By Mirza Abdul Aleem Baig

“THOSE WHO know cannot be like the ones who do not know. Of course, knowledge and ignorance are like light and darkness which can never be alike.” – Holy Quran

Education is the most important aspect that plays a principal role in human development. It endorses a productive and informed citizenry and creates opportunities for the socially and economically deprived segment of society. The development of a nation depends on its system of education, as it develops capacities in the individuals and enhances inner-strengths – intellectual, political, social and economic against, domination, exclusion and discrimination. Educational development occupies an important place at the apex of the all development segment pyramid and helps to develop the cream of the society – a selected group of individuals – physically, intellectually, emotionally and socially.

“There is no doubt that the future of our State (Pakistan) will and must greatly depend on the type of education we give to our children and the way in which we bring up as future citizens of Pakistan” – Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah (All Pakistan Education Conference, Karachi)

Education is a dynamic process. Every human being is born with talents. Education exploits these talents in a healthy, integrated and balanced manner. According to the UNESCO Commission on Education, “educational institutions are a decisive factor in training men to contribute to the development of the society, to play an active part in life and in properly preparing men for work”. Therefore, spread of education is a sin qua non both for modernization and sustenance of democracy and also to make man “be himself” and “to become himself” (UNESCO, 1979).

Innovation in science and technology is transforming the world at an astonishing rate. Development in computing and communication, in particular, are helping to accelerate these challenges. As we move into 21st century, we observe ICT has changed many aspects of the way we live. If anyone tends to compare such fields like banking, business, engineering, medicine, tourism, law, the impact of ICT across the past two or three decades has been enormous. The way these fields function today is enormously different from the ways they operated in the past. In recent years many hypothetical and practical efforts have also been made to assess the impact of ICT on educational reform process for both access of education and quality of education because, among all the development sector education sector is primarily the most attentive sector connects to improve the efficiency, accessibility and quality of the learning process.

People in present society are becoming more and more familiar with ICT as ICT refers to the technology that enables communication and transmission of information. When implementing the ICT in the education sector, there are considerable challenges such as cost, internet access, training and policy issues, and each issue has its own ways of addressing which is valuable to apply around world. However, all these challenges for development through applying ICT to the education sector must consider the environment that each country faces, because the situation of each nation is totally different from each other. ICT can transform the learning environment in the following ways:

l  Active learning: ICT can increase learning mobilization tools for examination, calculation and analysis of information, thus can offer a platform for student inquiry, analysis and construction of new information.

l  Collaborative learning: ICT can support learners through interaction and cooperation among students, teachers, and experts regardless of where they are. It can also provide opportunity to work with people from different cultures.

l  Evaluative learning: ICT can permit learners to explore and discover rather than merely listen and remember and it can recognize that there are many different learning pathways and many different articulations of knowledge.

Consequence of education for human development does not need any clarification. For developing countries like Pakistan ICTs have the potential for increasing access to and improving the relevance and quality of education. The government of Pakistan accepts education as the fundamental right for its citizens, yet it has an unimpressive track record of provision of literacy at the grass-roots level. Consequently, the reality of the Digital Divide – the gap between those who have access of technology and those who do not – means that the prologue and inclusion of ICTs at different levels and in various types of education will be most challenging activity. Failure to meet the challenge would mean a further widening of the knowledge gap and the deepening of existing economic and social inequalities between the developed and developing world.

“If you treat an individual as if he were what he ought to be, and could be, he will become what he ought to be and could be.” – Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe