ADB TA No. 6278-REG Contract No: COCS/60-026 RTI Project No 0210103 Innovative Information and Communication Technology in Education and Its Potential for Reducing Poverty in the Asia and Pacific Region From Policy to Pupil: How Governments Encourage ICT in Education December 2007 Appendix 7 of Final Report Julian Watson f Technical Assistance Consultant’s Report Project Number: TA No. 6278-REG December 2007 Appendix 7 of Final Report Regional ICT Policy and Strategy Report: Innovative Information and Communication Technology in Education and Its Potential for Reducing Poverty in the Asia and Pacific Region: “From Policy to Pupil: How Governments Encourage ICT in Education” (Financed by the Poverty Reduction Cooperation Fund, Asian Development Bank) Prepared by Julian Watson RTI International 3040 Cornwallis Road Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-2194 USA For Asian Development Bank ATTN: Jouko Sarvi Principal Education Specialist Capacity Development and Governance Division Regional and Sustainable Development Department 6 ADB Avenue, Mandaluyong City 1550 Metro Manila, Philippines This consultant’s report does not necessarily reflect the views of ADB or the Governments concerned, and ADB and the Governments cannot be held liable for its contents. RTI International is a trade name of Research Triangle Institute. iii CONTENTS ABBREVIATIONS ....................................................................................................................... vii I. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ..................................................................................................1 A. Background of the Study ..........................................................................................1 B. Study Findings and Conclusions ..............................................................................2 C. Study Recommendations .........................................................................................6 II. STUDY INTRODUCTION, SCOPE AND METHODOLOGY .............................................7 A. Study Introduction and Context ................................................................................7 B. Scope of the Study ...................................................................................................8 C. Study Methodology...................................................................................................8 III. RELEVANT CONTEXTUAL ASPECTS IN STUDY COUNTRIES ....................................9 A. Social and Demographic Aspects ............................................................................9 B. Geographic Aspects ...............................................................................................12 C. Economic Aspects..................................................................................................13 D. Country Context: Summary and Conclusions ........................................................14 IV. EXISTING ICT POLICIES IN STUDY COUNTRIES .......................................................16 A. Mongolia.................................................................................................................16 B. Samoa ....................................................................................................................18 C. Nepal ......................................................................................................................19 D. Bangladesh ............................................................................................................20 E. Cambodia ...............................................................................................................22 F. The Philippines.......................................................................................................23 G. Thailand .................................................................................................................24 H. ICT Policy Implementation .....................................................................................25 I. Common Elements of ICT Policies.........................................................................26 J. ICT Policy: Summary and Conclusion....................................................................27 V. INTANGIBLE FACTORS AFFECTING ICT POLICY AND STRATEGY IN EDUCATION ...................................................................................................................28 A. Demand for Innovative ICT in Education................................................................28 1. Overview..................................................................................................... 28 2. General Evidence ....................................................................................... 29 3. Country Evidence ....................................................................................... 29 iv B. Perceptions and Misconceptions of ICT in Education ............................................32 1. Overview..................................................................................................... 32 2. Teachers’ Attitudes..................................................................................... 34 3. What Are the Results of Misconceptions?.................................................. 37 C. A Vision for Change ...............................................................................................38 D. Intangible Aspects: Summary and Conclusions .....................................................40 VI. ISSUES OF PLANNING ON ICT IN EDUCATION..........................................................42 A. Integrated Planning within Total Country Needs ....................................................42 1. Overview..................................................................................................... 42 B. Sector-Wide Approaches .......................................................................................44 C. Government–Donor Planning and Cooperation .....................................................45 D. Planning: Summary and Conclusions ....................................................................47 VII. LEGAL AND REGULATORY ISSUES ............................................................................48 Overview on Legal and Regulatory Issues......................................................................48 B. Regulatory Frameworks in the Focus Countries ....................................................49 1. Mongolia ..................................................................................................... 49 2. Samoa ........................................................................................................ 49 3. Nepal .......................................................................................................... 50 4. Bangladesh................................................................................................. 51 C. The Need for Regulation ........................................................................................53 D. Licensing ................................................................................................................54 E. Taxation of Products and Services.........................................................................55 F. Special Technology Development Funds...............................................................57 G. Intellectual Property Right Issues...........................................................................58 H. Legal and Regulatory Issues: Summary and Conclusions.....................................60 VIII. ISSUES OF CONTENT AND INFRASTRUCTURE ........................................................61 A. Free and Open Source Software............................................................................61 B. Localization ............................................................................................................63 1. Overview..................................................................................................... 63 2. Localization of Operating Systems ............................................................. 65 C. Affordable Computers and Equipment Packages ..................................................67 D. Connectivity............................................................................................................72 1. Overview..................................................................................................... 72 2. Cost of Connectivity.................................................................................... 75 v 3. Government Policy for Increasing Connectivity.......................................... 76 4. Connectivity in Focus Countries ................................................................. 76 E. Content and Infrastructure Issues: Summary and Conclusions .............................80 IX. ISSUES OF INSTITUTIONAL STRUCTURES AND PARTNERSHIPS ..........................82 A. Technology Parks ..................................................................................................82 B. Centers of Excellence ............................................................................................84 C. Public/Private Education Partnerships and Initiatives ............................................86 D. Institutional Issues and Partnerships: Summary and Conclusion ..........................88 X. STUDY SUMMARY OF FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS.............................................88 A. Overall Summary of Findings .................................................................................88 B. Conclusion .............................................................................................................91 XI. STUDY RECOMMENDATIONS......................................................................................92 A. Recommendations .................................................................................................92 C. Synthesis................................................................................................................94 XII. REFERENCES................................................................................................................96 APPENDIX: COUNTRY CONTEXT INFORMATION ON MDGS AND THE GENERAL TRANSPORTATION, COMMUNICATION, AND INFORMATION INFRASTRUCTURE .....................................................................................................102 List of Exhibits Exhibit 1. Selected Social and Demographic Indicators ............................................................11 Exhibit 2. Country Comparison on Selected Geographical Characteristics ...............................12 Exhibit 3. Country Comparison of Per Capita GNI and ADF Classification................................14 Exhibit 4. Tangible and Intangible Factors Affecting the Enabling Environment of Effective Use of ICT for Education.................................................................................................28 Exhibit 5. The Weighted Percentages of the Rankings for e-Readiness ...................................38 Exhibit 6. The Rankings for e-Readiness for 14 ADB Member Countries .................................39 Exhibit 7. What Localization Problems Are DMCs Facing? .......................................................65 Exhibit 8. Sixteen ADB Member Countries that Do Not Have Computer Operating Systems in Their Official Languages and their Population ............................................................66 vi Exhibit 9. Expenditure per Student as a Percentage of GDP Per Capita in the Four Focus Countries.........................................................................................................................69 Exhibit 10. Village Connectivity: Top 10 Developing Countries by Rural Population .................74 Exhibit 11. Anomalies: Cost vs. Connectivity.............................................................................75 Exhibit 12. Framework of an Enabling Environment for the Effective Use of ICT for Education Focusing on Tools and Aspects That Can Be Controlled and Nurtured by Government ....................................................................................................................95 vii ABBREVIATIONS ADB Asian Development Bank ADF Asian Development Fund ADSL asymmetric digital subscriber line APDIP Asia-Pacific Development Information Programme (UNDP) ASEAN Association of Southeast Asian Nations AusAID Australian Aid Agency BCC Bangladesh Computer Council Becta British Educational Communications and Technology Agency BTRC Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission BTTB Bangladesh Telegraph and Telephone Board CAGR compound annual growth rate CATV community-access television CES Central Electricity System (Mongolia) CMDG Cambodian Millennium Development Goals CRC Communications Regulation Commission (Mongolia) CSL Computer Services Ltd. (Samoa) CSO civil society organization DEET Department of Employment, Education, and Training (Northern Territory, Australia) DMC developing member country EFA Education for All ESP II Education Sector Project, Phase II EU European Union FBCCI Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry FOSS free and open source software GAPP Government Assisted PC Program GDP gross domestic product GNI gross national income GNP gross national product GP Grameen Phone GSM global system for mobile communications GT Grameen Telecommunications HLC-IT High-Level Commission for Information Technology (Nepal) ICT information and communication technology ICTA Information and Communication Technology Authority (Mongolia) iEARN International Education and Resource Network IIREM ICT for Innovative Rural Education in Mongolia infoDev Information for Development Program IOSN International Open Source Network IPR intellectual property right ISP Internet service provider IT information technology ITECC Information Technology and E-Commerce Council (Philippines) ITU International Telecommunications Union KOICA Korean International Cooperation Agency LCD liquid crystal display MCC Millennium Challenge Corporation viii MCIT Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (Samoa) MDG Millennium Development Goals MECS Ministry of Education, Culture, and Science (Mongolia) MESC Ministry of Education, Sports, and Culture (Samoa) MOEYS Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sport (Cambodia) MOI Ministry of Infrastructure (Mongolia) MOIC Ministry of Information and Communication (Nepal) MOU memorandum of understanding MTC Mongolia Telecom Company NAEM National Academy of Education Management (Bangladesh) NCED National Center for Education Development (Nepal) NECTEC National Electronics and Computer Technology Center NGO nongovernmental organization NICT National ICT Commission (Mongolia) NITC National Information Technology Center (Nepal) NITP National Information Technology Park (Mongolia) NTA Nepal Telecommunications Authority NTC Nepal Telecommunications Corporation NUS National University of Samoa OCR ordinary capital resources OECD Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development OLPC One Laptop per Child OSS Open Source Software PC personal computer PfE Partnerships for Education PLDT Philippines Long Distance Telephone Company PMO Prime Minister’s office PPIAF Public-Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility PPP public-private partnership PPTA Program Preparation Technical Assistance PSTN public switched telephone network R&D research and development RETA Regional Technical Assistance RTDF Rural Telecom Development Fund RTI Research Triangle Institute RTP Research Triangle Park SEAMEO South East Asia Ministers of Education Organisation, INNOTECH Regional Center for Educational Innovation and Technology (Philippines) SEDP Second Education Development Project (Mongolia) SES Statement of Economic Strategy SICT Support to ICT Taskforce SMS short messaging service ST Samoan tala (currency) SWAp sector-wide approach TA technical assistance TCO total cost of ownership TEDP Third Education Development Project Tk Bangladesh taka (currency) TOT training of trainers TQI Teaching Quality Improvement TTI Teacher Training Institute (Bangladesh) ix TVET technical and vocational education and training UN United Nations UNDP United Nations Development Programme UNESCO United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization UNFPA United Nations Population Fund UPU Universal Postal Union USAID United States Agency for International Development VAT value-added tax VoIP Voice over Internet Protocol VSAT very small aperture terminal WAN wide-area network WLL wireless local loop (community-access television) WSIS World Summit on the Information Society WTO World Trade Organization x Acknowledgments In writing a policy report on a subject as wide as “ICT in Education and Its Potential for Reducing Poverty in the Asia and Pacific Region,” a researcher must inevitably rely on a large number of people for information and opinions. It would be impossible to list them all here but special thanks must go to the following for giving time, help, opinions, and, above all, their knowledge to helping me in the writing of this document. Australia: Paul Schapper, IGS. Bangladesh: Golam R. Hiru, Bangladesh Education & Resource Network; Kamal Uddin Ahmed, Mohammud Mamunur and Rashid Chowdhury, Bangladesh Computer Council (BCC); Muhammed Omar Farooq, Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission; Safiqul Islam, BRAC; Manzoor Ahmed, BRAC University Institute of Educational Development; Mohammad Tipu Sultan, Citycell; Mahmud Hasan and Ananya Raihan, D.Net; Nazrul Islam, Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education; Manir Hassan, Government of Bangladesh; Mohammed Nazrul Islam, Ministry of Education; Mohammed Ashraful Moqbul, Ministry of Education; Wahid-uz-Zaman, Ministry of Science & ICT; Munir Hasan, Strengthening the ICT Capacity of Prime Minister's Office. Cambodia: Their Excellencies. Mak Vann, Koeu, Nay Leangand, Chhay Aun, Ministry of Youth Education & Sport. Mongolia: Ulaankhuu Yumjav, Government Communications Department; Batpurev Batchuluun, InfoCon Co. Ltd; E. Zolbayer, Information Communication Technology Authority; E. Oyunbileg and S. Sukhbold, Khan Bank - Agricultural Bank of Mongolia; Sukhbaatar Enkhjargal, Mongolian Information Development Association); Gmbosuren Batbold, MOECS; Ayush Batjargal, National Information Technology Park; Gerelmaa Amgaabazar and Dashdeleg Baljid, Open Society Forum; Philippa Ramsden and Otgonjargal Okhido, Save the Children UK, Mongolia. Nepal: Manohar Kumar Bhattarai, High Level Commission for IT; Pavan S. Shakya, Internet Service Providers' Association Nepal; Indra Prasad Subedi, Mero Mobile; Ram S. Karki, Nepal Radio; S. K. Kansacar, Nepal Telecom; Bishwa Prakash Maskey, Nepal TV; Laya Sangroula, Nepal TV. New Zealand: Robert Hanmer, ANZDEC Ltd.. Philippines: Min Tan, Commission on Information and Communications Technology; Zenalda T. Domingo, SEAMEO INNOTECH. Samoa: Mark Burns, ANZ Bank; Leota Valma Galuvao and Amanda Roberts, AusAID; David Main, Computer Services Ltd; Gerard Williams, Datech Ltd; Junji Ishizuka, JICA; James Potoi, National University of Samoa; Philip Hewitt, New Zealand High Commission; Tim Barker, South Pacific Business Development; Georgina Bonin, UNDP Singapore: Jonathan Kushner, Microsoft; Habibullah Khan, Universitas21Global. Thailand: Christine, Apikul, Asia-Pacific Development Information Programme; Shaid Aktar, former Head of Asia- Pacific Development Information Program, UNDP; Pornpun Waitayangkoon, Institute for the Promotion of Teaching Science and Technology; Benjamin, Vergel, de Dios, UNESCO. United Kingdom: Helen Butcher, Wiveliscombe Primary School. United States of America Ann Carlson Weeks, College of Information Studies, University of Maryland. In addition, I would like to acknowledge the support of the ADB staff in Manila and in the focus country missions for their support. Special thanks must go to the staff of the ADB library in Manila and the editing staff of RTI who have helped to produce the finished document. 1 I. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY A. Background of the Study 1. With the aim of providing developing member countries (DMCs) with better guidance to use information and communication technology (ICT) effectively in education, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) funded a 21-month regional technical assistance (RETA) in Bangladesh, Nepal, Mongolia, and Samoa. The RETA researched approaches to using ICT in education in ways that succeed in improving teaching and learning and also are sustainable given the region’s development challenges. The study was implemented by RTI International in partnership with iEARN-USA. Titled “Innovative Information and Communication Technology in Education and Its Potential for Reducing Poverty in Asia and the Pacific Region,”1 the program commenced in April 2006. Study outcomes from all four countries were shared at an International ICT for Education Conference that took place 16–18 October 2007 at ADB headquarters in Manila, Philippines. 2. The study’s aims were (i) to highlight promising models of ICT integration and best practices, (ii) to identify drivers and barriers to successful ICT integration, and (iii) to share lessons learned, with a specific focus on rural and remote areas. The study combined policy analysis, program evaluation, and small-scale activities. Countries chosen by ADB, based on geographic and demographic characteristics, provided their perspectives and country context. The study linked with existing education projects in each of the four participating countries that already featured ICT elements. The RETA was structured along three technical components: • Policy and Strategy component (regional), • e-Resources component (Mongolia and Samoa), and • e-Teacher Training component (Nepal and Bangladesh). 3. The Policy and Strategy component was designed to support DMCs and ADB in designing policies and strategies to promote appropriate and increased use of ICT in education in the Asia and Pacific region. The main task of this component was to identify, investigate and discuss key aspects to be considered in such a context. The Policy and Strategy component was undertaken in parallel with the other two study components and was grounded in outcomes of that research, specifically as they pertain to national policy and strategy. Therefore, in addition to original research this report therefore draws on the findings of the Country Reports— Mongolia,2 Samoa,3 Nepal,4 and Bangladesh,5 —and combines them with outcomes from sessions and discussions during the October 2007 International ICT for Education Conference. 4. To achieve its objective, the Policy and Strategy component identified and investigated issues along the following dimensions: • Intangible Factors • Issues of Planning 1 Referred to as “the study” from here forward. 2 See Appendix 8 of the RETA Final Report, the Mongolia Country Report. 3 See Appendix 9 of the RETA Final Report, the Samoa Country Report. 4 See Appendix 10 of the RETA Final Report, the Nepal Country Report. 5 See Appendix 11 of the RETA Final Report, the Bangladesh Country Report. 2 • Legal and Regulatory issues • Issues of Infrastructure and Content • Issues of Institutional Structures and Partnerships • Human Resources Development 5. To research these dimensions, the Policy and Strategy study component (from hereon called “the study”) featured formal missions to the four focus countries—Bangladesh, Mongolia, Nepal, and Samoa. Cambodia, Indonesia, The Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand were also visited to increase regional focus and complement outcomes from the four focus countries. B. Study Findings and Conclusions 6. According to the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) an enabling environment can be described as “a trustworthy, transparent and non-discriminatory legal, regulatory and policy environment”, which needs to be created by governments “to maximize the social, economic and environmental benefits of the Information Society.”6 With this background it becomes clear that appropriate ICT policies and strategies are at the core of an enabling environment for ICT. 7. All the subject countries have some form of ICT policy. Some even have specific ICT policies and strategies for education. The ICT policies include some common elements and address similar sectors, but the study found great variation in the extent to which these policies and strategies have been implemented—that is, with specific action plans, appropriate budget allocations, and clear attribution of roles and responsibilities among stakeholders. This research suggests that contextual factors, as well as tangible and intangible factors, play a role in the design and implementation of such policies and ICT strategies. Intangible factors, such as broad stakeholder demand, a shared vision for ICT in education, prevailing perceptions on ICT, or political stability, have to date not been comprehensively discussed in publications on either ICT policies and strategies, or critical aspects of an enabling environment for ICT development. The study found that commitment to tangibles without addressing the intangibles weakens a country’s ICT development considerably. Governments that want to nurture appropriate and increased use of ICT for education will therefore have to incorporate all these factors into their planning. The research under this component identified six dimensions, mentioned in paragraph 4 above, which are conceptualized as six pillars of a comprehensive ICT policy and therewith at the heart of an enabling environment, as a guiding structure for the many factors to be considered. The RETA researched the first five of these in more detail. Human resources development as it pertains to development and training of information technology (IT) specialists was outside the scope of this RETA. Also, it is not assumed that this list of pillars or the selected issues researched in this study are exhaustive in covering all the factors involved in the area of ICT policies and strategies. 8. At the outset of any initiative on ICT in education, there has to be a solid understanding of the need for contextualization. This study found some best practices on nurturing appropriate and increased use of ICT in education, but no universal solutions. Because the countries in the Asia and Pacific region are diverse on social, demographic, geographic, and economic 6 World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). 2003. Plan of Action. Geneva. 6. Available: http://www.itu.int/dms_pub/itu-s/md/03/wsis/doc/S03-WSIS-DOC-0005!!PDF-E.pdf. 3 indicators, approaches and models of ICT integration—and related policies and strategies— used in one country must be carefully evaluated and adapted to another country’s local context. 9. Intangible Factors. Lack of demand for ICT and prevailing misconceptions on ICT are closely related to a lack of awareness and information about the potential of ICT and its use in education. The study found that where governments take an active role in generating public awareness, such as through marketing and information campaigns and communication of good local practices, stakeholder demand is high. At the same time, ignorance about ICT—often expressed as a limited view that ICT is only computer training—is low. Addressing misconceptions is critical. Findings suggest that groups in different DMCs appear to have varying perceptions and therefore expectations of technology in education. Misconceptions can lead to disappointment and even cynicism about the benefits ICT can offer for education. Political instability and a lack of transparence in regulations and their applications are also among the intangible factors that negatively impact ICT development. Study findings indicate that the government’s vision and commitment is pivotal in this process. ICT, however, must not be treated as a magic bullet to quickly solve education problems and deliver political promises. 10. Planning. Effective use of ICT in education requires diligent planning at all levels, from classroom to school to local authority to regional authority and to the Ministry of Education. However, the Ministry of Education’s plans, as often expressed in education sector development programs, have to ensure that micro-level needs arising from the schools are also integrated into macro-level national policy, because systemic integration of ICT depends heavily on factors outside of the education system. Examples include needs and demands from other sectors and ministries, such as labor, health, transportation, and communication. In addition, all sector plans are subject to fiscal plans demarcated by ministries of finance. Such external influences and demands need to be determined, ideally through an inclusive planning process, to define the parameters of a feasible sector-wide approach (SWAp). In addition, governments need to ensure that donor and private sector support is aligned with this demand. Donor-funded pilot projects are one important way to discover local lessons learned. However, they also have to include sufficient funds to evaluate the costs of introducing, and maintaining alternate ICT models, so that it can be known how applicable they are to the larger system. Fragmented implementation of pilot projects and initiatives is inefficient. The study found that planning for the integration of ICT into education, therefore, has to be concerted, long term, systemic, and holistic, yet flexible enough to accommodate innovation and change. 11. Most critically, if ICT is to be integrated in a way that achieves sustainable change, it has to be driven by educational objectives, not technological desires. This is also expressed in the “value of investment” concept. As a complement to total cost of ownership (TCO) deliberations, this concept centers the discourse on an understanding that the goal for schools is ultimately education (as compared to a return-on-investment discourse that focuses on business goals in revenue generation or cost reduction). Schools and education systems have to have clear educational goals and know how investments in technology can contribute to their achievement. The value of investment in technology is therefore determined by a profound understanding of the anticipated benefits versus the cost of implementation and ownership. 12. Legal and Regulatory Issues. The emergence of new technology often requires regulation. For example, the allocation of radio spectrum frequencies is necessary to protect the integrity of wireless communications for various important government and civilian applications. Research under this RETA revealed that strong, independent, and transparent regulatory bodies backed by enforceable law are absolutely essential for innovative development of ICT. Government can put the legal and regulatory frameworks in place to create a vibrant, 4 competitive telecommunication market that lowers costs to consumers and encourages expansion of access to underserved areas. To stimulate the ICT industry, governments have used tools such as licensing, tax breaks, or special technology funds that may encourage providers to build infrastructure in rural areas. The study found that none of the countries under investigation has fully optimized use of such tools. This leaves opportunities for future initiatives. Laws also must protect intellectual property rights and create an environment in which new businesses can quickly develop and, increasingly important, be assured of digital security. Even where such laws exist, examples from DMCs indicate that implementation and enforcement are lagging. Careful review of the existing legal and regulatory frameworks, therefore, should be a key task for governments that aim to put in place a framework that truly nurtures ICT development. 13. Infrastructure and Content. Selection of appropriate technology should be driven by education development objectives, not by technology or by interests from external partners. Alternative technology models need to be evaluated carefully against overarching educational development objectives, as well as the social, geographic, and economic context of a country. Considerations of total cost of ownership and value of investment are applicable here. The study identified and described several equipment packages and current affordable computer initiatives, as well as strategies for providing connectivity, to highlight various approaches and options. It goes without saying that if there is no access to ICT, it cannot possibly be used to improve access to and quality of education. Study findings suggest, however, that effective use of ICT to improve teaching and learning does not necessarily require high-tech computer labs, or schemes in which every student receives a laptop, or 24/7 broadband connectivity. Instead, what is needed is careful consideration of the contextual factors mentioned, consideration of existing human resources and capacity, and—most of all—clear objectives. In regard to content, decisions on the use of licensed or open source software are difficult ones. The study found that there is no universal answer as to which solution should be adopted and to what extent (i.e., as part of national policies and strategies, or not). In any case, decisions have to be informed by careful consideration of the advantages and disadvantages of each of these solutions. There are several other issues regarding this dimension that need consideration, but have not been researched in detail as part of this study. This includes general IT applications (e.g., databases or management information systems), as well as services (e.g., e-commerce or e-government services). The area of electronic teaching and learning material has been researched in detail under the e-Resources component of this RETA. 14. Institutional Structures and Partnerships. This research also investigated the establishment of institutional structures, such as technology parks or centers of excellence; and partnerships that can support governments in nurturing effective use of ICT for education. The study found that both technology parks and centers of excellence can be effective tools in promoting ICT development. Their contribution, yet again, depends on the clarity of their role and objective, on the long-term costs involved, and on contextual factors. Study findings suggest that for technology parks specifically, critical aspects may be proximity to vocational and higher education institutions as pools for qualified human resources, and proximity to other research and development sites. However, the study did not find any research into the cost- effectiveness of such endeavors. Centers of excellence can play a key role in training technicians, computer engineers, and even researchers to a level that can sustain their home indigenous ICT industry. Partnerships, among public sector actors, as well as between the private and public sector, are critical building blocks in ICT development. Public-public partnerships are one approach to integrate ICT-related planning and nurture ICT development. They can start with pooled interests and public funds for infrastructure development—balancing the needs and demands of different sectors; or they can engage in joint strategic initiatives to 5 address sectoral needs. Partnerships with the private sector are also attractive approaches for governments to address issues of infrastructure, content, or human resource development; large-scale examples from Bangladesh and Thailand show their potential impact. Such partnerships, however, require a clear understanding of mutual responsibility and need to be integrated with overall ICT policy and education sector development plans. Governments need to be strong enough to balance their public responsibility for education with the private sector’s commercial interest. On the other hand, such partnerships have to be attractive to the private sector. Given the right circumstances, however, private sector companies are beginning to devise means of making profits by serving the bottom of the social and financial pyramid. However, not just donors, governments, and the private sector, but also civil society or professional associations, can assist and enhance interventions in areas of strategic importance in ICT development. 15. Conclusions. In the course of the research, it became evident that the degree to which governments in the DMCs were successful in nurturing ICT can be categorized. The countries throughout the region could be placed into four broad categories—although none of the DMCs appears in the fourth (yet). 1) Countries without cohesive planning for ICT in education. 2) Countries that have paper plans but lack the structures, means, political will, or stakeholder buy-in. 3) Countries that have well-defined objectives and interconnected plans that include time-based implementation strategies, and are at least developing enforceable regulatory systems, and strive to stimulate stakeholder buy-in and demand. 4) Countries in which strategic planning, clear objectives, and enforced and transparent regulatory frameworks supported by realistic funding are ubiquitous current practice, and are coupled with strong political will and public awareness and support for the use of ICT for education. 16. All four focus countries had national education plans. Nepal and Bangladesh, both experiencing great political instability, however, seemed to have difficulties at the time of the study of moving out of category 2—countries with paper plans but no structures, means, or will to implement. Samoa, on the other hand, has appointed an independent regulator and its telecommunications market is rapidly freeing up, so that country appears to be moving toward category 3. Mongolia is firmly within category 3. As noted, no current DMC has yet reached category 4. This study discussed what elements are necessary to move into category 4, and what tools governments have at their disposal which they can apply to encourage ICT in education and benefit those who are currently unconnected. Examples are: • the stimulation of public awareness and demand • the institutionalization of integrated ICT planning • the constructive use of SWAps • the taxation of products and services • the granting of licenses 6 • the imposition of special technology development funds • the constructive use of IT parks • the establishment of centers of excellence • the development of strategic partnerships 17. In none of the DMCs were all these being used to the best advantage of ICT in education. It would be beneficial for ministries of education to consult with the appropriate government authorities to rectify this and incorporate agreed reforms to benefit their education sector plans. It is this sort of innovative planning that in other countries in the region, Singapore in particular, has stimulated demand for ICT in education and encouraged the creation of a critical mass that brought about reform. C. Study Recommendations 18. This section outlines some selected recommendations from the RETA research under this component. 