It is important to realise from the outset that ICT in education is not learning about technology but using technology to learn. Many governments advocate the use of ICT in education or launch the Multimedia Super Corridor without actually seeing to it that it is meaningfully integrated and internalised. ICT is merely a cosmetic tool for superficial policies. Implementing ICT in schools require strong commitment and a structured plan.
Educational institutions need to ensure that the ICT vision is embraced from top to bottom. All staff from management to support and academic need to understand the importance of ICT. They must be equipped with the right knowledge and skills to enable them to use the technology effectively. Training is usually the most neglected aspect of ICT implementation though it should by right take up at least one third of the budget or allocation. Trained teachers will impart knowledge effectively to students through their confidence and expertise in using ICT to improve their teaching. Moreover, the working place must be provided with adequate facilities to enable the use of ICT. This involves more than just lip service or financial commitment; it requires a whole new mindset or paradigm shift. There must be enough computers for staff without worrying that they may use the Internet for personal reasons.
The concept of ICT should embrace all aspects of teaching-learning from subject registration, syllabus planning, coursework/homework assignment, to correspondence with parents and assessment. While the concept may not be new, the implementation may require coordination and persistent effort. The ICT vision or culture is along-term investment in terms of staff training or student’s performance and quality.
While everybody is jumping into the ICT bandwagon, it may be more rewarding to take a step backward and adopt a thorough plan to ensure the meaningful implementation of ICT in schools as well as the high quality of education for the younger generation.