1

1
1
13
58

ANNEX 3: STAFF RESIGNATIONS AT ITC SECTION IN FIJI ISLANDS IN 2000•E001
Post
Recruited
Date Left
Reason for Leaving
2000
1.
Senior Programmer
28/04/00
Migrated to Australia
2.
Assistant Programmer

28/04/00
Migrated to Australia
3.
Assistant Programmer

28/04/00
Migrated to Canada
4.
System Analyst

10/5/2000
Migrated to Australia
5.
System Analyst

09/06/00
Migrated to Australia
6.
Supervisor

11/10/00
Job at PAFCO Levuka
2001
1.
Asst. Manager Operations
04/01/93
15/07/01
Left for private company
2.
Systems Analyst
13/05/98
03/03/01
Migrated to Australia
3.
Systems Analyst
28/03/94
05/10/01
Left for private company
4.
Systems Analyst
02/11/98
11/06/98
Migrated to Australia
5.
Systems Analyst
20/10/99
14/02/01
Migrated to Australia
6.
Systems Analyst
05/01/98
28/12/01
Left for private company
7.
Assistant Programmer
01/01/93
31/08/01
Left for Telecom
8.
Assistant Programmer
04/04/98
15/06/01
Study in USA
9.
Assistant Programmer
23/11/98
19/06/01
Migrated to Australia
10
Computer Operator
08/08/78
01/06/01
Migrated to NZ
11
Storeman
22/09/97
09/0701
Migrated to UK
12
Computer Operator
12/02/92
06/05/01
Transferred to Met.Office
Source: Ministry of Information Technology and Computing Services, Annual Report for 2000 and 2001.
59

Evaluation of Computer Science Curriculum in Fiji Secondary Schools
ANNEX 4 MAPS
Viti Levu
86
75
77
81
82
84
73
78
80
83
76
79
72
74
14
7
59
69
8
58
66
71
57
65
70
21
55
63
54
62
19
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61
52
60
56
67
68
51
64
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61

Evaluation of Computer Science Curriculum in Fiji Secondary Schools
Kadavu
i
t
i
i
v
86
a
m
u
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62

ANNEX 5: SCHOOLS OFFERING CS/IT EDUCATION •E2002
CS-teaching secondary schools with Internet access
LABASA DISTRICT SCHOOLS (11 SCHOOLS)
All Saints Secondary School
Nadogo Secondary School

Bulileka Sec. School
Naleba College
Holy Family Secondary
Savusavu Secondary School
Labasa College
Tabia Sanatan College
Labasa Muslim College
Waiqele Secondary
Labasa Sangam College
BA/TAVUA/RAKIRAKI (12 SCHOOLS)
AD Patel Memorial School
Nukuloa College

Ba Sangam College
Penang Sangam School
DAV College
Rakiraki Public
Kamil Muslim College
Tavua College

Khalsa College
Xavier College
Nilsen High School
Nakauvadra High
LAUTOKA SCHOOLS (9 SCHOOLS)
Ba Provincial Secondary
Natabua High School
Drasa Secondary School
St. Thomas High School
Jasper Williams High School
Tilak High School
Lautoka Central College
Vishnu Deo Memorial
Lautoka Muslim College
NADI SCHOOLS (9 SCHOOLS)
Mulomulo Secondary School
Sabeto Secondary School

Korovuto Seconday School
Sangam (SKM) College

Nadi College
Swamy Vivekananda High
Nadi Muslim College
Votualevu Sec.School
Ratu Navula Secondary*
SIGATOKA/NAVUA (9 SCHOOLS)
Andhra High School
Nasikawa Vision College
Cuvu Secondary
Rampur College
Kavanagasau Secondary
Sigatoka Methodist
Nadroga Arya College
Lomawai Secondary

Namosi Secondary School
63

Evaluation of Computer Science Curriculum in Fiji Secondary Schools
SUVA SCHOOL (19 SCHOOLS)
Ballantine Memorial School
Cathedral Secondary School
Marist Brothers High

Dudley High School
Rt. Sukuna Memorial School

DAV Boys Clollege
St. Joseph’s Secondary School

DAV Girls College
Suva Adventist High

LDS Technical College
Suva Grammer School
Gospel High School
Suva Sangam School

Indian College

Suva Muslim College

Laucala Bay Secondary

Nabua Secondary

Mahatma Ghandhi Memorial

Yat Sen Secondary School

NASINU/TAILEVU SCHOOLS (15 SCHOOLS)
Adi Cakobau School

Queen Victoria School
Baulevu High School

Rishikul Sanatan College

Bhawani Dayal High

Ratu Kadavulevu School

Fulton College

Saraswati College

Lelean Memorial School

Sila Central High

Nausori High
Tailevu North High

Nasinu Muslim College
Vunimono High School
Pt. Shreedhar Maharaj College

KADAVU SCHOOLS (1 SCHOOL)
Vunisea Secondary School
OVALAU SCHOOLS (1 SCHOOL)
St. John’s College
64

ANNEX 6: RESEARCH SAMPLE OF AGENCIES, STUDENTS AND TEACHERS
School – Students School – CS teachers Corporate Agency
SchoScool - Students
School – CS Teachers
Corporate Agency
Adventist High Sch
1
Adi Cakobau Sch
1
ANZ Bank
1
All Saints Sec
11
All Saints Sec
1
Bureau of Statistics
1
Bhawani Dayal
13
Ba Provincial Secondary
1
Communications Fiji Ltd
1
DAV Girls College
12
Ba Sangam
1
Fiji Broadcasting Corporation 1
Gospel High School
11
Cathedral Sec
1
Fiji COSS
1
Indian College
13
Cuvu College
1
Fiji Police Force
1
Labasa College
1
DAV College
1
Fiji TV
1
Labasa Sangam College
44
DAV Girls Coll
1
Food 4 Less Supermarket
1
LDS Church College
8
Drasa Sec.
1
Forum Secretariat
1
Lelean Memorial Sch
1
Fulton College
1
HFC Finance
1
MGM High
2
Gospel High School
1
Homecentres Fiji Ltd
1
Nasinu Muslim College
13
Indian College
1
KFC
1
Natabua High
1
Labasa College
1
LICI
1
Nilsen High sch
10
Labasa Muslim College
1
Marsh Ltd
1
Penang
13
Labasa Sangam College
2
McDonalds Laucala
1
Rampur College
1
Lelean Memorial Sch
1
Merchant Finance
1
Ratu Navula Sec
1
MGM High School
1
Ministry of Finance
1
Ratu Navula Sec Sch
3
Nadi Muslim College
1
NLTB
1
Ratu Sukuna
1
Nadroga Arya College
1
Post Fiji Ltd
1
Sigatoka Methodist High 22
Nakauvadra High Scho
1
R B Patel
1
SJSS
5
Namosi Secondary
1
Rentokil Initial Ltd
1
Suva Grammar Sch
1
Nasikawa Vision College
1
Safeway Electronics Ltd
1
Suva Muslim
12
Nasinu Muslim College
1
SPC
1
Swami Vivekananda Coll 13
Natabua High Sch
1
Telecom Fiji
1
Xavier College
1
Nausori High Sch
1
Vinod Patel & Co. Ltd
1
Yat Sen Sec
3
Nilsen High Sch
1
Vodafone Fiji Ltd
1
Penang Sangam High Sch
1
Wespac Bank
1
Total
217
Rakiraki Public High Sch
1
TOOOOTTTotalotal
Rishikul College
2
Total
27
Rt. Navula Sec Sch
1
Sabeto Secondary Sch
1
Sangam College
1
Shreedhar Maharaj
1
Sigatoka Andhra Sangam
College
1
Sigatoka Methodist
1
Suva Muslim College
1
Suva Sangam High Sch
1
Swami Vivekananda College 1
Tabia Sanatan College
1
Vishnu Deo College
1
Vunimono High Sch
1
Waiqele Sec.
1
Total
44
Total 44
65