19. Study findings indicate that although there are many important stakeholders controlling effective use of ICT in education, only government spans the entire process from policy to pupil. Macro strategies and plans have to be in place for the child in the classroom, on the micro level, to benefit. Government therefore has a strategic role to play in driving the advancement of ICT in education. The speed at which a country develops its ICT capacity and at which it may reach category 4 above is therefore in the hands of government. 20. Government is the coordinator and the legislator; however, it is not enough for a country’s leaders to pass the right legislation, then sit back and expect a blossoming ICT sector that will lead automatically to economic growth. Its obligations are to embed ICT into the education system in such a way that it will help in improving the quality of and access to education. Improved education has positive impacts in terms of reducing poverty and the supporting economic growth. Specifically, government must: • Not just look at demand as a static force. By informing the public of the benefits of ICT, government can stimulate demand in such a way that pupils, parents, and teachers, as well as education administrators and politicians both understand and have the will to implement the educational changes that ICT brings. • Show the will and demonstrate leadership in ICT by planning, guiding, and informing as a part of good governance. • Regulate in a fair, evenhanded, and transparent manner so that the interests of all stakeholders are considered when major strategic decisions are made. • Not only put regulations, such as intellectual property rights, for example, in place, but also impose and enforce them. • Plan ICT investment in such a way that capital from the private sector can be combined with the government's own tax resources and donor support to deliver an efficient and dynamic telecommunications service that will ultimately connect the rural poor on an equal footing with the more advantaged urban populations 7 • Consider using the leverage of taxation—by attaching conditions to the sale of licenses and allowing tax breaks to subsidize recurring costs—to stimulate ICT development. 21. An overarching theme, however, has to be a major shift away from a concept of ICT in education, to a concept of using ICT for education. Just as mathematics has been described as “the queen of the arts and the servant of the sciences,”7 so can ICT be seen as a both subject of study and a useful tool and a catalyst for change. The ultimate aim of governments, therefore, should be to mainstream ICT into education to such an extent that it becomes an integral part of education sector planning and budgets. 22. Chapter II of this report introduces the study, describes its scope, and provides an overview the methodology used. Chapter III discusses the social, geographic and economic context of each DMC under investigation. Chapter IV describes the investigation into existing ICT policies and strategies. The following chapters, Chapters V-IX, provide the study findings along five of the six main pillars outlined above. Chapter X outlines a study summary of findings and conclusions. Chapter XI provides specific recommendations. Chapter XII contains a list of references consulted for this study. Finally, in the Appendix, further contextual information along indicators of human development and general infrastructure are given for selected countries of the region. II. STUDY INTRODUCTION, SCOPE AND METHODOLOGY A. Study Introduction and Context 23. This study was designed to help DMCs and ADB design policies and strategies that promote appropriate and increased used of ICT in education in the Asia and Pacific region. The main task of this study was to identify, investigate, and discuss possible government interventions that encourage effective use of ICT to improve access to and quality of education. In addition to its original research, this study is grounded in findings from the e-Resources and e-Teacher Training components of this RETA with respect to issues of national policy and strategy. This also includes outcomes from sessions and discussions during the 2007 conference that took place at ADB headquarters in Manila, (October 16–18), titled “Optimizing ICT for Education: Sharing Practical Experiences from the Asia Pacific Region. What Works, What Doesn’t, and in What Circumstances,” which was part of this RETA. 24. The study was implemented in two phases. In a first phase, contextual aspects of the focus countries were being investigated, hand in hand with an analysis of existing ICT policies and strategies, their content, nature, and level of implementation. Based on the findings from this phase, the study identified key aspects that seem to affect appropriate use of ICT for education and related policies and planning, and proceeded to investigate these in detail. 25. In researching such interventions and aspects, this study contributed to existing knowledge about the enabling environment for ICT in education, a concept frequently discussed in the context of ICT policy and strategy. Appropriate ICT policies and strategies are at the core of an enabling environment. According to the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), an enabling environment can be described as “a trustworthy, transparent, and non- discriminatory legal, regulatory, and policy environment,” which needs to be created by governments “to maximize the social, economic, and environmental benefits of the Information 7 Attributed to Sir Isaac Newton, Fellow of the Royal Society (4 January 1643—31 March 1727). 8 Society” (from page 6 of footnote 6). An earlier ADB investigation stated that a sound and energetic enabling environment implies the following factors:8 • Political commitment at the highest level; • An institutional framework that will map broad policy guidelines; • Implementation mechanisms that will ensure a level playing field for competition; • Strategies to support special funding to encourage the extension of communications services to schools, libraries, hospitals, community centers, and other public facilities where economic viability may not be achievable in the short term; • Transparency in public operations; • Balanced rates for persons and business; • Affordable access for remote and rural areas; and • Standards of quality in services. 26. This study featured formal missions to the four focus countries—Bangladesh, Mongolia, Nepal, and Samoa. These countries were chosen by ADB for their geographic and demographic diversity and because they already featured existing ADB-funded education projects with ICT elements. Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand were also visited to meet specific individuals and representatives of international educational institutions with a particular regional interest in the development of ICT that would add value to the research. Site visits to education and IT institutions, as well as interviews with key stakeholders were conducted in each of these countries. B. Scope of the Study 27. This study focused on the impact of ICT on formal education, but also considered vocational education in the ICT technical support skills required to support implementation of ICT programs. The study did not examine supporting education administration except in the general context of policy and planning. This study considered the use of ICT in tertiary education only with respect to teacher training. The concept of centers of excellence (which are often attached to tertiary institutions) was, however, considered. 28. This study and the RETA as a whole was not an investigation into the acquisition of computing skills. It was an investigation into how technology can enhance teaching and learning. In particular, investigations were concerned with the practical means of integrating affordable ICT seamlessly into education through constructive but innovative planning from the macro level of sympathetic government political structures to the micro level of the remote rural primary school—from policy to pupil. C. Study Methodology 29. The study methodology consisted of the following four elements: 8 Cited from Loxley, William and Patrick Julien. 2004. Information and Communication Technologies in Education and Training in Asia and the Pacific. ADB. Manila. 55/56. 9 1) Missions to focus countries with field research 2) Visits to non-focus countries to study particular issues 3) Desk research 4) The outcomes from the October 2007 International ICT for Education Conference. 30. Interviews during missions and the conference were conducted with a diverse range of stakeholders, including school teachers, school principals, district and provincial education administrators, and staff from the ministries of education, communications, technology, and finance, as well as members of special IT commissions in all four focus countries. Discussions were also held with academics both with specialist interest in ICT in education and from other disciplines. In addition, representatives from private enterprises that surround ICT development, including equipment suppliers, service suppliers, software developers, as well as banking institutions were interviewed. Information was gleaned from major international donors and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), as well as a regional and local United Nations (UN) staff. Government regulators were also interviewed. In Bangladesh, the researcher held a conference discussion with a 10-member delegation from the Chambers of Commerce that included newspaper proprietors and garment manufacturers. These varied groups had in common an interest in the development of ICT in education. 31. Aligned with the study objective and the specific areas under investigation, a site assessment framework and specific questions were developed to guide missions and interviews. While such tools helped structure the research, the issues under investigation also generically developed during site visits and interviews, as new, critical policy and strategy elements were being discovered and investigated. For the selection of interviewees, a snowball sampling technique was applied, where interviewees identified through desk research or by the RETA domestic team would suggest future interview participants.9 32. Desk research was conducted, identifying, reviewing, and assessing existing research and documentation relevant to the area under investigation. Finally, information gathered through the methods described above was combined with what was gleaned from plenary discussions, group sessions, and individual discussions with participants at the 2007 ICT for Education Conference at ADB headquarters in Manila. III. RELEVANT CONTEXTUAL ASPECTS IN STUDY COUNTRIES A. Social and Demographic Aspects 33. For each focus country, several country context indicators and aspects were identified, investigated, and compared. These include population and population density, the poverty rate,10 existence of a specific poverty reduction plan, the numbers of mobile phone 9 “Snowball sampling is a special nonprobability method used when the desired sample characteristic is rare. It may be extremely difficult or cost prohibitive to locate respondents in these situations. Snowball sampling relies on referrals from initial subjects to generate additional subjects. While this technique can dramatically lower search costs, it comes at the expense of introducing bias because the technique itself reduces the likelihood that the sample will represent a good cross section from the population.” Quoted from StatPac. Undated. Sampling Methods. Available: http://www.statpac.com/surveys/sampling.htm. 10 Percentage of the population below poverty line. 10 subscribers,11 and the percentage of mobile phone subscribers in population.12 Such data are complemented with information on the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for mobile phone subscriptions, as well as the number of Internet subscribers13 and the percentage of Internet subscribers in the total population.14 These indicators are presented in table form in Exhibit 1, below. Further country context information on the status of relevant Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the general transportation, communication, and information infrastructure is provided in the Appendix. The same indicators have also been researched for Cambodia, the Philippines, and Thailand to compare with focus countries and to provide an extended regional perspective. 34. Mongolia. As can be seen from Exhibit 1, Mongolia is the least populated country among those under investigation (and in the world, in fact). More than a third of its population is living below the poverty line. Among the four focus countries, it features the highest mobile phone and Internet subscription rates, surpassed only by the Philippines and Thailand when considering all seven countries. At the same time, its annual mobile phone subscription growth rate is the second lowest of all countries investigated. 35. Samoa. Samoa is the smallest country in the sample in terms of population, but shows the second highest diffusion of mobile phone and Internet subscription among the four focus countries. Its annual growth rate of mobile phone subscriptions is the third highest in the entire sample. Extreme poverty is not regarded as a critical issue in Samoa (due to an influx of remittances from oversees Samoans, making up about 17% of gross national income [GNI]).15 36. Nepal. Nepal has the highest compound annual growth rate for mobile phone subscriptions, indicating that its currently relatively low rates of diffusion of this technology will soon be changing. Compared to the other countries presented in this analysis, it has a moderate Internet subscription diffusion rate. A third of its population, however, lives below the poverty line. 37. Bangladesh. Bangladesh features the highest population density among all countries in the sample. It also has the highest poverty rate. At the same time, the country shows moderate mobile phone and Internet subscription rates among the focus countries and among all countries the second highest mobile phone subscription growth rate. 11 The term “mobile phone subscribers” refers to users of portable telephones subscribing to an automatic public mobile telephone service using cellular technology that provides access to the public switched telephone network. 12 Calculated from the total population. 13 The term “Internet subscribers” refers to the number of dial-up, leased line, and broadband Internet subscribers. 14 Calculated from the total population. 15 ADB. 2007. Report and Recommendation of the President to the Board of Directors. Proposed Asian Development Fund Grant – Independent State of Samoa: SchoolNet and Community Access Project. Project Number 36513. Manila. 28. 11 Exhibit 1. Selected Social and Demographic Indicators Mongolia Samoa Nepal Bangladesh Cambodia Philippines Thailand Population a 2,590,000 179,200 25,880,000 138,800,000 14,200,000 b 87,000,000 65,230,000 Population 1.1 64 176 940 78 290 127 Density c Poverty 36.1% Not avail- 30.9% 45% 35% 40% 10% Rates d (2004) able (n/a) (2004) (2004 est.) (2004) (2001 est.) (2004 est.) Mobile Phone 775,300 24,000 1,572,021 f 19,131,000 1,140,000 42,868,900 40,815,500 Subscribers e (estimate) (2007) Percent (%) 29.93% 13.39% 6.07% 13.78% 8.03% 49.27% 62.57% Mobile Phone Subscribers of Population Mobile Phone 31.8% 76% 146% 105.7% 38.5% 28.7% 40.1% Subscription CAGR g Internet 71,000 1,300 62,600 150,000 12,800 1,440,000 2,403,700 Subscribers h (estimate) (estimate) (estimate) Percent (%) 2.74% 0.73% 0.24% 0.11% 0.09% 1.66% 3.68% Internet Subscribers of Population a Population figures used here are taken from the respective country pages of ADB. 2007. Key Indicators 2007: Inequality in Asia. Manila. Available: http://www.adb.org/documents/books/key_indicators/2007. b More than 50% of the population is under 21 years old. c Figures for population density (persons per square kilometer) are taken from ADB. 2007 (see note a above). d Poverty rates are taken from The World Factbook Web site: United States Central Intelligence Agency. Undated. World Factbook. Washington, DC. Available: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook. e Figures for mobile phone subscribers are from 2006 and are taken from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) free statistics provided by country, from the ICT Eye. Available: http://www.itu.int/ITU-D/icteye/Indicators/Indicators.aspx. f Regarding the number of mobile phone subscribers in Nepal, there seems to be a mistake in the ITU statistics table. There, the total number of mobile phone subscribers as of 2006 was given as 11,571,000, which would bring penetration to more than 44% of population. Given other sources, such as ADB and UNDP, this number cannot be correct. Most recent data from 2007, which also appear to be valid, were found in a country report by the executive director of the National Information Technology Center, Ministry of Environment, Science, and Technology Nepal, and were used here. Available: http://www.unescap.org/icstd/events/Info%2DSociety%2DStats%2DWorkshop%2D2007/Nepal.pdf. g Figures for CAGR were measured using data from 2001–2006, and are taken from the ITU free statistics provided by country, from the ICT Eye (see note e above). The figure for Nepal has been calculated following ITU CAGR calculation guidelines due to a mistake in the original ITU numbers, on the basis of the number provided for 2007. h Figures for internet subscribers are from 2006, and are taken from the ITU free statistics provided by country, the ICT Eye (see note e above). 38. Cambodia. Cambodia features some of the lowest technology diffusion rates, and more than a third of its population lives in poverty. Internet subscription rates are extremely low. However, annual growth rates for mobile phone subscriptions are moderate compared to the rest of the sample. 39. The Philippines. The country has one of the highest population densities in the sample, together with high rates of technology diffusion both in mobile and Internet subscriptions. At the same time, it features a relatively high poverty rate, with over 40% of the population living below the poverty line. Its CAGR is the lowest in the sample. 40. Thailand. Thailand represents the most advanced country in the sample, when it comes to the percentage of population that has a mobile phone and Internet subscription. Internet 12 subscription nearly reached 4% of population in 2006. Its poverty rate, at 10% according to a 2004 estimate, is the lowest among those countries with available data. B. Geographic Aspects 41. Exhibit 2, below, outlines some of the key geographical aspects and characteristics of each country under investigation. Geographic aspects were considered when ADB selected the four focus countries for this RETA. As can be seen from this table, the seven countries show high diversity not only in population density, but also in geography. Bangladesh, with the highest population density, has the most uniform topographic profile. Mongolia and Nepal are both landlocked countries featuring extensive mountain ranges including, most significantly, Nepal’s Himalayan mountain range. Mongolia, the largest of all countries here, features extended desert areas in the south. Samoa is in an isolated island, and while small, it has a more varied topographic profile than Bangladesh or even Cambodia. Exhibit 2. Country Comparison on Selected Geographical Characteristics Pop. Density (persons Geographical Country Area (km2) a per km2) Character b Vast semidesert and desert plains, grassy steppe, mountains in west and southwest; Gobi Mongolia 1,564,116 1.1 Desert in south-central. Lowest point: 518 m; highest point: 4,374 m; landlocked location Two main islands (Savaii and Upolu) and several smaller islands and uninhabited islets; narrow Samoa 2,944 64 coastal plain with volcanic, rocky, rugged mountains in interior. Lowest point: 0m; highest point: 1,857 m; isolated island location Flat river plain in south, central hill region, rugged Nepal 147,181 176 Himalayas in north. Lowest point: 70 m; highest point: 8,850 m; landlocked location Mostly flat alluvial plain; hilly in southeast. Lowest Bangladesh 144,000 940 point: 0 m; highest point: 1,230 m Mostly low, flat plains; mountains in southwest Cambodia 181,040 78 and north. Lowest point: 0 m; highest point: 1,810 m Mostly mountains with narrow to extensive Philippines 300,000 290 coastal lowlands. Lowest point: 0 m; highest point: 2,954 m Central plain; plateau in the east; mountains Thailand 514,000 127 elsewhere. Lowest point: 0 m; highest point: 2,576 m a Data on area are based on information from the US Central Intelligence Agency’s World Factbook. Available: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/index.html. b Geographical characteristics are based on information from the World Factbook (see note a above). 13 C. Economic Aspects 42. Exhibit 3 below compares the gross national income (GNI) per capita16 for the eight counties and their Asian Development Fund (ADF)17 eligibility classification. ADF classifications are interesting for analyzing financial aspects in that they provide information beyond obvious economic indicators. There are two general criteria applied to establish ADF eligibility. These are a country’s income, measured by its GNI per capita,18 and a country’s debt repayment capacity. In addition to the current country criteria, a country’s size and its location, specifically whether it is landlocked or isolated, are also taken into consideration. The reason for this, according to ADB (paragraph 41 of footnote 17), is that both of these aspects affect the general economic circumstances of a country and hence its debt repayment capacity. Broadly speaking, the larger the country, the wider its economic base and consequently the more robust its long-term debt repayment capacity; conversely, the smaller and more isolated the country, the more adverse are its economic circumstances, including vulnerability to shocks, high costs of infrastructure, etc. 43. Two of the four focus countries, Mongolia and Nepal, are landlocked; Samoa is an isolated island. 44. Also, as can be seen from Exhibit 3, below, among the four focus countries, the variation in GNI per capita is between $290 in Nepal and $2,270 for Samoa. This means that the GNI per capita in Samoa is nearly eight times higher than that of Nepal. To provide another regional comparison data point, Singapore’s GNI per capita is more than 100 times higher than that of Nepal. This clearly indicates that there is high regional variation in GNI per capita. Among the 16 GNI per capita (formerly gross national product [GNP] per capita) is the gross national income, converted to US dollars using the World Bank Atlas method, divided by the midyear population. GNI is the sum of value added by all resident producers plus any product taxes (less subsidies) not included in the valuation of output plus net receipts of primary income (compensation of employees and property income) from abroad. GNI, calculated in national currency, is usually converted to US dollars at official exchange rates for comparisons across economies. Source: World Bank national accounts data and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) National Accounts data files. Source of the data for all countries: World Bank. Undated. Development Data and Statistics. Washington, DC. Available: http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/DATASTATISTICS/0,,contentMDK:20535285~menuPK:1192694~ pagePK:64133150~piPK:64133175~theSitePK:239419,00.html 17 “The Asian Development Fund (ADF) has, since 1973, been a major instrument of concessional financing in support of equitable and sustainable development for the region. ADF, funded by ADB's donor member countries, offers loans at very low interest rates [compared to those applicable to loans under ADB’s ordinary capital resources (OCR) and grants that help reduce poverty in ADB's poorest borrowing countries…The Bank has at present a three-tier country classification system: Groups A, B, and C. This three-tier classification allows for a differentiation among groups in regard to ADF eligibility. Group A DMCs are ‘fully eligible,’ Group B DMCs are eligible for ‘limited amounts in particular circumstances,’ and Group C DMCs are ineligible for ADF resources…The policy implies the progression (although no country has been formally reclassified or graduated since the adoption of the policy in 1977) of a DMC from Group A through Group B to Group C. The policy does not envisage a stage beyond Group C when a DMC would cease to be eligible for Bank assistance.“ Quoted from ADB. 1998. A Graduation Policy for the Bank’s DMCs. Manila. Available: http://www.adb.org/Documents/Policies/ Graduation/default.asp. 18 In its 1998 documentation on the ADF graduation policy, ADB used the term Gross National Product (GNP). More recent ADB documentation also utilizes GNI. For the purpose of this report, unless in an explicit role, the term GNI is being used. 14 Exhibit 3. Country Comparison of Per Capita GNI and ADF Classification GNI Per ADF Country Population Capita Classificationa Mongolia 2,590,000 $880 A Samoa 179,200 $2,270 A Nepal 25,880,000 $290 A Bangladesh 138,800,000 $480 B1 Cambodia 14,200,000 $480 A Philippines 87,000,000 $1,420 C Thailand 65,230,000 $2,990 C a ADF categories for qualifying countries are: Group A = ADF only; Group B1 = ADF with limited OCR; Group B2 = OCR with limited ADF; Group C = OCR only. Group A includes countries with low per capita GNI and limited debt repayment capacity; Group B includes lower-middle income countries at intermediate levels of economic development and with increasing capacity to service their debt; and Group C includes upper-middle income and high-income countries with relatively high debt repayment capacity. four focus countries, Bangladesh is the only one that is categorized as a member of Group B1 of the ADF classification scheme, which includes lower-middle-income countries at intermediate levels of economic development. This indicates that Samoa, despite having a relatively high GNI per capita compared to the other three focus countries, seems to be struggling with other aspects beyond the purely monetary ones. This may be its debt-repayment capacity, or, as pointed out earlier, issues related to its isolated location as an island state facing specific economic, financial, and infrastructural challenges. Bangladesh has a lower GNI per capita than Samoa, may not face similar constraints that could challenge debt repayment capacity or economic growth. With a GNI of $290 per capita, Nepal is clearly among the lowest-income countries in the world. D. Country Context: Summary and Conclusions 45. The countries under investigation are very diverse demographically, socially, geographically, and financially. For example, Mongolia features a very low population density in a large landlocked country with, however, a fairly high diffusion of both mobile phone and Internet technology, with 29.93 mobile phone subscribers per 100 inhabitants and 2.74 Internet subscribers per 100 inhabitants. Samoa, an isolated island, also has a rather low population density. However, among the focus countries it has a relatively high mobile phone and Internet subscription penetration rate. Among the four focus countries, current mobile phone subscrip- tion penetration is lowest for Nepal, a country marked by extreme differences in topography. Internet penetration is lowest in Bangladesh, which has a rather uniform topographic profile. At the same time, both these countries show the highest annual growth rates for mobile phone subscriptions. Thailand and the Philippines, both countries with comparably high GNI per capita, lead the field among all seven countries when it comes to technology diffusion—Thailand more so than the Philippines. Cambodia, on the other, which was not one of the focus countries, features some of the lowest penetration rates for both Internet and mobile phones. Despite their different social, demographic, and geographic contexts, all of the four focus countries, except for Bangladesh, are still classified as ADF Group A, featuring low per capita GNIs. In comparison, two of the three non-focus countries, the Philippines and Thailand, have already reached 15 Group C, indicating that they are considered upper-middle or high-income countries among ADB DMCs. 46. Contextual information for countries examined under this RETA clearly demonstrates the diversity of the challenges facing DMCs in the Asia and Pacific region. It emphasizes that each country must work within its demographic, geographic, technological, and economic context. For example, the geographic diversity highlights the different challenges faced when supplying telecommunication connections to schools and teacher training institutions. This has also been made clear in the findings of the RETA e-Resources component, and the design of the pilot studies under the RETA e-Teacher Training component. In Bangladesh, for example, the RETA e-Teacher Training pilot study capitalized on the strong diffusion of mobile phone technology, with, already in 2005, more than 80% of the population covered by mobile telephony.19 The study took place in an area where schools are very remote and transportation and other communication systems are poor, posing a challenge to conducting face-to-face in-service training and school-based supervision. Nearly 80% of study participants owned a mobile phone at the outset of the study, and therefore had some basic familiarity with this technology. Studies comparing teacher training integrating mobile phone technology in distance mode with traditional face-to-face training found that distance mode can be as effective as face-to-face training, and in fact is the training method strongly preferred by study participants (see Chapter VIII in footnote 5). 47. The following two quotes from the Country Reports of the RETA e-Resources component in Mongolia and Samoa, respectively, further illustrate the importance of such contextual factors: The extreme geographic profile of Mongolia, featuring a small population distributed across a large landmass, with large distances between rural schools, requires special considerations in the design and implementation of ICT initiatives. The experiences in terms of the equipment package [one laptop, one liquid crystal display (LCD) projector and one digital camera per school], tailored for low-tech, low- electricity environments are certainly worth consideration [for similar contexts]. (Quoted from paragraph 349 of footnote 2) An additional concern related to the ICT environment is directly related to maintenance and replacement of equipment. Experiences from both [Samoa] SchoolNet and this study [RETA research in Samoa] show major difficulties in the initial procurement of equipment. Availability of parts, shipping times, and customs hold-ups all played a significant role in delays experienced by both projects. In the context of the Pacific island states, especially, but most likely not exclusively, there is no mail-order store for computer parts. Even if the budgets are in place and funds are available, therefore, procuring or replacing any equipment may be a major challenge. Stability of electricity, as well as the cost of power, seemed to be a big problem for most of the schools, especially the more rural ones.… possibilities for using solar power should be explored. Indeed, a pilot initiative already implemented in Samoa, as part of the ITU [International Telecommunications Union] Telecenter initiative…provides relevant local experience in this regard. (Quoted from paragraphs 180–181 of footnote 3) 19 World Bank. 2007. ICT at a Glance. Bangladesh. Washington, DC. Available: http://devdata.worldbank.org/ ict/bgd_ict.pdf. 16 48. In addition to wide demographic and geographic variations, the DMCs investigated during this study face varied economic constraints, some of which may be directly linked to relatively low GNI per capita, as is the case for Nepal, Bangladesh and Mongolia; others to other economic challenges possibly related to their geographic location (Samoa). Within these constraints, DMCs are faced with developing national ICT strategies that recognize the unique challenges of each educational institution, the need to develop specific solutions for each context based on careful analysis of alternatives, and the need to integrate operating costs into education sector budgets. 49. The findings of this study highlight the need for a highly contextual design of ICT policies, strategies and initiatives. Replication of approaches seen in other countries, even in the region or close proximity, without careful adaptation to specific local contexts and factors, is unlikely to be successful. Instead, policies and strategies should recognize and build on the unique strengths that the specific location, demography, or technology diffusion profile offers for ICT development. IV. EXISTING ICT POLICIES IN STUDY COUNTRIES 50. This study examined major elements of existing ICT policies and strategies in each country. This complements and updates (as applicable) information already collected in 2004 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).20 Key findings are summarized in the following sections. A. Mongolia 51. National ICT Policy. The e-Mongolia program of 2005 outlined a seven-year development policy. The program aims to establish the information society and found a knowledge-based society in Mongolia by enhancing extensive IT applications in all sectors of society, to help Mongolia become one of the top ten developed countries in Asia by the year 2012. The program features seven core elements:21 1) Legal and Regulatory Framework 2) Infrastructure and Access 3) Leadership and Reform 4) Interoperability and Applications 5) ICT enabled Economic Growth 6) Public Awareness and Participation in Governance 7) ICT Skills and Human Resources Development 52. The program also outlines initiatives for government cooperation with the private sector, NGOs, and the international community. The specific initiatives mentioned are: 20 UNESCO. 2003. Meta-Survey on the Use of Technologies in Education in Asia and the Pacific 2003-2004. Bangkok. 21 From Invest in Mongolia. Undated. E-Mongolia Program. Ulaanbaatar. Available: http://www.investmongolia.com/ forum/projects/tusul77.pdf. 17 • Policies: Creating an enabling environment for enhancing and extending the use of ICT and the Internet by adopting, creating, and/or strengthening appropriate standards, regulations, policies, financial support, mechanisms, and institutions • Infrastructure: Ensuring that a modern, cost-effective, competent, and universally accessible telecommunications infrastructure exists across the country • Education and training: Developing the human resources base upon which a Mongolian information society will be built, grown, and sustained • e-commerce: Strengthening the capacity of the private sector to make beneficial and commercial use of the Internet and of ICTs, and to generate employment and profits • Government services: Enhancing capacity to deliver government services across the country and encouraging greater citizen involvement in the governance of the country • Community access: Providing support for public computer access to the Internet at the local community level • Strengthening Mongolian content on the Internet • Enhancing the presence of Mongolia on the Internet • Strengthening the capacity of scientists, researchers, and other experts and professionals to collaborate using the Internet for the greater development and advantage of Mongolia. 53. ICT in Education Policies and Strategies. The ICT in Education Vision 2010, ratified by the Mongolia Ministry of Education, Culture, and Science (MECS) in 2001, is the primary guide for ICT in education for Mongolia. This Vision document is made up of four key components:22 • Training: full utilization of ICT in each educational level’s curriculum and contents in order to introduce opportunities provided by ICTs and gain knowledge and skills to use it; • Hardware: supply of hardware allows the conduct of training according to different level of modern ICT development and provides possibilities of free access to information; • Teaching staff: supply of teachers who have the capability to develop their own knowledge and skills in line with rapid development of ICT; • Information ware: creation of available and accessible information service by establishing educational information database and network. 54. The development of the Vision was coordinated with the allocation of budgetary funds and implementation plans. Related to this, in 2002, Resolution No. 256 was approved by MECS, 22 Quoted from Choijoovanchig, Lhaichin, Sambuu Uyanga, and Mendee Dashnyam. 2007. The Informatics Olympiad in Mongolia. In Olympiads in Informatics. 2007. Vol. 1. 31–36. Institute of Mathematics and Informatics. Vilnius. 31f. 18 stating that the subject of informatics shall be taught not only at the high school level, but also at the secondary school level, starting in grade 5. Seventy hours of informatics instruction was therefore added to the basic education level. The informatics curriculum includes areas of information management, computer (computer and application skills), algorithms (understand and develop algorithms), modeling (understand and develop models), and information technology (Internet, e-mail). In 2006, MECS approved a new and updated vision, the ICT in Education Vision 2015, via Ministerial Order No. 450 of 2006. The new Vision better addresses integration of ICT into education and aims to reduce the number of students per computer, to train teachers in e-learning methodology, to establish e-schools, and to provide primary and secondary schools with professional informatics teachers (paragraph adapted from Section III.D. in footnote 2). B. Samoa 55. National ICT Policy. A National ICT Committee was formed following the appointment of an ICT strategist in 2001. It is now housed in the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT). The Samoan national ICT committee includes key experts from several government institutions and is chaired by the Prime Minister. It is responsible for ICT development and policy implementation. Its vision is to provide ICT to every Samoan, and it follows the principles outlined in the Pacific Islands Information and Communication Technologies Policy and Strategic Plan—a regional ICT policy and planning framework. The strategy for Samoa includes the following policy statements that have been developed within each area with respect to implementation:23 • Human Resources: ICT will be used to inform and connect the population of Samoa and ensure that it benefits from flexible and appropriate education, training, and experiences. • Infrastructure Development: Appropriate ICT infrastructure [will be developed] to support development for Samoa. • Cooperation between Stakeholders: Easy access to information through ICT will strengthen cooperation between stakeholders while advocating the Statement of Economic Strategy (SES) championed by the Government of Samoa to ensure good governance, development in the private sector, and improvement in service delivery. • Appropriate Policy and Regulation: ICT policies and regulations will facilitate development and the implementation of the previous guiding principles, while maintaining their appropriateness to the people and culture of Samoa. 