09.12.2013 - UNESCO Office in Kathmandu

ICTs in schools a must, say education experts

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We need to more efficiently use information and communication technologies for teaching and learning, said education planners and practitioners at a two-day “Advocacy Seminar: ICT Use in Education” that the UNESCO Office in Kathmandu and the School of Education of Kathmandu University organized on 29 and 30 November 2013 in Godavari, Lalitpur.

The aim of the workshop, which gathered 35 participants from the Ministry of Education (MoE), Department of Education and Tribhuvan University, was to discuss the ICT in Education Master Plan (2013-2017) and to identify strategies and challenges for its implementation. Besides discussing the importance of the use of ICT in education to promote equitable, quality and accessible education to all, the workshop also explored the implementation status of ICT master plans in other Asian countries.

“Today, harnessing the power of ICTs for socio-economic development is increasingly on the agenda of almost all developing countries. Education authorities worldwide are developing initiatives to use ICTs in support of teaching and learning. They increasingly recognize that ICTs are not just the “icing on the cake” of education, but that they become essential for quality education.” said Axel Plathe, Head of the UNESCO Office in Kathmandu and UNESCO Representative to Nepal.

Narayan Gopal Malego, secretary of the MoE said that in today’s world all the sectors were using ICT for effective outputs and education was not exception. “The Ministry of Education is currently working on 7000 plus schools to prepare them for using ICT in Education,” he said. He said that it was equally important to work on the preparedness part of the recipient.

Mahashram Sharma, joint secretary at the MoE, described the entire process of preparing the ICT in Education Master Plan and its adaptation by government. However, he said that sustainable financing was a major concern for the successful implementation of the master plan.

Participants agreed that the future challenges of education in terms of access, quality, affordability, equity and relevance can only be met by new ICT enhanced methods of teaching and learning. But they must be cost efficient, user-friendly and accessible.  The discussions of the meeting clearly showed that policy makers and planners in education must set the basic conditions for successful ICT enhanced learning and teaching creating enabling environments, building infrastructure and establish partnerships with the private sector. Teachers have to be massively trained in use of the new technologies, since they are expected to pilot and ensure effective use of innovative ICT-enhanced curricula and learning methods, said the participants.

In the other hand, the ICT in Education Master Plan https://connect.unesco.org/attachments/article/105/,DanaInfo=.ampgCkt1Gvy+ICT%20MP%202013%20(Final)%20.pdf that was prepared by the Ministry of Education with UNESCO’s support focuses on the benefits that the educational sector could take from ICT’s. The Plan follows several go<a name="_GoBack"></a>vernmental initiatives in providing necessary materials to schools such as computers or printers to improve the quality of teaching, the preparation of the teaching materials, teacher training materials and the administrative work. The plan also aims at reducing the digital gap at all levels in enhancing the quality of education.

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