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Equitable and Quality Education for All of Africa? The Challenges of Using ICT in Education

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Technological advances are increasing interest in the potential role of information and communication technologies (ICT) in enabling quality education outcomes in Africa. At present, however, the geographies of ICT use in Africa is poorly understood, and ICT education policy development has occurred in a relative empirical void. Relevant studies have largely been focused on wealthier African nations, largely neglecting poorer regions where education issues are most acute. This article works to address this lacuna. Drawing upon extensive fieldwork, it provides a detailed snapshot of ICT use in education in the northern Sierra Leonean district of Koinadugu. We subsequently argue that a lack of access to electricity, along with limited numbers of qualified teaching staff, presents fundamental barriers for realizing ICT use in classroom settings. Nevertheless, we also identify some promising trends with respect to the informal use of mobile Internet by teachers and students to augment learning in the classroom.

Affiliations: 1: University of New South Wales Sydney ; 2: Melbourne Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne ; 3: School of Humanities and Languages, University of New South Wales


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