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ICTs in Primary Schools; the Case of Roma

The role of Information and Communication Technology (ICTs) in the education sector plays an important role, especially in the process of empowering the technology into the educational activities.

Further David Souter writing on ICTs in Education states that ICTs can facilitate a transition of the role of the teacher in the classroom into that of an instructional manager helping to guide students through individualized learning pathways, identifying relevant learning resources, creating collaborative learning opportunities, and providing insight and support both during formal class time and outside of contact time. Souter adds that the unfortunate part is that most professional development programmes tend to concentrate on teaching educators how to use the technology itself and that professional development needs to focus on how to mentor and guide learners in this environment.

Roma Girls Primary School based in Lusaka-Zambia, has embarked on a programme of introducing every child to the use of ICTs from grade one to seven. The school manager Mr. Phiri highlighted that   role of ICTs play at his school is important because it helps children to achieve better results in other subjects as well. Mr. Phiri adds that it is important that children become familiar with ICT at an early age, because they will need those skills for the remainder of their education and in adult life

ICTs in schools provide an opportunity to teachers to transform their practices by providing them with improved educational content and more effective teaching and learning methods. ICTs improve the learning process through the provision of more interactive educational materials that increase learner motivation and facilitate the easy acquisition of basic skills. The use of various multimedia devices such as television, videos, and computer applications offers more challenging and engaging learning environment for pupils of all ages. ICTs can provide new and innovative means to bring educational opportunities to greater numbers of children of all ages, especially those who have historically been excluded, such as populations in rural and remote-rural areas, girl children facing social barriers, and children with disabilities and other compulsions.

The opportunities for ICTs in education must be understood within a context of challenges and difficulties. These include: the absence of comprehensive policies which enable and support interventions and which are supported by clearly defined and resourced strategies for implementation at national level as well as at the level of educational institutions; lack of financing and prioritization of ICT investments; limited infrastructure of the kind required to support the use of ICT in education; lack of capacity at all levels to integrate and support the use of ICT in education effectively; lack of necessary ICT skills among teachers, and of the specific training needed to be able to use ICT appropriately in the classroom; lack of appropriate content; lack of accurate, comprehensive, up to-date data on education; and the tendency of ICT to accentuate social, cultural and economic disparities.


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