A Survey of ICTs In Education in Africa
Update, May 2007: Please note that all survey reports are currently in draft format.
A Survey of ICTs In Education in Africa
The Information for Development Program (infoDev) is taking the initiative to assess the state of ICT applications in education in Africa and has contracted with the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) to undertake a survey that will address the following general questions for all countries on the African continent:
- How are ICTs currently being used in the education sector in Africa, and what are the strategies and policies related to this use?
- What are the common challenges and constraints faced by African countries in this area?
- What is actually happening on the ground, and to what extent are donors involved?
Particular note will be made of how ICTs are used in education at various levels of an education system, namely:
- Primary education
- Secondary education
- Higher education
- Vocational education
(Where information about ICT use to facilitate lifelong learning and non-formal education is available, this will be included as well.)
The major deliverable will be a compendium of country –level reports each of which will be structured according to the following Analytic Framework:
- National policies, strategies and programs that exist in the country regarding the use of ICT in education and the locus of responsibility for administration;
- A description of the current level and types of ICT predominantly used, and the connectivity and penetration levels in the educational sectors being surveyed;
- Illustrative examples of major initiatives relating to delivery models, development of learning resources designed to support ICT applications in education, infrastructure development, and, the partners (e.g. Donors) involved in these initiatives;
- Identification and descriptions of constraints regarding the use of ICT in education in the country in areas such as enabling policy, infrastructure and access to it, learning materials, training, etc. Of particular interest will be constraints that involve gender, rural/urban divisions, ethnic minorities, learning software language, ICT use and learning quality, resources (human and financial) and, sustainability;
- A summary statement regarding the general state of ICT use in education in the country;
- Appendices to be included are:
a. “End Notes” indicating appropriate citations of information sources used such as government documents, reports, Websites, news reports, etc.;
b. A list of the individuals that should be regarded as primary contacts regarding the current and potential use of ICT in education in the country.
The survey process has been designed in a more or less sequential manner, with the result that there will be several interim deliverables.
1. The first of these will be the development of an annotated bibliography of extant documents (e.g. annual reports, past & current project descriptions, evaluation studies, summary reports of “best practice", etc.) that relate to one or more of the elements in the Analytic Framework. (Note: Documents produced prior to 2000 will not be included.) The survey leaders take the lead in identifying items to be included and will be asking for suggestions from the following sources:
- Ministries of Education;
- Higher education institutions;
- Education research organisations;
- Private sector ICT companies;
- Selected individuals;
- Publicly through a posting on the COL website 
A draft of the bibliography is posted on the wikiEducator website that has been set up for the project with an open invitation for anyone interested to add items. The target for this posting is October 31, 2006
2. The second interim deliverable will be an overview of the information currently available, based on an analysis of the bibliographic information collected. This analysis will also be posted on the wikiEducator site in early November 2006 with an open invitation for interested people to critique and add to.
3. Work on the specific country reports will commence in tandem with this analysis. Several regionally-based researchers will be contracted to develop reports for each of the countries in their respective regions. They will work closely with the survey leaders as they produce their draft reports – which will be posted on the wikiEducator site starting in January, 2007 for review and comment.
4. The last interim deliverable will be a draft of the compendium report for review and comment by infoDev by April 21, 2007. This too will be posted on the wikiEducator Website for public review and comment.
5. The date for completion of the final report is June 8, 2007.
The hope is that the use of online collaboration tools such as wikiEducator will not only enhance the quality and accuracy of the report, but will also enable it to be a dynamic document over time by enabling new data to be added as it becomes available.