Evaluation of Computer Science Curriculum in Fiji Secondary Schools
ANNEX 7: NADI MUSLIM COLLEGE (NMC) SMART SCHOOL PLAN
NMC Smart School Implementation Plan
The project is being implemented in 3 stages:

Stage 1 (completed) – base infrastructure including initial Data Centre, LAN Server, Web Server, CAT 5
Cabling , Laser Printers and initial batch of 60 PC’S & Furniture

Stage 2 (completed) – overhead projection for Form 7, additional PCs (40) and School Management
Software

Stage 3 (2003 – 2005) additional PCs (100), new IT Centre, tertiary curriculum and possibly FML LAN
WAN and intranet
Objectives of the NMC Smart School

to produce the most competent and capable IT students;

to be the leading provider of IT skills in the market;

to provide leadership in creating a blueprint for FML’S technology-based education strategy;

to provide leadership to create a forum for the Ministry of Education, employers, communities, schools and
educational institutes – “The Fiji IT Consultative Forum”.
Features of a Smart School
Technology enabled with the industrial strength infrastructure:

to administer the school operation,

to enable Value Added Teaching,

to deliver information technology curriculum,

to deliver approved and optional curriculum,

to provide students and teachers with open access and school wide connectivity,

to provide schools with global connectivity to the World Wide Web,

to enable information librarianship.
Current Capabilities and Achievements to Date

The current system provides school-wide connectivity.

Is capable of at least 200 ports.

Teachers are compiling student notes and a central repository.

Student notes are published on Laser printers.

Capability to support day to day maintenance of the LAN and Servers.
Issues and Concerns

Internet connectivity costs and responsiveness of Telecom Fiji

Potential lack of quality teachers in IT

Teachers’ lack of global exposure to the IT environment

Community support to sustain the ongoing development of the capability and environment
66

ANNEX 8: SYMPOSIUM RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE MOE
The need for a holistic approach to CS education (28 March 2003)
CS in General

Strategic needs and planning (staging)

To offer CS to a wider target group

To offer courses that reflect the new and changing trends in CS developments and training

Raise awareness of decision-makers in government on the importance of CS education and seek their
support

Work towards CS becoming an examinable (core) subject

Need to review and introduce new external assessment methods

Regular review or monitor of CS curricula

Regular updating and training of CS teachers

Capacity building in CS/TVET section in the MOE
Strategy

To introduce CS as early as possible to encourage algorithmic thinking

CS to be an examinable subject in all schools as soon as practicable

To plan a new curriculum by the end of 2003

To create a CS Department in all schools

To put in place a plan to ensure security of CS teachers

To ensure that the new CS curriculum and related plans reflect the priorities of the national ICT Policy• That
school and community facilities be shared for use for CS education
CS Curricula

More Flexible

More practical

Review of necessary contents

Up to date such as hardware and program language

More study of algorism concept
(Utilise the limited resource at maximum)
Some Recommendations for Content for Forms 5 and 6

Integrate text with the curriculum

Identify tools for teaching – basic skills, such as keyboard skills

Revise topics in the curriculum regularly

Need for fieldtrips

Simple program language

Database curriculum

Remove the current BASIC program

Algorithmic thinking approach

Modular approach

Computing across the curriculum to be promoted

Algorithmic thinking mathematics
67

Evaluation of Computer Science Curriculum in Fiji Secondary Schools
Form 7

Develop USP foundation course

2 separate courses, one for each semester

“IT fluency” and “IT literacy”
Assessment

Must test thinking not memorisation

Increase topics and in depths

Digitisation of external text to avoid easiness, irrelevance, and mistakes

Needs more practical assessment till 50:50
Teacher Education

New courses for teacher education by tertiary or vocational institutions

Collaborative learning through teacher networking

Principals’ awareness raising

Self-learning
CS Teacher Education

Education by face-to-face and DFL mode in the future

Infrastructure should be set up

Education delivery by media

Education for media
Self Education

Various delivery such as books, materials, internet, e-mail, phone. However, up to accessibility of Internet

MOE’s help such as workshop and incentive raising

Self-funding and self-development

Seek grants
CS Teacher Job Security

In-service teacher training

Post creation-establishment of civil servant posts

Creation of CS departments in schools

Unconfirmed posts (TCS) to be managed better

All CS teachers to come under TVET

Preference of post holders
Teacher Networking

Support from MOE – attachments to smart schools, local and overseas institutions, etc.

To create a link between CS teachers, schools, MOE and stakeholders

Building small working groups

E-awareness

Better organisation/management within MOE

South Pacific Computer Society (based in USP) to facilitate the network in its initial stages
68

Infrastructure

More funds to schools for PCs

Strategies for more use and access – private sector, rotary for support

More administrative system

Government, other stakeholders and interested groups to support free Internet use in schools

Provide electricity or alternative sources of energy to rural schools
Education for ICT “subject” and “tools”

Updated Computer Science education for students

Education for ICT as “tools”

Target for necessary students (adults if school opens for community) at an earlier age

Towards seamless utilisation of ICT in all subjects

Creative ways to encourage CS training, especially in schools in rural areas
69

Evaluation of Computer Science Curriculum in Fiji Secondary Schools
ANNEX 9: CS111 & CS122 (USP) COURSE OUTLINES
CS111
Introduction to Computing Science
Prerequisite: Either a pass in CS121, or Form 7 Mathematics pass with at least 60%, or at least a C+ average in
MAF12.
This course provides an introduction to computing programming language hierarchy (machine, assembly, high-
level) and basic computer organization (i/o, main storage and CPU); and, problem solving and algorithms using a
modern high level language, programme design, structured programming concepts, debugging, testing and
documentation and application.
CS122
Information Systems II
Prerequisite: CS111 or CS121
This course follows from CS121 and provides a solid foundation in a high-level language widely used in
business and administrative data processing. The language is taught using structured programming principles.
Topics will be chosen from programming discipline, programme documentation, structure programming and
application of the language to sequential processing, report generation, databases, searching and sequential file
processing.
70