56. ICT in Education Policies and Strategies. For the education sector, the Samoa Ministry of Education, Sports, and Culture (MESC) developed an Information Technology Strategic Plan 2000–2003, followed by an ICT Master Plan 2004–2007. The current MESC strategic policy and plan, running from July 2006 until June 2015, incorporates ICT, and is guided by the following vision: Educational planning and management, teaching, and learning that is enhanced through the use of cost effective ICT. 23 Quoted from Government of Samoa. 2002. Samoa Information and Communication Technologies. Policy and Strategic Plan. Apia. 19 57. While significant investments have been made internally to better leverage ICT— especially for education planning and management, and including the use of a number of information systems—MESC also identified several key challenges facing the education system and its ability to optimize ICT use for education. These include challenges in the areas of ICT management and sustainability, standards, process reengineering, and Internet access for both the ministry and the schools (paragraph adapted from Section III.B in footnote 3). C. Nepal 58. National ICT Policy. The Government of Nepal wishes to successfully integrate ICT into a viable policy framework, increase access to ICT and employment opportunities for the general public, transform Nepal into a knowledge-based society, and create ICT-based industry. Specific sector strategies of the National ICT Policy are:24 • Private Sector Infrastructure Development: It is noted that ICT policy shall be utilized to create an atmosphere conducive to attracting investment in the private sector. • Infrastructure Development: The Government of Nepal commits itself to creating an information superhighway via a broadband network, an IT multimedia park, and the necessary accompanying telecommunications and electrical services. • Human Resources Development: The Government of Nepal is dedicating itself to addressing ICT in educational institutions at all levels. The strategy will involve compulsory phased IT interventions for teachers and students via public and private initiatives in both public and private institutions. • Dissemination of IT: To fulfill its vision for ICT development, the Government of Nepal wishes to expand the use of and access to ICT within education, health, and governmental services. This plan intends to expand services for rural and urban centers. The Government of Nepal intends to use the expanded ICT access to link rural communities with educational, health, and governmental services via the Internet. • e-Commerce: The Government of Nepal is dedicated to creating and promoting an appropriate environment for initiating and expanding e-Commerce initiatives and opportunities through a combination of tax incentives and legislative processes. The purpose of these processes is to protect and meet local and international standards of conduct for ICT in banking and cultural material, including intellectual property rights. • Governance: A governing body called the National Information Technology Center has been created by the Government of Nepal to oversee and direct ICT policy and initiatives. The National Information Technology Center (NITC) was created to act as the functionary outlet for regulatory controls of ICT creation, use, and distribution. • Legislation: As mentioned above, the Government of Nepal intends to create a suitable and hospitable legal environment for the development and use of ICT material and processes to meet domestic and international standards. A specific provision is made for the review and amendment of legislation every 2 years. 24 Adapted from Government of Nepal. 2000. Information Technology Policy, 2057 (2000). Kathmandu. Available: http://www.npc.gov.np/it/it_policy.pdf. 20 59. ICT in Education Policies and Strategies. The country is currently at the end of its Tenth 5-Year Plan (2002–2007), which includes the following specific goals for education: improving access to education through decentralization and transfer of responsibilities to school management committees; improving access to literacy, income-generating, vocational, and nonformal education programs; enforcing minimum qualifications for entering teaching professionals and strengthening supervision at all levels of education; and mobilizing youth and sports activities. The tenth plan has also articulated a long-term vision for the usage of ICT in education, specifically emphasizing the use of technology with a view to addressing the “country’s need of the human resources.”25 Implementation of the required infrastructure, however, has been slow to follow. There is also no explicit ICT in education policy or strategy, apart from the National ICT Policy, which covers some aspects of ICT in education in areas of human resources development, as outlined above (paragraph adapted from Section III.C in footnote 4). D. Bangladesh 60. National ICT Policy. Bangladesh ICT policy aims at building an ICT-driven nation comprising a knowledge-based society. It promises to ensure access to information for every citizen to facilitate empowerment of people and enhance democratic values and norms for sustainable economic development by using the infrastructure for human resources development, governance, e-commerce, banking, public utility services, and online ICT-enabled services. The specific objectives are to:26 • Create required infrastructural facilities and legal framework necessary in order to give a thrust to the ICT sector and expeditious development of a software industry and its export; • Provide effective incentives for the development of the ICT sector to both local and foreign entrepreneurs; • Develop an efficient ICT infrastructure that provides open access to international and national networks; • Promote and facilitate the use of ICT in all sectors of the economy to improve transparency, good governance, and efficiency; • Establish legislative and regulatory frameworks for ICT issues such as intellectual property rights (IPR), data security and protection, digital signature, e-Commerce, and ICT education, as well as to ensure that private organizations provide quality ICT education; • Set up national databases that are reliable and easily accessible to all citizens; • Promote the use of ICT by providing special allocations for ICT project implementation in the public sector. Train the decision makers in ICT use and promote an ICT culture; 25 In Government of Nepal. 2002. Tenth Plan. Chapter on Education and Sports. Kathmandu. 3. Available: http://www.npc.gov.np/tenthplan/english/Chapter%2023-Education%20and%20Sports.pdf. 26 Adapted from Ministry of Science and Information & Communication Technology (MOSICT). 2002. National Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Policy. Dhaka. 5. Available: http://www.mosict.gov.bd/ministry_files/ICT_Policy_English19.9.doc. 21 • Develop a large pool of world-class ICT professionals to meet the needs of local and global markets; • Set up a high quality ICT institution27 to continuously promote and foster the ICT Industry; and • Enact laws and regulations for the uninterrupted growth of ICT, in conformity with World Trade Organization (WTO) stipulations 61. The government's ICT policy is focused on encouraging human resource development for the global ICT market. This translates into a concentration on training for basic ICT skills, beginning in the school system at all levels and culminating in computer science and engineering degrees at the university level. To build capacity within the administration of education, the 2004 ADB Teaching Quality Improvement (TQI) project proposed reforming the National Academy of Education Management (NAEM) to serve as the one central “institutional home of excellence.” Three science and technology universities have been established under the fifth Five-Year Plan, and in-service training is planned to upgrade the skills of professionals in the public and private sectors (paragraph adapted from Section II.B in footnote 5). 62. ICT in Education Policies and Strategies. As indicated in the paragraph above, human resource development for the global ICT market is one of the cornerstones of the Bangladesh National ICT Policy. There is no explicit ICT in education policy or strategy. Within the Training and Human Resource Development objective of the National ICT Policy, however, in addition to what has been mentioned above, there are several policy statements that also apply to the education sector. These are (quoted from pp. 6–7 of footnote 26) • The shortage of trained and qualified teachers and trainers for ICT training is a bottleneck to the HRD [Human Resource Development] plan. To address the issue, IT-Capacity-Building of the Teachers Training Institutes (TTI) … will be taken up. To teach the teachers and trainers, intensive post-graduate diploma courses will be introduced in TTIs. Training programmes to train and retrain them periodically to keep them up-to-date with the technological progress in the area of ICT will be introduced. ICT literacy will be a desirable requirement in the recruitment and selection of teachers. Divisional training centers of BCC [Bangladesh Computer Council] will provide TOT (Training of Trainers) to build up sufficient number of skilled trainers. • As it would be difficult to train teachers in ICT in large number using the present infrastructure, deploy virtual ICT trainers wherever possible. CD and Web-based courseware development and use shall be encouraged to promote computer-aided education at all levels of education. • Use the potential of ICT for delivery of distance education to help stretch the country’s limited teaching resources and ensure quality education to all. 27 It has not been possible to find any exact definition or nature of this institute. This suggestion came from the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI), which formed a committee, called “FBCCI Task Force on ICT Policy of Bangladesh,” consisting of FBCCI, Bangladesh Association of Software Information Services, Bangladesh Computer Samity, Internet Service Providers Association of Bangladesh, and TechBangla. 22 • Qualified and skilled teachers will be brought in from abroad in the fields where local teachers are not available. Although the National Education Policy recommends compulsory computer courses at the secondary level, and the government’s stated policy towards ICT in education includes building facilities to promote ICT education and computer-aided education at all levels, these plans have yet to materialize (see also page 175 of footnote 8). E. Cambodia 63. National ICT Policy. Cambodia developed a draft ICT policy in 2003, with assistance from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and its Asia Pacific Development Information Program (APDIP). The National Information and Communications Technology Development Authority (NIDA) has been leading this effort and has been formed to make policy, promote ICT, monitor and evaluate ICT projects, and oversee their implementation to develop economic growth. The draft policy outlines policy statements in six key areas:28 1) Leadership and National Commitment 2) Legal and Regulatory Frameworks 3) Human Capacity 4) Content 5) Infrastructure 6) Enterprises 64. ICT in Education Policies and Strategies. In 2004, the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sport (MOEYS) developed a comprehensive policy and strategy for ICT in the education sector. The guiding vision for ICT in education is to “ensure equal access to quality basic education for all citizens and to prepare its citizens to play an active role in reconstructing the country as well as integrating Cambodia to the knowledge-based global community.” 29 To achieve this, the ministry was planning to implement a number of initiatives in regard to ICT in education to improve the effectiveness of education and produce a workforce that is technology literate as well as productive and critically thinking. 65. As specific goals, the policy document states (from page 4 of footnote 29): • Increased access to basic education for all, both formal and nonformal, using ICT as one of the major tools for learning, teaching, searching, and sharing information; • Improved quality of basic education and promote independent and lifelong learning, especially for post-primary education; 28 NIDA. 2003. Draft ICT Policy Cambodia. Phnom Penh. Available: http://www.nida.gov.kh/activities/ ict_policy/ict_draft.php 29 Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MOEYS). 2004. Policies and Strategies on Information and Communication Technology in Education in Cambodia. Phnom Penh. 4. Available: http://www.moeys.gov.kh/ en/education/ict/ict_edu_en.pdf 23 • Availability of workforce with the ICT skills needed for employment and use in a knowledge-based society; to ensure that Cambodia can compete and cooperate in an increasingly interconnected world. F. The Philippines 66. National ICT Policy. The Philippines has a long tradition of IT policies and strategies, with the first national information technology plans already emerging at the end of the 1990s. The Philippines have recognized the high-growth potential of ICT and e-commerce, and has outlined an ePhilippines vision, under the leadership of the Information Technology and E- Commerce Council (ITECC), which was founded in its current form in 2000. ePhilippines aims for an “electronically enabled society where the citizens live in an environment that will promote access to technologies providing quality education, efficient government service, greater sources of livelihood, and, ultimately, a better way of life.”30 Five strategies are anchored into the ePhilippines vision. These are • To develop the country as a world-class ICT services provider, • Provide government services to stakeholders online, • Provide affordable Internet access to all segments of the population, • Develop an ICT-enabled workforce, and • Create an enabling legal and regulatory environment. 67. ICT in Education Policies and Strategies. According to the 2003 UNESCO Meta- Survey, the Philippines Information and Communication Technology Plan has the following objectives regarding education (from page 122 of footnote 20), • To provide physical infrastructure and technical support that makes ICT accessible and useful to students, teachers, administrators, and support staff • To develop competence in using technology in designing, producing, and using ICT- based instructional materials • To ensure access to the latest developments in ICT and to support research and development • To undertake a curriculum improvement program focused on the integration of technology • To promote the use of appropriate and innovative technologies in education and training. 68. The 2004-2010 Medium-Term Philippine Development Plan31 component for education also integrates ICT but is mainly limited to ICT use in higher education. It also features a 30 Quoted from Information Technology and E-Commerce Council (ITECC) [Philippines]. Available: http://www.itecc.gov.ph/ephilippines.htm. 31 Government of the Philippines. 2004. Medium-Term Philippine Development Plan. Manila. Available: http://www.neda.gov.ph/ads/mtpdp/MTPDP2004-2010/PDF/MTPDP2004-2010.html 24 chapter on science and technology, with a focus on research and development. No up-to-date specific ICT for education policy could be found. G. Thailand 69. National ICT Policy. Over the past decade, ICT has been recognized as a potential enabler for national economic and social development and for strengthening Thailand’s competitiveness. In 1996 already, Thailand developed a first IT policy. This was followed by the Information Technology Policy Framework 2001-2010, Thailand Vision Towards a Knowledge- Based Economy, also known as IT 2010. The government already set up the National IT Committee in 1992, in the form of a high-level policy body chaired by the Prime Minister. The National IT Committee is supposed to develop policies and plans that promote ICT development and utilization in the country. The secretariat office of the National IT Committee is hosted by the National Electronics and Computer Technology Center (NECTEC), a semiautonomous government agency under the then new Ministry of Science, Technology, and Environment.32 Until recently, Thailand’s ICT development was also guided by the National ICT Plan, 2002- 2006, which went hand in hand with the 9th National Economic and Social Development Plan. A new ICT Master Plan, spanning 2007-2011, was submitted for cabinet approval in September 2007.33 70. ICT in Education Policies and Strategies. Under IT 2000, one of the main initiatives implemented was Thailand SchoolNet. The IT 2010 is slated to drive Thailand even more towards a knowledge-based society and economy and classified e-Education as one of the flagship areas. E-Education includes issues of life-long learning, computer literacy, human resource development, and virtual education. An ICT Master Plan for Education was developed, also covering the period 2007-2011. The plan focused on three specific areas: 1) Quality of learning through increased access to new learning resources and improved teaching approaches, 2) Educational management and ICT-led management information systems, 3) Quality of ICT graduates and need for ICT specialists. 71. Furthermore, specific goals for the use of ICT for education are the following:34 • Provide all teachers, college lecturers and professors, school children, and college students with opportunities to learn to use ICT. The goal is to employ ICT as an enabling tool to access information and gain knowledge through self-paced learning, or through interactions with teachers and fellow students. • Link schools, colleges, universities, and libraries electronically to provide students, teachers, and lecturers an enriched environment in which distant resources can be made available remotely at finger tips. 32 Adapted from Koanantakool, Thaweesak, and Chadamas Thuvasethakul. 2002. National ICT Policy in Thailand. Africa Asia Workshop. Bangkok. Available: http://www.nectec.or.th/users/htk/publish/20020302-National-ICT- Policy-v16.doc. 33 From Boonnoon, Jirapan. 2007. ICT Ministry Has Another Master Plan. The Nation online. July 31, 2007. Available: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/2007/07/31/technology/technology_30043034.php 34 Quoted from Muangkeow, Suchart. 2007. Integration of ICT in Higher Education Provision: The Case of Thailand. Paper presentation at the Regional Seminar on Making a Difference: ICT in University Teaching/Learning and Research in Southeast Asian Countries. Jakarta. 3. Available: http://www.rihed.seameo.org/uploadfiles/ict/ICT_Thailand.pdf. 25 • Make maximum use of ICT and distance education to meet the needs and aspirations of all citizens for continuing education and skills upgrading without constraint regarding age, profession, distance, or geographical location. H. ICT Policy Implementation 72. As shown above, ICT policies and even ICT in education policies or strategies do exist in most countries investigated. Research under the e-Resources component of this RETA, however, provides some perspective on the actual status of implementation of ICT policies in Mongolia and Samoa. For example, both Mongolia and Samoa have in recent years included basic computer training in teacher pre-service education programs. Mongolia has even gone a step further and is preparing to make ICT knowledge part of national teacher certification requirements, with recertification required every 5 years. Both countries have recently included new ICT in education initiatives in upcoming ADB loan or grant-funded education sector development projects. In Samoa, this will extend to all secondary schools in the country, including equipment provision, teacher training, and content development; in Mongolia, this will extend to at least another 30 schools. Significant progress has been made in some countries, but important work remains. For example, comparing the existing Bangladesh ICT policy, as it exists on paper, to what was found during the research in country shows a lack of a comprehensive regulatory and financial environment for supporting the use of ICT. Furthermore, while research under this RETA in Mongolia found that Mongolia has made great strides in terms of policy formulations and aligning initiatives and activities with an overarching vision for ICT in education, it also outlines several strategic aspects to address existing gaps in areas of engaging key actors in the education system and addressing challenges in ICT infrastructure. Specifically, the Mongolia report states (quoted from Executive Summary of footnote 2): • Future initiatives need to acknowledge and strengthen the role of training managers [deputy principals in Mongolian schools] as pedagogical leaders at their schools. Training managers need to have the capacity to function as role models for their teachers, to give methodological feedback on effective integration of ICT to enhance student learning, and to train teachers in this regard. At the same time, they need the capacity to link elements of student assessment, instructional practice, and teacher evaluation. Investments done under this study [the RETA component in Mongolia] in this area need to be strengthened and scaled up to other schools. • More appropriate solutions for hardware maintenance and servicing have to be found, especially in soum35 schools. Given an increased focus on technical and vocational education and training (TVET) in upcoming education reform approaches, such as under the Third Education Development Project (TEDP) and the proposed activities supported by the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), there may be a possible opportunity for public-public partnership in this regard and for strengthening of regional capacity in areas of computer repair, networking, and maintenance. In addition, alternative models need to be explored. 73. The gap between ICT policies existing in theory and their actual implementation was also an issue found relevant in Samoa. There, the RETA e-Resources component research found (quoted from paragraph 212 of footnote 3) that …the experiences from SchoolNet, as well as the country context literature review conducted for this study [RETA research in Samoa] …seem to indicate that at a 35 A soum is a Mongolian subnational administrative unit, similar to a village level. 26 national level, Samoa has not yet managed to couple existing policies with appropriate action plans and clear budget allocations. Most of all, there is no clear assignment of roles and responsibilities to actors and stakeholders who should be involved in policy implementation. 74. Furthermore, despite the existence of a national ICT Policy and a specific ICT in education policy, the RETA research in Samoa found (quoted from paragraph 175 of footnote 3) that …there also seem to be issues of buy-in at the national level. It is questionable therefore, not only for teachers but also for other education stakeholders, whether ICT can truly offer to improve the quality of education, and, at the same time, personal productivity. It is obvious that anybody who has not yet had a chance to see or experience the value of a new tool may not have a realistic and informed view of what it may serve. It is questionable whether in Samoa at this point in time, there is the needed common shared understanding at all levels of the education system of the potential benefits, but also the challenges, ICT integration may introduce. I. Common Elements of ICT Policies 75. The previous section shows that ICT policies in the countries studied have similar high level objectives and policy statements. Nearly all of them outline high level objectives and policy statements in areas of legal and regulatory issues, human capacity development, and infrastructure. In fact, according to research by Loxley and Julien, there are four areas that can be identified as common elements in ICT policies in the Asia and Pacific region (quoted from page 58 of footnote 8): • Development of legislation and policies for diffusion of IT, adoption of standards, development of ICT industries, trade policies for ICT-related goods and services (e.g., WTO), pricing and taxation of electronic services, protection of intellectual property, privacy of personal data, safeguarding and promoting cultural and linguistic diversity, and protection against illegal and harmful content. • Development of ICT infrastructure, including hard and soft infrastructure expansion, modernization, protection, and development; development of technical standards; interoperability of information systems and applications; enhancement and dissemination of public services; cost savings in service delivery, purchasing, communication, etc.; and electronic commerce and secure transactions. • Development of skills, including ICT education and training, asynchronous learning, research and development, training for call centers and outsourcing, and multimedia illustration of specific applications. • Institutional and regulatory structures, and institutional development and coordination issues that address national ICT development planning and coordination; international interface and cooperation; affordable and equitable access to appliances and applications; access to modern infrastructure; access to current and accurate information; monitoring ICT progress, results, and costs; monitoring the use of ICT and sharing results; and measurement of the impact of ICT. 27 J. ICT Policy: Summary and Conclusion 76. All countries studied have an ICT policy or strategy in some form. Some have specific ICT policies for education. These policies share some common elements in what they include and the sectors they address. There is greater variation in the extent to which these policies and strategies have been implemented by specific action plans, coupled with appropriate budget allocations and a clear attribution of roles and responsibilities among stakeholders. Specific examples from Mongolia and Samoa illustrate that point. This indicates a possible lack of information, models, and examples in terms of what tools governments may have at their disposal that help move from a theoretical ICT (in education) policy, on paper, to its actual implementation. 77. Desk research found few publications on these subjects for the Asia and Pacific region. As an example, there are few studies or reports that would discuss specific aspects of the legal and regulatory environment, and the options and tools governments could consider in this area. Site visits and interviews confirmed this and also revealed a number of aspects for discussion, which would help DMCs not only formulate policies and strategies but also make more informed decisions about their actual implementation. Such aspects include taxation, sector-wide planning, the role of special technology funds, licensing, the role centers of excellence or technology parks can play, or issues of intellectual property rights and copyright. These aspects were therefore included for investigation under this study. 78. Comparing the four elements outlined in the section above with the definition of an enabling environment as defined earlier in this report (paragraph 25), indicates that ICT policies seem to be at the core of such an enabling environment. 79. At the same time, these common elements identified do not mention the more intangible issues that seem to play a role in actual implementation, such as stakeholder buy-in, a joint vision for ICT in education on all levels, and public awareness. It is these factors, however, that were identified as key challenges to effective use of ICT for education, for example in Samoa. Among the countries under investigation, few stress such issues as critical in their national policies and plan. The exceptions are Mongolia and Cambodia: The e-Mongolia program states “Public Awareness” as one of its seven key elements. In Cambodia, “Leadership and National Commitment” is one of the six main policy statements in the national plan (through it focuses mainly on the government and its responsibility to fully embrace and exploit ICT to address social and educational challenges in the country). None of the other countries explicitly include buy-in, vision and commitment among their main policy objectives or statements. Furthermore, interviews with stakeholders in the countries visited for this study also revealed that the demand for ICT in education and ownership over policies and initiatives are strongly influenced by prevailing perceptions and misconceptions of education stakeholders about ICT and its potential. Such issues, categorized as “intangible factors,’ were therefore considered for further research under this study. 80. Exhibit 4, below, demonstrates the interrelationship between tangible and intangible factors that are keys to understanding why some countries are using available tools effectively to encourage appropriate and effective use of ICT in education while other countries are not. 28 Exhibit 4. Tangible and Intangible Factors Affecting the Enabling Environment of Effective Use of ICT for Education Tangible Factors Intangible Factors Law Stability Regulation Transparency Taxation Encouragement Economic Planning Nurturing Trade Negotiation Perceptions Purchasing Power Demand Infrastructure Vision 81. As mentioned earlier, all of these different aspects that evolved as critical for further investigation can be categorized six dimensions, conceptualized as six pillars of a comprehensive ICT policy and therewith at the core of an enabling environment. These provide a guiding structure for the many factors to be considered. The RETA researched the first five of these in more detail. Human resources development as it pertains to development and training of IT specialists was outside the scope of this RETA. The six pillars are: 1) Intangible factors 2) Issues of planning 3) Legal and regulatory issues 4) Issues of infrastructure and content 5) Issues of institutional structures and partnerships 6) Human resources development 82. Following chapters outline findings from the research along the first five dimensions that fell under the scope of this study, beginning with intangible factors affecting ICT policy and strategy in education and government planning. V. INTANGIBLE FACTORS AFFECTING ICT POLICY AND STRATEGY IN EDUCATION A. Demand for Innovative ICT in Education 1. Overview 83. Many of those who do not express a demand for innovative ICT are unaware that they are already ICT consumers. The use of a simple CD player to supply music for a dance lesson in Thailand, the teacher listening to a professional training support program on the radio in Nepal, or the Mongolian herdsman watching sport on a television are all using ICT. The Asia and Pacific region has seen a rapid expansion of the use of mobile phones, and growth has been built broadly on social factors outside education. The text message that is used in developed countries to arrange an appointment has been successfully integrated into poverty 29 reduction programs developed by the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh. Education slots on public television channels such as those in use for teacher training in Nepal are now common. 84. Distance learning has a long history of popularity in development.36 Demand is often articulated in the DMCs for the expansion of this form of education—particularly in the Pacific islands where geography strongly determines access to information. However people are very often not aware that elements of distance learning are ICT. Even in the simplest form, using a CD in a computer that enables a teacher to use to professional development training at her own convenience is merely an extension of taping information—something which many distance learners would hardly consider to be ICT. 85. Convergence of digital media has revolutionized teaching possibilities and methods. Boundaries between the written word, sound audio, and visual material have disappeared and the means of transmitting and receiving information over long distances and in remote areas have been fundamentally altered by this revolution. 2. General Evidence 86. In the Asia and Pacific region, the introduction of Internet cafés in urban areas and telecenters among the rural populations has increased awareness of the possibilities provided by the digital revolution to a surprisingly broad public. Voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) is also a driver in increasing demand. It can help to break down barriers and lead people to realize the possibilities of ICT. All of the countries studied have large overseas populations working and remitting money to their families. Lowering voice communication costs by using free and low- cost VoIP services can be a first step in opening demand by increasing familiarity with computers—a first step in learning to use a computer as a tool. Ironically, at the time of writing, VoIP remained illegal in both Bangladesh and Nepal, despite strong demand for VoIP services. It is difficult for regulatory agencies to keep demand for VoIP at bay. For example, Government efforts to curb illegal VoIP use in Cambodia were abandoned after three months. 87. As efficient and secure means of transmitting remittances electronically become available, they too will help to overcome ICT inhibitions. Where reticence is overcome, demand will rise as parents see that ICT is not a complicated technical tool for use by the well-educated but something that can affect and improve their everyday lives. If parents understand this, the demand to have their children educated in the use of computers rises. A real understanding of ICT may come later. 3. Country Evidence 88. The country studies showed that there are a wide range of demands for ICT in education. During a training intervention in Mongolia, participants expressed their demand for further capacity building on using ICT for teaching and learning, while in the Samoan SchoolNet project, the community demand for ICT had already started to rise where a small number of schools were able to provide Internet access . In Nepal, interviews with study participants revealed that trainers used the video cameras for recording many different types of classroom activities, including games, group work, student presentations, and teaching materials prepared by the teachers. Participants mentioned (paragraph 159 of footnote 4) that similar exercises at the school level, followed by presentation to the community and parents, could help to improve school-community relations by showing parents the 36 The University of London has offered distance learning degrees since 1858 and the University of South Africa has offered correspondence education courses since 1946. 30 role of teachers, and the difference that participatory, creative, and joyful learning environments can make to the classroom experience. In turn, perhaps, parents would begin to demand better performance on the part of teachers, and begin to invest more (personally and financially) in school operation. 89. Demand in Mongolia. In Mongolia, there is an overwhelming demand for ICT in all sectors because the government has, through its implementation of the e-Mongolia plan,37 informed the public and made them aware of the benefits that digital technologies can bring to all sectors and particularly to education.38 Such demand can be seen in a high commitment among teachers and school principals to embrace ICT integration in their schools, by education officials in provincial education offices, as well by many government sector’s action plans and strategies integrating and stressing ICT development. 90. Demand in Samoa. On the basis of a case study done in Samoa, it was felt that existing ICT in education initiatives in the country had stimulated demand. Specifically the researchers found that all the schools visited were enthusiastic about being part of an ICT initiative, and it can therefore be assumed that the demand is universal. Teachers, ICT administrators, and principals were looking for more training and support in order to further the aims of their initiatives. 91. Part of the SchoolNet program was to generate revenue by charging the community for access to ICT equipment, but there did not appear to be a great deal of use by local people. This may have been due to external challenges—such as the fact that the centers could only be used by the general public at night at inconvenient times. It is difficult therefore to assess the true extent of public demand; however, there were frequently queues for workstations in the Internet cafes in Apia. There was also the issue of equity, in that there should be equal ICT opportunities for urban Apia and rural Savaii. The communities associated with SchoolNet have begun to inquire about using the facilities, but SchoolNet managers were of the view that they need properly qualified staff to help nonstudent users—a compelling argument for further formal training for their ICT administrators. With the right facilitators, the growing demand for computer skills training for the community might be met. 92. Demand in Nepal. An insight into demand in Nepal can be gleaned from the statements below (quoted from page 260 of footnote 20): • The fact that there is little demand for ICT in Nepal is not surprising considering the number of constraints existing in the country. These include the lack of infrastructure, high up-front costs, widespread illiteracy, language barriers, absence of local content, poverty, and the lack of public awareness about the Internet and its use. • Other constraints of lesser importance include inadequate human resource development and the brain drain of qualified specialists, lack of sufficient funds needed for the huge investment required to create a telecom infrastructure, and inadequate numbers of computers in schools. 