George Oreku and Yasinta Kiju are two of the participants in the Sida sponsored training on ICT for education purposes.
Building knowledge and capacity in the use of ICT in education
Participants from Bangladesh, Cambodia, Kosovo, Rwanda, Tanzania, Vietnam and Zimbabwe gathered in Sweden for three weeks to undertake intensive training in ICT and Pedagogical Development. They all seek to improve the use of ICT for education purposes and to be a force for change in their home countries.
The focus of the training is to provide participants with conceptual and practical tools to promote change that will give people better access to and knowledge about ICT.
Yasinta Kiju is a statistician from the Department of Administration and Local Government at the Prime Minister’s Office in Tanzania. Her department is responsible for all primary and secondary school education in Tanzania. Speaking about the role of ICT in education she says:
“The use and development of new ICT solutions will help improve both teaching and learning processes. The application of ICT systems will also help us improve the collection of statistics on education in Tanzania and with better statistics, we will know where to focus our efforts.”
Tanzania already has a national policy in place that emphasises the importance of ICT for education purposes. Now the main challenge is to ensure its implementation and to make sure that all schools will benefit from new technology.
Sida’s International Training Programmes offer participants an opportunity to increase their knowledge and capacity to be drivers for change in their home organisations and countries within their specific area. During the course of the programme, participants undertake a change project anchored in the home organisation. Since the participants are nominated by their organisations and hold strategic positions, they have a real mandate to promote change.
George Oreku is the director of ICT and technological development at Tanzania Industrial Research and Development Organisation under the Ministry of Industry and Trade. George speaks about the change project:
“The six participants from Tanzania decided to join forces and cooperate on one change project only. This will hopefully increase the chance of success of the project seeking to integrate the use of ICT in teaching and learning processes, create interactive learning material and mainstream ICT in all teaching plans.”
During their stay in Sweden the participants did a study visit to a Swedish secondary school. George shares some of his observations from the visit:
“The use and connectivity to various ICT systems is much higher here than in Tanzania. I saw a strong commitment to the use of digitals solutions in education. Each student has access to a computer and uses the internet to conduct their studies.”
Inspired by the decentralised governance system in Sweden, George adds that decision-making processes happen much faster at the municipal level which favours the development of ICT for education purposes.
“Changes will not occur over night but we must carry on working towards increasing the use of technological solutions in education and promote positive change in this area”, George concludes.
The International Training Programme does not only increase the capacity of the participants to work as change agents in their workplaces but also allows them to build lasting networks across organisations and countries, sharing experiences and knowledge over time.
“The goal is that these networks continue to flourish, and to share knowledge and experience once the programme comes to an end”, says Therese Rosenblad at Sida's partner Life Academy, who is responsible for the implementation of ICT and Pedagogical Development.
The participants will meet again during the regional phase of the programme held in Bangladesh to present their change projects and the results of the work in the home organisations. The objective is that each project will have some tangible results, which have led to improvements in the understanding and use of ICT in education in the respective countries.