ANNEX 10: FIJI/JAPAN COMPARISON
Comparison of Fiji Islands and Japan
Secondary School CS/IT Curriculum
UNIT
FIJI
JAPAN
(All compulsory)
Unit 1.
Structure and Functions of a Computer (T)
ICT Industry and Society

Using the Computer (P)




Unit 2.
History of Computers (T)
Project: Select one of the following
Word Processing (P)
future plans:

2-1) Research or Experiment
2-2)
Production
2-3) Practice in the field


2-4) Certification organization



Unit 3.
Computers and Information Processing (T)
Practice: Select one of the following
Information Processing (P)
future plans:
3-1)
Basic


3-2) System design and management

3-3)
Multimedia



Unit 4.
Programming (T)
Information and Expression with
Programming (P)
Multimedia



Unit 5.
Computers in Society (T)
Algorithm
Spreadsheet
(P)




Unit 6.
Computers and Careers (T)
Development of Information

Intermediate Concepts and
System
Optional Applications (P)




Unit 7.

Network System



Unit 8.

Modeling and Simulation
c o m p u l s o r y



Unit 9.

Computer Design



Unit 10.

Computer Graphics



Unit 11.

Multimedia with movie and Music



(T) – Theory
(P) – Practice

71

Evaluation of Computer Science Curriculum in Fiji Secondary Schools
ANNEX 11: QUESTIONNAIRES
AGENCY QUESTIONNAIRE
EVALUATION OF COMPUTER SCIENCE CURRICULUM IN FIJI SECONDARY SCHOOLS
SECTION 1:
AGENCY DETAILS
Please provide the following information:
Name: _________________________________ Position: ______________________________
Name of Agency:____________________________________________________________
Agency address (postal):_________________________________________________________
Agency phone:__________________mobile: _________________ fax:___________________
Agency and personal email:______________________________________________________
1.
Is your agency engaged in the area of Information, Communications and Technology (ICT)?
1.
Yes 2.
No
2.
If yes, please explain how.
3.
Has your agency ever been involved in strengthening the delivery of Computer Science education in Fiji
secondary schools?
1.
Yes

No, but we are planning some activities
2.
No
4.
If the response was 1 above, please clearly specify how your agency was involved or is planning to be
involved in the future?
SECTION 2:
SKILLS FOR EMPLOYMENT
5.
Does your agency employ recent school-leavers?
1.
Yes
2.
No
6.
If yes, please rate what level of skills your agency requires from these school-leavers in the
use of these applications.
Application
Highly
Sufficient
Very little
No prior skill is
skilled to
skill, but
skill,
needed as we train
work
some
intensive
all our new staff in
without any
training
training will
computer use
training by
will be
be provided
thoroughly
us
(a)
(b)
(c)
(d)
1
Computers in general
2
Word processing packages
3
Spreadsheets
4
Databases
5
Graphical applications
6.
Presentation software
(e.g. Power Point)
7
Desktop publishing
8
Any Internet activity
9
Web page development
10.
Email
11.
Knowledge of IT jargon
12.
Keyboard skills
72

7.
Do you find the recent school-leavers who studied CS in secondary schools to be sufficiently
skilled to work in your agency?
1. Yes
2.
No
8.
If no, what are their limitations in the use of computers?
9.
Do you think that the present CS curriculum in secondary schools provides good basic
training in computer application usage to students? (Please view the enclosed outline of the
CS curriculum by the Ministry of Education).
1.
Yes
2.
No
10.
If no, please give your reasons.
11.
What other important and basic areas of study should be included?
12.
If the Ministry of Education invited your agency to become part of the CS curriculum
advisory committee, meeting at least three times annually, would your agency participate?
1.
Yes
2.
No
13.
If yes, please describe how your agency could contribute towards the work of this committee?
14.
If your agency was requested to provide a few weeks’ intensive training/industry placement
for CS teachers, would your agency agree to this?
1.
Yes
2.
No
15.
What other forms of assistance can your agency provide towards CS/IT training in schools?
Please note these here.
16.
Would you be able to provide career talks for schools if requested?
1.
Yes
2.
No
17.
How would you rate the following in terms of limitations in the secondary schools?
Not a
Minor
Major
barrier(1)
barrier(2)
barrier(3)
a.
Lack of electricity, frequent power cuts
b.
Not enough or limited access to computers
c.
Not enough computer software.
d.
Purchased software has not been installed.
e.
The school does not have facility to house computers.
f.
Maintenance of computers is very expensive.
g.
Lack of time in school schedule for projects involving technology.
h.
Use of technology not integrated into curriculum documents.
i.
Lack of adequate technical support for technology projects.
j.
Lack of trained teachers to teach CS
k.
Technology integrated is not a school priority.
l.
Students do not have access to the necessary technology at home.
m.
Internet connection is too expensive.
73

Evaluation of Computer Science Curriculum in Fiji Secondary Schools
STUDENT QUESTIONNAIRE
EVALUATION OF COMPUTER SCIENCE CURRICULUM IN FIJI SECONDARY SCHOOLS
SECTION 1:
PERSONAL DETAILS
Please provide the following information:
Name:______________________________ Name of school:_________________________
School address (postal):__________________________________________________________
Your phone:_________________mobile: _________________ fax:_______________________
School and personal email:________________________________________________________
1.
In which grade are you presently studying?
1.
Form 1
2.
Form 2
3.
Form 3
4.
Form 4
5.
Form 5
6.
Form 6
7.
Form 7
8.
Other, please specify
SECTION 2:
COMPUTER SCIENCE EDUCATION
2.
What subject areas do you take in your present grade? (please check all that apply)
1.
Mathematics
2.
Social Studies
3.
Second languages
4.
Physical Education
5.
Vocational education
6.
Special education
7.
Physics
8.
Chemistry
9.
Biology
10.
Accounting
11.
Economics
12.
English
13.
Religious studies
14.
Computing Science
15.
Other, please specify
3.
Did you take Computer Science (CS) as an examinable subject last year?
1.
Yes
2.
No
4.
If yes, please clearly state your reasons for selecting CS.
5.
Did you achieve what you thought you would from taking CS in school?
1.
Yes
2.
No
6. If no, please give reasons.
7.
Do you get access to a computer during CS classes?
1.
Yes, we all have a computer each.
2.
Yes, two persons share a computer.
3.
Yes, more than two persons share a computer.
4.
No, only the teacher has a computer.
5.
No, no one has a computer.
74

