[Telecentres] requesting immediate feedback: telecentres/education statement

Anna Badimo anna at cs.wits.ac.za
Wed Feb 23 07:12:18 GMT 2005

Hi Andy and All,

I agree with the principle of using schools, universities, libraries, etc. as 
ICT centres that can be used as community hubs. In fact, its an ideal model
because there is no point having a school computer lab that only benefits the
learners and teachers of that school but is not accessible to members of that
community. However, there are practical limitations that often get overlooked
either in the cost models used or the implementation strategies. These local 
practicalities tend to overshadow the benefits of such centres from being
truly realized.

1. Cost models
These models do not take into cognisance the practicality associated with the
costs of securing the facilities concerned. Once a school makes available its
labs to the community, whose responsibility is it to secure the facilities,
the school or the community or both? And how will such an arrangement be
managed? Some schools incur costs associated with putting CCTV to secure
facilities, will that be included as part of the infrasctructure costs?
Instead of being an advantage to some schools, these labs end up being a
management and security burden. Some strategies have been to involve the
community in the projects, there successes but there are failures as well.

2. Implementation 
In terms of using a schools as a multi-purpose access points, serving both
educational institutions and the community, the issue of content becomes
important. For the school, the content should enhance learning and teaching;
and for the community, the content should be relevant to their day-today
challenges. In order for these access points to succeed in terms of knowledge
building, it is very crucial that regional open courseware and local content
be developed. And this is one of the areas where Linuxchix Africa sees itself
playing a role.

Best Regards
Anna Badimo

WITS University

---------- Original Message -----------
From: Andy Carvin <ACarvin at edc.org>
To: telecentres at wsis-cs.org
Sent: Tue, 22 Feb 2005 07:36:05 -0500
Subject: [Telecentres] requesting immediate feedback: telecentres/education

> Hi everyone,
> I've been working with Divina Frau-Meigs and Jane Johnson from the
> education caucus to craft language to be presented in tomorrow morning's
> plenary. As we wrote down our ideas, we realized that much of what 
> we had to say was similar to some of the ideas we have discussed on the
> telecentres list.
> So I would like to propose that we consider issuing a joint 
> statement with the education caucus on areas of agreement regarding 
> the role of schools, universities and telecentres in meeting the 
> MDGs. Please give me feedback on the following ideas as soon as 
> possible, because our telecentres meeting tomorrow afternoon will be 
> too late in the process to impact the discussion on financing 
> mechanisms. thanks! -ac
> ICTs are a key tool in achieving universal education, while wired schools
> and non-formal learning institutions such telecenters can play a 
> major role in promoting development.
> 1. When considering financing mechanisms, do not neglect the role 
> that schools, universities and informal educational institutions 
> such as telecentres an play as a community hub for building 
> knowledge and integrating marginalized communities into the 
> information society.
> Schools, libraries and other institutions are existing 
> infrastructures that focus on the future -- the potential of our 
> children and young people. Young people should be a priority for 
> accessing these educational ICTs as they cannot afford to wait for 
> policymakers; their longterm prosperity is at stake.
> 2. It's not enough to finance infrastructure - professional 
> development for educators and curriculum development must also be 
> addressed - curriculum that is linguistically and culturally 
> appropriate, including open courseware.
> 3. Multi-purpose access points: schools should be able to serve as
> telecentres, while telecentres can serve as educational institutions 
> in themselves
> 4. Encouraging local/community vested interest in the success of 
> these institutions. Community members must have a true stake in 
> their technological and educational development.
> 5. Promote the development of regional open courseware initiatives 
> as a primary means for cultural and linguistic diversity, for 
> pluralism of educational formats. These initiatives should be 
> networked for worldwide capacity building.
> -------------------------------------------------
> Andy Carvin
> Program Director
> EDC Center for Media & Community
> acarvin @ edc . org
> http://www.digitaldividenetwork.org
> http://www.edwebproject.org//blog/
> -------------------------------------------------
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------- End of Original Message -------

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