37 Ministry of Education, Culture, and Science (MECS) [Mongolia]. 2007.Order No. 183 of 2007, June 5, 2007. Ulaanbaatar. 38 See specifically Government of Mongolia’s E-Mongolia Strategy (2005), sections “Public Awareness and Participation in Governance” and “ICT Skills and Human Resource Development.” 31 93. Despite this gloomy prognosis given in 2004, education in Nepal stands to gain a great deal from ICT development, especially Internet connectivity and increased mobile phone coverage. The terrain acts as both a stimulus and an inhibitor of ICT development. Because many schools are isolated, they need ICT to aid teaching in classrooms and, more importantly, for the professional development of teachers, as is shown in the Nepal Country Report (see footnote 4). However the general awareness of the possibilities of ICT is low. The original vision to advance Nepal to a state of common access by 2005 has been lost. The civil war has all but halted infrastructure projects, and the lack of electricity in large areas of the country has further stifled ICT growth. Specifically, just over a third of the population has access to electricity. In some districts however, not even 6% does (compared to other districts, presumably more urban ones, where more than 97% of the population has access to electricity).39 94. Low awareness invariably results in low demand, particularly when power and water are higher on the list of necessities for the rural poor, and yet it is the very fact of remoteness that would make ICT such a strong lever for change. Teachers’ feelings of isolation when they return to remote villages was mentioned to the researchers as a factor that significantly lowered the impact of training received in Kathmandu (see paragraph 79 of footnote 4). A large part of the population lives in these isolated communities, with overall statistics indicating that only 17% of the population lives in urban areas (page 128 of footnote 39). 95. However, mobile phones with short messaging service (SMS) capabilities could deliver vital support to a simple teacher professional development program. Their use could provide substantial backing for an implemented plan. In Nepal the monitoring and evaluation report from National Center for Educational Development (NCED)40 observed that, despite regular government radio programs being transmitted to support in-service training for teachers, the training was often not put into practice when the teachers returned to their villages. One of the many reasons cited was that training was seen as an isolated activity and the follow-up support given by the radio programs was often not listened to. During the site assessment and accompanying interviews, the RETA team found that a great deal is invested in the production and dissemination of the radio training, but it does not seem to enhance the distance learning experience (which is also supported through print and tutoring sessions) because it is at an inconvenient time, and it is not interactive (see Section V.B in footnote 4). If the connectivity existed (which it doesn’t in rural Nepal) a simple process of linking teachers by mobile phone to their tutors who could then check that they had listened to the radio programs and answer questions and be given support within the structure of the professional development program could mean a larger involvement and better outcomes from the training. 96. Demand in Bangladesh. Demand for ICT in Bangladesh is high, as can be seen from growth rates for mobile phone subscriptions, indicating an annual growth rate of over 105%. However, at the same time, Bangladesh also features the lowest Internet subscription penetration among the focus countries. Clearly, demand for ICT has to be differentiated in this regard. RETA investigations show that the lack of demand for some ICT may be directly linked to cost issues: “Due to costs, technologies remain inaccessible to most individuals.…It costs about 1,000 Bangladesh taka (Tk) per month (about $14) for an Internet connection using Enhanced Data Rates for Global Evolution41 technology after an initial purchase of a Tk9,000 39 ADB. 2007. Key Indicators 2007: Inequality in Asia. Manila. Available: http://www.adb.org/documents/ books/key_indicators/2007. 7. 40 National Center for Educational Development (NCED) [Nepal]. 2005. Monitoring Report of Teacher Training Programmes. Kathmandu. 41 This is a particular type of connectivity for mobile users, with data transfer speeds of up to 384 kilobits per second available on global systems for mobile communications (GSM) or time division multiple access networks. 32 modem. Dial-up access costs about Tk500 per month ($7). To put this in perspective, a typical secondary school teacher makes less than $50 per month” (quoted from paragraph 22 of footnote 5). At the same time, RETA participants, schools and teacher training institutes visited, as well as education stakeholders interviewed, all expressed great interest and positive attitude towards ICT and a will to further its development and use for education. In general, however, a lack of public awareness of ICT and use of ICT in education has been observed.42 B. Perceptions and Misconceptions of ICT in Education 1. Overview 97. One of the recurring problems in all the DMCs visited was the many misconceptions that surround ICT. In short, ICT means different things to different people in different countries, and the result is confusion that leads to disappointed expectations. 98. The most common misconception is to limit “ICT in education” to the sole application of ICT as in “informatics.” Informatics includes the science of information and the practice of information processing. Informatics studies the structure, behavior, and interactions of systems that store, process, and communicate information. Informatics is therefore often more broadly used as the study of computers as machines and exploring their physical capabilities in much the same way as a mechanic operates and maintains a car.43 Informatics is essentially a skill that can be taught or acquired. It has a place in the modern curriculum in order to provide students with critical skills needed in their future lives and jobs. 99. In several conversations with stakeholders, the RETA team observed that senior officials in education departments, as well as parents and children, see ICT as an addition to the curriculum; another subject to be studied. This is significant because it underlines the misunderstanding that ICT in education is only informatics. 100. This is not the only inhibitor in conceptions of ICT. Other limited perceptions or misconceptions found during the regional study were: • You must speak English to use ICT • ICT is learning to use a computer • ICT will bring employment • ICT will achieve Education for All (EFA) goals • ICT is a Millennium Development Goal (MDG). 101. Amongst people who have not had the opportunity to use the Internet, there is a widely held belief that to use the Internet, one has to be able to speak English. It is understandable how this has arisen when the vast majority of the content of the World Wide Web is in English and many computers are delivered with English user interface software. Most are also delivered 42 Kundu Kumar, Ashis. 2007. Bangladesh. Country Paper on Information Society Statistics: Core ICT Indicators. Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission. Dhaka. 17. Available: http://www.unescap.org/icstd/events/Info%2DSociety%2DStats%2DWorkshop%2D2007/Bangladesh.pdf 43 The definition of informatics is very different in each country. This definition was adapted from Wikipedia. Undated. Informatics. Available: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Informatics. 33 with Roman character keyboards. This issue is specifically addressed in Section VIII.B, Localization, in this report. 102. Furthermore, a natural conservatism is often hidden beneath a financial argument in the Books vs. ICT debate. (Here the word “books” is used as shorthand for conventional learning materials.) 103. Many argue that policies that introduce ICT are a luxury where schools are dilapidated and children starved of books. The question of prioritization when planning education programs often arises, and more often than not, this is based on two factors: (i) a narrow conception of technology, and (ii) a misunderstanding of the role that it can play within an existing education framework. ICT is therefore considered "gold-plating" education instead of underpinning it. It is important when introducing ICT programs for education planners to be sure of not only their immediate goals, but also to ensure that all stakeholders have understood those goals. 104. When Steven Hurd and Malcolm Dixon of Liverpool John Moores University and Joanna Oldham of Liverpool Hope University analyzed data collected from more than 6,000 primary schools in the United Kingdom and then surveyed 540 principals, they came to the conclusion that spending $200 per pupil on books had a greater impact on average test scores across English, math, and science than the same amount spent on ICT or staffing.44 105. At an informal meeting in Samoa with the directors general of the Catholic, Mormon, Methodist, Congregational, and Seventh-Day Adventist schools a strong feeling was expressed that the supply of books should take precedence over the supply of ICT equipment. 106. In interviews for the Mongolia Country Report, study participants identified some of the major problems faced especially by remote schools. One was the lack of general information and communication channels, as well as sufficient books, training materials, and other resources. ICT was not specifically identified as a separate issue. Focus groups suggest that Mongolians consider ICT as a tool to address some of the challenges their remote schools are facing. 107. This is partly illustrated by other findings of this RETA in Mongolia: Teachers in schools that participated in the ICT initiatives under investigation (the ICT for Innovating Rural Education in Mongolia [IIREM] project and this RETA’s interventions) make more frequent use of the teaching and learning materials that are available at the school than teachers in schools that did not participate in the ICT initiatives. This refers to a broad spectrum of teaching and learning materials in addition to the regular subject matter textbook, and includes library books, visual aids, science models, as well as “old” technologies, such as cassette recorder and TV (see Section VIII.C.7 in footnote 2). This may be a powerful argument against a debate of “either-or,” “Books vs. ICT,” and stresses that the debate should rather center on what is the best possible approach to effective classroom teaching, given the educational objective and situational context of a specific classroom or country at large. 108. The Books vs. ICT debate is not new and has in some form taken place in other instances where innovative approaches or tools have triggered or supported educational change. Similar discussions already took place in many developed countries, e.g., in the USA 44 Ward, Helen. 2006. Goodbye Computer Chips. Times Education Supplement. The UK Publishers' Association said spending on books in primary schools fell from £21.84 per pupil in 1999 to £16.65 in 2003–2004—a 23% fall—while expenditure on ICT rose from £68 million to £201 million—a 296% increase. 34 during the introduction of film, radio, and instructional TV during the 1950s-1970s.45 Proponents and opponents of innovation both play important roles, providing information and perspectives critical for informed decision making. It is important for governments to consider the different perspectives, but then also to adopt a clear justification or rationale for investments in ICT in the education sector, when committing to it. 109. In this context, there have been investigations into the rationales for ICT in education, findings of which may help DMCs in justifying allocation of human and/or financial resources to the use of ICT for education. Comparing ICT in education policies in a number of developed and developing countries, a recent study has identified that there are four such rationales prevailing, awareness of which may help DMCs to clarify communication and policy foci.46 110. The first is the role it can play in preparing a future workforce and supporting economic development: “Support Economic Growth.” Singapore is cited as an example from the Asia and Pacific region, where such a rationale is driving ICT in education. 111. The second rationale to be found is that of “Promoting Social Development.” Under this premise, ICT investments are justified “with policies that promote their use to share knowledge, foster cultural creativity, increase democratic participation, make government services more widely available, and enhance social cohesion and the integration of different cultural groups and individuals with different abilities” (see page 4 of footnote 46). 112. The third prevailing rationale focuses on ICT’s potential in regard to “Advancing Education Reform.” According to the report (see page 5 of footnote 46), The kinds of education reforms that have been associated with the introduction of ICT include curriculum reforms that emphasize high levels of understanding of key concepts within subject areas and the ability to apply these concepts to solve complex, real-world problems…Other curriculum reforms emphasize what are sometimes called “21st century skills,” qualities that prepare students for the knowledge economy, such as creativity, information management, communication, collaboration, and the ability to direct one’s own work and learning. 113. Finally, “Support Education Management” is being stated as one of the four rationales to justify investment in ICT in education. As a regional example, Malaysia is given, which has an ICT policy that emphasizes ICT’s potential, through office automation and data analysis, to increase productivity, efficiency, and effectiveness of education management. 2. Teachers’ Attitudes 114. As with all innovative education changes, schemes to introduce ICT in education, specifically in teaching and learning in the classroom, rely heavily on teachers. The experience from the developed world is that there is often initial resistance within the profession. The introduction of computers into the classroom, especially if taking place on large scale, as is planned under some currently debated areas of “affordable computers” (see Section VIII.C, Affordable Computer and Equipment Packages, below), will place both teacher and pupil on an equal footing in terms of learning. This is very often an uncomfortable experience for teachers, 45 Cuban, Larry. 2001. Oversold and Underused. Computers in the Classroom. Cambridge. Available: http://www.hull.ac.uk/php/edskas/Cuban%20article%20-%20oversold.pdf. 46 Adapted from Kozma, Robert. (in press). Comparative Analysis of Policy for ICT in Education. To appear in the International Handbook on Information Technology in Education. New York. Available: http://robertkozma.com/images/kozma_comparative_ict_policies_chapter.pdf. 35 particularly in societies where child-centered learning is not the norm. It was observed through interviews in Bangladesh that many teachers believe that learning alongside their pupils undermines their authority. In the case of one of the proposed affordable computer schemes, that of ‘one laptop per child’ (OLPC), there is an optimistic view that teachers will learn alongside their pupils, which is a radical rejection of the educational approaches that they have hitherto experienced—and this in an environment where the laptops are planned to replace books and learning materials with which the teachers were originally trained. As has been pointed out by the pioneer in personal computer design, Lee Felsenstein,47 when the teachers find out that they are considered obstacles, not part of the process, they will resist the process. There is also indication that teachers may be concerned about the personal investment required from them to engage with the technology. In Samoa, the RETA found (quoted from paragraph 171 of footnote 3) that not all teachers in all schools are interested in engaging with ICT. Instead, these teachers prioritize other activities, especially during their free time. Reluctance to engage and actively participate in ICT initiatives have many reasons. These may be attitudinal in nature, such as fear of change, general negative attitude to technology, or negation of the need for professional development to improve teaching practice. There may be other reasons, such as a lack of information or clarity on the potential and benefits of ICT to enhance education. Systemic issues may also play a role, where personal engagement and initiative are not being rewarded and appreciated. 115. When creating strategies to introduce ICT to schools, policy makers should be aware that there is a real fear amongst teachers that ICT will somehow undermine their authority and, by democratizing the access to knowledge, diminish their professional position in the eyes of their students. Teacher confidence in the use of technology is therefore critical. However, as many studies, also in developed countries show, teacher’s confidence in the use of technology in classrooms and even more so their confidence in using technology didactically appropriate in the classroom is rather low. Such confidence seems to be directly linked to other aspects, such as their personal access to ICT, the amount of technical support available, and the amount and quality of training available.48 116. Original research from this RETA provides other viewpoints as well: Teacher attitude to ICT has been one of the areas under investigation in this RETA’s work in Mongolia. Findings of the assessment showed that in general, there is a high degree of confidence and positive attitude toward ICT among the 58 teachers participating in the study. Illustrating the general pattern of replies, responses to “I enjoy doing things on a computer” showed that more than 68% of all teachers strongly agree and nearly 32% of teachers agree with this statement; not one teacher disagrees. “I think it is critical for teachers to learn how to use new technology in the classroom” is similarly supported: 59% of responding teachers agree, an additional 41% even strongly so, and none of the responding teachers disagrees (for more information, see Section, VIII.D.6, Attitude Toward ICT in footnote 2). Furthermore, the study found significantly higher job satisfaction among teachers in schools that participated in the activities under IIREM and this RETA, compared to teachers in schools that did not, a fact that provides a glimpse into the potential of ICT for education, where appropriately integrated and supported at all levels. 47 Lee Felsenstein, chief technical officer of Fonly, a product development firm in Palo Alto, CA, quoted in Perry, Tekla S. 2007. The Laptop Crusade. IEEE Spectrum Online. 2007. Issue April 2007. Available: http://spectrum.ieee.org/apr07/4985. 48 British Educational Communications and Technology Agency (Becta). 2004. A Review of the Research Literature on Barriers to the Uptake of ICT by Teachers. Coventry. Available: http://www.becta.org.uk/ page_documents/research/barriers.pdf. 36 117. In Nepal, where the RETA explored the use of video in in-service teacher training, study findings showed that technology generated a great deal of enthusiasm on the part of both trainers and trainees, and according to them, not only improves the reputation of the training, as it is a symbol of a more modern approach, but also improves practice on the part of the trainers as a result of being recorded and viewing their performance on the video. Finally, study participants stated that the video-supported training improves the learning experience and learning retention (for more information, see Section, VIII.A, Use of Video in Teacher Training, in footnote 4). Participants also identified a number of positive aspects of the technology (quoted from paragraph 139 of footnote 4). Some of these are listed below: • Makes training interesting, exciting, unique, fun, and creates learning environment • We could know about our performance, get feedback, and identify our weaknesses • Permanency; having a record for a long time of our performance and activities • Visual/sound is more effective way of learning • It is helpful for trainers to conduct training (organization, workload, and more active) • Can view colleagues activities, share best practices, and get to know other places • Arouses competition among participants • Can show the videos to students and parents 118. Other international experience from research conducted in Scandinavia found the following: 49 The study [“e-Learning Nordic 2006”] shows the great potential of ICT. One of the results indicates that the pupils and teachers who experience the greatest impact from ICT are also the ones who use ICT the most often. The same results are found among teachers who integrate a greater number of different technologies. 119. The research in Mongolia also identified some of the drivers of the use of ICT in classroom teaching, which also could contribute to an understanding of an enabling environment on school level, and, as findings in Mongolia suggest, are linked to teacher attitude to and practices with ICT. Selected drivers on school level are (quoted from Exhibit 47 of footnote 2): • Policies on teacher ICT competencies and strategies/planning for professional development and their follow-up • Incentive structures for teacher innovation and engagement that align with policies and teacher evaluation practices • Participatory planning and decision making regarding ICT • Opportunities for regular collaboration among teachers 49 Ramboll Management. 2006. E-Learning Nordic 2006 – Impact of ICT on Education. Copenhagen. 41. Available: http://wwwupload.pls.ramboll.dk/eng/Publications/EvaluationAndResearch/ElearningNordic2006_English.pdf. 37 • Opportunities for exchange with other schools • A critical mass of champion teachers who promote ICT integration and lead exploration of innovative practices 3. What Are the Results of Misconceptions? 120. Misconceptions about the role and potential of ICT for education can have significant ramifications. In many DMCs, the ever widening gap between the promised and the delivery rate on millennium development targets may lead to a tendency to search for and grab at supposedly quick and promising solutions to educational problems. Postulating ICT as a magic bullet to fulfill political promises, however, is in fact detrimental to its effective integration and ICT development at large. In such a context, ICT can easily become a scapegoat for failures to achieve complex educational challenges and reaching MDG targets. Differentiation on both the role of ICT and the specific educational objectives it is to support are key. Education objectives are varied, but in any case, ICT can never be a means but only a lever to their achievement— i.e., combined with other approaches, ICT can serve to enhance teaching and learning, to support efficiency in education administration, to support access to education via e-learning approaches, etc. In and of itself, ICT cannot take on such a role. International knowledge clearly indicates that its impact on teaching and learning, for example is directly related to the way it is being used.50 Clarity on these aspects among policy makers are one step in the right direction. A shared vision on its role among stakeholders another one. According to Tinio,51 The ramifications of these misconceptions can be profound. The school does not exist in a vacuum, and for an ICT-enabled project to succeed the buy-in of parents, political leaders, business leaders and other stakeholders is essential. Innovation can happen only when all those who will be affected by it, whether directly or indirectly, know exactly why such an innovation is being introduced, what the implications are on their lives. 121. Parents, students, teachers, principals, administrators, educators, politicians, donors, and businesses in different DMCs all appeared to have different concepts and therefore expectations of technology in education. Misconceptions led to disappointment and therefore cynicism about the benefits of ICT in education. These intangible, social aspects have to be recognized, addressed. The unused computer in the classroom—or more often in the principal's office—has become a cliché amongst critics of the use of ICT in DMCs, and this has had a detrimental effect beyond the accusations of the misuse of resources. Because the prime local movers of ICT in education may be blamed for the failure of the project, such setbacks cause people who would normally be champions in their area of influence to be much more circumspect toward similar future ventures. ICT’s tainted image may extend to people such as officials in other ministries, parents, and administrators, and may take years to alter (page 218 of footnote 8). As indicated earlier in this report, addressing the intangible aspects that affect the effective use of ICT for education and government planning in this regard is critical to also address issues of buy-in and local ownership, challenges identified specifically in Samoa under research of this RETA. Also from Samoa, however, an example emerges of how specifically public awareness can be created. Findings from the e-Resources component in Samoa indicate that the public awareness campaigns organized under the Samoa SchoolNet Pilot project, specifically a 15-minute television program, community consultations, and a newspaper article, 50 In European Schoolnet. 2006. The ICT Impact Report. A Review of Studies of ICT Impact on Schools in Europe. Brussels. 5. 51 Tinio, Victoria L. 2003. ICT in Education. UNDP-APDIP. Kuala Lumpur. Available: http://www.apdip.net/publications/iespprimers/ICTinEducation.pdf. 38 helped provide parents and school community members in participating schools with critical information about the pilot initiative and raised their demand for access, both, for their children and for themselves. C. A Vision for Change 122. Key to overcoming misconceptions, addressing some of the intangible aspects mentioned in this chapter, and therefore promoting ICT development and the effective use of ICT in education, however, is government will and vision. In Mongolia such government will is exemplified by inclusion of public awareness as a key element of the national E-Mongolia program and by allocating a budget to its ICT in education action plan. The importance of government vision and such policies are further stressed by a recent investigation done by the Economist Intelligence Unit52 —a worldwide e-readiness ranking of 69 developed and developing countries, 14 of which are ADB member countries. Its significance for policy planning is that the study gave a total of 30% of category weighted scoring to some of the more intangible aspects of ICT policy and strategy, that is issues of the social and cultural environment, as well as issues of government policy and vision. Both of these aspects are given a higher weighting than legal environment. Exhibit 5, below, provides an overview of the ratings, with the two more “intangible” aspects of the list in bold. Exhibit 5. The Weighted Percentages of the Rankings for e-Readiness Weighted e-Readiness Ranking Criterion percentage Consumer and business adoption 25% Connectivity and technology infrastructure 20% Business environment 15% Government policy and vision 15% Social and cultural environment 15% Legal environment 10% Source: Pages 22–23 of footnote 52. 123. The overall scores given in Exhibit 6, below, illustrating the results of the ranking among the 14 ADB member countries included in that investigation, are out of a maximum of 10. The final column gives their ranking within the 69 countries considered. None of the focus countries was featured because the state of readiness for all was considered too low. The surprising feature is the rather low rating of India, commonly thought of as an ICT powerhouse because of its vibrant IT industry, at rank 54 out of the 69 countries investigated. Ultimately, these ratings are about the potential of ICT within the selected countries—in other words countries that provide digitally enabled people and businesses as many options as possible to determine their own most productive path forward. 124. In this example, e-Readiness is not a comprehensive way of rating the progress of less developed countries—for a start, the ranking includes countries from the developed world. The ranking indicates that sound governance is becoming an increasingly large factor in ICT 52 The Economist Intelligence Unit. 2007. e-Readiness Ranking: Raising the Bar. A white paper from the Economist Intelligence Unit. London. 25. Available: http://graphics.eiu.com/files/ad_pdfs/2007Ereadiness_Ranking_WP.pdf 39 development. The investigation report stresses this in a clear and succinct statement on governments’ role. According to the paper (page 17 of footnote 52), Governments play a pivotal role in the facilitation of e-readiness. No other agent of a country’s economic growth has the ability to set in motion several catalysts for digital transformation simultaneously: implementing policy that will facilitate technology adoption through infrastructure development and education; providing for a framework that accepts digital transactions as legitimate; and adopting technology itself as a way of saving its taxpayers time and money, as well as of attracting less e- ready businesses and citizens to follow.…An e-ready government uses digital channels to communicate with its constituents. It provides citizens and businesses with Internet-based services that are more efficient than traditional channels. It leverages technology to create efficiencies in its own operations. Exhibit 6. The Rankings for e-Readiness for 14 ADB Member Countries Government Policy Business Adoption Social and Cultural Legal Environment Ranking within 69 Connectivity and Consumer and Infrastructure Overall Score Environment Environment Technology Considered and Vision Countries Business Country Hong Kong, 8.72 8.5 8.62 6.8 9.7 9.1 9.5 4 China Singapore 8.6 8.1 8.67 7 8.55 9.4 9.45 6 Republic of 8.08 7.1 7.47 8.2 7.8 8.75 8.85 16 Korea Taipei, China 8.05 8 7.96 8 7.8 8.15 8.2 17 Japan 8.01 7.5 7.16 8 8 9.05 8.3 18 Malaysia 5.97 5.3 7.38 4.6 5.55 6.45 6.35 36 Thailand 4.91 3.1 6.97 4.4 5.65 5.4 4.85 49 India 4.66 2.9 6.25 5.2 5.5 4.6 4.5 54 (tie) Philippines 4.66 2.7 6.43 4.4 4.65 5.05 5.1 54 (tie) People’s Republic of 4.43 3.5 6.37 4.8 3.6 3.7 4.55 56 China Sri Lanka 3.93 1.8 5.9 4.4 5.4 3.75 3.7 61 Kazakhstan 3.78 2.4 5.93 4.2 3.4 2.85 4.05 64 Vietnam 3.73 2.25 5.98 3.6 4.05 4.25 3.2 65 Indonesia 3.39 2.1 6.33 3.2 2.8 3.4 3 67 Source: Page 25 of footnote 52. 40 D. Intangible Aspects: Summary and Conclusions 125. The level of demand for ICT in education is difficult to quantify particularly in those DMCs where few members of the population have been exposed to its benefits yet. It is however evident by observation that where there is comparatively easy access—and this nearly always means in urban areas—ICT is in demand. Part of easy access is financial in nature, and in rural areas, even where facilities are available, the cost of the connection can be prohibitive. This further obfuscates the chicken-and-egg argument of supply and demand. 126. Governments could play a much larger part in informing populations of the benefits of ICT. Where this has been done in Mongolia, the general public is aware of the necessity of learning ICT skills and the advantages of using accessed knowledge in their everyday lives. Ignorance of the opportunities stifles demand. 127. Apart from ignorance, misconceptions of ICT in education are widespread, among all groups of education stakeholders. A common misconception is that ICT is only computer studies/informatics and computers skills, and stakeholders are focused on using ICT as vocational training. Other uses of ICT, such as its potential to serve as an effective tool in subject matter teaching, if integrated properly, are not commonly known. This may also be linked to a lack of information on evidence of return on investment or value of investment in ICT for education in comparison with investments in traditional learning media and methods. 128. Specific groups and their misconceptions cannot be tabulated as part of this study, but it is clear that misconceptions are not confined to a particular stakeholder group only. Because different groups in different DMCs appear to have different concepts and therefore expectations of technology in education, misconceptions can lead to disappointment and even cynicism about the benefits of ICT in education in some quarters. These social aspects have to be recognized and addressed and realistic outcomes agreed at planning stage. 129. Addressing buy-in on all levels, as well as teacher attitude, this RETA identified several macro (national) and micro (education institution/school) level approaches that may support this process: • On a national level, organize marketing activities or public awareness campaigns that provide information to stakeholders and stress the desired educational objective, the potential ICT has to offer for education in this context, but also the challenges that may be linked to it. • On all levels, provide opportunities for education stakeholders, but especially for teachers to safely (e.g., without supervisor presence) access and explore different ICTs and related resources selected and tailored for their specific field of work. • On national, province, and district levels, organize study tours and field visits for education administrators in ministry and education offices to be exposed and “see” how ICT can support education administration and how it can impact classroom teaching and learning. • On national level, amend/update existing teacher training policies to include requirements for compulsory ICT training. • Update existing teaching training curricula for computer training to better meet teachers’ every day work situation, focusing less on actual computer training, and 41 more on the convergence of pedagogy, curriculum, and technology to enhance classroom teaching. • Re-design in-service teacher training programs that frame professional development as subject matter-specific continuous education, rather than “computer training” (and invoking possible fears of ignorance and failure). • On education institution level, organize “open door” sessions in schools and/or teacher training institutions, where champion teachers/teacher trainers can showcase their work and offer workshops for their peers and community members. • On school or teacher training institute level, consider developing ICT policies and strategies in a participatory approach between school/institute management and teachers (or even student), that would outline a joint vision for ICT to support school development, structure access to the ICT equipment, clarify mutual expectations on the purpose and frequency of ICT use, specify available support, and also clarify possible incentives available for teachers/teacher trainers who actively seek professional development and improvement of their teaching practice with ICT. 130. Many DMCs, facing the halfway point in achieving the MDGs devised optimistically in 2000, may reach for ICT as a quick path to fulfilled promises in education. In these cases, where the goals ultimately go unmet, ICT could become blamed for failures to deliver in other quarters. 131. A critical element in the process of stimulating demand for ICT in education and addressing prevailing misconceptions, is government will and shared vision for ICT in education. Stressing this, the Economist e-Readiness report mentioned earlier states: “Asian countries have also experienced significant boosts in the 2007 rankings, thanks in no small part to the vision and commitment demonstrated by their governments in pushing digital development” (page 3 of footnote 52). 132. There are several approaches to promoting government vision and commitment; possible key actors in this regard are local champions, professional associations, civil society organizations (CSOs) or NGOs, as well as the private sector or donors. 133. The role of local champions can be especially influential. Champions are people with a clear understanding of ICT’s potential for driving innovation. Depending on their role and influence, they can play a key role in agenda-setting, awareness raising and promotion of ICT, and therewith drive ICT adoption and policy making. In both Mongolia and Samoa, for example, RETA research has identified a number of such individuals, in a variety of positions and roles within and outside of government, who are strong contributors to ICT development and policy making. 134. Professional associations, CSOs, and NGOs can also be valid partners in the process of nurturing appropriate and increased use of ICT in education and promoting government vision and commitment. Such organizations can research and provide lessons learned, document experiences, or develop resources to inform and advise government on possible approaches to ICT integration. Where appropriate, they may also be key partners in implementing ICT strategies, for example in developing standards for teacher training with ICT or teacher and administrator ICT competencies, in drawing up certification requirements for private training providers, or in the provision of actual training or infrastructural services. 42 135. The private sector can play a role in strengthening government commitment as well. For the most part, many such actors are already active in lobbying for new or revised government policies and regulations that better address their needs. Commercial interests in a vibrant ICT industry can be channeled to meet public needs for connectivity and infrastructure (more on this in subsequent chapters) in remote areas of the country, content or equipment development, and more. VI. ISSUES OF PLANNING ON ICT IN EDUCATION A. Integrated Planning within Total Country Needs 1. Overview 136. As discussed in Chapter IV, Existing ICT Policies in Study Countries, nearly all of the countries under investigation do not only have, at least on paper, a national ICT policy, but also specific ICT in education policies and visions. While many of the issues relevant to ICT in education policies and related planning may be similar to other sub-sectors of education, ICT introduces a new dimension to the planning process. ICT plans from any and all sectors, education included, have to be workable within the infrastructure, costing, and development of the general communications policy at the national level. A plan as to how to use ICT in the classroom can be drawn up but if it requires continual electricity, and the needed infrastructure is not available, either for physical or financial reasons, the classroom plan is unworkable. Similarly, it is no help to teachers if the e-resources they rely on are available on the Internet but there is no connectivity in the schools. Stakeholders in ICT in education have therefore an extra dimension to their work that did not exist in the same way in a purely print-based education system. 