8.
Approximately how often are you taught these applications during CS classes?
Application
Daily
Weekly
Monthly
Yearly
Never
Not
available
(a)
(b)
(c)
(d)
(e)
(f)
1
Computers in general
2
Word processing packages e.g. Word
3
Spreadsheets e.g. Excel
4
Databases e.g. Access
5
Graphical applications
6
Presentation software (e.g., Power Point)
7
Desktop publishing
8
Any Internet activity
9.
Search engines for the Internet
(e.g., Yahoo, Google)
10 Simulation Programs
11 Drill/Practice Programs, Tutorials
9.
Are you proficient in the use of the above-mentioned applications that you use daily/
weekly?
1.
Yes
2.
No
10.
If no, please give reasons why you are still not comfortable with these applications.
SECTION 3:
ENVIRONMENT
11.
Does your school have access to the Internet?
1.
Yes
2.
No
12.
Are students allowed access to the Internet?
1.
Yes
2.
No
13.
How many hours on average per week do you spend on the computer at school?
_____________________ hours.
14.
How many hours on average per week do you spend using the Internet at school?
_____________________ hours.
15.
What are the main purposes of computer usage by you?
16.
Do you have access to the Internet at your home?
1.
Yes
2.
No
17.
If yes, do you use the home Internet to prepare your school assignments?
1.
Yes
2.
No
18.
If yes, do you think this has improved your standard of school work compared to before,
when you were not using the Internet?
1.
Yes, huge improvement in my school work.
2.
Yes, a little improvement.
3.
No, there has been no difference at all.
19.
Do you think that you have an advantage over students that don’t have access to the
Internet at all?
1.
Yes
2.
No
3.
Maybe
4.
Not sure
20.
If yes, please clearly state, what you believe are your advantages?
75

Evaluation of Computer Science Curriculum in Fiji Secondary Schools
SECTION 4:
CHALLENGES
21.
Indicate whether any of the following are barriers to learning CS in your school.
Not a
Minor
Major
barrier
barrier
barrier
(1)
(2)
(3)
a)
Lack of electricity/ frequent power cuts
b)
Not enough computers
c)
Software applications are very old
d)
The school does not have proper facility to house computers
e)
The computers are obsolete
f)
Computers are frequently out of order
g)
Computer maintenance takes too long
h)
Lack of trained teachers to teach CS
i)
Large classes (more than 40 students at a time)
j)
Not enough guidance by teachers
k)
Students’ attitude
l)
Have no access to computers during CS classes for practical use
m) Most CS classes are too theoretical
n)
Little cooperation from parents
o)
Little priority given to teaching CS,
e.g. other subjects are taken during this period usually
SECTION 5:
CURRICULUM ASSESSMENT
22.
How does your teacher assess the students for the CS subject? (check all that apply)
1.
Presentations by students
2.
Individual exercises
3.
Group project
4.
Test
5.
Written/Practical Assignments
6.
Others, please specify
23.
Do you think what you are taught during the CS classes is
1.
very effective and useful outside schools as well?
2.
somewhat useful, but needs to reflect recent developments in the IT field?
3.
ineffective and needs to be drastically changed?
24.
Please give your reasons for your response above.
SECTION 6:
SKILLS FOR EMPLOYMENT
25.
Do you think that what you have learnt in the CS classes will be useful to you as an
employment skill?
1.
Yes
2.
No
3.
Not sure
26.
Have you ever worked outside school hours, such as holiday work etc.?
1.
Yes
2.
No
27.
If yes, did this work involve computers?
1.
Yes
2.
No
28.
If yes, were you able to utilize what you had learnt in the CS classes?
1.
Yes
2.
No
29.
For either response, please clearly state your reasons.
30.
Any other comments relating to this issue.
76

TEACHER QUESTIONNAIRE
EVALUATION OF COMPUTER SCIENCE CURRICULUM IN FIJI SECONDARY SCHOOLS
SECTION 1:
PERSONAL DETAILS
Please provide the following information:
Name:______________________________ Name of the school:_________________________
School address (postal):__________________________________________________________
Your phone:_________________mobile: _________________ fax:_______________________
School and personal email:________________________________________________________
1.
Gender
1.
Male
2.
Female
2.
Ethnicity
1.
Indian
2.
Fijian
3.
Chinese
4.
European
5.
Other Pacific Islander
6.
Others
3.
Please state your age? _______________________ years.
SECTION 2:
CAREER
4.
What are your qualifications, and please specify the Major in each? (Check all that apply)
1.
PhD
2.
Masters,
3.
Degree,
4.
Diploma
5.
Certificate
6.
Others
5.
Please state the country and institute where you studied for any qualifications relating to
Computer Science/ Information Technology
Country
Institute
_____________________________________________________________________________________
6.
What is your present annual salary? ____________________________________
SECTION 3:
INTERESTS & TRAINING
7.
What Computing Science (CS) areas are you interested in? (Check all that apply)
1.
Physical
2.
Network
3.
Application
4.
Others, please specify
8.
In the past year did you participate in any of the following types professional development
activities related to technology?
Yes
No
No. of
Who was this activity
hours
funded by?
a.
Workshop/seminar focused on a specific topic.
b.
Courses offered by the university.
c.
Teacher clubs connecting teachers regionally,
nationally or internationally.
d.
Conferences organised by ICT organisations,
Ministry of Education, tertiary institutes, etc.
e.
Internship programs, where the teacher spends
a few months as an attachment.
f.
Teacher resource centre, which provides
professional development materials.
g.
Committees or task forces focusing on curriculum,
instruction or student assessment.
h.
Teacher study groups that meet regularly, in
face-to-face meetings to further your knowledge
in your discipline.
i.
Other forms of organised professional
development related to technology. Please specify.
77

