In the past decade, governments in both rich and
middle-income countries have invested enormously in ICT in
education, especially in schools. Universities have also
invested, sometimes for the benefit of students or
administrators on their campuses, and sometimes to
facilitate distance learning, which has expanded rapidly,
especially for the delivery of MBA programmes in the
developed world and for educational expansion in general in
the developing world. Finally, many employers in both the
public and private sectors have experimented with ICT to
deliver job training.
ICT in education holds out much promises - of lower
costs, wider access and more precise delivery of the right
course at the right level and the right time. But experience
so far has been mixed. This paper will review what has been
achieved so far and examine the possibilities for the future
and the scope of overcoming some of the challenges that have
Information is uneven, with a large number of studies of
distance learning and some of ICT in schools, but less on
its use on campus in universities and for job training. Good
information is also relatively rare for the two most common
uses of ICT in universities, for the purpose of giving
students online access to publications (i.e. as an extension
of the library) and for streamlining administration.
Under this topic, the following key issues will be
1. What do we mean by education? What kind of human
capital are we trying to build?
2. Distance Learning. What do we mean by distance
learning? What are the different forms of distance
3. Technology can be used in different ways. What are the
uses of ICTs in building human capital? Where has it been
well developed and where is it relatively new? Why use ICTs?
To cut costs? To improve quality?
4. Evaluating ICTs. The difficulties involved in
evaluation. Compared with what? How well are other
educational interventions evaluated?
5. The benefits of ICTs. Are educational outcomes
improved? Can courses be launched and updated more readily?
How do ICTs enhance access to education?
6. The cost of ICTs.
7. What technological improvements would raise the
impact of ICTs on education?