About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 5966-5975
Publication year: 2011
ISBN: 978-84-614-7423-3
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2011
Location: Valencia, Spain

INTERNET CAFÉ AS A SUPPORTIVE EDUCATIONAL ARENA - A CASE STUDY FROM THE URBAN SLUM OF KIBERA, NAIROBI, KENYA

E. Wihlborg, H. Po

Linköping University (SWEDEN)
New information and communication technology (ICT) is now widely spread and indeed associated with globalization. Education is communicative and ICT has a key role of development of education. However, ICT as well as educational opportunities are indeed differently spread globally – there is a digital divide. The focus of this paper is to interpret a case study of the unexpected educational impact of an Internet Café. Internet cafés exist in many countries and are especially prevalent where computers or Internet subscription rates are low among households (Cilesiz, 2009), they bridge digital divides. An Internet café offers opportunities for low income people to access the Internet (Adetoro, 2010). Advanced technology might increase the gap between rich and poor, because computer literacy needs education and training (West, 2006), as well as larger financial input.

Internet cafés are spreading rapidly in Africa and offer privacy you don’t find at library or place of work (Mutula, 2003, Sairosse & Mutola, 2004). In Kenya only 3, 6 % of the households has one computer (Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, 2010), and we can assume that there are less households with computers in the slum of Kibera. However, more than 63 % inhabitants in Kenya have a cell phone. There are few public computers at libraries or post offices, thus Internet Cafes and mobile phones provide an attractive access to Internet.
Kibera is an urban slum of Nairobi, and has an area of approximatly 2.3 sqKm and estimations of inhabitants say 500.0000 to 1 million. In this context we have conducted a long-term field study at one Internet café – Cyber - including document studies, observations, focus groups and interviews with the management young visitors (users and non-users of the Cyber) Our findings show that there is a clear ambition from the management of the Cyber to enable computer literacy, as well as social and educational progress. Such learning takes place even if it looks like they mainly use of Facebook or browse the Internet.

Even if Cyber is managed by a NGO they have a clear profit focus In the beginning it was more of an educating purpose, or a charity purpose, by letting poor people have access to Internet to a cheaply cost and support guidance on Internet.

Our impression, that we will present and promote, is that the Internet Café promotes learning ambitions in the slum and presents the opportunities that could be available for them, but it also shows the divides of the knowledge society.

References
Adetoro, N. (2010). Internet utilisation and abuses in selected cybercafés in Ogun State, Nigera. African Journal of Library, Archives & Information Science. 20:19-27.

Cilesiz, S. (2009). Educational computer use in leisure contexts: A phenomenological study of adolescents’ experiences at Internet cafés. American Educational Research Journal. 46:232 –274.

Kenya National Bureau of Statistics. (2010) 2009 Population and housing census highlights.

Mutula, S. M. (2003). Cyber café industry in Africa. Journal of Information Science. 29:489-497.

Saiross, T. M., & Mutula, S. M. (2004). Use of cybercafés: study of Gaborone city, Botswana. Program: Electronic Library and Information Sciences. 38:60-66.

West, A. R. (2006). Technology related dangers. The issue of development and security for marginalized groups in South Africa. Community Informatics. A global e-journal. Vol 2.
@InProceedings{WIHLBORG2011INT,
author = {Wihlborg, E. and Po, H.},
title = {INTERNET CAF{\'{E}} AS A SUPPORTIVE EDUCATIONAL ARENA - A CASE STUDY FROM THE URBAN SLUM OF KIBERA, NAIROBI, KENYA},
series = {5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2011 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-614-7423-3},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {7-9 March, 2011},
year = {2011},
pages = {5966-5975}}
TY - CONF
AU - E. Wihlborg AU - H. Po
TI - INTERNET CAFÉ AS A SUPPORTIVE EDUCATIONAL ARENA - A CASE STUDY FROM THE URBAN SLUM OF KIBERA, NAIROBI, KENYA
SN - 978-84-614-7423-3/2340-1079
PY - 2011
Y1 - 7-9 March, 2011
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2011 Proceedings
SP - 5966
EP - 5975
ER -
E. Wihlborg, H. Po (2011) INTERNET CAFÉ AS A SUPPORTIVE EDUCATIONAL ARENA - A CASE STUDY FROM THE URBAN SLUM OF KIBERA, NAIROBI, KENYA, INTED2011 Proceedings, pp. 5966-5975.
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