Evaluation of Computer Science Curriculum in Fiji Secondary Schools
9.
Is there any specific topic in CS that you would like to learn? (Check all that apply)
1.
Operating System
2.
Computer Graphics
3.
Database management
4.
Network
5.
IP technology
6.
Web design
7.
DTP
8.
Online learning
9.
Other, please specify
10.
Not interested in learning anything
in CS.
10.
Please explain why are you particularly interested in this area of CS?
11.
In what mode of teaching would you prefer to learn the above? (Check all that apply)
1.
A few weeks’ intensive course
2.
Afew months’ attachment
3.
Flexible learning while working
4.
Online courses
5.
More than a year’s course
6.
Others, please specify
12.
How much training would you require to use the following applications? (Check all that apply)
A=extensive. B= A lot. C=some. D=minimal. E=none
A
B
C
D
E
1. Advanced Input/Output Device
Scanner, digital camera, thermal printer
2. TV/Audio/Video
Educational TV, Laserdisc, VCR, Camera, etc.
3. Telecommunications
Email, bulletin boards, internet access
4. Word processing
Word, Word Perfect, ClarisWorks
5. Spreadsheets
Excel
6. Desktop Publishing
Pagemaker, Print Shop Deluxe
7. Instructional Demonstration/
Powerpoint
Tutorial
8. Information Retrieval Infotrac, SIRS, Library Circulation, etc.
9. Networking/Network Management
10. Web Page Development
Homepage, Dreamweaver, Frontpage
11. Interactive Video
12. Curriculum Specific Applications Eg. For teaching Maths
13. Basic Operating System
Mac OS, DOS, Windows
Techniques
14. Electronic Research
Online, CD-ROM based, databases
SECTION 4:
TEACHING
13.
What grade levels do you teach at present? (Check all that apply)
1.
Form 1
2.
Form 2
3.
Form 3
4.
Form 4
5.
Form 5
6.
Form 6
7.
Form 7
8.
Other, please specify
14.
What are your main teaching subjects? (Check all that apply)
1.
Mathematics
2.
Social Studies
3.
Second languages
4.
Physical Education
5.
Vocational education
6.
Special education
7.
Physics
8.
Chemistry
9.
Biology
10.
Accounting
11.
Economics
12.
English
13.
Religious studies
14.
Computing Science
15.
Other, please specify
15.
If teaching CS is your mainteaching subject, have you ever learnt how to teach CS at school?
1.
Yes
2.
No
16.
If yes, where and how?
78

17.
If no to Q15, how do you manage to teach CS in school?
18.
Do you plan to continue teaching CS in the near future?
1.
Yes
2.
No
3.
Not sure
19.
If no, do you think that teachers in the CS field should be provided with some incentives to
continue teaching CS as their mainteaching subject?
1.
Yes
2.
No
20.
If yes, please clearly state what incentives the school, the Ministry of Education, tertiary
institutes, businesses, and other stakeholders should provide for teachers in the CS field?
21.
How do you classify your teaching post at school?
1.
Regular full-time teacher
2.
Regular part-time teacher
3.
Long term substitute
4.
Trainee teacher
5.
Grant-in-aid teacher
6.
Other, please specify
22.
As at the end of 2002, how many years had you been teaching? _____________yrs
23.
How many students do you teach CS to? __________________
24.
What is your average class size? ___________________
SECTION 5:
ENVIRONMENT
25.
Do you have a computer at home?
1.
Yes
2.
No
26.
If yes, please identify the Operating System and the Software that are installed in your
computer.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
27.
Does your home computer have Internet connection?
1.
Yes
2.
No
28.
Do you have your own Web page?
1.
Yes
2.
No
29.
What is your main purpose of computer usage?
30.
How many usable computers does your school own (include servers, personal computers and
laptops)?
1. _____________ For staff/administrative use only (no student access)
2. _____________ For student use (include any use by students, even if staff also use them)
3. _____________ Other, please specify
4. _____________TOTAL (should include the sum of 1, 2 and 3)
31.
How many usable computers are located in each of the following areas?
1. _____________ Classrooms/Instructional rooms
2. _____________ Libraries/Media Centres
3. _____________ Computer Labs
4. _____________ Staff/Administrative offices
5. _____________ Other (please specify)
6. _____________ TOTAL
32.
How many hours does your average student spend on the computer at school in an average
week? _____________________ hours.
33.
Does your school have access to the Internet?
1.
Yes
2.
No
34.
How many hours does an average student spend using the Internet at school in an average
week? _____________________ hours.
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Evaluation of Computer Science Curriculum in Fiji Secondary Schools
SECTION 6:
CHALLENGES IN TEACHING
35.
Indicate whether any of the following are barriers to teaching CS at your school.
Not a
Minor
Major
Barrier
Barrier
Barrier
(1)
(2)
(3)
a)
Lack of electricity/ frequent power cuts
b)
Not enough computers
c)
Software applications are very old
d)
The school does not have proper facility to house computers
e)
The computers are obsolete
f)
Computers are frequently out of order
g)
Computer maintenance takes too long
h)
Not enough trained teachers to teach CS
i)
Large classes (more than 40 students at a time)
j)
Not enough CS classes per week to provide guidance
to students
k)
Students’ attitude
l)
Students don’t have no access to computers for practical use
m) The CS classes we teach are mostly theoretical
n)
Little cooperation from parents and senior staff
o)
Little priority given to teaching CS, e.g. other subjects
are often taken during this period
p)
Internet connection is too expensive for students to use
q)
Internet connection is too slow to be useful
r)
Students tend to abuse their Internet access tme, e.g. play
games, browse movies and music sites, etc.
s)
Parents have a negative attitude to the school providing
Internet access to students e.g. complaints by parents that
it allows easy access to pornography.
36.
Do you think that your students will be receptive to varied modes of teaching if proper
equipment and resources are available?
1.
Yes
2.
No
3.
Not sure
37.
If yes, could you mention what different modes of teaching you could implement in your
school.
SECTION 7:
CURRICULUM ASSESSMENT
38.
Approximately how often do you use each of these applications with your students
Application
Daily
Weekly
Monthly Once
Never Not
a semester
available
(a)
(b)
(c)
(d)
(e)
(f)
1
Computers in general
2
Word processing packages
3
Spreadsheets
4
Databases
5
Graphical applications
6
Presentation software
(e.g., Power Point)
7
Desktop publishing
8
Any Internet activity
10
Simulation Programs
11
Drill/Practice Programs, Tutorials
80

