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Submitted by Tanya on

Dear Mike,

My comment's main point is that international devepoment institutions, policy makers, sector leaders and practitioners need to deiconize ICTs and should rather look more carefully at the larger picture. The WB and other international development organizations have indeed been successful at placing ICTs center stage in the last fifteen years or so. So it's not surprising that governments keep coming back for help to implement ICT-centered projects. However, as explained below that just makes the problem worse.

The problem in my view is not ICT in itself, it's the iconization of it as a vehicle or enabler of transformation, frequently ignoring the deeper causes of poor quality and coverage of education, as well as of suboptimal performance among teachers and students.

Resources for education are very scarce in most developing countries, and to make that problem even worst every administration generally ignores the root causes, wasting time and resources in technology driven solutions that promise short-term results. And that vicious cycle needs to be broken.

In the mid and long term, investments in education could have greater impact if wisely focused on fixing the underlying systemic problems, some of which are mentioned in my original comment, rather than narrowly looking at how to implement the ever evolving ICT tools more widely.

The WB should rather help countries become smarter at making decisions and wiser at investing scarce resources with a longer term vision, rather than cater to shortlived trendy approaches clearly driven by profit making interests of large corporations - in this case ICT suppliers and vendors.