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UNESCO Institute for Statistics and ICT in Education Statistics

(by Peter Wallet, Programme Specialist, ICT in Education Statistics)

The UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) is mandated to administer international data collections on the availability, use and impact of ICT in education. Through the establishment of internationally comparable and policy-relevant indicators, the UIS contributes towards benchmarking and monitoring the integration of and access to ICT in education, which are fundamental for policymakers to select priorities and adopt and develop effective policies. With available data, policymakers can make informed decisions regarding: i) curricula including promoting ICT skills, as well as using ICT to support instruction in other school subjects; ii) national capacity and/or infrastructure levels (e.g. electricity, Internet, by type) to permit the integration of ICT tools in more schools; ii) types of ICT currently being emphasised and/or neglected in relation to issues of suitability and affordability (e.g. radio- versus computer-assisted instruction); iii) national deployment patterns of ICTs in schools; iv) access rates among girls and boys; v) types of support mechanisms currently in place or lack thereof; and vi) the relative level of teacher training provided in relation to the demands placed on them to teach and/or use ICT in the classroom. 

For the past 4 years UIS has been conducting regional data collections in Latin America and the Caribbean (2010), Arab States (2011), Asia (2012), Francophone and Lusophone Africa (2013), and Anglophone sub-Saharan Africa (2014). Surveys were administered to countries to collect baseline data as well as to gain insight on data collection issues in preparation of the first global data collection that will occur in the last quarter of 2015. Previous experience shows that ICT in education data are difficult to collect, particularly so in least developed economies where current data collection efforts reflect other priorities, including increasing enrolment, decreasing the proportion of out-of-school children, decreasing grade repetition, and ensuring an adequate number of trained teachers. In other words, countries that face the biggest challenges are typically least likely to systematically collect ICT in education data.

Among data collected by UIS, those on infrastructure have been the most forthcoming and facilitate the calculating of two core indicators: i) the pupil (learner) to computer ratio (PCR or LCR), and ii) the proportion of schools with Internet. Other core indicators on infrastructure with available data include the proportions of schools with radio and television for teaching and learning, while the proportion of schools with electricity exists as a key reference indicator shedding light on national capacity to support ICT-oriented teaching and learning practices in general.

Pupil participation rates in programmes with ICTs provide another important measurement for policymakers, yet are more difficult to collect. Meanwhile data on teachers’ training for ICT and usage in the classroom are amongst the most difficult.

Data can be accessed via the UIS Data Centre at the following link and clicking the tab (Information and communication technology (ICT) in education): www.uis.unesco.org/DataCentre/Pages/BrowseCommunication.aspx. A glossary of terms can also be found at the following: www.uis.unesco.org/Pages/Glossary.aspx

Data are available for about 90 countries from various global regions. New data reflecting the 2016 global data collection will be available in the last quarter of 2016.

To contact the UIS, inquiries may be addressed to:



28.10.2015