39.
Do you think the students are proficient in the use of the applications that you teach them
daily/weekly?
1.
Yes
2.
No
3.
Not sure
40.
If no, please state the reasons why they are still not comfortable in using these applications?
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
41.
Approximately what percentage of your teaching method comprises the following?
1. _____________% instruction
2. _____________% individual exercises
3. _____________% group project
4. _____________% test
5. _____________% assignment
6. _____________% others, specify please
42.
How do you evaluate your students? (please identify all forms of assessment)
43.
Are you using a standard curriculum provided by the Ministry of Education to teach CS?
1.
Yes
2.
No
44.
If no, please state the title of the curriculum that you are using presently.
45.
How would you rate the current CS curriculum set by the Ministry of Education?
1.
Very effective, there is no need for change
2.
Somewhat useful, but needs to reflect recent developments in the IT field
3.
Not very useful
4.
Ineffective and needs a drastic revision of the whole curriculum.
46.
Please state clearly, with reasons, what you find most useful in the present curriculum.
47.
Please describe what you want changed and how this could be done in the present CS
curriculum.
48.
If set questionnaires were provided by the Ministry of Education, would you be able to collect
information to evaluate the CS curriculum periodically in future?
1.
Yes
2.
No
3.
Not sure
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Evaluation of Computer Science Curriculum in Fiji Secondary Schools
ANNEX 12: CS PRESCRIPTION
Ministry of Education, Science & Technology
Fiji School Leaving Certificate Examination
Computer Studies Prescription
RATIONALE
In this age of Technology, the computer has the potential of opening a wealth of information for all
people. As society becomes increasingly centered on the creation and flow of information, the computer
becomes increasingly essential as the primary tool for managing this information. It is essential for the
education community to be knowledgeable about the computer, its uses and limitations. The business
world is rapidly incorporating the computer in all aspects of its operations. The students leaving Fiji
schools will need to be informed about computers whether they will be seeking employment of continuing
into tertiary studies.
This prescription assumes that, whether at home or in previous schooling, the students will have had
limited opportunities with computers. The course is built to be flexible and provide a wide range of
individual and group activities. Computer studies will emphasize the computer as a tool to be used in
personal development as well as the world of work.
AIMS
The aims of this prescription are to provide the student with opportunities to:
(a)
Become familiar with and understand the basic features of computers.
(b)
Develop skills to use the computer creatively.
(c)
Develop logic and problem-solving strategies in a variety of situations.
(d)
Use the computer and commercial software as a tool in writing (word-processing), and
number intensive calculations (spreadsheet)
(e)
Explore the social and economic implications of the computer
(f)
Become aware of the availability of the information that is electronically stored, updated
and manipulated by computers, as well as the potential for the misuse of information
about individuals.
(g)
Evaluate their own attitudes and values as these relate to possible uses and abuses on
computer technology in society.
(h)
Become aware of different types of computer related careers and their basic educational
requirements.
GENERAL LEARNING OBJECTIVES
The learning objectives of the prescription are to develop and assess the students’ ability to:
(a)
Set up a personal computer and its peripherals.
(b)
Effectively use the basic features of a word processor.
(c)
Use a database to process data and information.
(d)
Use graphs for effective and graphics presentation.
(e)
Choose the most appropriate application tool or language to solve a given problem.
(f)
Solve problems by designing and creating simple computer application models e.g. a simple
spreadsheet.
82

(g)
Recognize the major hardware and software components of a computer system
(h)
Explain the functions of the basic hardware and software components of a computer system.
(i)
Define and use correct computer vocabulary when communicating about computers.
(j)
Show and understanding of the nature, functions and use of common software programmes.
(k)
Discuss the positive and negative impact of computers on society and suggest ways in which
the negative impact maybe minimized and the positive impact maximized.
(l)
Discuss the future of computers.
(m)
Appreciate the role of computer technology in schools, home, business and society in general.
(n)
Value the computer as a tool for enhancing learning and efficiency in the education setting.
(o)
Become aware of the advantages and limitations of computer technology.
(p)
Appreciate the trends and developments in computer and information technology.
(q)
Draw simply flow charts to help solve problems.
(r)
Demonstrate knowledge of a computer language by writing, debugging and running simple
programs to solve specific problems.
(s)
Appreciate the value of hardware and software and the importance of maintaining them in a
suitable manger.
(t)
Be wary of the dangers of incorrect use of handling computers and their peripherals.
COURSE CONTENT
[Note: The T and P extensions designate Theory and Practical units respectively. The prescription
assumes at least 200 minutes (or 5 40-minute periods) of instruction each week divided between theory
and practical. Units 1 though 3 to be taught the first year. The second year concentrating on Units 4
through 6.]
Form Five and Six
Unit 1- T: Structure and Functions of a Computer.
Aim: To enable the student to understand the basic parts of the computer,
their use and care.
Content:
1T.1
Major functions and parts
Input, Output, Storage, Central Processing Unit, Memory, Floppy Disk Drive,Hard
Disk Drive, Monitor, Keyboard, Mouse, Printer.
1T.2
Types of Computers
Micros, Minis, Mainframe, Super Computers
1T.3
Operating Systems
Purpose, DOS.
1T.4
Application Software
Word Processing, Spreadsheet, Business, Games, Typing, Tutors, Inventory.
1T.5
Limitations of Computers
Unit 1-P Using the Computer
Aim:
To help the student become proficient in using the computer.
Content:
1P.1
Guidelines for care of the computer
Proper working environment, care of floppy disks, cleaning disk drive, use of printer.
1P.2
Keyboard Skills
Use of keyboard tutor program to increase keyboard skills.
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Evaluation of Computer Science Curriculum in Fiji Secondary Schools
Unit 2T:
History of Computers
Aim:
To provide the student with information on the development of
computers from the earliest days until today.
To enable the student to understand that innovations (inventions)and development of
new technologies came about in response to the needs of society.
Content:
2T.1
History and Development of Information Processing, computer hardware, computer
software, information systems, data, data entry, data bases, data processing, output.
2T.2
Applications of computers in various fields e.g. education, medicine, law and law
enforcement, economics, airlines, government, insurance, art and music.
2T.3
Latest trends in Computer Usage
Unit 2P: Word Processing
Aim:
Students should have the ability to produce letters and reports using a word
processor.
Students should be able to input text using a keyboard at a sufficient rate.
Content:
2P.1
Keyboard skills development using appropriate software
2P.2
Retrieving and saving a document
2P.3
Creating a document
2P.4
Printing a document
2P.5
Document editing.
- Display existing document
- Moving the cursor
- Strike over (type over) text
- Insert text
- Delete text
- Move text
- Copy text
2P.6
Advanced word processing skills
- Centre text
- Underline text
- Bold text
- Indent text
- Search and replace text
- Use a spelling checker
- Use fonts and graphics
Remarks:
This unit may be used to create documents for other subjects e.g.English,
History etc.
Unit 3T: Computers and Information Processing
Aim:
To assist the student to recognize how the computer can manage,
store and retrieve vast amounts of information.
Content:
3T.1
Information
Definition, Use in Business, Banks, Libraries, government
3T.2
Information Retrieval
File, Records, Field, Database
3T.3
Managing Information
Fields, Records, Sorting, Searching, Boolean Logic
84

