TAG-Org and UNESCO Issue A Report on ICT in Education
TAG-Org and UNESCO Issue A Report on ICT in Education
Importance of ICT in Education is Gaining Ground; Governments are Increasingly Including Its Integration in Education
The report focuses on major issues that tackle the gap in ICT integration which can be summarized according to the following points: learner-to-computer ratio; and learner-to-computer connected to the Internet ratio
AMMAN -------July 10, 2013------ Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Organization (TAG-Org), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) issued a comprehensive report on ICT in Education in five Arab countries: A comparative analysis of ICT integration and E-readiness in schools in Egypt, Jordan, Oman, Palestine and Qatar.
The report which was issued in a special ceremony at Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Knowledge Forum provides a snapshot of ICT integration in education in the abovementioned countries which have made great efforts to control the power of ICT to help meet many development challenges, including those related to education as some countries are still far behind and need to put more effort to implement ICT in their crucial education systems.
The report focuses on major issues that address the gap in ICT integration which can be summarized according to the following two points: learner-to-computer ratio; and learner-to-computer connected to the Internet ratio.
Data shows that in Egypt and Palestine, 120 and 19 students on average, respectively, share a single computer in primary education. Meanwhile computer resources connected to the Internet are more overstretched in primary education as the learner-to-computer connected to the Internet ratio increases to 441:1 and 41:1, in Egypt and Palestine, respectively.
According to the report, in the Arab states, the implementation and use of ICT in education often lags behind other social and economic spheres, including communications, employment and commerce. In fact in many countries in the Arab states, children and youth learn more about how to use various ICT tools informally outside of the school system.
The report also tackles the types of Internet connectivity which is a prerequisite for the integration of ICT-assisted instruction using the Internet; an analysis of basic Internet connectivity is primordial in determining a countrys level of preparedness. In Qatar, where resources are unevenly distributed between the public and private sectors, 55%, 40% and 62% of total primary, lower and upper secondary schools, respectively, are connected to the Internet.
Meanwhile, in Palestine, where about one third of schools have Internet connections, all are via fixed broadband. In Oman and Jordan, where different types of connections coexist, more than one-half of Internet connections are via fixed broadband.
In general, Jordan, Oman and Qatar have much higher levels of integration of ICT-assisted instruction and the essential infrastructure, including basic hardware (i.e. computers) and Internet connectivity, than Egypt and Palestine. While learner-to-computer ratios (LCRs) are relatively low in Jordan, Oman and Qatar (i.e. 15:1 or less), indicating that fewer children share a computer, they are much higher in Palestine and especially in Egypt, where 120 children on average share the same computer.
The current report also provides a comparative analysis of ICT integration in the five targeted Arab states by looking at four specific types of data: i) use of ICT in policy and key curricular areas (mathematics, sciences, computing, arts, as well as first and second language learning); ii) ICT infrastructure to support the integration of ICT in educational institutions (access to ICT and connectivity); iii) participation in programs offering ICT; and iv) teachers use of and training on how to use and teach ICT in the classroom.
HE Dr. Talal Abu-Ghazaleh, highlighted the efforts in issuing the report commending the partnership between TAG-Org and UNESCO in this strategic project saying:"In phase one we started conducting a survey to find out the use of information and communication technology in the input and output of education through the work of accurate census according to the criteria of State for Statistics as well a joint team representing TAG-Org and UNESCO in the second phase to complete the survey in the rest of the Arab countries, and in the third phase will examine the results of the survey with the ministries and institutions concerned, to assess what has been achieved and research gaps and shortcomings and what measures should be taken by the decision-makers."
Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh thanked Ms. Costanza Farina, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Jordan for attending the event stressing that this project came in response to directives of His Majesty King Abdullah II Bin Al-Hussein and Queen Rania Al-Abdullah, saying: "We are in a position that needs a lot of effort to get good result, especially in Jordan and called on the government to enter into real programs," adding "we need a lot of change is our responsibility all thought leaders, and the private sector, the media, and education so that our future is linked to this topic."
He gave a briefing on TAG-Org's achievements in the ICT field stressing on his belief that the future is e-learning which needs ICT saying:" We have achieved the school's e-bag and TAGIPEDIA and we launched our own Cloud in addition to others. We work in partnership with the European Union on linking all research and educational centers in the Arab region with Europe and we are working on qualifying thousands of employees and students in Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Oman."
Meanwhile, Dr. Anna Paolini, director of UNESCO's Office in Amman and UNESCO Representative in Jordan said:" I salute our partnership with Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Organization on the occasion of the launch of the report; this initiative is a pioneering experience of cooperation with TAG-Org and the information and communications sector in Paris and the UNESCO Institute for Statistics in Montreal and the UNESCO Office in Amman."
The report concludes that through global initiatives, such as the Millennium Development Goals and the World Summit on the Information Society, the importance of ICT in education is increasingly gaining ground. Governments are increasingly including the integration of ICT in education, enhancing infrastructure, and training human resources into national policies in order to develop their educational systems.