Information and communication technologies (ICTs) have the potential to enhance access, quality, and effectiveness in education in general and to enable the development of more and better teachers. As computer hardware becomes available to an increasing number of schools, more attention needs to be given to the capacity building of the key transformers in this process, namely, teachers. ICT is technology that supports activities involving information. Such activities include gathering, processing, storing and presenting data. Increasingly these activities also involve collaboration and communication. Hence IT has become ICT: information and communication technology. ICT is the mean to communicate information through various means including audio-video recordings, digital data storage devices and internet etc. When it comes to educating students through ICT it needs to be an organized effort i.e. its roles, outcomes and involvements should be determined.
CHALLENGES IN INTEGRATING ICT:
Previous information communication technologies have penetrated deep into the society and hence are often very cost effective; teachers in Pakistan often use no more than a blackboard and chalk to pass on information about any subject to the students. Printed papers in the form of books, magazines or newspapers have become a part of daily routine of any educated citizen, as are broadcast media such as radio and television Power needs, physical space and connectivity issues are also factors that add to the challenge of getting these technologies to take root in developing countries like Pakistan. * Most of the rural area schools facing lack of physical and technical infrastructure, and facilities to support ICT. Poor School buildings, limited electricity supply and poor telecommunication links are major problems. * Capacity- building at different areas like teacher professional developments, technical support specialist development and content developers development are really challenging in Pakistan due to budget constraints and inadequate policies for education. * Pakistan's one of the greatest challenges in integrating ICT in education is striking a balance between educational aspirations with economic realities. ICT integration in education projects requires large capital investments to harvest universal quality education at gross root levels. * Computer Studies is an optional subject at higher secondary level, but it is yet to make an impact. There is no curriculum for computer studies below secondary level. To the best of my knowledge, only a very few schools are effectively implementing computer studies for higher secondary school students e.g. The City School, Lahore Grammar, Beacon house School System etc. * Ensuring the design and development of the ICT resources (training programs etc.,) in education are pedagogically sound and meet the teaching and learning needs of the teachers and students of the country is really challenging. * Last but not least challenge facing by the Government is to preparing and implementing plans to lessen digital divide, which is likely to play an important role in carrying out a variety of activities for human resources development in ICT to realize millennium development goals and move towards enhancing Gross National Happiness (GNH). ICT AND TEACHER EDUCATION:
ICTs are one of the major contemporary factors shaping the global economy and producing rapid changes in society. They have fundamentally changed the way people learn, communicate, and do business. They can transform the nature of education – where and how learning takes place and the roles of students and teachers in the learning process. Education in the East African region faces a number of problems. These problems include the shortage of qualified teachers, very large student populations, high drop-out rates of students and teachers, and weak curricula. All of these negative aspects result in poor...