Unit 3P: Information Processing
Aim:
To provide opportunities for the student to actively engage in
information processing.
Content:
3P.1
Using an existing database
Searching records, sorting records, print formats, printing requested information.
3P.2
Creating a database
Develop a simple database (i.e., library books, video rentals,
student records, school inventory.
Unit 4T:
Programming
Aim: To familiarize the student with the tools and techniques of
programming.
To introduce the student to the BASIC programming language.
Content:
4T.1
Languages
Machine Language, Compiled Language, Interpreted Language, LOGO, BASIC.
4T.2
Program planning
Problem specification, decomposition and algorithm designs
4T.3
Programming Language – BASIC
BASIC, commands: DELETE, EDIT, FILES, LIST, LLIST LOAD,”RENUM, RUN,
SAVE” SYSTEM
BASIC keywords: CLS, END, FOR….NEXT,
GOSUB….RETURN, GOTO, READ, DATA, IF, INPUT, LET,
PRINT,REM.
4T.4
Data types
Numeric, alphabetic and alphanumeric
4T.5
Arithmetic operators
Addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, exponentiation,
order of operation.
Unit 4P: Programming
Aim:
To enable the students to write simple structured programs in BASIC
To develop debugging skills in the student.
Content:
4P.1
Writing simple structured programs in BASIC, entering the program into the
computer, saving the program, loading the program.
4P.2
Subroutines and parameters
FOR……NEXT,GOSUB…..RETURN,
4P.3
Predicting output
Output and its layout (format).
4P.4
Debugging and correcting syntax errors, finding and correcting errors in program
logic.
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Evaluation of Computer Science Curriculum in Fiji Secondary Schools
Unit 5T:
Computers in Society
Aim: To study the present and potential uses and significance of
computers in society.
Be able to discuss the psychological, organizational, ethical and legal issues
arising from the introduction of computers.
Content:
5T.1
Computerization of Society
5T.2
Privacy of information
5T.3
Computer-based crime, hacking
5T.4
Computer security
5T.5
The computer virus
Unit 5P:
Spreadsheet
Aim:
The student will understand the purpose of the spreadsheet and its application
in a variety of tasks.
The student will create and use simple spread sheets.
Content:
5P.1
Entering information
- Enter text in a cell
- Enter a number in a cell
- Enter a formula in a cell
- Adjust column width
- Insert columns or rows
- Save and retrieve a worksheet
5P.2
Using information
- Make a copy of a range of cells
- Move a range of cells in a work sheet
- Sort a range of cells
- Format a range of cells
- Print a work sheet
5P.3
Creating graphs
- Create and view a graph
- Save a graph for later printing
- Print a graph
5P.4
Data query
- Select specific information
- Modify selection criteria
Unit 6T:
Computers and Careers
Aim:
To investigate the use of computers in fields apart from computing.
To introduce the students to the concepts of networking and data
communications.
To investigate the work of computing professionals.
Content:
6T.1
Computers in Other Fields
Research using CD-ROM, Music with MIDI, Writing/Composition,
Foreign Languages, Art, Computer Simulation, Mathematics, Robotics,
Artificial Intelligence, Drafting using CAM/CAD, machining using
Numerical Control.
86

6T.2
Data Communication and Networks
6T.3
Management Information Systems (MIS)
6T.4
Jobs in Computing
- MIS Manager
- Operations Manager
- Programmers
- Analyst
- Librarian
- Data Entry Operations
- Salesman
- Technician
- Trainer/Educator etc.
6T.5
Career path of computing professionals.
Unit 6P: Intermediate Concepts and Optional Applications
Aim:
To expose the students to computer applications
To familiarize the student with commonly used DOS commands.
Content:
6P.1
DOS commands
DIR, FORMAT, CHKDSK, COPY, RNAME, ERASE
DISK COPY, DATE, TIME, CLS, MKDIR, CHDIR, RMDIR,
TYPE, PRINT, MORE, REPAIR, RESTORE, VER, PROMPT,
AUTOEXEC.BAT, CONFIG.SYS.
6P.2
Education Software
6P.3
Desktop publishing, Graphics, Graphics User Interface (GUI)
EVALUATION
a.
INTERNAL ASSESSMENT
a.1
The practical assessment will weighed 30% of the total score. The teacher will maintain
a file of the student’s assignments on the Practical Units during the two year course of
study. Word processing and spread sheet will each be 10% of the score. Programming
and other applications will each be 5% of the practical score.
b.
EXTERNAL EXAMINATION
b.1
There will be a three hours written examination at the end of the two year course of
study.
b.2
The written examination will account for 70% of the total score. The examination
will include questions that will test the specific objectives. Questions will be derived
from the following categories.
Multiple choice
Short paragraphs
Determining the outputs of computer programs
Debugging simple computer programs
Structured programming
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Evaluation of Computer Science Curriculum in Fiji Secondary Schools
b.3
Each of the units within the prescription will be examined and the maximum marks
attributable to each will not normally exceed:
Unit
1T
Structure and Function
8 marks
1P
Using the Computer
10 marks
2T
History of Computers
5 marks
2P
Word Processing
10 marks
3T
Computers and Information
5 marks
3P
Information and Processing
10 marks
4T
Programming Methods
5 marks
4P
Writing Programs
10 marks
5 T
Computers in Society
7 marks
5P
Spreadsheets
10 marks
6T
Computers and Careers
10 marks
6P
Intermediate Concepts
10 marks
WEIGHED TOTAL 70%
POSSIBLE SUBJECT COMBINATION INCLUDING COMPUTER STUDIES
Science Track
Arts Track
Two of the three sciences
English
[Biology, Chemistry, Physics]
Maths (optional)
English
History
Maths
Geography
Computer Studies
Computer Studies
Business Track
General/Vocational Track
English
English
Maths
Maths (optional)
Accounting
Clothing/Textiles
for
Economics
Food/Nutrition
girls
Computer Studies
Wood Technology
for
Engineering
boys
Computer Studies
88

