Our primary focus in Education is to improve teaching skills and materials. Through our projects, teachers learn to how find digital teaching materials on the web and how to create their own. They also learn to share materials and teaching methodologies via CD-ROM or the internet. ICT is also used to improve school management and administration, and strengthen youth employability.
“It’s so much easier to understand things when you can actually see them!” Grace Kalima, a student at the Ibenga Girls’ School in Zambia, is talking about the impact of new teaching methods. Grace’s teacher replaced the traditional “chalk and talk” method of teaching with her own handouts and materials she found on the web. In a lesson on gravity, for instance, the class watched a video and were given detailed diagrams they could keep as a study resource. All these teaching aids could be shared with teachers in other schools. None of this would have been possible with only a blackboard.
Education is vital to lasting social and economic development, and ICT can help teachers deliver more to their students. IICD helps teachers learn to use basic computer skills and digital media to create teaching materials and share them via the web. Youth, too, learn basic ICT skills, making it easier for them to find work later. We also help schools improve their administration and management to better allocate their scarce resources. At present, we are supporting 32 education projects in seven countries. Our work directly affects more than 300,000 teachers and students and indirectly benefits 1.3 million others.
How do we use ICT in Education?
More than 100 teachers in Burkina Faso were taught how to build their own websites. They also learned how to find new materials on the web, and to use video, web publishing and other applications to improve their lessons. What’s more, social media training helped two of these teachers start an active online community for sharing teaching materials with schools across the country.
A similar project in Bolivia trained teachers to create videos and CD-ROMs to support lessons in maths, languages and indigenous Bolivian culture. Its success inspired the Bolivian government to launch a national programme to put computer labs in 1,000 schools. IICD is helping them formulate and roll out this ambitious programme. Our work also targets teacher training to boost computer literacy of teachers before they enter the field. At the Copperbelt College of Education in Zambia, one initiative requires that all graduating teachers be able to prepare their lessons digitally. ICT skills can also benefit vocational training and help make youth more employable. In Zambia, we helped set up a computer lab in a youth centre where young people can learn basic ICT skills and access the web. As users learned more about the potential of ICT, the computer lab began to offer additional services, including secretarial and marketing support and music recording facilities. Now ICT is also used to support training for tailors, carpenters and mechanics.