137. Conventional approaches would follow the trail upwards from the smallest micro-needs assessment within the classroom through local, district, and regional education administration and so on to the ministry. However, there remains the extra dimension that such ICT plans are dependent on policies created outside the education ministries; that is, unlike most elements of education sector planning, the ICT plan has not only to fit in with the strategy of the Ministry of Education, but at the same time is partly defined by a nationwide ICT policy, which is itself dependent on a strategy for infrastructure development (provision of electricity and telecommunication services). That strategy itself is required to serve not only education or even the whole of the social sector but also interests in other sectors, such as agriculture or the military. Concerns of the Ministry of Labor may also play a role in agenda setting for ICT development. Furthermore, all sector plans are subject to fiscal plans demarcated by ministries of finance. 138. This presents a planning dilemma. How should the ‘bottom-up’ needs in the classroom be integrated with national telecommunications policy? 139. Clarification of overall national policy is the first step in creating a national plan that involves all sectors including education, taking place in parallel with need and demand assessments on the micro level (schools and other education institutions). Because the ICT in education plan is only one part of the overall national ICT plan and strategy, it cannot be developed in isolation. To achieve the holistic integration of ICT in education into a realistic implementable national ICT plan, therefore, there must be an alignment of ICT in education not only with national education development objectives, informed by the micro-level needs assessment, but with the overall national ICT policy itself. Some governments, e.g., in Samoa, 43 have instituted National ICT Steering Committees to provide a forum for regular communication and exchange and to develop such integrated plans. 140. A second important aspect to planning is that ICT plans in general must also be realistically phased. Expectations from a few years ago on the speed of technology diffusion and adaptation have only partially been fulfilled, especially where expectations and targets were unrealistic. Macro-level planning must be pragmatically integrated and balanced with micro-level use and adoption of ICT. Such micro-level adoption takes time, however. This is clearly visible on school level, where whole school reform, as required for effective ICT integration, is not something to be achieved in 1 or 2 years’ time. The RETA study findings from Samoa clearly illustrate this point. 141. Another aspect to consider in terms of phasing is that unlike many other aspects of education planning, ICT plans must also be flexible enough to adapt to future technological developments. An education sector plan usually covers a period of 10 years, and technological changes within those 10 years can be immense. No policy maker can predict the technological advances that may emerge in the next decade, so it is essential that policy makers leave options open so that current strategies can be revised and built on in the light of innovative changes. At the same time, if appropriately integrated, ICT will support and complement other measures of an education sector plan in bringing about education development and improvement. ICT then functions as a lever to achieve specific education objectives. On this premise, even long-term education sector plans that focus on and integrate ICT for the achievement of education development objectives rather than integrate technology for technology’s sake, will remain valid tools—action plans for a well-articulated vision for the use of ICT in education. In this, education sector plans will complement infrastructure and information and communication policies and strategies that also tend to be long term and progressive. 142. In Mongolia, the Information and Communication Technology Authority (ICTA), which is chaired by the Prime Minister, has played a proactive role together with MECS in the development of the education sector plan. This has enabled the ICT component of the education sector plan to be firmly embedded in the ambitious connectivity plans of the ICTA and phased in accordingly. In so doing, the ICT in education strategy is not simply a subsection of the MECS e-strategy but is built into the government’s Economic Growth Support and Poverty Reduction Strategy first developed in 2003. The government of Mongolia has published an “ICT Vision 2010 In Education Sector of Mongolia” and a corresponding “ICT Action Plan of the Education Sector of Mongolia,” with the stated purpose of supporting the implementation of the national ICT development vision of Mongolia. ICT has also been integrated as a focus area of the 2006-2015 master plan of education. It specifically states the following as one of the seven priority areas: “Connect all educational institutions, schools and kindergartens to Internet, and introduce ICT into training, information exchange, monitoring, evaluation and registration systems.”53 143. What the Mongolians have learned is that each government activity should be founded on localized practical needs assessment so that these needs can be fed into and become part of the national plan. In education, the key to these localized needs assessment are the self- assessment frameworks and tools used at the school level. They generate the education sector plan, which is the cornerstone of policy development. 144. Instruments have been developed to help the DMCs create national plans. The most recent of these is the ICT in Education Planning Toolkit produced by UNESCO in their Bangkok 53 MECS. 2006. Master Plan to Develop Education of Mongolia in 2006–2015. Ulaanbaatar. X. 44 regional office with inputs from many countries in the Asia and Pacific region. It has been created on the premise that policy makers within the DMCs face larger obstacles than their counterparts within developed countries. The project officer of the ICT in Education Unit, UNESCO Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau, Bangkok, has stated that these obstacles are both basic, such as lack of awareness and policy capacity, as well as systemic, such as lack of political will and ineffective coordination between departments with ICT responsibilities. 145. It is important for the users of the toolkit to realize that it describes a tool that does not make decisions for them, but helps to ask the critical questions and to collect the relevant information in one place—to allow for informed decision making. Through a series of questions and check lists it also helps stakeholders fully explore the ramifications of decisions and ensures that the ICT in education plan is vertically integrated into the national ICT plan. B. Sector-Wide Approaches 146. Focusing on the education sector, the last 10 years showed a change in the way donors support education in the DMCs. As Asian economies grew and the process of development progressed, the inherent faults in project-oriented support became increasingly apparent. The need to build capacity within ministries of education so that systems will eventually be able to work effectively without external support led donors and recipients toward a policy of sector- wide approaches. 147. SWAps are valuable in linking the planning of other sectoral development to education. Health in particular is involved, with awareness education on disease, nutrition, childbirth, and sanitation—all of these can benefit from integration with the formal education system. Here, ICT can play a strong educational role. Properly considered, SWAps and education sector plans can focus donors on assistance and interventions in areas of high strategic importance as well as coordinate development partners including government, civil society, the private sector, and other donors. 148. The adoption of SWAps has resulted not only in progress in governance, but also in a concerted effort by donors to avoid duplicating the efforts of other donors’ and the host country government. SWAps require ministries of education to produce long-term sector plans, greatly to the benefit of ICT in education. Education sector plans have, with the encouragement of donors—especially ADB—been widely adopted in the region. In Samoa, for example, ADB has taken the lead in acting as an umbrella organization for various donors so that the current Samoa Education Sector Project, Phase II (ESP II) is logically funded and implemented in a concerted fashion. Similarly, in Bangladesh, ADB is the lead donor for a comprehensive SWAp in primary education. All countries visited for this study had education sector plans in some form. Mentioned above is the Mongolia Master Plan to Develop Education, 2006-2015; in Samoa, this is the current MESC Strategy Policies and Plan 2006-2015; and in Bangladesh, the Secondary Education Sector Development Plan 2006-2013. 149. SWAps are critical to the holistic integration of ICT. Without them, ICT integration remains a collection of fragmented initiatives, much less effective than a concerted effort that focuses on capacity building and change management both horizontally and vertically within the education system to produce real, sustainable change. 45 C. Government–Donor Planning and Cooperation 150. Study findings indicate that where government authority is strong, its capacity for long- term planning is high, and there is a vision and clarity on the role of ICT for education, cooperation and negotiation with donors are more informed, thus enabling concerted, constructive support for ICT integration. This seems to be the case in Mongolia, and to some extent in Samoa, where the governments are strongly pushing through national ICT plans. The small and informal nature of Samoa makes donor coordination a comparatively easy task, but the Mongolian MECS has shown determination in planning what it requires to implement its strategy for ICT in education and in adhering closely to its education sector plan and vision for ICT in education. 151. The role of each of the development partners must be considered by policy makers when formulating education sector plans. It is not simply donors but government, civil society, and the private sector that can give assistance and enhance interventions in areas of strategic importance in ICT. 152. There is another aspect of planning as it relates to donor involvement. In an interview, the chief ICT officer at the Mongolian MECS expressed his personal enthusiasm for the ICT for the IIREM project and said that he was well aware of its benefit to teachers but, from the Ministry's point of view, the program could not stand up to any cost benefit analysis. 153. This underlines the necessity when researching results of ICT interventions of considering what has worked, and what it has cost, and comparing the costs and benefits. At a $100,000 per school, it is not feasible for a country to fund an ICT initiative; at $20,000 it just may be. The RETA team did a cost consideration analysis as part of its work under the e- Resources component. According to this calculation, the cost of (1) consultant services, travel, communication, and miscellaneous other costs, (2) training activities, (3) e-resources (a set of computer self-learning software and e-resources for subject matter teaching), and (4) equipment (one laptop, one LCD projector, and one digital camera per school) provided under this RETA in Mongolia were at a level of $14,306.10 per school. This RETA profited from lessons learned and also economies of scale in the production and distribution of e-resources already under the IIREM project. The actual per-school cost of all activities under IIREM, considering that this was the first such project in Mongolia, could be estimated at about $27,288.89. Finally, the Samoa SchoolNet Pilot project, also the first of its kind in Samoa, incurred an estimated $152,000 per school, including a rather heavy technology package of an estimated $35,000-40,000 per school. 154. Both, monitoring activities of the IIREM project, as well as results of this RETA indicate that the ICT interventions conducted had a positive impact on teaching quality. Unfortunately, these lessons learned have not been available in time before the Program Preparation Technical Assistance (PPTA) for a Third Education Development Project took place, and were therefore not considered in its design. Also, no midterm review of the Second Education Development Project (SEDP) in Mongolia had been conducted prior to fielding the PPTA team at the beginning of May 2005, so there was no assessment of what had or had not worked in SEDP (which had focused ICT interventions on the strengthening of informatics instruction, whereas IIREM focused on using ICT to enhance teaching and learning in rural and remote schools). With the conclusion of this RETA and its comprehensive research activities in Mongolia, information on what worked, what did not work and under what circumstances and 46 recommendations for future activities is now available. However, by now, TEDP has already been designed with yet another small-scale/pilot initiative planned:54 At least 30 schools will be selected as model schools for effective teaching. …These model schools will be developed to serve as venues for in-service teacher training, including the application of ICT-based training to improve student-centered teaching and learning methods based on the new curriculum. 155. It remains to be seen to what extent this information will be considered in planning activities under TEDP, which began implementation in 2006. 156. Pilot initiatives, which are often donor funded, are important to yield local lessons learned in new areas of education development. To date, many such ICT pilots have been implemented in the region and have yielded important experiences that should be included in future design. It is important, however, that pilots not be implemented only as academic exercises without a serious intention to scale up, or without funds to assess the value of the investment (for an explanation, see paragraph 165), so that governments can make an informed decision about possibilities for scale-up after the end of the pilot. 157. Another approach can be seen in Samoa. There, a pilot project for which this RETA identified a number of challenges, will be scaled up to all secondary schools in the country in coming years. Given the fact that information on its outcome to date consist of trends rather than facts, the scale-up project is planned to be implemented in two stages. This will allow for more time to carefully evaluate the value it adds, in its current form, to improving the quality of education in Samoa. A first stage will also be used to conduct careful financial modeling exercises to calculate the TCO for the initiative and to collect critical data for its longer-term sustainability. 158. Given the rapid evolvement of the sector and the constant contribution of new knowledge to experiences in this area, donors and governments need to cooperate closely in the design of longer-term education sector initiatives that may include ICT components. Flexible designs, built on sound monitoring and evaluation and value of investment analysis, as in the case of Samoa, acknowledge these rapid developments. 159. In addition to (often donor-funded) pilot projects, models for large-scale ICT in education initiatives exist. However, here as well, there is little documentation on the subject of scaling up, particularly on initiatives in developing countries that grew out of pilot projects. This is unfortunate as it not only would throw light on the viability of successful pilot projects, but also would yield information on how these initiatives have been funded in the longer term (and insights into sustainability considerations), given that pilot initiatives all too often tend to be very resource intensive, as can be seen from the simple cost estimates above. To date, funding for existing large-scale ICT initiatives has come from a variety and combination of sources. In China, the funding has generally been through direct initiatives through government funding; in India, public-private partnerships (as in the Indian state of Karnataka) have been more common; in Malaysia, there have been private sector initiatives directed by government or NGOs; and in Thailand, these efforts have been affiliated with government at some point in their development, while in the Philippines they often have not. 54 Quoted from ADB. 2006. Report and Recommendation of the President to the Board of Directors. Proposed Loan and Technical Assistance Grant – Mongolia: Third Education Development Project. Project Number 34187. Manila. 11/12. 47 D. Planning: Summary and Conclusions 160. Policy making for ICT in education is a network of planning and decision making that stretches from the rural classroom through regional administrations to heads of government. It has a mesh that if broken in any one place will make the whole less efficient. The rapid change of technology is constantly opening new opportunities for ICT applications in education but without a clear vision of the direction that education should take, ICT strategies will fail. 161. Systemic integration of ICT also is heavily dependent on factors outside the education system. This includes needs and demands from other sectors and ministries, such as labor, health, transportation, and communication. National ICT policies should therefore integrate specific needs and demands of a variety of actors. This can improve efficiency and provide opportunities to pool funds strategically in ways that serve the interests of several sectors (e.g. provide connectivity in rural and remote areas). 162. ICT plans should be phased realistically and should incorporate lessons learned from other initiatives in the region. Such lessons clearly indicate that any effort to integrate ICT into development takes time, especially if it is to be adopted by stakeholders at all levels of the system, including teachers, school managers, district education officials, and national ministry staff. 163. Planning for the integration of ICT into education, therefore, should be concerted, long term, systemic, and holistic, yet flexible enough to accommodate innovation and change. Most critically, planning for ICT integration should be driven by educational objectives, not technological fascination, to allow for sustainable change. 164. Piecemeal approaches and perpetual piloting of ICT in various areas of education do not promise long-term gains in education quality or increased efficiency in education administration. However, well-monitored, evaluated, and documented pilot initiatives, integrating ICT into different areas of the education system, are important to provide local insights and lessons learned. It is also important for future pilot studies to include sufficient funds to evaluate the costs of introducing, scaling up, and maintaining alternate ICT models. Such costs contribute to an understanding of the total cost of ownership of ICT integration. 165. TCO, however, is only part of the picture when planning ICT integration; critical to the discussion are also considerations of the value of investment. The concept “Value of Investment” stands for a shift in focus from the more prevalent “Return on Investment” discourse. It indicates that while the goal for businesses is return on investment in terms of revenue or reducing production costs, the goal for schools should be education. This requires schools and education systems to clearly understand their educational goals and how investments in technology can contribute to their achievement. In this, the value of an investment in technology is determined by understanding anticipated benefits versus the cost of implementation and ownership.”55 166. Critical, however, is that micro-level learning from any pilot or ICT initiative is factored into macro-level decision making. 167. After determining specific education objectives, the next step for governments in creating a national plan that involves all sectors should be clarifying national ICT policy. Specific steering committees or advisory/working groups with delegates from relevant ministries and sectors can 55 Adapted from Kaestner, Rich. Undated. The Value of Investment for K-12. Converge Online. Available: http://www.convergemag.com/story.php?catid=236&storyid=97099. 48 be a practical step towards such concerted planning. It is critical however, that such “instruments” have a clear mission and related tasks, as well as the necessary authority and budget, rather than pro-forma committees without clear mission or authority. Steering committees or advisory groups, if used effectively, can also help align and pool funding from donors to the achievement of educational objectives, to avoid several fragmented efforts and perpetual piloting. 168. National-level policy and planning efforts should be carried out in parallel with need and demand assessments in schools and other education institutions. Self-assessment frameworks and tools can help clarify school needs and priorities. Findings from such assessments should be used to draw up school development plans. Such micro-level plans then inform district-level education sector development plans. These, in turn, contribute to the generation of overall education sector plans—the cornerstone of policy development. Tools for micro-level self- assessment in areas such as human resources, infrastructure resources, and materials, are used in DMCs, some of which have been created and are being implemented with support from donors. There are also specific tools that support self-assessment on the education institutional level, with a focus on integrating ICT to support educational objectives. Research reveals many such tools that can inform local efforts. For example, the British Educational and Technology Agency’s (Becta’s) self-review framework aims to support schools in using ICT more effectively for education. 169. The conclusion drawn from studying DMCs in the region (not just the focus countries) is that integrated planning across sectors and within the education sector is essential for three primary reasons. First, integrated planning will allow all stakeholders to have a sense of ownership. Second, such planning would avoid overlapping funding. Finally, planning allows coordination with other ministries and departments where the introduction of ICT in education will be affected by their strategies. VII. LEGAL AND REGULATORY ISSUES Overview on Legal and Regulatory Issues 170. The emergence of new technology often requires regulation. For example, the allocation of radio spectrum frequencies is necessary to protect the integrity of wireless communications for various important government and civilian applications. Used with great care, government regulation can establish a competitive playing field that fosters economic and social development. For example, a single monopoly state-owned telecommunications company does not permit a country to take advantage of rapid advances in telecommunications technology. Throughout the Asia and Pacific region, this model has been largely abandoned. To allow and encourage ICT to develop, DMCs need to address regulatory issues in radio frequency allocation, e-commerce, online content, voice over Internet protocol (VoIP), satellite communications, and intellectual property rights. This list is by no means exhaustive, but some regulation is necessary for ordered and stable expansion of the industry. One of the weaknesses of current international regulation and existing regulation in many DMCs is that it was devised before the existence of many of the technologies associated with ICT. It is therefore necessary to draw up a regulatory framework that not only serves today’s purposes but has the flexibility to incorporate challenges hitherto unknown. 171. DMC governments have chosen either to bundle these topics with umbrella legislation or to revise existing legislation. A piecemeal approach to legal reform is more likely to be subject to different interpretations and therefore less likely to provide the stability that it is designed to 49 foster. It may be more beneficial for countries to completely overhaul the legal framework for ICT law within one act. In this way, conflicting interests can be resolved. However, the relationship between ICTs and education is a complex one, confronting policy makers, educators, and the international community with a new spectrum of ethical and legal issues. 172. The question is, how can the governments of DMCs introduce a regulatory structure that is conducive to ICT development and balances the interests of social development and commercial gain? B. Regulatory Frameworks in the Focus Countries 1. Mongolia 173. In the mid-1990s the Government of Mongolia implemented a telecommunications sector reform program that lead to the effective liberalization of all market segments, partial privatization of the fixed line incumbent, Mongolia Telecom Company (MTC), and the establishment of the Communications Regulation Commission (CRC) as an independent regulatory authority. 174. Originally, the overall policy maker for ICT in Mongolia was the National ICT Commission (NICT). The NICT committee had representatives from the government, the public sector, NGOs, and the education sector. This committee, headed by the Prime Minister, was an advisory body to the government. When the NICT set up the Information and Communication Technology Authority (ICTA) in October 2004, its mission had been achieved. The ICTA is officially charged with the duty to manage, evaluate, and monitor program implementation and to coordinate cooperation and alliance between implementation agencies. However when visited in September 2006, there were a number of sub-regulators, including the Ministry of Infrastructure (MOI), to whom the government has assigned most ICT-related issues as the main governmental authority. The MOI is also responsible for coordinating donor’s initiatives in the ICT field. The CRC on the other hand is the regulatory body established by the Act on Communications (2006) to develop an effective and fair environment for competition between market participants; issue, suspend, and revoke licenses; ensure adherence by licensees to their license conditions; determine and set technical standards; certify network equipment; and approve a full range of tariff, interconnection, and policy functions. The Post and Telecommunication Authority was the legal stakeholder of the governmental share of the telecommunication infrastructure, operated by Mongolia Telecom. The Post and Telecommunication Authority also has minor operational responsibilities such as network planning and network procurement and deployment. 2. Samoa 175. The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology was appointed by the government to be the implementer of the Samoa National Strategic Plan for ICT 2004–2009 while the Samoa National ICT Steering Committee oversees the implementation. One of the steering committee’s specific mandates is to integrate ICT in all public services especially education and health. Another is to respond to the needs of the increasing number of students with no ICT curriculum offered in their schools. 176. A major development in Samoan telecommunications was the separation of the regulatory agency, MCIT, from the service provider, Samoa Communications Ltd., leading to the establishment of an independent regulator. Since 2002, the telecommunications corporation has changed from Samoa Communications Ltd. to SamoaTel. The new management has increased the number of connections. The Samoa telephone infrastructure is extensive in the Apia urban 50 area, and a fiber optic backbone has been laid to enhance connectivity. Fax communication is widespread. Wireless communication was provided by Telecom Samoa Cellular (now taken over by Digicel), and in September 2003, service was extended to Savaii. More dramatic changes in the telecommunications industry took place with the arrival of Digicel in 2006, opening the Samoan mobile telecommunication market, most notably with a prepaid subscription format. This was followed closely by the launch of SamoaTel’s “Go-Mobile” in January 2007. Intense competition between two competing carriers has helped bring down the costs of telephony in both land and mobile lines. A local landline call now costs 4 sene56 per minute57 (less than US1 cent) and a local mobile phone call ranges from 34–70 sene58 per minute ($0.13–$0.26), compared to 12 sene per minute ($0.45) and 1.20 tala (ST) per minute ($0.45) in 2005 (adapted from paragraph 15 of footnote 3). 177. During the time of the RETA research, new ICT legislations were introduced by the Government of Samoa to regulate the communication sector and the issuing of new 3G licenses. 3. Nepal 178. The Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) was formed in 2006. It is formally the regulatory body, but responsibility for advising the government comes from the High-Level Commission for Information Technology (HLC-IT). The HLC-IT was formed after the National Information Technology Center and National Information Technology Co-ordination Committee were disbanded. The roles of both the council and the committee were subsumed into the HLC- IT by an act of Parliament in 2003. The HLC-IT, in turn, has four subcommittees: (i) Information Technology Education, Training and Research Committee; (ii) Information Technology Awareness Committee; (iii) Information Technology Standardization Committee; and (iv) the Rural Telecentre Coordination Committee. 179. In 2000, an ICT policy was promulgated and in 2003, the HLC-IT was formed. The formation of HLC-IT was the Nepalese government's response to an aggressive growing competition in the private sector. The national policy document mentions education 17 times but in 8 of these references, it is within the context of computer education skills and not ICT as a tool to enhance teaching and learning or render education administration more effective. In interviews with members of the HLC-IT, the RETA team discovered a confusion of responsibilities. On all issues, stakeholders have to deal with four rather uncoordinated government bodies (Ministry of Information and Communication, Ministry of Science and Technology, the Nepal Information Technology Centre, and the HLC-IT.) There is often confusion as to who is the guiding authority over any particular issue. For instance, Internet service providers (ISPs) have to go to the licensing authority to obtain permission. The NTA is the regulatory body, although wireless issues are handled by the Ministry of Information and Communication (MOIC), which allocates frequencies. To put up an antenna tower, permission has to be given by the Ministry of Forests. Each ministry can block the process. In addition, the NTA is both the regulator of all ISPs and of the mobile phone providers and, as Nepal Telecoms, itself a provider along with Spice and United Telecoms Ltd. The NTA is also part of the Ministry of Information and Communication and the NTA’s Secretary is a member of both organizations. One of issues facing the sector is that the NTA will not license ISPs for VoIP, which, with a large number of migrant remittance workers, is one of the facilities most wanted by the rural population. 56 100 sene is 1 Somoan tala (ST). 57 SamoaTel rates. 58 SamoaTel and Digicel rates. 51 180. The HLC-IT functions by making recommendations directly to the Cabinet, which has always ratified the committee's suggestions. However, the restraints of money and lack of coordination within government means policies are seldom implemented. In theory, the Ministry of Education should make its own ICT policy within the guidelines that have been set by the HLC-IT. The Ministry of Education should then cost their plans and integrate them into the regular education budget. However, in practice this does not seem to happen. 181. A member of the HLC-IT mentioned during the interview for this research that the government remains unreceptive to ICT ideas, and this, in his opinion, was because the Cabinet believed that there was no compelling evidence that ICT develops the country. The government, he stated, had yet to receive evidence from an ICT expert who could make a convincing case, although it was conceded that this may be because the transformative potentials of ICT take a long time to show and, as a general rule, DMCs require the development of a localized industry. The current thinking of the HLC-IT is that the government should encourage ICT development through a five-pronged development plan, which would prioritize the following: 1) Fund connectivity for schools and supply computers 2) Adopt strategies aimed at the capacity gaps in teacher training 3) Focus on developing Nepalese content 4) Connect teachers and education officers with the Ministry of Education in a holistic fashion that enables a professional teaching network 5) Ensure that the curriculum is altered to make IT a specific subject. 182. At the time of the RETA mission to Nepal, a new ICT policy was in place, having just been revised, and was awaiting approval by the government. The continuing political unrest in the country means that reform is coming slowly, as ICT is not a priority for the government in the face of civil strife. 4. Bangladesh 183. In 1998, Bangladesh issued the National Telecommunications Policy as a precursor to the liberalization and reform of the ICT industry. In 2001, the Bangladesh Telecommunications Act was passed, and in January 2002, the Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (BTRC) was formed to act as an independent regulatory body. Its senior staff was drawn from the Bangladesh Telegraph and Telephone Board (BTTB), a state-run provider. To this day, the private sector is not represented on the board of the BTRC. Of the nine BTRC commissioners, all are retired BTTB employees or government officials. 184. Meanwhile the use of mobile phones in Bangladesh has burgeoned. According to Grameen Telecoms, as expressed during one of the study interviews, 12% of all telephones bought globally in the year 2006 were bought in Bangladesh. Bangladesh has adopted the mobile phone as a core, rather than an adjunct, feature of ICT development. The number of mobile phone subscribers has increased from a total of 520,000 in 2001 to 19,131,000 in 2006.59 Already in 2005, about 11% of the population (6% in rural areas) had a mobile phone,60 59 Figures are taken from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) free statistics provided by country, the “ICT Eye.” Available: http://www.itu.int/ITU-D/icteye/Indicators/Indicators.aspx. 60 Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics. 2005. Statistics for Monitoring Attainment of MDGs in Bangladesh. Dhaka. 17. 52 and nearly 80% of the population was covered by mobile telephony (footnote 19); today these numbers can be expected to be much higher. 185. This explosion in communications has not been paralleled by a similar advance in ICT infrastructure. Landline density remains low (in 2006, 14% of the population were telephone subscribers, compared to 44% in Nepal [footnote 59]) which introduces difficulties for schools, especially in remote areas to use dial-up services to connect to the Internet. Some have blamed this on the close relationship between BTRC and BTTB. Although BTRC has watched over a market where call prices have plummeted, it has nevertheless seemed to favor BTTB particularly over the question of international connection through the submarine line and VoIP. 186. While the issue of VoIP is not necessarily a critical concern to the development of ICT in education, international connectivity is. Restricting international connectivity by price effectively aggravates digital divisions. A member of the Global System for Mobile Communication Association stated in an interview with the RETA team that the Bangladesh government protects BTTB's monopoly over the international phone call business. There is therefore a suspicion that foreign investors are reluctant to inject funds into the country's telecom sector. 187. For the study, a group of 12 businessmen who are members of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) were interviewed. They were vociferous in their complaints about government initiatives in ICT. The lack of regulatory control over BTTB and, more particularly, the blurring of the line between the regulatory authority BTRC and BTTB affected business on a practical level. One member of the group complained that BTTB's dominance over the submarine cable and connections with the outside world caused him to pay inflated prices for communication. He had received a grant from the Danish Embassy to set up a typesetting and design facility that is now producing five Danish newspapers overnight in Bangladesh, but the cost of his connections to the outside world were, in his opinion, unreasonably high. He felt that the BTRC was holding back telecommunications advancement by failing to deregulate an effort that would be better left to the market. He estimated that e-commerce was responsible for $47 billion in trade in 2005,61 but the necessary regulatory framework was not working. 188. Whether or not the relationship between BTTB and BTRC is less than ideal is not the point. It is merely an example of how a weak regulatory system is stifling ICT development and access (beyond mobile phone services). Transparent governance remains essential for developing the sector. 189. Furthermore, all those present complained of a lack of computer literate employees, despite this being a cornerstone of the country’s ICT policy, and particularly of the lack of teachers for computer and ICT skills. This position amongst the Bangladeshi businessmen was reflected in Samoa, where the National University of Samoa has on average only five graduates per year in computer science. All those graduates find jobs in the private sector. The result is a lack of skilled teachers to teach the computer studies class and a heavy reliance on Peace Corps volunteers to do this work (see Executive Summary of footnote 3). 