IMPLEMENTATION GUIDELINES
Computer education is a relatively expensive exercise which demands careful planning at the outset. It
requires good management of both physical and human resources to ensure the implementation and
maintenance of a meaningful and beneficial computing Programme. This is even more important in the
light of the numerous constraints currently faced by schools and their managements.
The purpose of the following guidelines is to inform all concerned of the many facets of computer
education. Plans for school programmes must take into account the changing nature of computer
technology. This means that allowances must be made to suit the demands of changing circumstances.
Lastly, if a school is to properly manage, organize, and budget for computer education, it is essential that
those making decisions in these areas have some awareness of the needs, scope, rationale, and issues of
mounting an examinable computer studies course.
1.0
Hardware
1.1
Minimum Configuration
The recommended minimum configuration for computer hardware is as
follows:
386SX processor, 25 MHz
4 MB-memory
40 MB-memory
3.5” 1.44 MB floppy drive
Color VGA screen
MSDOS 5.0
Mouse
This minimum configuration will be assessed on a regular basis in relation to the
current situation.
1.2
Purchase
When buying on their own, schools are advised to consult the Computer
Education Centre (CEC) if they are not certain about how and what to
purchase. Normally, vendors will install computers at the site.
1.3 Support and Repair
While it is not possible for the CEC to provide support services for hardware, schools
will depend on outside vendors for support. Schools are therefore advised to be assured
of hardware support by vendors that they purchase from.
1.4
Replacement Policy
Computer equipment is different from most other hardware in the speed at which it
becomes obsolete. By its nature, there is little value in teaching computing with outdated
systems. For these reasons, it is important that schools consider and adopt a policy that
will ensure that replacement of computers on a regular basis.
After five years at the very outside, maintenance costs will be unreasonable high in
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Evaluation of Computer Science Curriculum in Fiji Secondary Schools
relation to the cost of the computers. Thus computer replacement will be required, and
funding for this should be built into any budget of future programme costs. Old computers
could be sold at auction to recoup some of the cost.
1.5 Power Supply
Equipment providing adequate power protection should be installed with the computer
hardware to insure good quality electrical power thus protecting the computers from
premature failures. This probably means that in most areas served by FEA, a simple
filter that removes electrical spikes will be sufficient. Where power is supplied by a
generator, full voltage stabilization will be necessary. Uninterruptible power supplies
which provide continued operation in the event of a power failure are not recommended.
The additional expense of this equipment cannot be justified.
2.0
Software
2.1
Purchase
The CEC will assist by purchasing shareware and freeware which can be distributed
freely to schools. It will also evaluate software and recommend them to schools. Schools
are encouraged to purchase software on their own. The purchase of any prescribed
software will be a school’s responsibility unless otherwise stated by the ministry.
2.2
Licensing
Buying software usually means purchasing the license (or right) to use the software on
one computer. Schools are advised that all software used should be properly purchased
and licensed. This enables the provision of manuals and additional copies of software.
3.0
Computer Room
A separate and well equipped computer room will facilitate student learning, classroom
organisation, and proper care for the computers. A room for storage is essential and a
white board is recommended to prevent dust. Air conditioning helps in maintaining the
life of the machines. Should needing help on the layout or set up of a computer room
may seek help for CEC.
4.0
Ratio of Students per Machine
The maximum number of students per machine in a computer class is two (2). This ratio
is necessary to insure that students have sufficient time to interact with the computer.
5.0
Time Allocation
5.1
A minimum of five (5) 40 minute periods per week
5.2
The recommended minimum time allocation for each unit is as follows:
Unit
1T
Structure and Function
3 weeks
1P
Using the Computer
5 weeks
90

2T
History of Computers
2 weeks
2P
Word Processing
11 weeks
3T
Computers and Information
3 weeks
3P
Information Processing
7 weeks
4T
Programming Methods
2 weeks
4P
Writing Programs
7 weeks
5T
Computers in Society
2 weeks
5P
Spreadsheets
11 weeks
6T
Computers and Careers
3 weeks
6P
Intermediate Concepts
6 weeks
Total
62 weeks
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Evaluation of Computer Science Curriculum in Fiji Secondary Schools
ANNEX 13: SYMPOSIUM PROGRAMME
Symposium on Evaluation of
Computer Science Curriculum in Fiji Schools
Date:
27th – 28th March
Venue:
USP Bure
Organizer:
ICT Capacity Building @ USP Project
Objectives:
Share the results of the research entitled “Evaluation of CS Curriculum in Fiji Schools”;
Collect qualitative data from symposium participants’arising from their reflections, group brainstorming, and
many discussions;
Develop recommendations as identified by the participants for a model curriculum;
Establish some networking channels amongst the participants;
Raise the profile of the ICT Research component specifically and ICT Capacity Building @ USP Project
generally.
Expected Outcomes:
Clearly defined recommendations;
Incorporation of the qualitative data into the final report;
Networking channels defined for linkages between CS teachers, schools, Ministry of Education and other
stakeholders.
PROGRAMME
27th March
8.30-8.35
Welcome and Introduction
Dr Esther Williams
USP Librarian & Primary Researcher
8.35-8.50am
Mr. Tomobe
JICA Resident Representative
8.50-9.30am
Opening Speech
Mr. Joe Natao
Director – Technical & Vocational Department, Ministry of Education
9.30-10am
Participant Introduction
10-10.30am
Refreshments
USP/JICA Project’s activity
10.30-11am
Overview of the ICT Capacity Building @ USP Project
Ms Maki Kato – Coordinator – ICT Capacity Building @ USP Project
& Primary Researcher
11-11.30am
Open Source Learning
Ms Veronica Schiaffini
CS Lecturer – USP
11.30-12pm
JICA Expert – Multimedia Database
Mr Wade Miyagi - Distance and Flexible Learning Expert - USP
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12-1pm
Ministry of Education – IT Section situation
Mr Viliame Draunivesi
Education Officer – Technical and Vocational Section, Ministry of Education
1-2pm
Break
2-2.30pm
Introduction to the Research Concept
Dr Esther Williams, Ms Kato and Ms Malik
2.30-3.30pm
Research results
Dr Esther Williams
Ms Maki Kato
Ms Natasha Malik
3.30-4pm
Refreshments
4-5pm
Research results – continued
6pm
Banquet Dinner – Hai Kong Seafood Restaurant
28th March
8-8.30am
Model of a Successful School (Vanua Levu)
Mr Drivendran Sami
CS Teacher – Labasa Sangam College
8.30-9am
Model of a Successful School (Viti Levu)
Mr Yogesh Mani
Head of Math and Computing Department - Nadi Muslim College
9-10.30am
Towards a Model Curriculum
Mr Ron Keesing
CS Lecturer - USP
10.30-11am
Refreshments
11-1pm
Brainstorming
Facilitators
-
Networking
(Natasha Malik)
-
Training/Equipment/Strategies of access
(Edo Stork)
-
Job Security for CS teachers
(Viliame Draunivesi)
-
How to improve assessment
(Veronica Schiaffini)
-
CS curriculum
(Ron Keesing)
-
Self training
(Christopher Robbins)
1-2pm
Break
2-4pm
Presentations by individual groups
4-4.30pm
Refreshments
4.30-5.30pm
Finalizing Recommendations
6pm
Closing Speech – Professor Fuji Takahashi
93

Evaluation of Computer Science Curriculum in Fiji Secondary Schools
ANNEX 14: MINISTRY OF EDUCATION DEFINITIONS
Teachers’ Categories
Grant-in-Aid (GIA)
A GIA teacher is one who is teaching in an aided school and whose salary is met by
government. An aided school is a non-government secondary or junior secondary school
receiving grant-in-aid either in cash or kind from the government.
Temporary Civil Servant (TCS)
A TCS is one employed by the Ministry whose salary is met by government for a period
depending on the need of schools.
The employment is renewable every year by the recommendation from the Principal.
Civil Servant (CS)
A Civil Servant is one employed by the Ministry and the employment is permanent.
Salary wise there is no difference between GIA and TCS. There is no maternity reliever for a
GIA but the Ministry provides a maternity reliever when a TCS (who has served for 2 years)
goes on maternity leave.
TCS can act in a vacant HOD position. A GIA can act in the position without any remuneration.
For promotion, all have equal chances.
Minimum required qualifications
To teach as a Secondary School teacher, a diploma in education from Fiji College of Advanced
Education (FCAE) or degree with teacher training is the minimum requirement. In some
instances, a person may be employed who has only degree but no teacher training.
Closing speech by Professor Fuji Takahshi
94


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