Information & communication technology

Introduction

Information & Communication Technology (ICT) offers great approaches to learning that we were not even dreamed of two decades ago. Integrating ICT into education system will revolutionize the education process if we use it in a proper way. In order to gain the maximum advantage of ICT, students need a solid ICT knowledge.

Previously, the term IT which was synonymous with computer has changed into ICT with the passage of time and it covers other equipment created to enhance acquisition, storage and dissemination of information materials. This comprises specifically the use of desktop and laptop computers, Internet & e-mail, telephones, digital cameras, scanners, multi media projectors, etc.

As the world progressively continues with numerous technological innovations, educators need to continue incorporating these new technologies into the class room. The use of ICT in the education process can basically be divided into two broad categories. They are;

  1. ICT for Education
  2. ICT in Education.

ICT for education connote the development of information and communication technology specifically for teaching/learning purposes, while the ICT in Education involves the adoption of general components of information and communication technologies in the teaching learning process.

The growth of the use of ICT in developing countries is increasing dramatically. Nevertheless, there is a great deal of knowledge about how ICT is being integrated into the school curriculum in developed countries, but there is not enough information on how ICT is being introduced into schools in developing countries. According to the researchers in the subject area, there is generally limited access to ICT resources and limited opportunities for both the teachers and students in these countries.

The targeted group of this research is Sri Lankan secondary educational level students in rural area schools. According to the country's education system, secondary education is divided into two categories. They are;

  1. junior secondary level (year 6-9)
  2. senior secondary level (year 10-11)

When considering the ICT literacy of these two categories, there is a huge difference with the required level of knowledge due to various reasons such as lack of resources, drawbacks in the education system, poor teacher awareness, poverty, etc... (Please refer problem description & evidence of requirement). When moving into rural area schools, this gap has tremendously increased.

The researcher aims to carry out a thorough investigation of this matter and find out suitable solutions to overcome this situation (please refer the aim & objectives).

Key Words

Lack of ICT literacy, Sri Lankan students, government schools, secondary educational level, rural areas, statistics

Statement of Problem

Problem in Brief

ICT illiteracy among secondary educational level students in rural areas is very high. They have fewer opportunities to become familiar with ICT due to various reasons. Therefore these children are not illegible for a high quality education process which suits the needs of the 21st century. This will directly affect them when doing further education, seeking a job from tomorrow's brutally competitive job market or even staring their own businesses.

Detailed Problem Description

The concept that education can successfully take place through the application of ICT tools and facilities between teachers and students is one which had generated, sometimes, hope and dismay and at other times, excitement. Hope that many more students can be reached at a more convenient pace that had erstwhile been the case, dismay that the infrastructures necessary for deploying an effective ICT platform is lacking in developing countries like Sri Lanka.

Integration of ICT with secondary education curriculum has not successfully taken place yet in the country. Students are exposed to computers after they have passed their junior secondary level in the school. Even though ICT has introduced to the senior secondary level syllabus as a subject very few schools have facilities to conduct classes in rural areas.

Some rural schools do not have electricity supply and telephone connectivity. ICT integration to their education process is still a dream for them. The schools which have one or few computers, do not have computer labs, other ICT related equipments, and most of the time they do not have trained teachers. Sometimes these PCs are used for basic administrative tasks and students have no access to be familiar with the computer.

There is a direct correlation between the teacher skills on ICT and student ICT literacy. Majority of teachers are not ICT literates especially in rural areas. Their attitudes towards the computer are not satisfactory and their willingness to change is poor.

Resource deviation between rural and urban schools is significant. While rural students are suffering from basic infrastructure needs, some schools in the city which have fully facilitated computer labs and other resources. It seems that equal opportunities among all the students in the country are still a dream.

Poverty factor is high in rural areas and this directly relates with ICT. Due to the high cost of computers, related devices and course charges, parents are unable to provide a proper ICT education to their children. Most of the time parents do not have the ICT awareness in rural areas. Therefore they do not realize the importance of ICT education for their children. Many parents traditionally encourage children to learn much more attention given subjects such as mathematics and science not computer technology which they do not aware of.

Poor management of limited ICT resources in schools is another factor to be considered. Teachers and other personnel in most of rural schools do not have acceptable level of knowledge and skills to manage limited resources to gain a maximum advantage.

Lack of ICT knowledge will result a traditionally educated set of people among the next generation that they do not have the enough capabilities of meeting the challenges in this rapidly changing 21st century.

Aim & Objectives of Study

Aim

The aim of this research is to thoroughly identify the lack of ICT literacy among secondary educational level students in Sri Lankan rural schools and identify the underlying facts related with the problem.

Objectives

  1. Discover the literacy levels and ascertain real statistics.
  2. Identify the roots of the problem (socio-economical, geographical, technological aspects).
  3. Identify better solutions for those root cases. E.g.: curriculum, human resource, and infrastructure development.

