Ict in School Education

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Information and Communication Technology for Education in India and South Asia

Essay II

ICT in School Education (Primary and Secondary)

ICT in School Education (Primary and Secondary)

2010

Executive Summary
The essay on use of ICTs in school education provides a study of trends and dominant features of the use of ICTs for school education as profiled in different initiatives captured in the country reports. The essay highlights the spectrum of experiences from high-end technology solutions to low-end TV/radio-based initiatives that have been successful in different countries at the K12 level. The paper also examines the key issues and challenges in the effective implementation of ICTs in school education and provides suggestions to address these challenges and aid the implementation of ICTs in school education. An observation of international trends in application of ICTs in schools indicates that it is directly related to the development of schools and the teaching and learning environment. It is observed that new and emerging technologies are being integrated with the older technologies to make ICT applications in education more effective. Educators are also showing an increasing tendency to use mobile technology to enable access to education. There is a great deal of effort being expended around the world on the development of systems that will standardize the development of resources, catalog them, and store them. These include learning objects, which are digital Web-based resources created to support learning and can function as discrete entities or be linked in order to relate to explicit concepts or learning outcomes. Repositories are libraries where these digital resources are stored and provide teachers, students, and parents with information that is structured and organized to facilitate the finding and use of learning materials regardless of their source location.

ICT in School Education (Primary and Secondary)
The United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) two and three are about achieving universal primary education and promoting gender equality, respectively. The MDGs in education are defined in terms of participation and completion of primary education by all children and the elimination of gender discrimination in education. Despite the continued efforts of the various Governments on universalizing the primary and elementary education, through a wide range of programmes and schemes, access to quality education continues to be an obstacle in the achievement of the education goals. For instance, in India, during 2004 – 05, while the Gross Enrolment Ratio for children enrolling in classes I to VIII was 97 percent, the Drop-out Rate for the same classes was as high as 46 percent. The situation is more worrying at the secondary education level (classes IX and X), where the enrollment is recorded at 53 percent and the Drop-out Rate is as high as 60 percent1. Efforts so far have addressed to a considerable degree, the concerns of equity as well as that of regional parity, however concerns of quality have not received adequate attention. Recognizing this, the Government of India’s flagship education programme at the primary level - the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) - has streamlined its focus on ‘quality’. The situation is similar across the South Asia

Selected Educational Statistics 2006 – 07; Government of India, Ministry of Human Resource Development, New Delhi 1

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ICT in School Education (Primary and Secondary)

2010

region. With the target timelines for universalizing of primary and secondary education nearing, there is a sense of urgency in accomplishing the goals set therein. As is being increasingly articulated, if after spending large sums of money on programmes and schemes, countries have not become fully literate, it is time that innovative and cost effective methods be put in place to address the problem of education in these countries2. While this is a larger...
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