190. Understandably from their perspective, the members of the FBCCI felt that it was not important for Bangladesh if staff migrated from the public to the private sector once they had obtained computer skills. They FBCCI members said that computers were available at every level of society and that they had constantly lobbied government for ICT development but were not clear on the process. They felt that there was an innate fear of modernization within the 61 This number could not be verified in subsequent research, and has to be read with care. 53 government, and that whereas in the private sector, promotion could be conditional on computer learning and certification, there was no such parallel within the civil service. C. The Need for Regulation 191. It is important for government to understand the economic and social benefits of a well- regulated, competitive, ICT market. Private enterprise is quicker to adapt and innovate in a rapidly developing market, and government responsibility for ensuring equal access to technology for the poor may come into direct conflict with commercial interests. Historically, telecommunications has been allied with postal regulation, which was logical in an era where the telephone and the letter were the only sources of the transfer of information. Today, the plethora of communication possibilities created by the new digital technologies has made this model obsolete. Yet governments are often reluctant to give up ownership of uncompetitive but lucrative monopolies. It takes a sea change in thinking to realize that the regulation of the new technologies extends a government's ability to better serve its citizens by encouraging national development and open governance. A transparent competitive regulatory environment will encourage competition and will encourage the private sector to invest to reduce the burden of capital investment on the state. This has the double benefit of simultaneously reducing the tax burden and the cost of communication to the citizen, as had happened in Samoa. 192. Governments that encourage investments that reduce regulatory risk are essential, but so too are independent regulators resistant to political influence and corruption. The digital development of some of ADB’s member countries, Hong Kong, China; the Republic of Korea; Singapore; and Taipei, China—provide the best evidence that a transparent and predictable regulatory framework will attract investors who are prepared to pay for telecommunication assets, provided they can operate in a stable, impartially regulated setting. 193. There are also international aspects to be considered in this context. For example, the second oldest international regulatory organization, the Universal Postal Union,62 played a pivotal role in facilitating international communication of paper messages. It established that: (i) there should be a more or less uniform flat rate to mail a letter anywhere in the world; (ii) postal authorities should give equal treatment to foreign and domestic mail; and (iii) each country should retain all monies it collected for international postage. 194. Today, the WTO, especially through its General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) takes on a similar international role with respect to electronic communications. WTO members are required to modify their laws to comply with the GATS telecommunication commitments, addressed under the Basic Telecommunication Agreement. This includes implementing transparent regulatory structures and procedures, establishing an independent regulator, and removing market access barriers. While liberalization is an inherent part of GATS, deregulation is not, which allows individual members to regulate the supply of services based on national policy objectives. Furthermore, many members, especially developing countries, have negotiated special arrangements that are more appropriate to their development levels and specific situation.63 There are also regional frameworks that can further help to establish government accountability and adherence to a certain level of transparency as well as market- oriented regulation. Both Bangladesh and Nepal established an independent regulator after joining the WTO. 62 The Union was created in 1874 by the Treaty of Berne. Of the 192 UN member states, 188 are Universal Postal Union-member countries, three of the exceptions being in the Asia and Pacific Region: Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, and Palau. 63 Adapted from infoDev. 2008. The ICT Regulation Toolkit. Chapter 3.2.1 Role of the World Trade Organization. Washington, DC. Available: http://ictregulationtoolkit.org. 54 195. An important step for DMCs lies in the adoption of regulations that have the potential to converge into an internationally recognized ICT regulatory environment. This may not come quickly, but it can be constructed from country, to regional, to international level, considering the special needs of DMCs in the process. What is certain is that if governments of the DMCs do not create regulations that can be agreed upon by their neighbors, they will have no chance of international support. 196. In any case, it is clear that all and any regulation is meaningless without enforcement. In regard to WTO membership, meeting WTO regulatory commitments is mainly voluntary compliance. Where voluntary compliance is not forthcoming, WTO will draw on its dispute settlement mechanism. D. Licensing 197. The licensing of the ICT industry, including the leasing of frequency bands, gives governments another strong pillar with which to support ICT in education. Mechanisms that provide preferential tariffs for educational usage are sometimes known as e-rates; this involves using licensing agreements to make providers give discounted rates to certain customers. E-rates could be a particularly effective statutory obligation that should be used more by DMC governments to widen connectivity by making it an obligation under a licensing agreement for the provider to connect and give heavily discounted rates to all education establishments, including schools. However, while governments are responsible for education and training, they are also responsible for infrastructure and may not feel inclined to give priority to the use of ICT in education, but might prefer to give tax breaks in other sectors. 198. The number of licensing opportunities can be demonstrated by the regulation of licenses in Mongolia where licensing is conducted in accordance with the Business Licensing Law. There are separate licenses required for each of the following services. • Public switched telephone network (PSTN) • Transmission • Wireless local loop (WLL) • Mobile • Internet–ISP • VoIP • Datacom (wide-area network [WAN]) • International gateway • Community-access television (CATV) and terrestrial broadcast • National radio and television • Local radio and TV (frequency and service license required). • In addition there are licenses for frequency utilization. 55 199. Licensing can be used by governments as a means of regulating content—as in the case of Singapore—or as a source of revenue, and sometimes as both. The process is pertinent to ICT in education because the license-granting authority also has the opportunity to place conditions in terms of supplying free or subsidized services to schools. In none of the countries visited under this study was this powerful lever being used to extend connectivity, and this was clearly a missed opportunity. Conditionalities could be a powerful pressure point on private enterprises to encourage them to extend services to the most disadvantaged who, in all the DMCs, live in areas that are remote by distance or geographical conditions. In other industries, the granting of conditional licenses is the norm, but nowhere was this powerful enabling tool being used to benefit the poor by giving them access to the Internet. E. Taxation of Products and Services 200. Policies of taxation often play a part in strategies to encourage the development of ICT, and governments have many instruments that they can use. These include tariffs, sales taxes, licensing, value-added tax (VAT), corporate taxation, excise duties, special levies, tax rebates, and tax holidays, as well as the ability to set bank interest rates and to encourage industry through investment promotion institutions and ICT technology parks. All can be used singly or in combination to foster the development of ICT in education. 201. Most common is the reduction of import tax on computer hardware and software, which is to be encouraged. The concept that electronic goods are somehow luxuries must be replaced with the thinking that they are essential educational tools. Few of the DMCs tax the written word in the form of books, but many tax heavily the elements needed to access knowledge electronically. The Grameen Bank has shown in Bangladesh that there are wide innovative uses for the mobile phone and argued that the remaining high taxes and duties on their import and sale have been a constraint on extending information communication services to poor people.64 202. While emerging industries can benefit strongly from tax incentives, the micro advantages of tax exemption against the long-term macro disadvantages of a fragmented taxation system must be considered. The seemingly common practice of giving educational equipment, software, and service tax exemptions may look attractive on the surface but can run against fiscal policies at the state level. In Cambodia, friction between the policies of the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Finance, both of which are operating with different donor regulations, has led to long delays in the supply of learning materials to schools. 203. For tax concessions to work efficiently there must be a well-regulated and strong tax base. If this tax base is missing, tax incentives are useless and prone to exploitation. Again in Cambodia, half of the central government budget depends on donor assistance. Low income and corporate tax rates mean a low level of government tax revenue, so government spending is also low, and the state receives a significant amount of its income from publicly owned businesses. In 2005, overall tax revenue as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) was only 8%. Corruption is perceived as widespread. Cambodia ranked 130 out of 158 countries in Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index for 2005. Under these circumstances, tax concessions provide little incentive to the private sector.65 204. At the other end of the scale amongst the ADB member countries, Singapore has built a thriving IT industry with tax incentives playing a key role. It continues to offer tax incentives for 64 Information from interview with staff of the Village Phone program initiated by the shareholders of Grameen Phone and implemented by Grameen Telecommunications in cooperation with Grameen Bank. 65 Heritage Foundation and Wall Street Journal. 2007. Index of Economic Freedom. Cambodia. Washington, DC. Available: http://www.heritage.org/research/features/index/country.cfm?id=cambodia. 56 pioneering investments, incentives for skills and research and development, and special reduced taxation for specific industries and technologies—among them IT.66 205. A question to be considered when incentivizing through tax concessions is at what point tax exemptions should be reduced or phased out. While encouraging ICT development in the short-term, the goal of governments in using tax leverage must be to establish a thriving ICT industry. 206. Many economists believe that the benefits of tax reductions that stimulate the ICT industry allow governments to recoup their investments because the tax reductions generate additional tax revenues that outweigh the exemptions.67 The acquisition of a PC triggers expenditure on printer consumables, PC accessories, Internet connections, and possibly e- commerce. It should also be remembered that Internet access tariffs normally include taxation of some sort. 207. The government of Mongolia has been examining the pros and cons of providing tax incentives and even introducing subsidies to encourage the installation of new technology. It has made progress on putting incentives from local investors on a par with those for foreign investors—a harmonization that releases localized investment, and is also taking development a stage further by making a conscious effort to include the market for access to international telecommunications circuits. 208. Samoa has decided that government owned, funded, or controlled organizations will not deduct the statutory withholding taxes from payments to Samoan ICT solution providers, software developers, local assemblers and manufacturers of ICT equipment, ISPs, and Web hosting and Web site design companies, as well as ICT equipment maintenance. It has also begun a program of liberalizing the licensing regimen toward ISPs. The Samoans are also looking at the options of giving teachers tax rebates to purchase professional tools and for any investment they make in developing and upgrading studies.68 209. In Nepal, software may be directly depreciated and deducted from taxes, and information technology equipment is allowed an accelerated depreciation of 2 years. 210. In Bangladesh, FBCCI has played an active part in lobbying successive governments to encourage ICT development through a number of fiscal reforms. The members have stated that the continued levy of duty and taxes on communication products has been a big hindrance to the WAN industry. They point out that government revenue collected from ICT-related products is so insignificant and the resulting stimulation of the economy so large that the withdrawal of duties and taxes on the industry would in fact increase revenue. In a paper issued in 2002, entitled FBCCI Recommendations National Policy. Dhaka, the members of the FBCCI suggested that tax holidays for the ICT industry should be allowed for a minimum of 10 years.69 More radically, they put forward the case for providing tax credits for all companies that offer 66 Labelle, Richard. 2005. ICT Policy Formation and e-Strategy Development. APDIP. Bangkok. Available: http://www.apdip.net/publications/ict4d/ict4dlabelle.pdf. 67 See Intel. 2005. Government Assisted PC Programs (GAPPs). Santa Clara. Available: http://intel.mrmworldwide.com/business/bss/industry/government/gappbackgrounder.pdf. It states on page 3: “OECD research suggests that ICT investments accounted for between 0.3 and 0.8 percentage points of growth in GDP per capita between 1995 and 2001.” 68 Helsinki Consulting Group and ANZDEC Limited. 2004. Equity, Quality, Relevance, Efficiency: Education Sector Review of the Independent State of Samoa. ADB TA No. 4256–SAM. 58. 69 Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI). 2002. FBCCI Recommendations: National Policy. Dhaka. 57 ICT training in an attempt to spread ICT skills horizontally and not simply to benefit the ICT industry alone. F. Special Technology Development Funds 211. One strategy that has received some support in the DMCs is to levy a charge on ICT services in the private sector to be used for the development of ICT within the country. In Nepal, where the Information Technology Policy, 2057 (2000) had envisioned to “ICT-driven nation comprising of knowledge-based society by the year 2006,” (page 4 of footnote 24) an information technology development fund, called the Rural Telecom Development Fund (RTDF) was established. The government levies a 6% revenue tax charged on all ICT revenues, 4% of which goes to the government and 2% to the RTDF. In addition, there is an export of software service charge of 0.5%, which pays into the fund. 212. The Nepalese RTDF was established with the express purpose of creating public awareness about IT, assisting rural networking, developing IT with market management, generating the required manpower for this sector, and making social services (presumably including education) easily available where such technology is used. Arrangements were made for financial contributions toward this fund from the government, the private sector, donor agencies, and others. The NITC has been tasked with operating this fund. According to the chairman of the Nepal ISP Association, however, this account has never been used but had, in early 2007, accumulated approximately 60 million rupees (nearly $1 million). 213. The government of Samoa supports a National ICT Development Trust Fund, which amongst its other activities, should provide venture capital financing to the start up of small and medium enterprises in the ICT sector. The MCIT has been charged with managing this fund, but at the time of the study site visit in June 2006, there was no information on how funds were raised or the amount of money involved. 214. One of the disadvantages of special technology development funds is that they can easily be absorbed into the normal taxation system, which appears to be what is happening in Nepal. However, if properly administered and ring-fenced, they can be a valuable resource in developing ICT in the social sector. This is perfectly feasible. Governments can use the funds to provide ICT equipment, connections, and training over a fixed period as a diminishing grant similar to the UK government’s special grants to primary schools for ICT development. In the UK, money was given to every primary school in the country as a designated fund to be used only for ICT development. The sums diminished over a period of 3 years, but were over and above the standard school grant, so that during those 3 years every school had a block grant to adopt ICT equipment and practices and time to build the TCO into their recurring budgets to ensure sustainability. The money could be used for nothing else. This targeted form of funding can be very effective, but it requires rigorous research into what is needed and does not include subsidizing the TCO. 215. An argument against such special funds is that they merely levy an additional financial burden on the very businesses and market that the government is trying to develop. There is certainly little purpose in levying additional charges if the government also has a policy of tax relief to try to encourage a homegrown ICT industry. 58 G. Intellectual Property Right Issues 216. Intellectual property rights (IPRs) can be understood as a heterogeneous group of rights that protect creative, inventive, or economic efforts.70 IPRs can protect a variety of endeavors such as technical inventions, artistic and literary creations, names, and written and recorded media. Intellectual property law includes copyright, trademarks, and patents. Copyright in its broadest terms is a set of exclusive rights granted by government for a limited time to regulate the use of a particular form, way, or manner of expressing an idea. It does not, however, protect the idea. It does recognize that the creator owns his or her intellectual work in expressing that idea. It acknowledges that the expression is a property that can be bought and sold like any other. It protects intellectual property against theft, restricts the rights of others to copy it, and thereby ensures that the creator of intellectual property can be paid for his work. 217. Software is protected by copyright because copyright was generated as an idea to reward those who, through intellectual labor, generate new ideas. The idea of international copyright came not from science but from the arts. It was Victor Hugo’s displeasure at the fact that he received no reward from Russian publishers who reproduced his fiction that eventually resulted in The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works 1886—an international convention still in force today (amended in 1909, 1976, and 1988) and the basis of ensuing international copyright law. 218. Of course, the granting of exclusive rights to one person restricts the rights of another. This is relevant to this study because of the impact of copyright and copyright policies on access to knowledge in educational materials, both electronic and printed. It works by giving individuals the opportunity to commercially benefit from their new and innovative ideas through monopoly rights.71 219. In formalizing localized regulations, governments should consider the balance between plagiarism and what is acceptable as “open” knowledge. This is particularly tricky for learning materials, and it raises the debate of how flexible regulations can be in permitting teachers to use materials downloaded from the Web to integrate into classes and teaching programs. 220. When knowledge was mostly drawn from the printed word, there was a tacit agreement among publishers in the UK that 300 words of any document could be quoted in a second document without the need to obtain copyright permission, but this was a voluntary industry rule rather than a regulation enshrined in law. Such approaches are needed to define the use of Web-based materials, and currently they do not exist within the Berne Convention. In the absence of international regulation, rules must be made nationally and, having been made, enforced by governments. Although nobody wishes to undermine the concept of IPRs, their pragmatic enforcement is necessary to allow teachers to use the Web as a source of ICT material.72 221. Each country that has signed the Berne Convention can pass legislation that further refines copyright law. Of our focus countries, Mongolia, for instance, has the Mongolia Copyright 70 General resources and guidance on intellectual property rights can be found here: http://www.ipr-helpdesk.org. 71 Lallana, Emmanuel C. 2004. Overview of ICT Policies and e-Strategies of Select Asian Economies. APDIP. Bangkok. Available: http://www.apdip.net/publications/ict4d/ict4dlallana.pdf. 72 See Consumers International. 2006. Copyright and Access to Knowledge: Policy Recommendations on Flexibilities in Copyright Laws. Kuala Lumpur. Available: http://www.consumersinternational.org/Shared_ASP_Files/UploadedFiles/23775AAE-3EE7-4AE2-A730- 281DCE859AD4_COPYRIGHTFinal16.02.06.pdf. The national copyright laws of 11 developing countries in the Asia Pacific Region were examined to discover to what extent exceptions to copyright protection have been incorporated in national law. 59 Law 1993 (amended in 1997 and 1999) that extends the rights granted under the Berne Convention, but the Copyright and Access to Knowledge report found that all 11 Asian countries73 investigated, including Mongolia, “have given copyright owners far more protection than the intellectual property treaties they have signed up require.”74 In effect, access to copyrighted material is much more restricted than required by international agreements. 222. Bangladesh has gone further than most in its ICT4D National Policy (2002), advocating the enactment of the software copyright provision within an ICT act designed not only to provide a secure ICT environment but also to protect against ICT crimes specifically. In the Samoan SchoolNet Student Use Rules, “using the network is a privilege and may be revoked at any time for unacceptable conduct [which includes] using facilities of the learning centre and the network for illegal activities, including plagiarism, copyright, or contract violations.”75 This aspect was given more weight than others, including downloading unlicensed software; hacking; pornography; violations of privacy; and sexual harassment. 223. The issue of piracy remains a troubling area for software. This is by no means confined to the DMCs or even the Asia and Pacific region. Proprietary software can be easily downloaded in Europe together with code cracking software that can generate authorization codes. Whether software is available on CD covertly, as in Indonesia, or in the general markets, as in Cambodia, is not really the point. The fact is that the market is reacting to unrealistic pricing by producers of proprietary software. Microsoft’s reduction of a simplified version of Windows to a $3 retail price in certain markets in China recognized the revenue efficiency of supplying goods at a cost that the local market can bear. Piracy flourishes where prices do not reflect local economics and intellectual property rights laws are not understood or respected. 224. Nowhere is the debate hotter than in the area of open source software, or software whose source code is openly available. IPR protection enables the creative software developers to choose how they are rewarded for their efforts— by voluntarily contributing to the pool of localized education assets protected by free and open source licensing,76 by selling of related technical services, or by protection and commercial licensing of their products. 225. Work done at Stanford Law School suggests various degrees of copyright protection. The result has been the idea of Creative Commons licenses, which are licensing alternatives that enable copyright holders to grant some of their rights to the public while retaining others.77 There are four options, which they have summarized as follows: 1) Attribution—Gives permission to copy, distribute, display, and perform the work and derivative works based upon it but only if credit is given. 2) Noncommercial—Gives permission to copy, distribute, display, and perform the work and derivative works based upon it but for noncommercial purposes only. 73 Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, and Thailand. 74 Consumers International. 2006. Summarised Financial Statements and Annual Report. London. 7. Available: http://www.ingoaccountabilitycharter.org/cms/cmsfiles/ci_report.pdf. 75 Helsinki Consulting Group. 2007. Samoa: Supporting the Samoa SchoolNet and Community Access Pilot Project. Final Report. ADB TA4305–SAM. 34. 76 “Open source license is a copyright license for computer software that makes the source code available under terms that allow for modification and redistribution without having to pay the original author.” Quoted from Wikipedia. 2007. Open Source License. Available: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open-source_license 77 The Creative Commons licenses. Available: http://creativecommons.org. 60 3) No Derivative Works—Gives permission to copy, distribute, display, and perform only verbatim copies of the work but not derivative works based upon it. 4) Share Alike—Gives permission to distribute derivative works only under a license identical to the license that governs the original work. 226. This concept can be used by policy makers to draft regulations or legal instruments without stifling local ICT development. H. Legal and Regulatory Issues: Summary and Conclusions 227. Findings from focus countries show that there can be no reason why governments cannot appoint perfectly satisfactory regulatory bodies and then stand back and allow them to enforce regulations. This appears to have happened in Mongolia and the process is well underway in Samoa, but in Bangladesh and Nepal, a worrying overlap between government and genuinely independent regulation remains. Essential ICT infrastructure and services development can only flourish where the private sector is encouraged to operate communication infrastructure. This is held back by what are effectively unreconstructed state-owned monoliths. In the majority of all DMC countries where telecommunications have been tightly state controlled, there is often a dominant state enterprise that if not 100% state-owned is nevertheless the heir to a monopoly in which the government has a strong interest. In Bangladesh the state-owned BTTB continues to be both a governing body and a competing ISP. A similar situation exists in Nepal where the boundaries between the MOIC and NTA remain blurred. These are examples of how a weak regulatory system can weaken ICT development, and highlights that transparent governance remains essential for developing the sector. 228. What governments need, therefore, is to develop a regulatory atmosphere that is liberal enough to attract the maximum investment from the private sector while ensuring the maximum opportunities for all citizens to benefit from ICT development. To do this, they must put in place a regulatory framework that is fairly and transparently enforced. Laws must protect IPRs and create an environment in which new businesses can quickly develop and, increasingly importantly, endure digital security. 229. Licensing can be used as a source of revenue, e.g., through leasing of radio frequency bands, as well as a means to regulate content. However, in none of the countries visited did governments seem to fully leverage licensing to provide free or subsidized services to the schools and education institutions. 230. Applying a variety of tax breaks was much more commonly found. Concessions on taxes, such as tax rebates and VAT exemptions only work effectively, however, if there is a strong tax base. This is not the case in some of the countries under investigation. Where appropriate, tax breaks can act as an incentive for ICT development, but if used they must be considered part of a long-term fiscal plan and carefully targeted at specific sections of society (sometimes referred to as industry or demographically based schemes). At the same time, the concept that electronic goods are somehow luxuries must be replaced with the thinking that they are essential educational tools. RETA findings suggest that few of the DMCs tax the written word in the form of books, but many heavily tax the elements needed to access knowledge electronically. 231. Special technology development funds have shown to be a powerful tool in some countries and contexts, but run the risk of levying an additional financial burden on the same market that they intend to nurture. Similarly to tax breaks, therefore, such funds need to be 61 clearly targeted, especially in terms of their use, and need to be carefully assessed along with other approaches, such as policies of tax concessions. 232. New technology has bought the need for new legislation and regulation. The overriding purpose of changing law is to clarify rights within a globalized and digitalized world. However, it must be done in a way that balances the contradictory demands of access and knowledge sharing with commercial interest and the reward of intellectual labor. International law provides an acceptable framework on which local legislation can be built, but that legislation should not aim to restrict access to knowledge by any means—including financial. 233. Where ICT policies exist, they tend to include policy statements clearly promoting appropriate legal and regulatory environments (see Chapter IV), but as can be seen, in practice, some governments fall short on implementing and enforcing such a framework. DMC governments should therefore engage in careful review, based on comprehensive discussions with stakeholders from both public and private sectors, of their existing legal and regulatory frameworks. Without such a framework, an enabling environment for ICT in education cannot be fully functional, and opportunities to stimulate appropriate and increased use of ICT for education are lost. VIII. ISSUES OF CONTENT AND INFRASTRUCTURE A. Free and Open Source Software 234. Open Source Software (OSS) refers to software that is liberally licensed to grant the right of users to study, change, and improve its design through the availability of its source code.”78 Under OSS licenses, users are free to modify and to redistribute the source code of a program or application. Not all such software is free of licensing fees. OSS that may be used without paying licensing fees is referred to as free and open source software (FOSS). FOSS is beginning to make inroads into the near monopoly of proprietary desktop software. Examples of open source software are Linux-based operating systems; the Open Office suite for text and spreadsheet processing; Gimp for photo editing; Freemind, a mindmapping software; and Moodle, a learning management information system. 235. Microsoft’s Office suite owns about 98% of the market share for desktop software.79 The company’s success in dominating the market gives it an enormous advantage when it comes to deciding which operating system (Windows or Vista in the case of Microsoft) will be stated as the preference in a country’s ICT education policy. Many education systems do not analyze FOSS alternatives carefully before making this decision. 236. The decision is not a simple one. Often a country’s computer training resources are heavily geared toward Microsoft’s proprietary software and, when the primary objective is to increase computer literacy, there are advantages in using software that is already widely accepted and understood. Furthermore, those who are computer literate often have acquired their skills using proprietary software and may be reluctant to transition to comparable FOSS products. In Mongolia, for example, the e-Resources component of this study found that none of the computers in any of the 12 study schools used any sort of FOSS, whether operating systems or software applications (see paragraph 224 of footnote 2). 78 Quoted from Wikipedia. 2007. Free and Open Source Software. Available: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FOSS. 79 Gartner Inc., quoted in Newmann, Matthew. 2007. EU Asks Microsoft Rivals About Word, Excel Dominance (Update4). In Bloomberg Online News. March 27, 2007. Available: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/ news?pid=20601087&sid=a4GPYA7R4Xy4&refer=home. 62 237. Key in understanding the potential of FOSS is the fact that its development is usually a collaborative effort among volunteer programmers and developers. These programmers are often paid by organizations that benefit directly or indirectly from the resulting software product. Other programmers donate their own time because of their technical interest, to enhance their technical skills or reputation, or because they sell technical services related to the software. In some cases, organizations that use the resulting software product or sell related technical services also help fund the programmers. Early examples of software may be released to the general public, after which groups or individual developers who happen to have an interest in dedicating their time to improving this product may get involved. Such modifications or improvements—e.g., new modules or functions of software—are then made continuously available to the general public. Extensive communities of practice have developed around individual products in this process. 238. While FOSS does not incur software licensing fees, it is not cost free. Human resources may be required to localize or customize the software to meet specific needs, to develop documentation, to offer technical support, to conduct training on the system, or to maintain and administer the software. Since documentation for FOSS in maintained by volunteers, it is often incomplete and outdated. The software development process may also be poorly controlled. Local technical skills in FOSS technologies are often weak in comparison to skills in dominant proprietary technologies. These factors tend to increase costs. 239. FOSS does offer several key benefits, including:80 • Reduced duplication of effort, due to the pooled efforts of like-minded individuals • Building upon the work of others • Better quality control, through collaborative problem solving • Reduced maintenance costs; where there is a vibrant developer base, updates and improvements will happen continuously and purchasing of upgrades is no longer necessary. 240. FOSS solutions also have several long-term benefits. Chief among them is the sharing of development resources, the strengthening of indigenous computing skills (and possibly a home- grown computing industry), the increased likelihood of localization (both of language and content), and the important freedom from being wedded to a single supplier. 241. The question is whether commercial software packages, with their licensing costs—are a better long-term solution. 242. The advantages of established proprietary software packages include: • A well-controlled development process and managed software updates • Formalized technical support • Complementary resources, such as well developed manuals and training resources 80 Adapted from Wong, Kenneth and Phet Sayo. 2004. Free/Open Source Software. A General Introduction. UNDP- APDIP. Kuala Lumpur. Available: http://www.iosn.net/foss/foss-general-primer/foss_primer_current.pdf. 63 • A large, managed base of knowledge for applications, technical support, and training • Availability of high-end enterprise-class products not commonly available from the FOSS community • Interoperability with other systems, especially other commercial software packages. 243. In making decisions about operating systems and software, governments and schools should carefully analyze the advantages and disadvantages of FOSS versus proprietary software. Most of all, software such as ICT equipment packages should be selected with clear educational purpose. In some instances, this may mean choosing a proprietary commercial product. In others, investment in FOSS may be justified by greater flexibility, increased independence, and lower cost. A comprehensive, regionally relevant insight into FOSS has been developed by the UNDP-APDIP. It includes several e-primers, articles and reports.81 B. Localization 1. Overview 244. A broad definition of localization as used by the Localization Industry Standards Association is that “localization is the adaptation of a product to make it appropriate to the target locale (country/region and language) where it will be used and sold.”82 245. “Localization” is defined by three interlinked factors that together enable wider use of ICT in a developing country by presenting information in localized forms. These are (i) the use of local language and character sets for the operation of ICT equipment, particularly for operating systems; (ii) the development of non-Roman scripts in standard software; and (iii) localization of content. Localization of content involves creating learning materials for pupils and teachers that are appropriate to local requirements and the placement of information on the Web in local languages. Sound localization policies will in turn lead to the development of local software industries that produce applications and content useful locally. 246. It is almost impossible for students, teachers, or administrators to use a computer if they are unable to understand the menus, buttons, and instructions that are necessary to perform the simplest tasks. Despite the array of languages widely spoken in the Asia and Pacific region— such as Chinese in its varied forms—English remains dominant both in software creation and Web site content. As long as this situation persists, large sections of societies will be shut out from the benefits that ICT can bring to education. The rural underprivileged are unlikely to be able to benefit from ICT products in English. The vast majority of teachers, let alone pupils, do not read, speak, or write English. Even in the Philippines, where English is widely spoken, there are demands for localization from the grassroots to ensure the widest possible pool of beneficiaries of the advantages of IT development. 