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An evaluation of the use of ICT within primary education in Malawi

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2 Author(s)
Hollow, D. ; Geogr. Dept. at R. Holloway, Univ. of London., London, UK ; Masperi, P.

The paper demonstrates how appropriate technology, when combined with quality curriculum-based content, has the potential to have a positive impact on primary education within developing countries. It documents an evaluation of portable learning technology from the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology in Malawi, providing theoretical background and educational context before detailing the methodology and findings of the study. Significant impacts from the introduction of the program were increased school attendance, reduced dropout rates and improved student and teacher enthusiasm. Alongside this, the audio and video material and interactive learning techniques offered potential pedagogical benefits in combining learner-centered and outcome-based activities with continuous assessment, helping children to retain information more effectively and record higher test scores. Major challenges were also identified regarding implementation and sustainability. These centered around the need for rigorous teacher training, classroom integration, appropriate deployment, maintenance, sustained impact and overall cost-effectiveness. In closing, the paper emphasizes the need for such programs to be driven by educational concerns and recognizes the similar challenges faced in many related initiatives.

Published in:

Information and Communication Technologies and Development (ICTD), 2009 International Conference on

Date of Conference:

17-19 April 2009