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Project Description

Implementing agencies
UNESCO Bangkok, ASEAN Foundation, SEAMES (Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Secretariat, Thailand with The National Electronics and Computer Technology Center (NECTEC), the South East Asian Ministers of Education Open Learning Educational Centre (SEAMOLEC).

Region/country covered
Group 1: Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, and Thailand
Group 2: Cambodia, Myanmar, Lao PDR, Viet Nam
Brunei will participate on their own while Singapore will be tapped as resource country.

Duration
2003-2006

Context
An initial cursory survey has shown wide ranging initiatives to introduce ICT in schools in ASEAN countries. These efforts are found in varying degrees within the ASEAN bloc, with countries such as Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines and Indonesia having started far ahead of others such as Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Viet Nam. Numerous initiatives and projects from various funding sources such as World Links, UNDP, SEAMEO, Intel, IBM, Coca Cola, IDRC, etc. are currently taking place in Thailand, the Philippines and Malaysia both in the areas of teacher training and materials development. The descriptions of these projects can be accessed at the following websites:

While some countries have developed a policy on the use of ICT in education, Thailand and Malaysia for example, the rest have not. For this reason, initiatives and projects on the introduction of ICT in schools have not been guided by such policies. As many projects were also initiated from outside of the ministries of education, by telecommunications companies, commercial companies and international funding agencies, use of ICT has not yet been systematically integrated into school curriculums.

Even within the ministries of education, various ICT projects have been developed ad hoc and without interdepartmental coordination. Duplication of efforts and resources has thus resulted from this lack of policy guidelines and strategies. There is also a need to learn from the more advanced countries, such as Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Japan, India, Malaysia, and Thailand, which have launched SchoolNets to connect the schools to the wealth of educational sources and resources available and to share/exchange innovative teaching/learning materials and best practices online.

Problems and needs to be addressed

  • Inadequate basic infrastructure, lack of connectivity, hardware and software; high Internet fees, lack of technical support, funds for operations and maintenance and even lack of space to locate computers also pose as practical obstacles to ICT use.
  • Much of the current use of ICT in the classroom still focuses on the drill and practice type of learning, where computers are seen as tutors rather than as tools towards engaging students in critical and interactive learning.
  • Though teachers had been trained in the use of ICT and SchoolNet (for some countries), the integration of ICT in the teaching of subjects has been weak because of a number of reasons: (a) absence of systematic management support; (b) lack of ownership by schools; (c) lack of integration into existing curriculum and textbooks; (d) teacher overload and lack of incentives and motivation; (d) lack of ICT-based materials that are truly interactive for teachers to use; and (e) shortage of personnel
  • Absence of policies and management support to the use of ICT in schools is hindering the progress of the use of ICT in the classrooms
  • Effectiveness of SchoolNets has yet to be tested since operating
  • SchoolNets depends on the following factors which often is not present in the countries: (a) connectivity down to the rural areas; (b) high cost of connecting, Internet penetration in the rural areas, and telephone lines; (c) hardware; (d) teacher skills and motivation; (e) local content; (f) incentives; (g) interactivity and participation; (h) technical and trouble-shooting support; (i) integration into the school curriculum; and (j) easy accessibility to research and information

Target beneficiaries
1. Educational authorities and policy makers
2. Teachers
3. Students
4. School administrators
5. ICT persons - web-based developers, technicians, etc.


Objectives
To create equal opportunity in education for the ASEAN countries by:

1) exploring and demonstrating how ICT can be used in schools and consequently improve the quality of education for all and better prepare the youth for the demands of the Knowledge Society
2) testing innovative models of ICT use and of ICT-based teaching education, teaching-learning methods, and curriculum/materials development in schools and in other places of learning.
3) improving connectivity and access to the wealth of educational resources through the establishment of SchoolNet in the ASEAN countries

