IMPACTS OF INFORMATION AND
COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY (ICT)
NKWEKE, Gift N.
(Dipl, B.Sc, PGD, MNIS)
Paper presented on the occasion of the Abia State Conference Youth Rally of The Church of God (Seventh Day) Nigeria, on 17th September, 2011
KEYWORDS:Information and Communication Technology, Church Administration, way forward.
Eccl.12 : 1-5
“AS A YOUTH THINK OF WHAT YOU CAN DO FOR THE CHURCH AND NOT WHAT THE CHURCH CAN DO FOR YOU”
In 1999, there were only One million internet subscriber on the entire African Continent, compared with 15 million in the United Kingdom (UK).
On 1st Oct, 2008, the Director of Church Education and Church Development of the Ghana Baptist Church submitted that Africa needs ICT policies to power development. That implies that every church that must embrace development should take seriously ICT into her action plans. In his book “ Creating efficiency for Effective Ministry”, Robert H. Welch points out that churches need to take into consideration modern ict equipment for youth gathering and worship.
The Church of God (seventh day) in Nigeria is not completely left out from this modern tool for development. In one of their meetings in 2009, Keshi Ukaegbu and Nkweke Gift jointly moved a motion that led to the design of church website in Nigeria.
Information & Communication Technology, or ICT is any technology that is used to communicate information, which can be images, text, sound or video. It has been around for a long time - inventions like the telephone and television count as ICT. But it has really come to the fore in recent years with the rapidly expanding use of computers, fax machines, mobile phones, and of course the internet. This has led to a lot of new possibilities for churches, not only in day to day communication, but also in services, study groups, and spreading their message to the outside world.
IMPACT ON THE SOCIETY
Some people have argued that the growth of ICT could be seen as creating a gap between the 'information rich' and the 'information poor'. Technology to receive e-mails and access the internet costs money. This could also be seen as exacerbating inequality between rich and poor countries across the world.
But in its favour ICT is leading to some positive changes. ICT training and jobs are booming in places like India and China, helping development in those countries, and helping to raise the general standard of living.
In UK, the government has invested effort to make ICT available to as many people as possible. Now you don't even need a computer to access the internet, it is possible to use mobile phones and Digital Televisions. 50% of homes are now connected to the internet, and as many as 96% of the population are aware of a place where they could get on line if need be.
DARKER SIDE OF ICT.
These are some of the disadvantages that can put people off getting connected to the internet. But there are now several easy ways to block out the unwanted from your computer screen and e-mail inbox.
On the whole the advantages of speed, convenience, and long term savings mean that the new technologies are set to become a fact of life for everyone in the future.
In the end the technology is just the medium. It's there to spread the message, to be used for God.
CHALLENGES FACING ICTS IN AFRICA
The principal factors that prevent schools, church organizations from using computers as tools for teaching, preaching and learning are insufficient funds, insufficient numbers of computers, lack of computer literate church workers, lack of church workers competence in integrating computers into different learning areas in the church, the absence of proper planning for use of ICT...