247. Localization involves both technical and political decisions. At the simplest level, governments face the dilemma of whether it is more important culturally to develop the home- grown software industry or to train and support ICT development in a second language. 248. Localization takes into account not just language but also cultural conventions and the requirements of the local population to maximize the ICT experience in education and make it 81 Available: http://www.apdip.net. 82 Quoted from the Localisation Industry Standards Association. 2008. Frequently Asked Questions about LISA and the Localization Industry. Available: http://www.lisa.org/info/ faqs.html#localization. 64 both relevant and useful. A fact often overlooked by educators working with ICT is that for many potential ICT users, the interfaces are incomprehensible. It is indicative of the challenges that although Bangla is the primary language of 130 million people in Bangladesh, localization of desktop software in this DMC with a fast-expanding ICT market is not rapid. Nevertheless, if the digital divides between socioeconomic groups within countries are to be breached, governments must realize localization is important to reach the greatest number of citizens and to preserve local identity and culture. Only through government leadership in the localization of education will the full benefits of ICT integration be felt in commerce. 249. The dilemma for government remains in recognizing that languages spoken by small populations are sometimes of great complexity, but the population must nevertheless develop its own ICT industries to retain the country’s national identity. Should policy makers in DMCs adopt proprietary software and English user interfaces, which currently offer the fastest route to computer literacy and ICT awareness, or should they invest in developing a localized ICT industry, localized user interfaces, and localized content? 250. Well-localized content means that users receive messages and documents in their own language and in a manner compatible with local customs and culture. It also means that the software meets the local regulatory requirements.83 The government of China has stated that it wants to create localized hardware and software industries that will avoid dependency on foreign intellectual property rights. Rather than becoming dependent on foreign hardware and software vendors, China is trying to develop its local technology industry, and FOSS fits well into its software needs. 251. As a small demonstration of the diversity of language, below are listed the target countries visited in research for this study, along with their official languages and, where appropriate, the percentage of the population that speaks those languages: • Mongolia: Khalkha Mongol, 90%; Kazakh; Turkic; and Russian. • Samoa: Samoan and English • Nepal: Nepali, 47.8%; Maithali, 12.1%; Bhojpuri, 7.4%; Tharu (Dagaura/Rana), 5.8%; Tamang, 5.1%; Newar, 3.6%; Magar, 3.3%; Awadhi, 2.4%; other, 10%; unspecified, 2.5% • Bangladesh: Bangla (or Bengali) and English 252. In Exhibit 7 below, the majority Cambodian language illustrate the range of difficulties that are faced by DMCs trying to write indigenous software, create operating systems, and increase content on the Web. These challenges are unlikely to be met by commercial interests and therefore rely on dedicated amateur development. 83 In Thailand, the We Say Project: Empowering Language Development Using ICT is developing some new software called “We Say: Words” that is designed to help communities to build a dictionary in their own language. 65 Exhibit 7. What Localization Problems Are DMCs Facing? Some idea of the problems faced in just two DMCs illustrates the overall challenges of language in the Asia and Pacific region. The World Factbook* states that in Papua New Guinea, where Melanesian Pidgin serves as the lingua franca, English is spoken by 1–2% of the population, Motu is spoken in the Papua region, and there are a further 820 indigenous languages spoken (more than one-tenth of the world’s total languages) in various parts of the country. In Cambodia the challenge is not the number of languages (although there are approximately 18 spoken in the country that has a population of 14 million, and many minority ethnic groups speak no Khmer at all) but the complexity of the Khmer language, which is thought to form the basis of both Thai and Lao, and is spoken by 95% of the Cambodian population. Cambodia has on paper an ambitious localization program: developing local content and using open source software with medium-term strategies; promoting Khmer content development for formal, distance, and equivalency education programs; and promoting operating system development in the Khmer language. The decision to develop operating systems in Khmer is a justifiable political one that will require a massive deployment of resources even to get to first base. Khmer script follows complex rules of layout in which consonants may take two different forms (e.g., the small form is placed on a lower line if it immediately follows another consonant). Space is used not to separate words but to indicate a pause in reading (very much like a comma in English). Vowels pronounced after a consonant may appear before; after; above; below; before and after (formed by two glyphs); before and above; below and before and after (formed by two glyphs); before and above; below and above; or under and after the consonant. At present, the definition of the language is so poor that even the number of vowels in the language is not clear. The number of vowels in the official reference (the only available dictionary) is different from the number of vowels taught in schools. The reference dictionary is sorted phonetically, making a systematic collation algorithm following the same order impossible. Words starting with the same consonant may be ordered under different listings depending on how that consonant is pronounced in that word. As in a parallel Lao localization project, an English/Khmer technical dictionary is not available, and the lack of it severely hampers efforts to translate software into the local language. * The World Factbook Web site: US Central Intelligence Agency. Undated. World Factbook. Washington, DC. Available: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook. 2. Localization of Operating Systems 253. The discussion about localization is deeply integrated with the debate about the benefits of open source vs. proprietary software. Commercial companies recoup investment in localization by charging license fees for the localized versions. Countries with poor records of intellectual property rights enforcement are therefore unlikely to be markets in which proprietary software is developed by large corporations. 254. Organized documentation and systematic methodologies are needed for effective localization of software. Currently there is a heavy reliance on voluntary input for development work, which, although admirable, is not a sound basis for developing large amounts of localized content. The Free and Open Source Software Localization Toolkit, sponsored by the Pan-Asia ICT research and development (R&D) grants program, aims to address the localization of software for countries in the Asia and Pacific region that lack the human and technical resources required to undertake these complex tasks. The project is developing a toolkit in layperson’s language to allow countries to develop localization projects without specialized help. It aims to help all countries in the region, but particularly small countries and national minorities 66 that use their own script but do not have the necessary expertise and knowledge to undertake a localization project. 255. For this reason, it is interesting to look at a list of localized operating systems developed by the leader in the market—Microsoft. Exhibit 8 shows the 16 ADB member countries that do not have a localized Microsoft Windows operating system in their own native, official language(s). Two, Mongolia and Samoa, are focus countries of this study, and both are currently developing FOSS solutions. Exhibit 8. Sixteen ADB Member Countries that Do Not Have Computer Operating Systems in Their Official Languages and their Population Country Official, Native Language Population Armenia Armenian 3,221,000 Azerbaijan Azerbaijani (Azeri) 8,500,000 Bhutan Dzongkha 643,000 Cambodia Khmer 14,200,000 Fiji Islands Fijian 850,000 Kiribati I-Kiribati 94,000 Kyrgyz Republic Kyrgyz 5,200,000 Marshall Islands Marshallese 57,400 Mongolia Mongolian 2,590,000 Myanmar Burmese 56,510 Palau Palauan 20,000 Papua New Guinea Melanesian Pidgin 6,100,000 Samoa Samoan 179,200 Solomon Islands Melanesian Pidgin 496,000 Tajikistan Tajik 6,990,000 Tonga Tongan 101,100 Tuvalu Tuvaluan, Kiribati 9,760 Uzbekistan Uzbek 26,700,000 Vanuatu Pidgin (Bislama or Bichelama) 221,500 256. Some languages—particularly those that use Latin or Cyrillic character sets—are easier to localize than others. Mongolia’s stated aim is to support the localization of high-tech information and communications technology.84 The IIREM project in Mongolia was able to develop 15 software titles and applications that were distributed to teachers as a support tool for their subject teaching. Mongolia is fortunate in using the Cyrillic character set and having a moderate percentage of teachers who read a European language—either Russian or English. It seems that languages spoken by fewer than around 10 million people tend to be unattractive to 84 Parliament of Mongolia. 2000. Appendix of Resolution No. 21 Year 2000 of Parliament of Mongolia. Concept of Information and Communication Technology Development of Mongolia by Year 2010. Ulaanbaatar: Government of Mongolia. 67 proprietary software makers. This is probably because the markets are too small, too difficult to access, or too poor—and the three often go together. 257. Despite the fact that English is widely spoken in India, the Ministry of Information Technology—an acknowledged leader in ICT skills and commercial enterprise—is itself localizing software in Hindi, Marahthi, Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, and Sanskrit in order to reach out to those who currently do not benefit from the use of ICT, whether commercially or in school. C. Affordable Computers and Equipment Packages 258. The One Laptop per Child initiative—often referred to as the $100 laptop scheme—is one of several efforts to develop an affordable computer for use in developing countries.85 259. There are government-supported programs in a number of ADB DMCs—notably India (Gyanotkarsh, Gyanjyoti), Malaysia (PC Gemilang), the Philippines (People’s PC Program), Thailand (People’s PC Program), and Viet Nam (Thanh Giong). They have been inspired by Thailand’s successful ICT low-cost PC project in 2003, of which more than 160,000 were sold within the first few months. Sales were helped by an easy-payment plan arranged with local banks by the Thai government. The computers were originally delivered with a Thai version of Linux, as well as a set of other open source applications. Later in 2003, Microsoft announced its intent to offer Windows XP and MS Office at 80% of its cost to join the project.86 User awareness and low-priced sales competition further benefited the market. Consumer purchases appear to drive computer (but not necessarily ICT) awareness. 260. In China, another public private cooperation in direct competition with OLPC—this time between Intel, Haier Computer, and the Chinese government through 32 Chinese higher education institutions—has been developing the Classmate PC pilot project that was tested in Egypt and due for launch within 2007. By May 2007, the cost of Classmate was said to be about $285 per unit, although it was expected that the price would drop to $200 by the end of 2007.87 261. The reality of children’s use of computers is that it remains much rationed even in circumstances where computers are available. It has also been a common observation that boys receive more computer time than girls if access is not carefully monitored. Outcomes from a study in the Nordic countries differentiate this issue a bit more, finding that “girls are more dependent on school as a place to learn ICT skills,” and that where “boys and girls have access to a computer at home, boys more often have their own computer, while the girls more often share it with the rest of the family” (from pages 36 and 67 of footnote 49). The response from a girl participating in a focus group under this RETA’s research in Samoa confirms this finding, stating that while there is a computer in her home, even with Internet access, only her brother has access to it (paragraph 91of footnote 3). Reality in most developing countries, however, is that for the majority of children, computers remain anything but “personal.” 85 Information for Development Program (infoDev). 2006. Alternative Models: Low-Cost Computing Devices for Developing Countries. An infoDev briefing sheet. Washington, DC. A nonexhaustive list can be found at: http://www.infodev.org/devices-list. 86 Chai, Winston. 2003. Microsoft Slashes Windows XP Price to Fend Off Linux. ZDNet.co.uk. 13 June 2003. Available: http://news.zdnet.co.uk/software/0,1000000121,2136259,00.htm 87 Agence France-Presse. 2007. Cheap Laptops Project for Poor Countries Draws Big Competition. The Manila Times. 29 May 2007. Available: http://www.manilatimes.net/national/2007/may/29/yehey/techtimes/ 20070529tech2.html. 68 262. The upgrading of mobile telephones and the gradual merger of functions between the telephone and the traditional computer hold some hope that large numbers of children may eventually be able to access the Internet with equipment that is truly personal. To those carrying out field observations in schools, the syndrome of equipment held in locked cabinets in school classrooms or teachers’ offices is all too familiar and was witnessed in Bangladesh, where the mobile phones provided under the e-Teacher Training component of this RETA were locked up by the principal for security reasons after school hours, which is when the teachers needed them most. Certainly in most DMCs there would need to be a vast change in attitudes among teachers and the government officials who monitor them before children would be allowed to freely use even $150 computers. It will be interesting to see how schools and teachers manage low-cost computers in the countries in which they are to be adopted on a trial basis, and particularly what resources are spent on training teachers and administrators how to manage the computers or support personnel for their maintenance. 263. Because so few large-scale affordable computer projects have been implemented in the region, current data on their success or failure are almost impossible to come by. However, the potential of affordable computers is being studied in Australia especially in rural indigenous communities. Rangan Srikhanta, a treasurer with the United Nations Association of Australia, is liaising with local Australian governments, universities, and the OLPC group to organize local trials in the Northern Territory.88 The Northern Territory Department of Employment, Education, and Training (DEET) is testing two computers to decide whether to go ahead with a trial program. DEET wants to undertake an extended pilot study, in which—to establish the learning benefits and identify the associated teaching strategies and resources required— whole classrooms of students use the laptops for an extended period. The outcome of this initiative may render the first hard data on the impact of affordable computers. 264. There are experiences from several “one-to-one” programs (i.e., one computer per child) in the United States, however, in which entire school districts or schools have invested large amounts of funds into providing every student, or students in selected grades, with an individual laptop. Experiences from such initiatives are varied. In the state of Maine, where laptops were provided to all seventh and eighth graders for several years, there has been no evidence from standardized tests that this program has improved literacy skills. However, such programs seem to improve students’ skills to manage information and to collaborate with each other.89 265. Apart from the educational arguments (or lack thereof), the cost of such “affordable computers” must be put into the context of how much money per child is spent in the Asia and Pacific region. 266. In Exhibit 9 below, figures on the four focus countries’ expenditures per student for 2001- 2004 in primary and secondary education are expressed as a percentage of GDP per capita, provided together with the GDP per capita (in current $) for each of these years, and calculated in USD for the most recent year where all of these figures are available. 88 Asher, Moses. 2007. Western Australia Trials Low-Cost Laptop. The Age Online. 12 January 2007. Available: http://www.theage.com.au/news/laptops--desktops/australia-trials-lowcost- laptop/2007/01/12/1168105153500.html. 89 Warschauer, Mark. 2006. Laptops and Literacy. New York. Reviewed in Camfield, Jon. 2008. A Review of One-to- One Laptop Programs in the USA. Available: http://joncamfield.com/blog/2008/01/a_review_of_one-to- one_laptop.html. 69 Exhibit 9. Expenditure per Student as a Percentage of GDP Per Capita in the Four Focus Countries Country 2001 2002 2003 2004 Primary .. 37.78% .. 15.71% Secondary .. 21.54% .. 14.55% Mongolia GDP/capita $420.00 $456.00 $514.00 $641.00 Educ. exp. / child (primary) / year .. .. .. $100.70 Educ. exp. / child (secondary) / year .. .. .. $93.27 Primary 9.89% 12.1% .. .. Secondary 10.52% .. .. .. Samoa GDP/capita $1,338.00 $1,409.00 $1,685.00 $1,947.00 Educ. exp. / child (primary) / year $132.33 .. .. .. Educ. exp. / child (secondary) / year $140.76 .. .. .. Primary 13.84% 13% 12.43% .. Secondary 13.77% 11.56% 10.47% .. Nepal GDP/capita $223.00 $216.00 $225.00 $253.00 Educ. exp. / child (primary) / year .. .. $27.97 .. Educ. exp. / child (secondary) / year .. .. $23.56 .. Primary .. 7.78% 8.25% 7.03% Secondary .. 12.47% 13.16% 13.47% Bangladesh GDP/capita $357.00 $354.00 $379.00 $407.00 Educ. exp. / child (primary) / year .. .. .. $28.61 Educ. exp. / child (secondary) / year .. .. .. $54.82 Note: The symbol “..” indicates missing data. Source: World Bank. 2007. EdStats Query. World Development Indicators Database. Development Data & Statistics. Available: http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/TOPICS/EXTEDUCATION/ EXTDATASTATISTICS/EXTEDSTATS/0,,contentMDK:21528247~menuPK:3409442~pagePK:64168445~piPK :64168309~theSitePK:3232764,00.html. 267. As can be seen from Exhibit 9, a trend of decreasing public education expenditures per student can be seen for the years between 2001 and 2005. Exceptions are education expenditure in Bangladesh (secondary) and Samoa (primary), where funding was increased, based on most recent available data. Overall, expenditures in absolute terms in all four focus 70 countries are on average below $100 per year. In Nepal, expenditure in 2003 amounted to only about $25 per child is spent in the primary and secondary grades. Expenditures below $100 are typical in many DMCs. Furthermore, in a typical DMC, 80%–90% of public expenditure for education is spend on teacher salaries, leaving only about 10%–20% of the funds for other items, including teaching and learning materials (e.g., ICT) and teacher professional development. Where annual spending is below $100 per child per year, this may at best be $10. 268. In Cambodia, the total annual per capita amount spent on education is less than $10, which leaves less than $1 per year per child for all capital expenditures and connection costs. A 1-month package from Telesurf Cambodia (for an individual) for 500 MB per month at 64 Kbps is $59 and for 20,000 MB at 128 Kbps (the sort of usage that might be necessary for a school using comprehensive ICT facilities) is $549. And the number of areas where a connection is available is very limited; thus, universal school access is a long way off. 269. Another issue over recurring expenses was raised by OLPC plans to send to each school a specialist who would stay for a month helping teachers and students get started. One close look at the practical reality of this would set off alarm bells: A DMC country such as Indonesia has more than 147,000 primary schools spread across 6,000 inhabited islands. Even if such a scheme were logistically possible and the human resources were available, in terms of total cost of computer ownership, sending out the specialists for assignments at schools alone would raise the costs per unit dramatically, even just for minimal teacher training, without even taking into account other soft costs such as electricity or maintenance. Without any such training, support from teaching staff, or curriculum integration, however, hardware will be of limited use. 270. In a 2006 article titled “Splitting the Digital Difference,”90 the Economist pointed out that the whole concept of the affordable computer for use by pupils in the classroom is already anachronistic: In the past, efforts to bring computers to the poor often failed because they were based on Western ideas of how technologies ought to be used or paid for. Governments and foundations doled out money, only to see it poorly spent or pocketed by middlemen. And when market-oriented approaches were tried, they often presumed that PCs were things individuals owned and paid for upfront. By borrowing ideas from mobile phones and taking greater account of local conditions, these schemes have a better chance of making computing accessible 271. The cost of one-to-one schemes needs to be balanced against the potential of school or classroom technology equipment packages. In Mongolia, under activities of this RETA, each school was given an equipment package consisting of one laptop, one projector, and one digital camera—together costing about $4,000 per school, including some software for MS Office self- training and a collection of e-resources for subject-matter teaching. When integrated with targeted teacher professional development and organizational change management support at the school and district level, the package was shown to increase teaching quality. Calculations including additional costs such as consultant’s time, travel, training, and communication expenditures over 1.5 years, amounted to a total cost of about $13,600 per school. The rather moderate equipment package supplied meant that teachers had limited exposure to the technology. Building on the positive outcomes observed, supplying a few more packages per school would be a much more cost-effective strategy than acquiring a computer, however 90 The Economist. 2006. Splitting the Digital Difference. Issue 21 September 2006. In Global Technology Forum. White Papers. 21 September 2006. Available: http://globaltechforum.eiu.com/index.asp?layout= rich_story&doc_id=9409&categoryid=&channelid=&search=africa. 71 affordable, for every child. The research also revealed an unexpected, but rather interesting finding: The rural implementation schools (that is, schools that received the equipment package and participated in the accompanying interventions) had, on average, fewer functioning computers in their computer lab compared to control schools, but the students in these schools still reported more frequent access to the computer lab technology than their peers. This seems to suggest that the ICT interventions, which were primarily focused on teachers and education administrators rather than on students, seemed to have also had a positive effect on students’ access to technology. 272. An alternative school package was piloted in Samoa, under the Samoa SchoolNet pilot project, which provided computer labs, fully equipped with hardware and software, to schools. Each lab had a network of 10 Internet-ready computers in a thin-client configuration,91 two PC servers, a video recorder with still camera function, a data projector, two printers, a fax/scanner, a photocopier, and uninterruptible power supply devices for the servers. The thin-client setup proved to be an appropriate solution for a computer lab, because it allows a computer lab manager to centrally monitor and manage data exchange and activities on each terminal. This configuration in general also leaves less opportunity for individual workstations to be damaged (or rendered entirely nonfunctional) because there are no individual data processing components to begin with. The core of the configuration, the central server, can be safely locked up at all schools. Critical also are the cost factors involved: Adding more terminals to the thin client may be cheaper than buying additional new desktop computers to expand a computer lab, and ensures a certain standardization that in turn facilitates hardware maintenance and servicing. The cost of equipment and installation (plus some furniture and connectivity setup) at each school was estimated as $35,000–$40,000. Adding all other costs to implement the project and provide initial training for teachers and school administrators resulted in an estimated $150,000 per school. Early findings on the impact of this package on education quality, however, did not indicate any effect on improving teaching and learning so far. Future evaluations may yield another picture, however. 273. At the same time, ICT in education is much more than children’s access to computers. Two lessons learned from research in the region are (i) the astonishing rates of acquisition of mobile phones and (ii) the new and innovative uses to which they are being put. Worldwide, there are about 2.8 billion mobile phones in use and approximately 1.6 million new phones are being added every day.92 One focus country, Bangladesh, featured an annual growth in subscribers from 2006 to 2007 of over 58%,93 and a compound annual growth rate of over 105% (between 2001 and 2006). But in terms of the potential for education, the numbers are less important than the diversity of new users, reaching even to some poorer segments of society. 274. From connecting traders who are establishing market prices to making medical diagnoses by telephone, Bangladeshis are finding new uses for mobile phone technology that were never imagined by the suppliers, with the latest mobile phone being advertised as being “What computers will become.” The convergence of technology, functionality, and design, 91 A thin-client setup features central servers on which all applications and data are hosted, while the individual (student) terminals, featuring a monitor, keyboard, and mouse, are directly connected to these servers for any significant data processing. This way, a local area network (LAN) is created among the computers involved. 92 See The Economist. 2007. A World of Connections. In Special Report on Telecoms. Vol. 383. Issue 8526. 28. April 2007. 93 See Agence France-Presse. 2008. Bangladesh Mobile Phone Users Soar 58 Percent in 2007: Regulator. Yahoo News Online. Dhaka. Available: http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/afp/080123/world/ bangladesh_telecom_economy_1. 72 combined with innovative use in developing countries, calls into question the Western assumption that the personal laptop is the appropriate platform for ICT in education. 275. This RETA’s e-Teacher Training component in Bangladesh focused on using smartphones94 to support in-service continuing professional development via distance learning. The equipment package of 13 smartphones, one laptop, and phone service for all phones for 2 months incurred a total cost of $7,673.06. This equipment was distributed to teachers in 10 schools and one teacher training center, reaching a total of 20 teachers and five teacher trainers, and also involved 10 head teachers plus one training coordinator and one principal from the teacher training center. A rough “per school” estimate yields an equipment package cost of $697.55 per institution. Study findings showed that participants were satisfied overall with the learning experience, and strongly preferred training that allowed them to remain in their homes and classrooms. Furthermore, the trainees, when compared with a control group of trainees who completed the face-to-face training at the same time, demonstrated equivalent content-knowledge gains based on pre- and post-training scores. 276. In another example in the area of teacher training, the RETA work in Nepal focused on using video to support the work of mobile teacher training teams in rural and remote areas of the country. Three such teams were provided a laptop and a digital video recorder each (as well as training on basic operation and pedagogical use of the equipment). That equipment package cost about $2,779 per team. After 2.5 months of use, participants reported improved content retention through ability to watch lessons more than once, improved teaching practices through ability to review and self-identify weaknesses, and increased self-confidence as a result of being able to watch themselves performing in front of a class. D. Connectivity 1. Overview 277. In general, “connectivity” as investigated in this study is restricted by three elements: (i) infrastructure, (ii) cost, and (iii) government licensing policy. In turn, these elements affect (i) education administration, (ii) teacher use (supporting teachers in lesson preparation and professional development), and (iii) pupil use. 278. Connections were available in all the ministries of education of the focus countries at the time of the study, but often only for high-ranking individuals. Frequently it was not clear which budget was used to pay connection charges, so equipment was operable but unused (e.g., in Nepal). In Bangladesh, the irregular supply of power had an effect on the use of equipment within the Ministry of Education and academic institutions. Although locally interconnected networks are desirable, they are limited and, with the exception of Mongolia, there was not a culture of Internet and e-mail use for internal or external communication. Equipment tended to be allocated according to status rather than need. This was most apparent in one country under investigation, Cambodia, where the younger ministry staff who had computer skills only had use of computers in their role as secretaries to higher management. This finding is significant because it shows that organizational culture and the lack of ICT awareness can affect broader planning for education: A civil servant who does not make use of ICT is less likely to be aware of the possibilities or to have the vision necessary to incorporate ICT into education sector plans. This behavior also demonstrates in practical terms the confusion in the minds of some 94 A smartphone is defined as a mobile cellular telephone that is built with many of the same functions as a handheld computer, i.e., e-mail, photo and video capture, document viewing, Web browsing, etc. 73 planners between informatics and ICT (see Section V.B, Perceptions and Misconceptions of ICT in Education in this report). 279. For a teacher to fully use the benefits ICT can offer education, constant access to information and the capability to communicate just-in-time are critical. Although professional development can be complemented by self-study lessons on CDs without access to communications networks, this format denies teachers opportunities for structured professional exchange and collaborative capacity building. In Nepal, teacher training programs lost a great deal of their potential impact because when teachers returned to their villages, they ceased to receive professional support. As the digital divide grows within rather than between countries, governments have a strong responsibility to adopt policies and to plan ICT in such a way that its benefits are available to all. 280. There are degrees of connectivity and, because of the huge cost implications involved, it is important to distinguish between permanent and on-demand connectivity. This RETA’s research, especially in Mongolia, showed that permanent connectivity, while desirable, is not a requirement to effectively leverage ICT to enhance teaching and learning. There is, therefore, an opportunity for governments to cross-subsidize the social sector to provide connectivity to some extent, at least, even if it is shared by a variety of actors in one location. In difficult geographic conditions, getting the physical connection to such a location or school is a challenge, however. Maintaining electrical supply is a second consideration. 281. As technology progresses, it is becoming more obvious that Internet connectivity is increasingly available at affordable prices for urban dwellers regardless of country but remains sparse and comparatively expensive for the rural poor. Opportunities for connection vary greatly in the Asia and Pacific region, and this is not simply because three of the five most populous countries in the world (China, India, and Indonesia, representing 41% of the world population) are within the region. Large DMCs obviously face large challenges in terms of the digital divide between rural and urban communities, but in numbers alone, it should be noted that the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) estimates that more than half the population of the world will be living in cities by the end of 200895 and the Asia and Pacific region is more urbanized than others. The region also has made greater strides in connecting the rural population than other regions. In terms of village connectivity, of the top 10 ranked developing countries, seven are within the region. 282. The People’s Republic of China and Indonesia, which ranked first and third respectively in 2002 population (see Exhibit 10 below), both have ambitious programs to ensure at least telephone coverage in every village by the year 2010. In Indonesia, the DESA berDering 2010 program intends to connect by 2010 43,000 villages out of a total of 72,000 that did not have telephone access in 2005. In China, the Cun Cun Tong (Village Connected Project) aims to use a public-private partnership (PPP) to promote access in the 70,000 villages that, in 2004, were not connected. The partnership assigned unconnected villages in 31 provinces to six basic telecom operators. These operators self-financed and completed the coverage of the provinces. By the end of 2005, 50,000 of the 70,000 were at least able to make dial-up connections. 95 United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). 2007. State of the World Population 2007: Unleashing the Potential of Urban Growth. New York. Available: http://www.unfpa.org/swp/2007/presskit/pdf/sowp2007_eng.pdf. 74 Exhibit 10. Village Connectivity: Top 10 Developing Countries by Rural Population96 Villages with fixed villages with fixed Rural Population Rural Population Mobile population Average village (millions) 2002 (percent) 2002 (millions) 2002 coverage (thousands) (thousands) (percent) Population population Number of Number of telephone telephone (percent) Country villages 2003 Rank Estimated Total Rural 1 China 1,295 62 803 930 867 772 83 73 56 2 India 1,050 72 756 607 1,242 468 77 41 19 3 Indonesia 217 56 122 69 1,745 27 39 85 73 4 Bangladesh 144 76 109 86 1,272 68 79 50 34 5 Pakistan 150 66 99 125 795 12 10 41 11 6 Nigeria 121 54 65 90 727 .. .. 43 .. 7 Vietnam 80 75 60 9 6,780 9 98 29 6 8 Ethiopia 69 85 59 10 5,837 1 11 .. .. 9 Thailand 62 68 42 69 614 55 80 92 88 Egypt, Rep. 10 71 58 41 5 8,826 1 21 98 97 of Top 10 3,259 66 2,156 2,000 1,079 1,412 71 58 Note 1: Estimated mobile rural population coverage assumes that all inhabitants in urban areas are already covered. It is derived by subtracting the percentage of the population in urban areas from the overall percentage of the population covered by mobile telephony Note 2: The symbol “..” indicates missing data. Sources: World Bank (population, mobile population coverage), UNDP (rural population), and the following national sources: Bangladesh: Bari 2004, Minges and Simkhada 2002; China: NBS 2003; Egypt: American Chamber 2005, Egypt State 1995; Ethiopia: Library of Congress 1991. Villages with telephone derived from rural call stations: India: Minges and Simkhada 2002; Indonesia: DGT 2002; Pakistan: Minges and Simkhada 2002; Nigeria: CDC 1991; Thailand: NSO 1999; Vietnam: Anh 2002, VNPT 2004. 283. While connectivity from large cities is generally good, with adequate speeds to allow satisfactory browsing, this is not so in rural settings, where connections are often both unstable and slow. These two factors can mean that the simple act of downloading e-mail is expensive, and updating any Internet security software is so costly as to be prohibitive. As stated in a UNESCO publication for the World Summit on the Information Society, 97 there is no doubt that the effective use of ICTs is hampered by low accessibility, low connectivity, lack of maintenance training and high infrastructure costs. All too often, state monopolies charge exorbitant prices for the use of bandwidths. But none of these barriers are insurmountable so long as informed and coordinated policy choices are made at the national, regional and international levels. 96 The World Bank. 2006. 2006 Information and Communications for Development Global Trends and Policies. Washington, DC. 97 Quoted from Guttman, Cynthia. 2003. Education in and for the Information Society. Paris. 63. Available: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0013/001355/135528e.pdf. 75 2. Cost of Connectivity 284. Clearly one of the major contributors to the horizontal digital divide—the digital divide between the affluent and the poor within a country—is the cost of connectivity. In this matter, each country’s government has a leading role to play in promoting school connectivity. Whether the Internet providers are competitive private sector or public monopolies and the connections are dial-up, leased line, cable, wireless, satellite, or asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL). All Internet providers are subject to licensing and government regulation, and governments can manipulate pricing to provide cross-subsidies where necessary. 