Access and use of e-books among students in Senior High Schools: a case study of schools in Kumasi Metropolis

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November, 2016
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Electronic books or e-books have been in existence for a considerable number of years. E-books are now common and very popular with people who wish to read one or many books. Unearthing and the thus understanding of challenges hindering students’ access to and use of e-book is important for effective planning and implementation of policies for the successful integration of e-books in the education curriculum. The study seeks to explore access to and the use of e-books among Senior High School students in the Kumasi Metropolis and the associated challenges and problems they do encounter in this quest. A survey study comprising an admixture of quantitative and qualitative methodologies was designed to elicit participants (students) response on the use of e-books. A total sample of 283 students were selected from five senior high schools in the Kumasi Metropolis to constitute the sample size for the study. Structured questionnaires were employed to elicit information relevant to the objectives of the study. Frequencies and percentages of the variables were computed and described to ascertain the responses of the participants. The study discovered that majority of the high school students surveyed, had varying knowledge of e-books but its usage and thus accessibility was the exclusive privilege of a relatively few due to a litany of factors the prime among which is lack of access. It was found out that students used e-books for the purposes of enhancing personal development, self-inspiration, education, information, as well as for academic development. Mitigating against the effective use of e-books were factors like lack of time, prohibition to use certain devices by school authorities, non-affordability of the reading device and preference for printed books as the prime reasons for not patronizing e-books. The study then concludes that Senior High School students in the Kumasi Metropolis read e-books albeit limited to non-academic related purposes like entertainment and general information seeking via the mobile phone which is the primary medium of access. The study therefore recommends to the Ghana Education Service to institute policies to encourage and improve access and use of e-books among Senior High School students by unleashing its untapped potentials for enhanced academic work by properly integrating it into the educational curriculum.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Publishing Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Art.