ICT-Enabled Education in Africa: A Sober Reflection on the Development Challenges

ICT-Enabled Education in Africa: A Sober Reflection on the Development Challenges

Shafika Isaacs (SchoolNet Africa, South Africa)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-057-8.ch009
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Abstract

This essay prompts critical thinking on the way ICT-enabled education programs in Africa have been conceptualized and implemented. It reflects mainly on the experiences of the African SchoolNet movement over the past decade. It highlights important lessons and demonstrates the beneficial effects of technology-enhanced learning programs on African learners and teachers who have had the privilege of being included in SchoolNet initiatives. However, it also shows that the accumulated interventions and programs to date remain insignificant in scale to catalyze a resounding shift toward resolving the crisis in Africa’s education systems; it makes the case for integrated system-wide, locally led approaches that soberly takes account of the challenges imposed by globalization. The chapter traces the historical evolution of frameworks to promote African inclusion in the information society, and allusions are specifically made to the emergence of the NEPAD eSchools, and the Global eSchools and Communities Initiative of the UN ICT Task Force, which hold the potential for advancing the frontiers of learning in Africa. Here, the author emphasizes, however, that these new initiatives need to draw on the accumulated learning and experience of the SchoolNet movement over the past 10 years in Africa to succeed. Finally, the chapter raises the dearth of evidence-based research made in Africa by Africans who would verify or refute the case for stronger investment in ICTs for education. It then proffers suggestions on areas for further research.

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Table of Contents
Foreword
Robin Mansell
Acknowledgments
Mila Gascó-Hernandez, Fran Equiza-Lopez, Manuel Acevedo-Ruiz
Chapter 1
Simone Cecchini
This chapter examines the digital divide that exists within Latin American countries. It argues that information and communication technology is... Sample PDF
Digital Opportunities, Equity, and Poverty in Latin America
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Chapter 2
Bobak Rezaian
This chapter reviews the role of information and communication technologies in socioeconomic development and poverty-reduction programs in... Sample PDF
Integrating ICTs in African Development: Challenges and Opportunities in Sub-Saharan Africa
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Chapter 3
Liudmila Burtseva, Svetlana Cojocaru, Constantin Gaindric
In this chapter the authors introduce the digital-divide concept to the reader, bring its different definitions, and describe the short history of... Sample PDF
Digital Divide: Introduction to the Problem
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Chapter 4
Liudmila Burtseva, Svetlana Cojocaru, Constantin Gaindric
In this chapter, we want to state shortly the basic components and manifestations of the digital-divide problem, as well as the ways of its solution... Sample PDF
Digital Divide: A Glance at the Problem in Moldova
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Chapter 5
Rebecca Lekoko, Bantu Morolong
ICTs are an integral part of both scientific and lay cultures. However, scientific know-how, whose significant features are high expertise and... Sample PDF
Poverty Reduction through Community-Compatible ICTs: Examples from Botswana and other African Countries
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Chapter 6
Alex Robinson
The chapter presents a case study of an ICT-based attempt to reduce poverty (ICT4PR) in a rural Indonesian community. Differences between the... Sample PDF
The E-Pabelan National ICT4PR Pilot Project: Experiences and Challenges of Implementation in an Indonesian Context
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Chapter 7
Narima Amin
This chapter looks at the origins and evolution of microfinance and explores some of the challenges faced by microfinance institutions (MFIs). It... Sample PDF
Enabling the Expansion of Microfinance using Information and Communication Technologies
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Chapter 8
John Lannon, Edward Halpin
This chapter looks at the impact of the Internet on the worldwide human rights movement, and examines the opportunities and pitfalls of the... Sample PDF
Human Rights Movements and the Internet: From Local Contexts to Global Engagement
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Chapter 9
Shafika Isaacs
This essay prompts critical thinking on the way ICT-enabled education programs in Africa have been conceptualized and implemented. It reflects... Sample PDF
ICT-Enabled Education in Africa: A Sober Reflection on the Development Challenges
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Chapter 10
Ben Bellows, Aman Bhandari, Mahad Ibrahim, Jaspal S. Sandhu
This chapter begins with an overview of public health in developing regions. From this population-level perspective, we discuss the information... Sample PDF
Peering into the Black Box: A Holistic Framework for Innovating at the Intersection of ICT & Health
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Chapter 11
C. R. Ranjini, Sundeep Sahay
Large investments are being made to reform the health sector in developing countries as the various reports that indicate this potential of ICT is... Sample PDF
Computer-Based Health Information Systems: Projects for Computerization or Health Management? Empirical Experiences from India
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Chapter 12
Rosa Borge
Political actors use ICTs in a different manner and in different degrees when it comes to achieving a closer relationship between the public and... Sample PDF
An Explanatory Approach to the Political Uses of ICT Initiatives for Participation: Institutions, Context, and Characteristics of the Actors
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About the Authors