Immediate Objectives

  • To collect, document, share, and promote the use of successful experiences/innovative practices of ASEAN countries in the use of ICT in schools and the impact of SchoolNet on teaching/learning and based on these experiences develop a model.
  • To formulate and further improve policies and programme strategies/master plans for integrating the use of ICT in national educational curriculum of ASEAN countries
  • To develop interactive educational software and ICT-based teaching/learning lessons and materials for integration into the teaching of science, mathematics and language subjects.
  • To enhance the capacity of school teachers and administrators to integrate ICT into teaching of science, mathematics and language and to mobilize the SchoolNet resources to support their ICT-based teaching activities
  • To pilot the instructional use of ICT in secondary school education, specifically in science, mathematics and language curriculum, in three selected schools in each of the eight ASEAN countries.
  • To promote equal access to knowledge and educational resources available on the Internet and those developed by ASEAN teachers and students as well as undertake inter-country telecollaboration through the establishment and operation of national SchoolNet and ASEAN SchoolNet
  • To exchange experiences and document best practices generated from the use of ICT and SchoolNet in the ASEAN countries and promote their dissemination
  • To continue pilot testing and undertake telecollaboration activities as well as monitor and evaluate the project for efficacy and scalability

Strategies
The project strategy for reaching the two groups of countries will differ in two of the phases of implementation - the teacher training and SchoolNet development. For example, teacher training for Group 1 countries will directly include training on the use of the ICT-based teaching/learning materials and how to integrate them into teaching science, mathematics and language, as most of these teachers have already received basic computer training. This group will also be trained on how to use the SchoolNet and participate in telecollaboration. Group 2 schools, on the other hand, will first be trained on basic computer literacy and then on the use of the ICT-based developed materials, SchoolNet and telecollaboration.

Similarly, training on the development of SchoolNet will also follow approaches appropriate to the country group. Within the countries, three pilot secondary schools will be selected – two in the urban areas and one in the undeserved area.

The project will have the following components:

  • documenting of innovative and successful strategies to serve as benchmarks and guidance for programme planning and implementation
  • policy and strategy development, specifically dealing with integration of ICT into national education curriculum; development of integrated ICT-based curriculum, teaching and learning materials and applications for teaching Science, Mathematics and Language
  • establishing connectivity and pilot testing the use of ICT in 24 schools in eight ASEAN countries;
  • training of teachers in computer literacy, the use of the ICT-based teaching/learning materials in Science, Mathematics and Language
    eLearning and the use of SchoolNet resources; the establishment of national and ASEAN SchoolNet; telecollaboration
  • sharing of best practices

Expected results

  • Innovative practices and strategies in the use of ICT in schools and SchoolNet operations from Australia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, and Thailand, documented and shared
  • Model and guidebook developed for ensuring successful integration of ICT in schools and establishment of SchoolNet
  • Commitment of policy makers from Ministries of Education and telecommunications sector ; principals/headmasters of pilot schools and SchoolNet operators obtained and policies/strategies developed to integrate the use of ICT into existing school curriculum for science, mathematics and language
  • Interactive ICT-based teaching/learning materials, educational software, classroom activities and lessons developed and used for integrating into science, mathematics and language teaching in 24 pilot schools
  • Knowledge and skills of teachers developed/upgraded in the integrated use of ICT in teaching science, mathematics and language and the use of Web-based resources through the SchoolNet
  • Quality of teaching/learning improved through the application of ICT in teaching science, mathematics and language in 24 pilot schools
  • Connectivity and digital divide addressed with schools in isolated and marginalized areas reached
  • Access to knowledge and educational resources on the Web promoted/enhanced through establishment of National SchoolNets in eight countries and ASEAN SchoolNet
  • Capacity for operating, managing and updating national SchoolNet websites developed/upgraded
  • Quality of teaching enhanced though sharing of innovative lessons and teaching materials and best practices through SchoolNet
  • Capacity to undertake online networking, discussion and collaboration improved among ASEAN pilot schools through national and ASEAN SchoolNet and telecollaboration activities
  • Experiences and success stories documented, shared and disseminated through an ASEAN experience sharing seminar and through the Clearing House dissemination system
  • Impact of the project determined through a systematic monitoring and evaluation exercise

 

For further details, please contact:

UNESCO Bangkok Office
P.O. Box 967, Prakanong Post Office
Bangkok 10110 Thailand
Tel: (66-2) 3910577 EXT 223
Fax: (66-2) 3910866
E-mail: ict.bgk@unesco.org