ICT4E in India and...

ICT4E in India and South Asia - Extended Summary

This survey is the third in a series of regional surveys that began with Africa, continued with the Caribbean, and now includes the South Asia region. In addition to country reports, case studies and thematic essays, an Extended Summary report has been included. In it, one may find summaries of each country's ICT for education policy and position and a discussion of cross-cutting themes and key insights.

In nearly all countries, four main themes emerge. First is the importance of ICTs for training teachers. Much of this takes the form of basic computer literacy instead of how to integrate computers into pedagogy, but the emphasis on building capacity is important. Secondly, providing and sustaining ICT infrastructure in schools, especially through public-private partnerships, is seen as essential. Next, it is clear that while ICT is an important part of formal educational institutions, it can be just as powerful in non-formal education settings, creating the opportunity for life-long learning. Finally, a number of the surveyed countries have very strong Open and Distance Learning (ODL) initiatives that seek to provide mass education and overcome geographic or financial barriers.

Among the key findings available in the Extended Summary is the importance of fostering an ICT 'ecosystem' with numerous constituent parts working in collaboration to provide opportunities for innovative educational approaches. ICTs can be seen as a platform to overcome the worst parts of education and learning. Meeting this demand can take many forms - from distance learning on a radio or TV, to newer devices like the widespread mobile phone. Through it all though, the importance of local context and systematic capacity building is key. Furthermore, careful monitoring and evaluation, and coordination, is critical to success.

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