eLearning in Developing Countries: October 2-22, 2007

Barriers to e-learning in developing countries

Re: Barriers to e-learning in developing countries

by j. Tim Denny -
Number of replies: 0

I really like the ideas on creating policy.  Yes it can be said that policy means nothing unless it has proponents behind pushing to ensure the policy is enacted. Yet, I am still a big believer that we must have the policy infrastructure in place so that sector wide stakeholders can refer back to guiding principles.

A few suggestions:
  • each country needs a well written ICT-education policy - of which e-learning should be clearly understood
  • such policy must be followed up with clearly written action and implementation plans

assessment  -- in order for that to occur each country must have a clear view of what education projects are happening, where, when and all results...
  • for this a good open access project database needs to be supported
  • a database of all ICT assets can be drawn up so that potential partners know what is available, thereby making their job of delivering programs easier
  • a proper understanding of e-learning feasibility which must include extensive observation of teaching situations, teacher capacities and other elements that lead to a positive or negative recommendation for e-learning should be carried out.
Some thoughts...
I often here the word government in such contexts...   I think government is great when it works, yet when it is ineffective in a developing world context how can we ensure ICT-education continues regardless of a lack of understanding or support of the government sector?  Are there ways to circumvent government and deemphasize their role? Luckily in the Cambodia context we have an ICT-education policy and a leadership that wants to see the changes, yet I know many countries do not have such support.

Major needs in the Cambodia perspective
  • electricity - most all electric generation is diesel generator derived - we need varied sources, alternative energy, rural energy schemes and of course much more affordable energy to persist on ICT initiatives
  • lack of hardware...  of the 253 upper secondary schools only some 10 have a computer lab... leaving a deficit of some 15,000 computers needed to complete administrative and student facilities at a ratio of 1:20
  • teacher training - lack of clear plan, initiatives and understanding of how, what and where to train
  • connectivity -  due to immensely expensive internet access internet is inaccessible in the foreseeable future outside of the big cities..

John "Tim"  Denny, Ph.D.  ICT and Education Specialist
Adviser to the Cambodia MoEYS on Science and Technology Education
Executive Director, PC4peace http://www.pc4peace.org
Co-founder Open Schools Program - Cambodia
    "Honest disagreement is often a good sign of progress."   Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948).