Evidence of Requirement

When comparing with south Asian region literacy level among Sri Lankans is the highest. It is a great achievement. But now the definition for literacy has changed. A decade ago Information and Communication Technology was something that people added on to literacy. In this 21st century it must be an integral part of what we mean by being literate.

Nearly four million students are studying in 9714 government schools. Half of the student population represents the secondary education level (year 6-11). Nearly 75% of schools are having their student population less than 500 and majority of these schools are situated in rural areas of the country (School census - 2006). These figures depict that the percentage of secondary level students who are studying in rural areas is considerably high.

When comparing with the developed countries, ICT literacy among Sri Lankan secondary level students is not in a satisfactory level. Majority of students in rural areas do not have access to the ICT yet. Therefore it will be a challenge for them to survive in the tomorrow's highly competitive world. This can be considered as a major drawback in the education system.

In this case, ICT literacy of teachers is a significant factor. The percentage of the ICT literacy among teachers is not more than 40% in all the districts in the country (Department of census and statistics - 2004). Moving into rural areas this percentage is seriously dropped. Without the awareness, literacy and skills, it is hard to make an ICT enabled classroom.

When we talking about The ICT literacy of the whole nation, Colombo is the only district which has nearly 20% computer literates (house hold survey on computer literacy - 2004). Practically the ICT literacy rate of the entire population cannot be more than 5% in 2007(Sri Lanka Education Forum). Depending upon what we mean by 'ICT literacy' it can even is as low as 2%. The number of Internet and E-mail subscribers in Sri Lanka has been only 150,000 by the quarter 1, 2007 (Telecommunication Regulatory Commission).

These figures depict that the most of the children are not live in an ICT enabled environment. Living environment will have a huge impact on the future life style of these children.

ICT was not in the syllabus as a subject for senior secondary level students in government schools until 2004 (Sri Lanka Education Forum). Though the syllabus includes computer studies for senior secondary level, majority of rural schools have faced numerous issues which ultimately prevent students being literate in ICT. Junior secondary level students are not exposed to ICT in the curriculum yet. Therefore year 6 -9 students' knowledge on computer technology is very poor.

Context Description

This research is based on the secondary educational level students (year 6 -11) in rural area schools. Schools in developed areas, national and International schools, and other governmental and non governmental institutions are excluded from the scope. Rural schools which have less than 500 student population will be the main target of this research. All the associated issues such as teacher ICT illiteracy, lack of facilities and humanresources will be thoroughly investigated to gain a proper understanding of the problem.

Information & Communication Technology (ICT) offers great approaches to learning that we were not even dreamed of two decades ago. Integrating ICT into education system will revolutionize the education process if we use it in a proper way. In order to gain the maximum advantage of ICT, students need a solid ICT knowledge.

Previously, the term IT which was synonymous with computer has changed into ICT with the passage of time and it covers other equipment created to enhance acquisition, storage and dissemination of information materials. This comprises specifically the use of desktop and laptop computers, Internet & e-mail, telephones, digital cameras, scanners, multi media projectors, etc.

As the world progressively continues with numerous technological innovations, educators need to continue incorporating these new technologies into the class room. The use of ICT in the education process can basically be divided into two broad categories. They are;

3. ICT for Education

4. ICT in Education.

ICT for education connote the development of information and communication technology specifically for teaching/learning purposes, while the ICT in Education involves the adoption of general components of information and communication technologies in the teaching learning process.

The growth of the use of ICT in developing countries is increasing dramatically. Nevertheless, there is a great deal of knowledge about how ICT is being integrated into the school curriculum in developed countries, but there is not enough information on how ICT is being introduced into schools in developing countries. According to the researchers in the subject area, there is generally limited access to ICT resources and limited opportunities for both the teachers and students in these countries.

The targeted group of this research is Sri Lankan secondary educational level students in rural area schools. According to the country's education system, secondary education is divided into two categories. They are;

3. junior secondary level (year 6-9)

4. senior secondary level (year 10-11)

When considering the ICT literacy of these two categories, there is a huge difference with the required level of knowledge due to various reasons such as lack of resources, drawbacks in the education system, poor teacher awareness, poverty, etc... (Please refer problem description & evidence of requirement). When moving into rural area schools, this gap has tremendously increased.

The researcher aims to carry out a thorough investigation of this matter and find out suitable solutions to overcome this situation (please refer the aim & objectives).

Limitation of Study

Delimitation of Study

Please be aware that the free essay that you were just reading was not written by us. This essay, and all of the others available to view on the website, were provided to us by students in exchange for services that we offer. This relationship helps our students to get an even better deal while also contributing to the biggest free essay resource in the UK!