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Issues and rationale

© Flickr / Rex Libris

Issues
Educational policy-makers, administrators, and practitioners need to be acquainted with the multi-faceted opportunities, challenges and constraints of integrating ICT into education - in other words, to recognise the socio-cultural dimension of the use of ICT in education and to understand that the use of ICT in education goes beyond buying a computer, plugging it into a school, and thinking that things will improve.

Too often in the Asia-Pacific region computers have been bought en masse for use in education, but are now lying on ministry desks and in school cupboards because the reasons for their procurement and plans for their ultimate use have not been clearly defined in advance. In many cases groups traditionally excluded from education - for reasons of poverty, gender, minority status, or geography - continue to be excluded from the use of ICT.

Policy makers and administrators must be assisted to ensure that a programme for promoting ICT use in education results in technologies being used not to extend or replicate the traditional classroom model, in already advantaged areas, but rather to fundamentally change the instructional paradigm, with ICTs serving as levers for system-wide curricular reform and educational change.

Rationale

This section of the programme aims to:

  • Help create an enabling and supportive policy environment towards increasing ICT connectivity for education and towards the systematic integration of ICT in educational policies and programmes
  • Ascertain the extent of the integration of ICT into national educational sector policies and plans
  • Create, collect, analyse and provide quick access to knowledge and information to support policy formulation, management and monitoring
  • Assist policy makers and educational administrators in selected countries to understand the potential of ICT as a driving force in educational reform
  • Help policy-makers to develop strategies to integrate ICT within educational policies and programmes in a more systematic, cost-effective and culturally appropriate manner
  • Enhance the capacity of policy-makers and school administrators to formulate policies, regulatory frameworks, guidelines and plans for the use of ICT in education, in order to promote equity in educational access, opportunity and quality