Trialogue’s research into CSI spend in the education sector in 2022 revealed that approximately 4% of CSI spend in education went to ICT infrastructure specifically. However, from a subject perspective, science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) still receives the most funding and this will likely continue, given the future skills required in the workplace. While there were some shifts towards greater online support for learners during the pandemic, these have not had a major impact on funding patterns in the sector. This article contains local and international policy papers and research to inform ICT in education interventions.
Acts and policies informing ICT in education in South Africa
|White Paper: National Digital and Future Skills Strategy||This paper outlines the strategy to be undertaken by government and other stakeholders in order to address the need to develop digital skills across all sectors of South Africa. These digital skills should be implemented in early childhood development, schooling, tertiary education, and training levels. The white paper outlines the importance of digital skills in aiding economic growth, social development and cultural enrichment across all areas of South African society.|
|Guidelines on e-Safety in Schools: Educating towards responsible, accountable and ethical use of ICT in education||These guidelines have been provided by the Department of Education in order to ensure the protection of learners using ICT for education. The guidelines emphasise the importance of effective information security education within schools utilising ICT.|
|Professional Development Framework for Digital Learning||This guide was put together by the Department of Basic Education in order to support the development of competent educators who are able to effectively use ICT to enhance the learning experience in the classroom.|
|Implementation Strategy for e-Education in South Africa 2013-2025||This Department of Basic Education document, informed by the White Paper on e-Education, 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.|
|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.)|
South African research on ICT in education
|Access Denied: Internet Access and the Right to Education in South Africa||This report, compiled by the University of Chicago Law School Global Human Rights Clinic, explores the digital divide between urban and rural learners in South Africa. It highlights the fact that rural schools are much less likely to have access to the internet than urban schools. Although the South African government have committed to implementing various connectivity plans, many factors have delayed this implementation. This is causing learners in rural areas to fall further behind in their ICT education which could lead to unemployability in many professions, thus further exacerbating the Urban/rural education divide in the country.|
|Creation of Sustainable Learning Environments in South African Rural Schools: A Call for Effective Implementation of ICTs||With ICT being at the centre of today’s digital economy, and its importance in helping to bring progress through the Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs) set out by the United Nations, it has become an essential part of educational development in classrooms around the world. With this in mind, this paper evaluates the use of ICTs in schools in rural Eastern Cape. The study found that, although access to technology and computers has greatly increased in rural schools, the level of classroom use of this technology does not correlate with the increased accessibility. The report indicates that, in order for improvement to take place, rural schools need both classroom internet access and the equipping of teachers with skills for ICT implementation at classroom level.|
|The Impact of the Lack of ICT Resources on Teaching and Learning in Selected South African Primary Schools||Based on the impact and importance of ICT as a tool for education in the world today, this paper explores how a lack of classroom access to technology resources affects learner education and performance. Six educators from South African primary schools were interviewed, with findings showing that, for various reasons, the schools are either not using or under-utilising ICT as a learning tool within the classroom. The paper therefore recommends that the Department of Education considers the context of each school prior to making allocation of ICT resources|
|South African teachers’ perspectives on using the computer as a tool for teaching and learning||This paper provides feedback on a study undertaken to explore teachers’ views on the importance of the computer as a tool to enhance learning in the classroom. Six teachers were interviewed for the study, with one of each of their lessons (utilising computer tools) being observed. The findings of the study were that computer use was inconsistent and generally insignificant. The recommendations from this study are that the Technological Pedagogical Educational Psychology and Content Domain (TPEPCD) model be adopted in all teacher training institutions so that prospective teachers can obtain professional development in this area.|
|Teachers’ Perceptions of Adopting Information and Communication Technologies in Teaching and Learning at Rural Secondary Schools in Eastern Cape, South Africa||This study, conducted at three Eastern Cape secondary schools, investigated teacher perceptions to introducing technology in their classrooms. It was found that, although the teachers were keen to integrate ICT into their teaching methodology, they lack the necessary skill to do so. This report therefore emphasises the importance of the implementation of ICT training for both teachers and learners.|
|Early childhood development teachers’ perceptions on the use of technology in teaching young children||Using a sample of eight grade R teachers from ECD centres in inner-city Pretoria, this study explores the perceptions of ECD teachers regarding the use of ICT in the classroom. Data was collated via interviews and observation within the classroom. The findings of the study were that, although the teachers understand the benefits of using technology in the classroom and are enthusiastic to do so, usage remains low due to a lack of support, resources and training.|
International research on ICT in education
|The Potential of ICTs in Education Worldwide: A Review of Several International Studies||This paper analyses various reports that have been compiled regarding the effectiveness of ICT’s in education around the world. It comments on the fact that ICTs are often seen as a solution to many of the world’s problems by narrowing inequalities and improving economies through the provision of fair and equal access. The paper indicates that the conclusions of most studies actually show that educational success cannot be found by focusing on access to ICTs alone – rather, more importance should be placed on studying how it is utilised when evaluating its effectiveness.|
|Teachers’ training and use of information and communications technology in the face of the COVID-19 crisis||Covid-19 caused disruption to education in many countries around the world and, in order to try and ensure the right to education and learning continuity, many countries moved to distanced learning which meant that teachers around the globe had to move their lessons online.|
Although the data from the OECD’s Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS 2018) was collected before the pandemic, it does offer some valuable information on why some teachers are more likely to allow learners to utilise ICT for school or project work than others. It also examines factors that lead to teachers undertaking professional development opportunities that include ICT skills for teaching.
|Digital technologies in education||This report, issued by the World Bank, outlines the effects of COVID-19 and other factors that are affecting global education development. Many countries rapidly adopted remote learning in an attempt to avoid loss of education during lockdowns caused by COVID19. The report says that, in order for remote learning to be effective, traditional education programmes need to be revaluated and there should be an adjustment to assessment models, making them continuous and personalised. It outlines the importance of teacher empowerment, as well as parental involvement in blended learning environments. It discusses the importance of addressing the digital divide, as a lack of access to technology is prevalent in many countries and this leads to inequality in education.|
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