Need to popularise ICTs use in schools

INFORMATION AND Communication Technologies (ICTs) like internet, television, radio, mobile, networks, are the major phenomena around which the whole fabric of modern technology revolves. However, since the start of the 21st century, the education field is confronted with several multiple social, cultural, technical and economical problems. The educational technology helps in eradicating these problems by developing new ways, models and technologies in order to facilitate performance of learning and teaching. It goes without saying that modern technologies have the potential to support education across the curriculum and provide opportunities for effective communication between teachers and learners in ways that have not been possible before. This is an unarguable fact that the successful incorporation of ICTs in the education system is composite and a many-sided procedure that not only fully devotes to provision of ample basic principle but also the provision of technology, effective pedagogy, readiness of institutions, competency of teachers, curriculum and long-run funding. Pakistan, being a developing country, is facing numerous problems in almost every sector particularly education. Not only the ICT literacy in rural areas is at almost zero level but the government also lacks any unified policy to effectively integrate technology into teaching and learning. Presently, almost the whole world is practicing modern tools and methods of teaching and learning but unfortunately Pakistan regrettably lags behind in this sector. Most of the rural area schools in the country have no physical and technical infrastructure and facilities which are supportive to ICTs. Furthermore, poor school buildings, limited supply of electricity and poor or non-existing telecommunication links have emerged as the major impediments in incorporating the ICTs in the education policy. Besides, capacity-building at different areas like professional development of teachers, technical support, specialist development and contents development are the real challenges haunting both policy makers and students. The painful factors of the instructors not using computers in the lessons are lack of computer availability, lack of teaching experience with ICT, paucity of ICT specialist teachers to teach students computer skills, lack of funding as well as time required to successfully integrate technology into curriculum. The education sector has benefitted a lot from the ICTs in developed world whereas developing countries are on the way to have it. The government needs to take some corrective measures including creating awareness among teacher educators and prospective teachers regarding benefits of ICTs; devising technology plans to ensure implementation of ICTs in schools. The relevant authorities should also ensure making the ICTs interesting for teachers and learners besides making ICTs compulsory at a certain level in educational institutions. Continuity of these reforms on the part of the official quarters is a key to ensuring the desired results, however, this is yet to be seen when will dawn on this country.

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