ICTs provide a pla...

ICTs provide a platform for innovative education in India and South Asia

infoDev Releases Survey of ICT for Education in India and South Asia

To fill the information gap for comprehensive and comparative information about ICT and education, infoDev has published its "Survey of ICTs for Education in India and South Asia." This survey will be a must-read for governments, donors and practitioners who plan to use ICTs in educational initiatives in the region. By gathering and comparing on-the-ground information from eight countries, illustrating successes and challenges, and drawing out key lessons learned, this report will help decision-makers to plan, coordinate, implement and evaluate successful ICT4E initiatives in India, South Asia and beyond.

Key Findings

The “Survey of ICTs for Education in India and South Asia”, supported by the Finnish Trust Fund, found that successful schools use ICTs throughout the curriculum, not just for basic computer literacy. Re-creating this success means paying more attention to curriculum and content development, teacher capacity-building, and creative approaches to better maintain hardware and software.

ICTs can be a means to overcome some of the chronic problems in the education system - like poorly trained teachers. If designed and implemented properly, ICTs can even kick-start broader and much-needed innovation in the education sector.

Other findings include:

  • Most of the countries in the South Asia region realize the need for ICT teacher training and have launched various professional development initiatives to meet that need. However, many of these trainings focus primarily on computer literacy instead of enabling teachers to integrate ICT in their day-to-day teaching practices.
  • ICT4E initiatives are successful in South Asia because they are able to pull together different elements in an organic and integrated manner, supported by a robust yet flexible policy framework. Strong national policies can translate into an ecosystem of initiatives and schemes by both public and private providers.
  • Technologies as mundane as radio or as innovative as mobile phones can be powerful tools in both formal school and informal learning. However, common constraints – including infrastructure, cost, and poor institutional frameworks – can hamper progress.

Details of the Survey

The report, produced by PriceWaterhouseCoopers India, surveys and compares eight countries in South Asia: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Each country case study includes:

  • The national education system and ICT setting;
  • Policy framework and delivery mechanisms;
  • Important education initiatives using ICTs;
  • Major constraints; and 
  • Key insights. 

The survey report also includes:

  • Four state-level profiles from India - including Delhi, Karnataka, Rajasthan, and West Bengal;
  • Two profiles of distance education and teacher training in Pakistan;
  • Five thematic essays on gender equality, policy coherence, non-formal learning, capacity building, and primary and secondary schooling;
  • A discussion of the methodology and database of consulted experts and documents.

Coming Soon - Five Thematic Essays:

infoDev will also be releasing the working versions of 5 thematic essays developed as a result of this survey process. The essays pay particular attention to the following themes:

  • Policy Coherence in the Application of ICTs for Education;
  • ICT in School Education (Primary and Secondary);
  • Capacity Building for ICT in Education;
  • Gender Equity and the Use of ICT in Education; and 
  • ICT in Non Formal Education.

Look out for the forthcoming essays to be published at the Survey website.

For More Information

The full version of the Survey of ICT and Education in India and South Asia is available at on the website. infoDev previously completed similar surveys of ICT use in education in the Caribbean and Africa.

The first draft of this survey was presented and discussed in Delhi, India on April 21, 2010 in conjunction with a lively Oxford-style debate about the subject. The event was webcast around the world on infoDev’s Educational Technology Debate (ETD) site where you can find much more ICT4E discussion and material.

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