Thursday, September 24, 2020

ICT can turn around Botswana education’s dwindling fortunes

The world over, Information and Communication technology is transforming lives.

Countries like India and China are riding on IT revolution to catch up,

The economies of countries that discovered early on that ICT was the future have made big strides that have led to uplifting millions of people out of poverty.

Botswana like the rest of Africa has been slow to take a swing at IT revolution.

Investments in Broadband are only just beginning to take off.

We are way behind such imaginative countries like Rwanda and Mauritius ÔÇô two of Africa’s fastest economies that have used IT to improve lives and also enhance the ease of doing business.

Botswana’s education system is currently in a morass.

It is rotten in every sector ÔÇô from administration to classroom.

From political leadership to student level there is no hope.

Teachers have been on a defacto go-slow for a decade now.

Even the new administration does not seem to know where to start in order to turn the suck system around.

Everybody is overwhelmed ÔÇô from parents to Government.

Schools across the country are in a state of disrepair.

Even the basic tools and equipment like printers and computers are none-existent.

The internet, regarded as a basic instrument of learning in many parts of the world, is still a luxury that most of our schools have only learnt about in rumours.

This is because for most of these schools there is still no electricity.

More shockingly, some of these schools still use pit latrines.

The wailing cries of the pains inflicted on our people by education reach a crescendo every year when school results come out.

The trouble is that whatever transformations authorities come up with each year, they are piece-meal, half-hearted and half baked.

Botswana Government has to adopt a wholesale transformation of the education system.

This can only be done through applying technology based learning.

This will ease learning, while also taking the burden off the teachers.

Botswana’s education cannot be revived using traditional means.

It has been going down for quite a long time.

To turn it around will need new thinking.

And there is no such thinking that does include introducing ICT including to the most remotest of schools.

It is unpardonable that we still have teachers that are computer illiterate.

Our education cannot improve unless a way is found to engage this people and teach skills on the new reality of life ÔÇô ICT.

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