The Challenges Facing the Integration of ICT in Teaching and Learning Activities in South African Rural Secondary Schools

This 2014 paper, which examined the state of ICT in 12 secondary schools in Limpopo, indicated that there is a scarcity of ICT resources and that this has a negative impact on teaching and curriculum administration. This in turn affects teachers’ readiness for and confidence in using ICT – something that the Department of Education, school management and private partners need to consider when thinking about the integration of ICT in rural secondary schools.

  • Source details: Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online). Vol 5, No 20 (2014). Authors: Mlunghisi D. Mathevula, Dominique E. Uwizeyimana


Teachers’ ICT Adoption in South African Rural Schools: A Study of Technology Readiness and Implications for the South Africa Connect Broadband Policy

This 2019 paper argues that teacher training and empowerment requirements will have to be addressed to meet the teaching and learning objectives of South Africa Connect, the country’s national broadband policy of 2013, in rural schools (the policy mandates the introduction of a broadband connection with a download speed of at least 100 Mbps to every primary and secondary schools as part of an initiative to ensure the countrywide availability of broadband internet access by the year 2030). Many teachers have expressed discomfort with the challenges inherent in the teaching of learners via ICTs, their ability to fix the technical problems, and having the necessary personal ICT skills to use ICTs for learning.

Policy Papers and Research


Policy Papers and Research

Trialogue research found that approximately 7% of CSI education spend in 2020 went towards ICT infrastructure. Bursaries, scholarships and university chairs received the majority of the spend, at 26%, followed by learner development (24%), teacher development (10%), and infrastructure, facilities and equipment (9%). This represents a 3% increase since 2019. [Read more on Trialogue's research into CSI in Education]

The following policy papers and research provide some insight into the policy framework.


Acts and Policies

  • Draft White Paper on e-Education: Transforming Learning and Teaching through Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs)

    Published in the Government Gazette on 26 August 2004, this paper provided a framework within which government and the private sector could collaborate on the provision of ICT in education. (A correction notice was subsequently published on 2 September.)

  • Guidelines for Teacher Training and Professional Development in ICT

    This 2007 document was one of the initiatives undertaken by the Department of Education to implement the White Paper on e-Education. It served as a step towards guiding the development of the ICT knowledge and skills of teachers to enhance the educational experiences of learners in implementing the National Curriculum Statement.

  • Implementation Strategy for e-Education in South Africa 2013-2025

    This Department of Basic Education document, informed by the White Paper on e-Education 2004, sets out how to achieve the implementation of the strategic objectives of the White Paper up to 2025. The proposed outcome is integrating ICT into all levels of the education and training system to improve the quality of teaching and learning.

  • Operation Phakisa

    In 2015, Operation Phakisa, a national vision for ICT in education, was implemented by the Department of Basic Education (DBE), focusing on five work streams: Connectivity, devices, teacher professional development, digital content development and distribution, and e-administration. Operation Phakisa is making strides in ICT in education.


South African Research

  • Integration of ICT into Curricula in Western Cape Schools

    The 2013 paper Integration of ICT into Curricula in Western Cape Schools: The Activity Theory Perspective investigates the dynamics of the e-Education policy implementation, with emphasis on its goal to deploy and integrate ICT into curricula in all South African schools. Activity theory (AT) was used to provide an analytical framework for the study. Selected schools in underdeveloped areas of the Western Cape were chosen as case samples.

  • Integration of ICTs in marginalised schools in South Africa

    The 2014 paper The Integration of ICTs in marginalized schools in South Africa: Considerations for understanding the perceptions of in-service teachers and the role of training highlights the fact that many schools do not have access to ICTs, and those that do only focus on learning about computers or acquiring ICT skills. ICTs are therefore implemented without integration. The paper was presented at the 8th International Development Informatics Association Conference held in Port Elizabeth in 2014.

  • Practice as policy in ICT for education

    The 2013 study Practice as Policy in ICT for Education: Catalysing communities of practice in education in South Africa asserts that for policy to be implemented teachers should be instrumental partners in the formation thereof. Teachers should be encouraged to form ICT communities of practice to support their teaching practice and foster policy implementation.

  • A snapshot survey of ICT integration in South African schools

    This 2017 research article argues that ICT integration in education in South Africa has been severely limited by operational, strategic and pedagogic challenges. Addressing these challenges involves understanding the current landscape of ICT integration in schools. The article explains that technology uptake remains low – on average, the frequency of usage per tool type was: contextual tools (41%), sharing information and ideas tools (29%), experiential tools (26%) and reflective dialogue tools (18%).

  • How science teachers use ICT in developing countries

    This 2010 thesis Understanding science teachers’ use and integration of ICT in a developing country context explores how South African science teachers with access to ICT use it when they teach science. The aim of the study was to gain a better understanding of the value that using ICT adds to both teaching and learning science.


International Research

ICTs for education in Africa

ICT has been used in many parts of the world to improve the quality of, and increase access to, education. However, most African countries still face the challenge that increased expenditure on education has not achieved the expected benefits. This report by the World Bank examines how ICTs can be used to transform the education sector in Africa.

Read more: Policy Papers and Research

The integration of ICTs in marginalized schools in South Africa: Considerations for understanding the perceptions of in-service teachers and the role of training

"In this paper the authors explore the complex and challenging concept of ICT integration in marginalized schools. A number of theoretical considerations for ICT integration are discussed. These include barriers to integration, teachers’ pedagogical beliefs, teacher selfefficacy, and knowledge areas for ICT integration. The authors also reflect on ICT integration in a particular project in a rural district in the Eastern Province of South Africa."

Read the research paper here