Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

ICT4D – D for Dog

November 13, 2011

ICT4D – D for Dog

Even though it sounds funny, the negligence of the primary stakeholders or the beneficiaries has been a key factor for the failures of the Information and Communication Technology for Development (ICT4D) Projects.

Giving wrong tool for the right people as well as right tool for wrong people would not lead to fruitful outcomes irrespective of the resources pumped for such projects. So we need to employ real “Development” practices to minimize such outcomes.

Some reasons for intentional negligence;

– Negative influence from politicians/bureaucrats

– Malicious intentions of organizations/companies/funders

– Malicious intentions of individuals who are involved in such projects

Blaming politicians or anyone else listed above wouldn’t help to change the situation. Right development practices such as;

– Being transparent

– Managing stakeholder engagements

– Involvement of primary beneficiaries from the inception

– Proper communication with all stakeholders

would lead to better results from the ICT4D initiatives, delivering real development through technology.



Telecentre Management Course by IGNOU

February 25, 2010

The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU)

“Telecentres are not sustainable; it is just waste of money”.

Let’s stop blaming telecentres, understand what went wrong and what went well. Let’s get things corrected. Now we should promote Telecentre Management as a profession not as just looking after some computers in a rural hut.

Starting a Telecentre Management Course is a really good and timely initiative by The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) together with other likeminded organizations.

Telecentre Management Course Contents;

CTCM-01: Fundamentals of Telecentres
CTCM-02: Understanding Community Needs
CTCM-03: Community Informatics
CTCM-04: Planning a Telecentre
CTCM-05: Telecentre Management Techniques
CTCM-06: Qualities of Telecentre Operators
CTCM-07: Basic IT Skills
CTCM-08: Content and Services in Telecentres
CTCM-09: Community Use of Telecentre
CTCM-10: Information Management at Telecentres
CTCM-11: Promoting Your Telecentre
CTCM-12: Assessing the Progress of Telecentres

It is good to hear that the course is going to be available in 10 international languages making it accessible to Telecentre Operators in other developing countries.


Mobile Phones for Teaching and Learning Science

November 24, 2009

To learn about the diversity of leaves students have to pluck the leaves thus damaging the plants. A more interesting approach is where students collectively took photographs of leaves while observing them.

Currently mobile phones are banned in Sri Lankan schools. But recently a research study on effectiveness of mobile phone for teaching and learning science was carried out in central province of Sri Lanka by a PhD student together with Department of Education of the University of Peradeniya in collaboration with the University of Bristol, UK. Dialog Telekom (a telecommunication company in Sri Lanka) supported this initiative by means of providing technical expertise and other resources.

How will students use mobile phones if it is already banned in Sri Lankan Schools?

In this study it was emphasized that a mobile phone can be just used as another science laboratory equipment such as a test-tube or a microscope. That would minimize the disciplinary and other related problems which caused to ban the mobile phones in Sri Lankan schools.

Mobile phones are getting equipped with more advanced tools such as video cameras, audio/video players, etc. Also the handset prices are coming down day-by-day. So it is up to the users to use those for more productive purposes than destructive uses. I think teachers can educate pupils on how best they can use mobile technology even fulfilling basic human needs such as education rather than saying “no” to the new technology or trying to keep children away from the new technology.

Courtesy: Sakunthala Ekanayake

You can read more about the research study here.


Sri Lanka Bans Mobile Phones At Schools

August 20, 2009
No Mobile Phones at Schools

Sri Lanka Bans Mobile Phones at Schools

There are around 11 million mobile subscribers in Sri Lanka and the mobile penetration seems to be very high. It is not a surprise if this number reaches 20 million in another few years time.

In this context mobile phone would be one of the best information delivery mechanism when compared with other electronic media. So it has immense potential of delivering contents on agriculture, health, education, etc.

But this tool has been banned at Schools, why?

This sophisticated tool can be a tool of distraction in the schools. That is why it is already banned in other countries such as South Korea, UK, Philippines and France. This is very similar to what happened in Ethiopia, their Ministry of Education kicked of the OLPC from schools.

Any technology can be used for good or bad purposes/ constructive or destructive purposes. It depend on who use it and what purpose it being used. Best example is the computer, can be used to kill people as well as it can be used to save thousands of lives.

So what should we do? Say “NO” to the technology or teach the younger generation how to use it effectively.