2017 Conference | Afternoon session B: ICT and quality education for all
The use of innovative technology in education should benefit all children – regardless of disability, race, language, religion, gender, remoteness and poverty.
The “World Development Report 2016: Digital Dividends” found that the benefits of digital technology are neither equally spread nor automatically enjoyed by all. As a result, the digital revolution is often leading to even higher inequalities and exclusion in many countries.
ICT has enormous potential to improve the quality and reach of education in the Global South. However, inappropriate mainstreaming of ICT could be counter-productive when aiming to achieve SDG4, as education can only be regarded as qualitative if it is equally accessible to all learners.
To quote Michael Trucano: "The so-called Matthew Effect of educational technology holds that those most likely to benefit from the use of new technologies in educational settings are those who already enjoy many privileges related to wealth, existing levels of education, and prior exposure to technology in other contexts. Policies that neglect to consider this phenomenon may result in projects that exacerbate existing divides within an education system, and indeed within larger society." (WDR2016, Sector Focus on Education, pp. 146-147)
To avoid a widening gap between the haves and the have nots, ICT interventions in education should focus on using ICT’s potential to reach the most marginalised. To be able to ease access to or lower the bar for access to ICT, it is necessary to either adapt new digital tools to the local context, or use those technologies already in place.
Linda Kamau will talk about the work of AkiraChix, a not for profit organisation in Kenya that aims to inspire and develop a successful force of women in technology who will change Africa’s future. Founded in April 2010, AkiraChix aims to be the leading women’s network impacting technology in Africa. Its programmes are developed to reach young women at different levels - those in primary school, high school and university, those working in technology and those who wish to have a career in technology - making it an effectively wholesome programme.
Short presentations by participants:
Julien Steel: Simba Education is an education management and distribution platform developed to democratize access to quality early childhood education.
Hans De Four and Dima Al Arqan will talk about the collaboration between KlasCement, the Belgian Development Agency (BTC) and the Palestinian Ministry of Education for the creation of a portal where thousands of Palestinian teachers help each other online, in the framework of a BTC E-learning project in the country.
Tom Vandenbosch, VVOB