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ICT in education policy, infrastructure, and ODA status in selected ASEAN countries

Information and communications technology (ICT) plays a critical role in enabling inclusive and sustainable human development by providing people not only with access to information and services but also with opportunities to participate and contribute to the knowledge economy.

In support of these efforts, UNESCO Asia Pacific Regional Bureau for Education (UNESCO Bangkok) encourages member states in the region to capitalize on ICT’s transformative potentials in education by strategically and effectively using ICT to improve governance, access to resources, capacity building, and quality of learning. UNESCO Bangkok has been at the forefront of ICT in Education programmes and activities in the region, providing member states with technical assistance in the areas of policy guidance, information exchange, research, and teacher training.

It is in this context that UNESCO Bangkok presents the study on “ICT in Education Policy, Infrastructure, and ODA Status in Selected ASEAN Countries”, funded by the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST).

The study, completed in June 2013, examines the status of ICT in Education in eight Southeast Asian countries, namely Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. The study focuses on these countries’ ICT in Education policies and programmes, infrastructure, official development assistance (ODA) status, and readiness for new and advanced learning technologies (such as learning with robots).

Findings show variances in the priority areas and development levels of ICT in Education among the countries, mainly due to their unique national contexts. The study showcases a combination of (a) well-established models that are oriented towards ICT-pedagogy integration and (b) entry-level endeavours that prioritize access to education via ICT infrastructure and connectivity – with disparities very much evident in the areas of ICT-related human capacity building, school programmes, and support. In addition, data indicate that majority of the ODA allocated for education has been used to support access to quality primary education and the advancement of tertiary education. Only a few ODA donors, notably ADB, World Bank, and JICA, have directly targeted ICT in Education projects in the ASEAN region in recent years.

This study provides UNESCO Bangkok with useful information to guide potential areas of engagement and collaboration with the countries reviewed. It likewise offers useful insights on these countries’ ICT in Education plans, strategies, lessons, challenges, good practices, and success factors that other member states can use as valuable references in developing or enhancing their respective ICT in Education plans and programmes. Further, this study may serve as a guide in the development of strategies for the effective allocation of ODA to new ICT in education initiatives.

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ICT in education policy, infrastructure, and ODA status in the selected ASEAN countries

Published by UNESCO Bangkok 2013

124 pages