ICT IN EDUCATION: SECONDARY TECHNICAL VOCATIONAL EDUCATION AND TRAINING INSTITUTE CENTERED DIFFUSION OF INNOVATION IN RURAL BANGLADESH
Aalborg University (DENMARK)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2011 Proceedings
Publication year: 2011
Conference name: 5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2011
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:Bangladesh, a developing and third world country, recognized for its microcredit success, has a favorable political vision to achieve ‘Digital Bangladesh’ by 2021. Government projects, public-private partnership projects, corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities and private initiatives in Information Communication Technology (ICT) for education are integrating telecenter models with ‘smart classrooms’ of secondary educational institutes. The three-fold objectives of these development projects are computer literacy for teachers and students, telecenter for community and access to better learning content or better learning. Little or no significant study had been conducted on the qualitative achievements of such projects traceable from early 2002.
As proponent of ICT for development, the author considers the problems of rural inhabitants (78%) living on agrarian livelihood, electricity insufficiency (47% from nation grid), socio-economic class gap and bias, education vs. employment association (as education for sustainability) and access to ICTs. These might resist the intended objective of ICT for development projects. With decrease of technology obsolescence period if the technology ‘domestication’ is not proportionately increased, the digital divide will intensify. Bridging the digital divide (in terms of ‘adaption’) will become far reaching. Thus, firstly, this paper reviews different theoretical dimensions to converge towards a qualitative ‘diffusion study’ focusing socio-economic context. Secondly, the problems faced in implementing ICT in secondary institutions and telecenters of disadvantageous communities are reported to construct the problem boundary. Finally, the author proposes an intensive comparative study using three different approaches to identify a preferable methodology for higher ‘diffusion’ or ‘domestication’. Participatory Rural Assessment (PRA) and Video and Design methodologies are proposed as part of one of the three different methodologies.
In Bangladesh context, secondary technical vocational education and training (TVET) institutes’ students come from lower middle class or below. The motivation for these students is early employment or entrepreneurship with low capital investment. Unfortunately, TVET institutes seem to be victim of invisible bias in ICT expansion projects. Bangladesh Millennium Development Goal (MDG) progress report of 2009 shows downward index for employment. IT supports services personnel are mostly from TVET institutes. For identifying pattern and prospective immediate contribution in national index through ICT for Education, a TVET institute of about 450 students in a village of 5500 inhabitants is selected for the study.
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Keywords: Diffusion of innovations, participatory action research, ICT in education, telecenter, domestication, digital Bangladesh, smart classroom, Video in De.