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How best to assess the use of ICT in Education

Computers, notepads and mobile phones may not be the first thing you think about when picturing a class room in Africa. But information and technologies will increasingly find their way into African education systems, says Marc Bernal, regional advisor for Africa of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS). This is why, he adds, we need to start training African statisticians so that they are able to report accurate indicators that will enable us to get good statistics on the spread of ICT in education in Africa.

It’s about being able to collect data in a given country to on, for example, how ICT are integrated into education plans, how many teachers are trained in the use of ICT in the class room, how many computers per pupil, number schools with electricity, etc.

41 statisticians from 38 African countries met on 10-12 September 2013 in Dakar (Senegal) to discuss these issues during a regional meeting of the UIS Working Group on ICT in education statistics.

Global support for local data

The development of accurate and precise international and standardized indicators on the implementation of ICT in Education is a joint project between several partners. They include UIS, Korean Education and Research Information Service (KERIS, which has pushed for development of international comparative indicators on ICT in Education since 2006), the centre of the Brazilian Information Networks ( (which conducts annual surveys in Brazil since 2010 through its research centre on communication technologies and information (

After the meeting, data was collected in the various countries, which will then feed into regional/national synthesis reports to be published in 2014.