ICT has brought new opportunities to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG-4) inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
Bangladesh is at the emerging stage where there is an awareness of the potential of ICT’in addressing education equity quality and efficiency at national and school levels. The ICT sector is one of the fastest growing sectors. Government entrusted the Ministry of Posts Telecommunications and Information Technology for the development and promotion of ICT sector.
What is ICT?
The term ICT simply means any technology that has to do with information and communication. Information may come in many ways such as sound, video, text and images. So, when we think of what technology it is available that produces these aspects of information and sometimes a combination of all these.
ICT comprises of both old and new tools. Old tools include radio, TV, telephone. New tools comprise of computers, satellites, internet and wireless technology. According to ICT researcher Dr. Craig Blurton, ICT is defined as “A diverse set of technologies, tools and resources used to communicate, create, disseminate, store and manage information”.
Necessity of ICT Education
ICT and learning have a close relation in this modern arena. Effective and creative teaching is needed for quality education. The concept of present day educational technology is divided into audio-visual technology, instructional technology, management technology etc.
It was clearly stated in the report of International Commission of Education where learning might take on new and different dimensions in the traditional educational learning is linear. In the near future learning may be reflected more closely on the complex and multidimensional nature of life outside school.
In this connection ICT has an important role stimulating interaction and discouraging passivity, Four basic factors are mostly specified that are responsible for introducing ICT education. Those factors are shown below
- Social: Technology plays an important role in society. Students need to be made aware of technology and Strive become tech-savvy.
- Vocational : Many jobs nowadays are technclogy oriented:
- Catalytic: Using technology tools as a great way to enhance the teachinglearning process.
- Pedagogical : Technology and ICT tools as a great way to enhance learning, flexibility and efficiency in the process of disseminating knowledge.
Objectives of Using ICT in Education
Information and communication technology (ICT) has contributed immensely to social and economic improvements. Accordingly few objectives of ICT education are given below:
- Providing accessibility through Online medium of education
- Improving the quality of teaching, especially in remote areas
- Increasing transparency in the education system
- Strengthening the policies, rules and laws in the education system
- Analyzing student’s performance, placement and application of knowledge
ICT Policy of Bangladesh
The use of information and communication technologies in the education system in accordance with other countries, make it modern and work-oriented. The present ruling government has been working vastly in every wing of education. The first ICT policy of Bangladesh Was framed in 2002, then it was revised 2008 and finally adopted by the government in April 2009 The ICT policy focuses on the mainstream social advancement opportunities for disadvantaged groups as a priority to minimize economic disparity.
It basically includes lower income groups, ethnic minorities, women and persons with disabilities and special needs. The policy facilitates citizens’ participation in local and national government and policy making as a broad national agenda, it also encourages maximum utilization of ICT services nationwide to boost productivity of small, medium and micro enterprises and agriculture sector. The government of Bangladesh has planned and taken many steps to flourish ICT sector.
ICT in Education
ICT in Education Master plan’ has been introduced for a skilled based and befitting education system, every branch of education will be assimilated to ICT sector. ICT education is compulsorily being given to secondary and higher secondary levels of education. 33,285 Multimedia classrooms have been set up in some chosen schools.
Moreover, 46,340 multimedia classrooms are under the procedure of setting up. 2,306 computer labs have already been set up in many selected schools and colleges. 3,22,230 ICT teachers have been given training on ICT, additionally 350000 ICT teachers are under the continuous process of training.
To form and develop an ICT based society and skilled generation 255 posts of ICT teacher has also been created in the government colleges across the country. Online dashboard process of monitoring multimedia classrooms has been launched on in many schools and colleges. Online admission procedure is running in the government schools, colleges and universities. ICT cells have been set up in the universities for conducting ICT related activities.
Portrait of ICT Sector in Bangladesh
Leveraging ICT project has been launched aiming to develop a vibrant and healthy Information Technology (IT) and Information Technology Enabled Services (ITES), Bangladesh, in particular, has seen significant interest from IT-ITES players in the recent years.
The domestic IT-ITES industry in Bangladesh is currently valued at US$0.9-1.1 billion and is expected to grow five-fold to reach US$ 4.6-4.8 billion by 2025. Bangladesh got connected with its first undersea cable SEA-ME-WE-4 in 2006 and with the second one SEA-ME-WE-5 in 2017.
The country has now a bandwidth capacity of 2,600 Gbps from two submarine cables. The 3rd undersea cable, SEAME-WE-6 will be implemented by 2024, will add another 7,200 Gbps. Bangladesh Hi-Tech Park Authority (BHTPA) is establishing Hi-Tech Park, Software Technology Park and IT Training & Incubation Centre throughout the country to attract the local and foreign investors for the development of HiTech/IT/ITES industries.
It creates huge employment opportunities and skilled human resources. Information Technology, Software Technology, Bio-Technology, Renewable Energy, Green Technology, IT Hardware, IT Enabled Services and R&D etc. are major areas of investment in Hi-Tech industry in Bangladesh.
Bangladesh faces major roadblocks () unequal access to quality education and (ii) lack of capacity of its graduates to learn how to contribute to their countries economic growth. Lack of quality education and efficiency really pushes back to achieve necessary ICT knowledge.
There are some other challenges which Bangladesh has to face to ensure complete ICT education in each and every field of Technology such as ensuring power supply, building e-learning infrastructure, hi-speed internet connection, lack of advanced ICT accessories, intellectual property rights etc.
ICT plays a significant role in the field of education, it helps teachers to adapt the tools and provide and disseminate effective knowledge to the students. ICT education effectively promotes and develops the culture of learning by sharing experiences and information with others.