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The purpose of this research was to identify the tools available in the market to enable the acquisition of knowledge and learning in schools, covering a wide area, through computers, Internet and Information Technology (IT). The particular focus in this thesis was the case of Botswana. The affordances and capabilities of information and communications technology offer the potential to solve or mitigate various challenges confronting educational systems and institutions in a developing economy such as Botswana. The relevant data and information was collected and the current state of education in schools in Botswana was analyzed. Information concerning the broad context of Botswana was introduced (data regarding, e.g., internet access and usage, existing baseline rates of literacy, availability of skilled instructors) as well as information concerning the specifics of educational policy and various initiatives in which the technology was used in learning and education. The crucial gaps in terms of the performance and capabilities of the school systems were identified. Finally, arguments were presented concerning the role that digital technologies Information Communication Technology (ICT) could play in addressing these gaps or enabling solutions. Other countries with contexts that share characteristics with Botswana were used as examples, where appropriate policies and strategies involving ICT usage in education that have demonstrated success or promise. The case of Uruguay was discussed which made the project CIEBEL a success at the primary school level with the slogan of 'one laptop per child'. As observed, this slogan was extended to making it 'one laptop per teacher'. This case highlighted the importance of merging the hardware support with the software or soft skills support to the initiative of implementing ICT in schools at any level.
Another observation made in the thesis was about the issues faced by the secondary school teachers where they were not able to adjust to the new role they were required to play. That was to learn and adapt to the new technology of ICT in their curriculum. As the new technology and the process expected the practicing teachers to alter the process of teaching which they have been used to for quite sometime, it was not an easy task. Moreover, readjusting the timetable schedule and learning completely new technology was not possible for every teacher. Some school opted for the train the trainers programs. In this program, few senior teachers were training in the ICT and computer use in the education but as it turned out, these trainers were not given additional time for carrying out their training programs. The teachers who were going to attend these training classes were expected to sacrifice their personal time and the senior teachers were expected to be helping the trainees in learning. This arrangement did not work out in most of the cases as the trainers and trainees both took this as the additional burden and this resulted in the insufficient training and hence mostly giving up the use of computers in their teaching process. A case in point was also presented which was a study on ICT in enhancing the level of teachers in Global South. The study gave positive recommendations on the betterment of teachers and students who were involved in the implementation of ICT in Education. It was found that the effectiveness of the teachers increased as they used computers to plan their lessons.
Thus, as concluded earlier, technology use alone can not be a success in schools unless there is a strong will on the part of school management and teaching staff to make it part of their regular curriculum. On the other hand, Teachers would not use the ICT and technology in their curriculum unless they have been appropriately trained on the technology as well as enough support needs to be provided to them for the successful implementation. Thus, as discussed earlier, the most important barrier in implementation of technology in schools is not the hardware and infrastructure support rather the training of the teachers and making teachers implement their learning in their day to day curriculum.
The analyses of technological solutions to mitigate gaps were framed within the context of what is arguably feasible within Botswana. For example, although internet usage in the country is being promoted by government, gaps still exist. For example, Internet usage in Botswana is reportedly as low as 5% of the population. Also, there was a considerable disparity in terms of urban and rural access to Information Communication Technology (ICT) services. Significant disparities in reading achievements also exist in Botswana across regions.
Finally, a workable Educational Technology model was provided as a result of the analysis conducted and the subsequent discussion. The thesis provided conclusions and recommendations in the previous chapter which would help in addressing the gaps identified and the actions which can be taken by the Botswana's Education Department to enhance the level of education in schools in their country to match up to the other nations.
The study about the technology filled the gap about the information and will provide a guideline to the present researchers that will work as a collected information folder. The studies related to this acts as the primary source of information. Those countries that spend a large amount of their assets on technology and science face a better growth and development. The better policies that are followed by the developed countries in the field of educational sector act as the path for the developing and underdeveloped countries to follow.
It is not possible for any developing or underdeveloped country to change the equipments, attitudes, infrastructure and education with their problems and crippling deficiencies. So this study was aimed especially for those people who are economically strong and are capable of improving their existing position of their businesses by using the appropriate access to information technology, as these people will be the future of the economy by getting the proper education through technology
It was observed in the study that the implementation of the appropriate hardware and the connectivity was an important factor in the success of ICT implementation in the education system of Botswana. Still, the importance of "soft implementation" or the training of teachers and supporting professionals was equally important. The unfortunate aspect was the ignorance about this important aspect by the officials implementing the ICT. Thus, this study, apart from recommending the necessary efforts in enhancing the infrastructure, suggest the appropriate training for the people involved with the implementation of the ICTs in the schools in Botswana.
In order to make the implementation of ICTs effective in Botswana, the training of teachers in the aspect of computers and ICTs in general needs to be in a different way. While doing this, it needs to be ensured that the teachers are not un-necessarily stressed to learn computers. Instead, teachers should be freed from some of their regular duties to make some time available for the computer training. Few temporary teachers can be hired in the meanwhile for taking care of the duties of the teachers on training.
The teachers training program should take the learning from the theory of adult learning to address the needs of teachers. This is required while they are learning computers. As there is no need to create a context and building concepts in the practicing teachers, the pedagogy of this training needs to be different from the usual training.
Education level of the teachers was also cited as another major gap in education system. Moreover, the teacher's experience level also had wide regional disparity where in some areas, the average experience level fell to almost half of the average. Hence, good experienced teachers were not involved in the education system of Botswana. The study recommended provisions for under qualified teachers to upgrade their qualification over time. Also it was recommended in the study to maintain and utilize a database for teacher's qualifications and managing the disparity in qualifications.
In service training programs were felt to be more effective in case they address relevant needs of flexibility and availability. Benchmarking in-service training also was felt to be effective so as to guide the in-service educators regarding the expectations and delivery targets.
The benefit of ICTs in the continuing education for the school dropouts was also cited. As Wagner (2004), suggests in the study, ICTs can play a major role in implementation of the effective solutions on education sector for adult education domain.
It would be interesting to conduct further research in this area on the steps taken and their success by the ministry of Education in Botswana to effectively implement the ICT in the education system. The identification of appropriate indicators to support the success of certain measures can be an outcome of such a research.