Earlier this month, the World Bank and the Global Distance Learning Network (GDLN) helped to facilitate a "South-South" dialogue on the use of ICT as part of larger education reform initiatives. The video for the event is now available online. This dialogue, mediated by one of Indonesia's leading talk show hosts and watched live by groups in eight Asian countries, included exchanges between the ministers of education in both Indonesia and Jordan, as well as contributions from other leading figures involved in education and technology in those two countries. Dr. Thiam Seng Koh of the National Institute of Education in Singapore brought in perspectives from the experiences of Singapore, considered one of the world leaders in thinking -- and action -- in this field.
While the conversation was too rich to adequately summarize here, HE Dr. Tayseer Al-Nahar, Jordan's Minister of Education, provided one of the most useful, succinct sets of practical lessons and guidance for senior policymakers that I have heard delivered by a senior education official on the use of ICTs, and which is worth transcribing here:
1. We have to be patient ... it takes time
2. ICT can not fix a bad education system
3. It's not about purchasing computers to schools but upgrading skills and knowledge of teachers
4. Education systems have to develop e-content materials ... if there is no e-content developed ... it is like building roads without cars on the road.
5. [You must have] change management at the school level ... involvement of school principal in training and all aspects of ICT integration is very important.
Jordan's experience with introducing technology in schools is perhaps not long, but it's well worth our attention.
For more information about the use of ICTs in schools in Jordan:
- Jordan Education Initiative (JEI) web site
- Jordan Education Initiative (JEI), from the World Economic Forum web site
- Evaluation of the Jordan Education Initiative (by EDC and RTI International)
- McKinsey report on the Jordan Education Initiative (pdf)
- World Bank project in Jordan: Education Reform for Knowledge Economy (ErfKE) I