285. Exhibit 11 below demonstrates not only how difficult it is to compare connectivity costs between countries but also how the charges paid in the DMCs are disproportionately high compared to those in the developed world. Exhibit 11. Anomalies: Cost vs. Connectivity The costs of communications, given a sufficient capacity “pipe” into a country, are often irrational in the developing world. Taking into consideration such input variables as labor costs, municipal restrictions and procedures, rights of way, interagency coordination, and the prices of raw materials—such as copper or fiber-optic lines—being the same everywhere, why would a leased 64 kb [kilobits] line cost $5,000 a month in the Fiji Islands or Manila and more elsewhere, while the same circuit may cost $450 or less in New York, Portland, or Vancouver, where municipal, utility right-of-way, and labor costs are many times higher? This conundrum affects costs as well as performance. For instance, an “always on,” reliable Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) connection at 1.5 megabits [per second] in Vancouver is offered by the competing ISPs Telus, Shaw, and Novus at the equivalent of less than $24 a month. In Manila, with a similar infrastructure capability, ePLDT, an affiliate of Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT), offers an Internet connection that can deliver up to 128 kilobits downstream (toward the subscriber), and up to 64 Kbps upstream, for an installation fee equivalent to $40 and a monthly fee equivalent to $50. This connection capacity is less than 1/10th that of real ADSL in North America, at more than double the cost, and is far less reliable because service interruptions in Manila are frequent, with no refunds for time out. Using a teacher’s salary as a proxy for affordability, a senior Filipino teacher earning about 15,000 [Philippines] pesos [ca. $371.75] a month, this connection would represent 17% of his or her gross monthly income. If we were to adjust the price for North American ADSL connection speed—since the Philippine infrastructure is technically capable of delivering it—by simply scaling up price on a linear basis, we arrive at an equivalent cost of say 25,000 pesos per month [ca. $619.58], or 166% of the teacher’s monthly income. A North American teacher earns about $5,000 a month; thus the real high- capacity ADSL connection will cost her or him 0.5% of monthly salary. This comparison applies to most developing countries in the Asia-Pacific region. In many cases, the obvious problems with performance and affordability are even more striking. Source: Quoted from page 68 of footnote 8. 286. In theory, the cost of access to information should be similar in many countries. Equipment, labor, and international connectivity costs are all equivalent. Two exceptions are exemplified by two of the focus countries: Mongolia and Samoa. They face the particular cost problems of being a landlocked country and a remote island respectively. For landlocked or remote island countries, satellite connections are obligatory (if they are not to be totally dependent on neighboring countries) and these are currently expensive. Internally, both Nepal and Mongolia have the basis of a fishbone fiber-optic network, but both countries, being landlocked, have to connect internationally through India and via Russia, respectively, to Europe. 76 3. Government Policy for Increasing Connectivity 287. In terms of education, the government’s role in selling licenses could provide an opportunity for encouraging connectivity for schools. DMCs follow different paths in promoting network deployment and some have included universal service obligations in the conditions of licensing. If it is acceptable for the government of Nepal or Samoa to levy a charge on Internet activity for the support of rural connections, why should the licensing system not be used to make private enterprise share the cost of connecting schools? In the long term, the commercial enterprise will make profits from rural connections, but if the lucrative urban allocations were to come with licensing conditions that obliged IT contractors to connect schools, and perhaps even to hold down subscription costs, progress would be more rapid. While such cross-subsidies are often not encouraged by donors, they could be implemented on a diminishing scale so that at least initial connection is accelerated. The problem in DMCs is persuading country policy makers that this sort of creative licensing can be adopted within their regulatory frameworks. 288. Governments, by nature of the fact that they are involved in all sectors of ICT, also have the option of reducing start-up risk to connecting schools to the Internet. In rural areas, health, agriculture, and local government, as well as schools, need broadband Internet connectivity both to communicate quickly and to be able to access large volumes of data. By buying Internet capacity in bulk, government can reduce costs to the individual sectors as well as stimulate the expansion of Internet connections by reducing risk to the provider. This requires a cooperative interdepartmental effort and a shared vision that will improve “connectivity and universal, ubiquitous, equitable, non-discriminatory and affordable access to, and use of, ICTs … to be achieved by 2015” that are indicative of the targets set out in the Geneva Plan of Action by Partnerships for Education (PfE).98 289. This is not to say that government choices in the realm of connectivity are easy. In areas of difficult access where infrastructure is disproportionately expensive based on the numbers it will serve, government can be faced with the dilemma of whether to delay the introduction of education development programs because they cannot be ubiquitously implemented or whether to go ahead in those areas—usually urban—where the infrastructure already exists and thereby increase the digital divide between urban and rural societies within the country. To this question, there is no clear or universal answer. 4. Connectivity in Focus Countries 290. Mongolia. The Information Communication Technology Authority of Mongolia has 16 targets, seven of which concern aspects of connectivity. Even those that are not specifically for education have a clear impact on ICT in education. These seven are: 1) Affordable Internet 2) Internet access for everyone 3) E-mail for everyone 4) Web sites for each organization 98 PfE is a collaboration among governments, the private sector, international organizations, and donors to help deliver effective private sector contributions to meet the goal of providing Education for All by 2015. The partnership was signed between UNESCO and the World Economic Forum in Davos in January 2007. Quoted from WSIS. 2005. Tunis Agenda For The Information Society. 13. Available: http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/58161.pdf 77 5) Fiber-optic connections to every home 6) One home—one PC 7) Mobile phone for every herdsman. 291. The United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID’s) Last Mile Initiative99 observed of Mongolia that it is encouraging to note that over the last decade there has been considerable focus by both the public and private sectors in addressing this situation. And this focus has not just been on telecommunications, but also the broader Information and Communications Technology (ICT) arena. For nearly a decade now, the country’s focus on ICT has been guided by a national ICT Vision 2010.100 292. At the same time, the demography of Mongolia amplifies the challenge of rural connectivity for schools. As noted earlier, this country has the lowest population density in the world (see also Exhibit 2).101 The low density, coupled with lack of continuous electricity, leads to small markets and limited demand for ICT in rural locations. These are obstacles enough to make the provision of connections marginal, and therefore cross-sector and interdepartmental cooperation essential. Initiatives in the private sector—particularly in banking in the case of Mongolia102—and both agriculture and health need to be targeted for partnership by the Ministry of Education. Cable optic, wireless, and satellite antenna and landlines are all being investigated as means of increasing connectivity in rural areas; however, on the whole, villages still are not connected (some not even to the central power network). Leapfrogging technologies must be considered. 293. In 2006, connection cost options for infrastructure for Internet connection in Mongolia were: • Cable optic: $3,000–$4,000 per km • Leased line: $50 for up to 500 meters; $0.20 for each additional meter/per month • Satellite antenna; $1,400 for one antenna per month • Very small aperture terminal (VSAT) antenna: $13,000 (approximately) to purchase the equipment, then $300 per month. 294. With costs at this level, it is clear that schools cannot afford exclusive connectivity. Resources must be shared. 99 The Last Mile Initiative is a global program to expand the access of the rural poor to communications. It was launched in April 2004 by USAID to spur increases in productivity and transform the develop prospects of farmers, small business, new start-ups, and other organizations in rural areas that were underserved by the world’s major voice and data telecommunications networks. 100 Owen, Darrell. 2005. Mongolia: Last Mile Initiative. Unpublished paper. Summary article available here: http://cbdd.wsu.edu/blog/pdf/Mongolia.pdf. 101 Mongolia has 1.1 people/km2 in contrast to Singapore’s 6,386 people/km2. 102 The Khan Bank–Agricultural Bank of Mongolia has played an active part in assisting schools in villages where the bank has branches by allowing the schools to use connections when the bank branch is not. This has met with security problems, and it also turns out that both the bank and the school want connections at the same time of day. 78 295. Samoa. Samoa was the focus country where connectivity was particularly relevant to the ICT initiative under investigation by this RETA. The Samoa SchoolNet and Community Access Pilot program that was the focal point of the RETA country study exemplified the difficulties of connectivity on a small Pacific island and also highlighted the problems of a poorly regulated telecommunications sector. Restrictive and monopolistic ICT legislation was identified as a major factor in retarding implementation of this ADB-funded project. When the project began, there was only one major telecommunications company in the country and the available communications infrastructure was limited. Limitations and inflexibility on the side of the provider required the project to redesign its connectivity model, which was based on earlier assurances for services available that did not come forth (see pages 2 and 3 of footnote 75). Several connectivity models were evaluated. The reform of the telecommunication sector then opened new opportunities. At the end, because connectivity for the pilot project sites could only be designed in one way, the technology—rather than the educational demand—dictated the design. 296. Of the five schools selected for the pilot and linked to the network, only two could be linked by wireless connections. The initial design for a full wireless network of schools had to be abandoned in the light of high installation and monthly costs associated with broadband. The monopolistic position of the state supplier meant not only delays in the implementation but also no possibility of negotiation over price, which was simply not viable. Eventually a low-cost dial- up link was inaugurated by the ISP and the supplier did allow a low-cost number for connection, but the overall package was less than satisfactory. 297. While basic phone services have connected most villages on the islands, the service is not stable and is subject to problems during wet and stormy weather. This instability is yet another example of why dial-up services do not solve the within-country digital divide. Combine these with an erratic power supply and the necessity for schools to have an alternative form of connection becomes apparent. 298. The Draft Samoa National Strategic Plan for ICT 2004–2009 suggested that the digital divide within the country was widening and included the statement,103 During the consultations, it was evident that one of the key issues of access to ICT is affordability of new technologies and applications of ICT and safety of its use. In other words, the digital divide does exist in Samoa and will get wider if not addressed immediately. 299. The consultations mentioned took place during 2003 and 2004. At the same time, by 2007, plans to, e.g., provide “sustainable rural connectivity” (from page xiv of footnote 103) have not yet materialized. However, an independent regulator has recently been appointed and competition in the mobile phone sector has already had a significant impact in reducing call charges for both fixed and mobile users. 300. There are also other barriers to connectivity. The SchoolNet management team found that highly regulated airspace and the blocking of the free spectrum range of communication channels, together with licensing issues—such as these stringent rules of ISPs—were obstacles to connectivity. One local company that had several wireless point-to-point links in operation for one government department was not granted more such links owing to government regulation. According to the country manager of Computer Services Ltd. (CSL), there is proposed 103 Government of Samoa. Undated. Samoa National Strategic Plan for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) 2004-2009. Draft. xiii. 79 legislation before Parliament that aims to change this, but the fact remains that the Samoan government presides over a relatively inflexible regulatory system. 301. There are also missed opportunities: In the aftermath of Tropical Cyclone Heta, which struck Samoa in early January 2004, the World Bank spent $5 million to rehabilitate the roads on the two main islands of Sava and Upolu104 but there was no provision for laying optic cable. Had this been done, the vast majority of the communities in Samoa would have been within a short distance of a powerful vehicle for ICT connectivity. Where intersector cooperation is poor, opportunities are missed, an issue that is discussed above in Chapter VI, Issues of Planning on ICT in Education. 302. Nepal. Connectivity remains the largest inhibitor of the development of ICT in education in Nepal. The geography of the country means that despite innovative efforts that are being made by small NGOs to connect rural villages, the reality is that the Internet is only available in major urban areas. Telephone and Internet connections are still priced beyond the reach and imagination of larger sections of society. Unusually, Nepal Telecoms does exercise a policy of no distance-based charge through landlines, so connectivity would be the same price in remote rural areas as in the cities, if it existed. However, even satellite and wireless technology is defeated by the deep Nepalese valleys and the dearth of electricity. 303. Bangladesh. Bangladesh is geographically much less of a challenge to the introduction of universal connectivity than any of the other focus countries (for a geographical description, see Exhibit 2 above). The country is undergoing a great boom in mobile coverage. However, the essential requirements for ICT connectivity are not in place. Bangladesh’s flat geography does, however, make the country particularly suitable for line-of-sight wireless connection, which would be a possibility for school connections. Teachers might best be contacted by mobile telephones, but 3G has yet to be licensed so the current mobile system cannot relay an adequate amount of data. 304. There are many social factors working against universal school connectivity in Bangladesh. Representatives interviewed from one NGO identified the main challenges as infrastructure and teachers’ attitudes. The latter are affected by the fact that all teachers supplement their incomes with private tuition and they feel that they will lose tuition fees if children can find their own study materials. 305. In terms of policy making, the system reflects a patchwork of rather uncoordinated initiatives and actors. Each administration has developed or invented a new body to control the telecommunications sector. There are three main players making ICT policy in Bangladesh: (i) the Bangladesh Computer Council (BCC), (ii) the Support to ICT Taskforce (SICT) that is situated within the planning ministry, and (iii) the ICT taskforce itself. The BCC, which was formed by act of Parliament, is named as the ICT agency in Bangladesh. It reports to the Science and ICT Ministry. In addition, an ICT taskforce was formed to develop policy. This taskforce has representation from civil society, industry, academia, and administrative government. It has only met eight times in the past 9 years and has formed further committees: the committee on ICT, which reports to a Secretary in the Prime Minister’s office; and the committee on government, which reports to the Cabinet Secretary. The BCC is not represented on either of these committees. 306. The BCC has its own budget of 1 billion taka ($14.5 million) and is capable of approving projects but has no assessment capacity in matters such as cost effectiveness, and no history 104 There is 403 km of coastline. 80 of thinking through project design problems. Meanwhile there is the SICT, which is situated in the planning ministry and overlaps with the BCC in terms of implementation. 307. Given the difficulties of making decisions within this system, UNDP decided to create another agency within the Prime Minister’s office (PMO). The PMO has a mandate for all cross- cutting agencies. This new agency has been named the e-Government Unit. It is deliberately low profile and its purpose is to give access to information within the government. It is further charged with developing the e-vision for Bangladesh. UNDP supports it with six international technical advisors who supply the knowledge needed for the Unit to make decisions. The Unit tries to determine what else is needed to develop ICT in Bangladesh and to undertake risk assessment. It is supposed to respond to supply- and demand-driven ideas. It is currently concerned with building a Bangla text-to-speech capacity to enable illiterate citizens to use ICT. 308. The current thinking seems to be to respond to the very real demand for telecenters, to use them as a catalyst for demand for ICT, and to establish educational demand via the telecenters and the schools. Study findings indicate that ICT for education is not at the top of Bangladesh policy makers’ agendas.105 E. Content and Infrastructure Issues: Summary and Conclusions 309. In regard to FOSS, there can be no regional or universal answer to the open source vs. licensed software debate. It has no either/or solution. DMCs must weigh a number of factors in their planning to ensure that they are not locked in to one solution that may be impossible to reverse in the future. If they do so, they may lose great advantages in localization of software and content. Most students, not only in the developing countries, but worldwide, have their first experiences in learning with licensed software. The fact that 98% of personal computers run on one platform speaks for itself. At the same time, the barriers between licensed and open source software are breaking down fast—both sides realizing that the IT systems of the future will need to be more catholic. 310. Concerning localization, it is often grossly underestimated how the lack of localization limits access to information in developing countries. In the end, the localization of software and language are indivisible and necessary to reap the full benefits of ICT development. As was stated in a APDIP publication of 2006,106 The localization of an application is an important social issue and has significant impact on local users. It is important to make it possible for users to work on a computer, using their local language, without having to learn English. As a spin-off to this, the availability of software in the users’ native languages is changing their perception of their own languages; they now see them as modern and worthy of using and preserving. 311. This chapter also addressed affordable computer schemes, as they are currently being developed and implemented. It highlights that they have been critical in promoting and stimulating R&D into alternatives to high-priced personal computers and laptops. For many schools, school districts, or education systems at large, they may provide a possible way to nurture and foster ICT development and use ICT to improve access and quality of education, 105 It should be pointed out that even the PMO's position is anomalous in the current situation of an interim government. 106 Quoted from Hoe, Nah Soo. 2006. Potential of Free and Open Source Software for Sustainable Human Development: A Compilation of Case Studies from Across the World. APDIP. Bangkok. 38. Available: http://www.apdip.net/publications/ict4d/BreakingBarriers.pdf. 81 while being sensitive to tight budgets. However one-computer-per-child schemes may, even at very reasonable unit costs, be way beyond the possibilities of a DMC, whose average per-child expenditures in education may be well below $100 per year, of which only some 10% may be available for such material expenditures. 312. In this context, equipment packages that target teachers and administrators, either in schools or in teacher training institutions, may be more appropriate to optimize use of ICT for education. More often than not, ICT in education initiatives have targeted teachers in schools— or schools in general. Few initiatives could be identified that focused on teacher training institutions, with the specific aim of using ICT to improve teaching quality. Needed are both positive teacher attitudes toward ICT, and sound knowledge and skills in integrating ICT with classroom teaching in pedagogically appropriate ways and in designing student-centered learning opportunities for students. As a result, teacher training and teacher training institutions should be given more consideration in regard to planning ICT in education initiatives and equipment packages 313. It is also important to actually learn from lessons learned on what works, what does not, and under what circumstances. Computer labs, which exist in most Mongolian schools, including the control schools that participated in the RETA e-Resource component, clearly did not yield similar results as the very moderate, but mobile package provided under IIREM and this RETA. Furthermore, the use of battery-powered laptops was more appropriate given the fact that in all of the participating rural schools in the study, electricity supply was limited to just a few hours per day, mostly outside school hours, which significantly limits the value of computer rooms to regularly enhance subject-matter teaching. 314. Finally, a technology such as video that may already be “old” from the perspective of developed countries may prove to be much more appropriate than fancy or modern technology gadgets. This stresses one of the earlier conclusions of this study: the need for contextualization of ICT in education initiatives and in careful consideration of social, geographical, and economic circumstances of each DMC (see Chapter III, Relevant Contextual Aspects in Study Countries). 315. In regard to connectivity, evidence from the region clearly demonstrates that, as is the case of Mongolia, a clear strategy must be adopted that addresses questions of infrastructure and cost in order to make universal ubiquitous connectivity a possibility. Connectivity is a clear example where integrated planning is crucial (see Chapter VI, Issues of Planning on ICT in Education), because it will ultimately involve a variety of actors, even outside of education. A clear strategy is necessary, at the national level, that must be combined with a strong regulatory framework that adapts to both public and private commercial demands. 316. It is also clear that education cannot compete with other sectors such as health and agriculture, but rather must be a partner in identifying ways of extending connectivity to rural and remote populations. ICT integration must be designed in such a way that it breaks down the disparity between urban and rural connectivity. As soon as possible, all schools should be connected by the highest capacity link that is available given their geographical circumstances. In the meantime, there is no reason why schools should not become the focal points around which the community bases its ICT response. Even where high demand for Internet connections does not yet exist, integrating ICT into schools and possibly leveraging school infrastructure to provide computer training to community members (as had been planned under the Samoa SchoolNet pilot project) can generate awareness about ICT in communities and stimulate demand—especially among those who normally would be considered to fall below the internal digital dividing line. 82 317. Governments must not only seize the initiative in making policy but also create the regulatory and legal circumstances that nurture the development of ICT as a whole. As has been shown in the Cun Cun Tong initiative in China, they can partner with private enterprise through creative licensing. Above all, to improve connectivity, governments must take practical measures to encourage and fund the development of infrastructure that will allow education establishments to connect to the World Wide Web, if the full potential of ICT is to be used for learning and teaching. IX. ISSUES OF INSTITUTIONAL STRUCTURES AND PARTNERSHIPS A. Technology Parks 318. In the middle-income and graduated DMCs, technology parks have become a popular lever that governments use effectively to develop the IT industry. These are not mere tax havens but draw on the advantages of concentrating IT research in one locality. Malaysia and Singapore have both used them effectively for more than 10 years. The theory is that technology parks should be established with all necessary facilities in strategic locations. Entrepreneurs, both local and overseas, are then given space at a very low rent in the hope that proximity will help innovation. 319. However, in the DMCs, replication has not always been successful. In Bangladesh in 2006, it was noted by the FBCCI (page 23 of footnote 69) that despite repeated assurances from the Government since 1997 about “IT Park,” “IT Village,” “High-Tech Park,” not much progress has been made over the last 4 years. The only achievement so far is allocation of some land at Mohakhali for ‘IT Village,’ and another at Kaliakoir for “High-Tech Park.” 320. Other focus countries are also embracing the IT park concept. Mongolia has already gone further than Bangladesh. In order to support information technology business in the country, the National Information Technology Park (NITP) was established in 2002. The NITP received $1 million from the Government of the Republic of Korea through the Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) as grant aid, and the Government of Mongolia supplied $150,000. The main functions of the NITP are to: • Centralize national IT capacity and create favorable environment for IT business • Provide incubation services for IT start-up companies engaged in software development • Promote IT outsourcing. NITP is capable of incubating up to 21 companies at a time, for an incubation period of up to 2 years, and will provide rent-free office space, discounted rates on Internet services, shared facilities, and consulting services. 321. The government of Nepal is currently constructing an IT park that it hopes will serve as a catalyst to develop the country’s IT sector by offering a business environment with what it described as “a similar genetic mix of conducive policy and regulatory regime as well as state- 83 of-the-art communications infrastructure.”107 The IT park is to be built 30 km outside Kathmandu in the Kavre Palanchowk district. Its organization and development are under the auspices of the High-Level Commission for Information Technology and the objectives are: • Participation of the private sector in infrastructure development • Infrastructure development • Human resources development • Dissemination of IT • Promotion of e-commerce. 322. Another example for the role of technology parks in the stimulation of ICT development in general comes from Kazakhstan, Central Asia, where a proposal for an IT park outside the capital specifically mentions its function in encouraging multinational ICT companies to invest in R&D and production facilities. According to this proposal, the park will also be declared a special economic zone. In this way, it will be exempt from customs duties on imported inputs, from the value-added tax (VAT), and from land and property taxes. There are hopes that these measures will help overcome some of the challenges Kazakhstan faces, such as a lack of human resources in the IT field and high transportation costs.108 323. During the data collection for this study, no further resources or investigations into the impact of IT parks on the development of ICT within education in the region could be found. However, the park in Ulaanbaatar houses a large number of small and medium enterprises and its central location gives it advantages for holding symposia and conferences. It also is close to institutions of research and higher education, as well as the center of concentration of human resources. Whether such an institution outside the center of the capital, removed from access to local IT graduates and other R&D institutions—such as is proposed for Nepal—would have the same impact remains questionable. Until there is empirical research that supplies data on the financial impact of such ventures, it is hard to assess their cost effectiveness. 324. Further issues to consider may be the following, expressed in relation to the plans in Kazakhstan, mentioned above (page 10 of footnote 108), MOUs [Memoranda of Understanding; with multinational companies] cost nothing, but translating them into action can cost a very large slice of a nation’s scarce resources. Tax breaks and zero customs duties may not be sufficient to offset geographical isolation, high transportation costs and lack of a local market [which is the case in several Central Asian economies, this instance is focusing on], especially when there are many developing economies offering similar packages. Small economies are usually users rather than developers of ICTs, and the scale of ICT production that can thrive in small markets usually involves small clusters of companies with very low sunk costs, for example, developers of local content for mobile phones, or animation for local Web servers or TV. Great caution needs to be 107 High-Level Commission for Information Technology (HLC-IT) [Nepal]. Available: http://www.hlcit.gov.np/itpark.php. 108 Ure, John. 2005. ICT Sector Development in Five Central Asian Economies: A Policy Framework for Effective Investment Promotion and Facilitation. Report prepared for the International Conference on Strengthening Regional Cooperation for Managing Globalization, Moscow. UNESCO. Available: http://www.trp.hku.hk/papers/2005/report_oct_091005.pdf. 84 used before a commitment of scarce resources, as well as organized research and consultations with ICT companies who are all too willing to sign MOUs. B. Centers of Excellence 325. Centers of excellence can be understood as knowledge hubs, in that they often function as innovators or developers of human resources capacity, new practices and applications. In the context of this RETA, they were investigated in their role as promoters and developers of the human resources necessary to nurture the appropriate use of ICT in education. Another aspect to consider is their success in transferring innovative ideas and practices to teachers and schools. Three of the focus DMCs of this RETA have instituted (or planned) centers of excellence: Mongolia, Samoa, and Bangladesh. In Samoa and Mongolia, the government supports institution-based centers of excellence with extra financing. These are the National University of Samoa (NUS) and the Mongolian University of Science and Technology (MUST), which has been tied to the development of its NITP to act as a hothouse for national ICT development (see the previous section of this report). 326. By 2003, an eLearning center had been established with donor support at MUST, with the aim to promote distance education and develop content. Since then, MUST has developed dozens of courses and courseware for distance learning. Furthermore, the Computer Science and Management School (CSMS) of MUST received support under the UNDP-APDIP initiative for the establishment of a local certified CISCO Networking Academy. MUST also has taken on a strong role in teacher training on ICT, complementing efforts by the Mongolia State University of Education. Big steps have been made in building capacity, especially for pre-service teacher training, where computer courses are mandatory. However, capacity in building a critical mass of teachers with strong pedagogical capacity in ICT integration into teaching and learning is still limited, and so is outreach directly to schools, especially to those in the remote and rural areas of the country. 327. The Samoan Education Sector Review stated that when NUS was established by an Act of Parliament in 1984 (later amended as the NUS Act of 1997), the university’s mandate was the “establishment of a centre of excellence in the study of Samoa, the Samoan language and culture” (page 16 of footnote 68). In 1999, the Institute of Samoan Studies was established as a center of excellence to initiate, coordinate, and encourage research and disseminate knowledge of Samoan studies through seminars, conferences, and publications. In 2002, the government announced that NUS would amalgamate with the Samoa Polytechnic; this happened in 2006. In 2001, a joint effort among ITU, UNDP, and Cisco Systems established the Cisco Networking Academy at NUS. The university already ingrains the center of excellence concept in its mission statement: 109 To become an internationally recognised centre of excellence in academic and vocational education in the South Pacific region, and to make a difference through training, research and innovation, encompassing diversity; promoting excellence and global recognition as a world leader in Samoan Studies. 328. The university, however, has just a handful of IT graduates per year, most of which go into the private sector for work upon graduation. This leaves a vacuum of capable IT professionals to support public sector ICT installations. This is a serious challenge for Samoa. Currently, the IT unit of MESC itself only has two employees, to support the entire MESC IT infrastructure and the Samoa SchoolNet pilot schools, as well as provide equipment 109 Quoted from the NUS mission statement at http://www.nus.edu.ws. 85 maintenance and service to all schools in the country. The solution, however, is not as simple as hiring addition staff, due to the lack of qualified personnel in the country. Currently, even computers studies classes in several schools and colleges are taught by Peace Corps volunteers, due to the lack of human resources in the country and especially in the teaching profession. Previously, only 52% of education/teacher training graduates completed their education with access to ICT, but this changed in 2006 with the introduction of computer studies (basic literacy skills) as a compulsory course for pre-service teacher training for all education students at NUS. NUS is currently in the process of developing its capacity in areas of ICT for education through workshops, partnerships with NGOs and conference participation. It has also been involved in a number of activities of this RETA. At the same time, outreach to schools has been limited and provision of innovative ideas and practices for teachers has not yet taken place. 329. In Bangladesh, the Fifth Five-Year Plan suggests that one of the three science and technology universities should be earmarked as a center of excellence in ICT by giving it a higher allocation of resources. The country’s education reform recommendations include transforming and restructuring the National Academy of Education Management to become the institutional home of excellence for secondary education teacher training, but not specifically for ICT. NAEM will be responsible for managing and coordinating secondary education teacher training nationwide. 330. No such plans could be found for Nepal. 331. Regionally, there is the International Open Source Network (IOSN), an initiative of UNDP’s APDIP. Its objective is to serve as a center of excellence and a clearinghouse for information and software in the Asia and Pacific region. It aims to raise awareness, make networking easier, and facilitate R&D. It is a network with a small secretariat based at the UNDP Regional Centre in Bangkok and three centers of excellence—IOSN Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)+3,110 IOSN Pacific Island Countries, and IOSN South Asia, based in Manila, Suva, and Chennai respectively. 332. In the Philippines, the South East Asia Ministers of Education Organisation (SEAMEO), founded in 1967, hosts the Regional Center for Educational Innovation and Technology (INNOTECH), founded in 1970. This has proved to be a valuable regional forum for training, research and evaluation, and ICT. In recent years, the center’s efforts in ICT and teacher training focused on courses such as (i) Technology Applications in Education: Teachers and Teacher Trainers, (ii) Technology Tools for Producing Instructional Media, and iii) Using Leading-Edge Technologies for Quality Education. Through training courses on these topics, SEAMEO INNOTECH has allowed course participants to produce prototype teacher-made materials that not only illustrate the use of ICT for teaching specific subjects, but also use a range of technologies—computers, print, and video. 333. Furthermore, under an ADB-funded technical assistance (TA) to establish regional knowledge hubs, four to six centers of excellence are being founded with the aim to help building “capacity on identified new and emerging development topics in DMCs, thus enhancing the skills and expertise in DMCs and strengthening knowledge sharing in these areas.” Specifically these knowledge hubs are to “(i) promote germination or growth of identified knowledge and technologies, (ii) translate or adopt national and international knowledge in 110 ASEAN+3 includes Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Viet Nam, as well as three additional countries—the People’s Republic of China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea. 86 these areas for local use, (iii) reduce domestic knowledge and skill gaps in these areas, and (iv) promote exchange of knowledge and information.”111 The centers of excellence are being established with particular emphasis on a partnership approach involving governments, private sector, NGOs, academic institutions, and other donor agencies. Their primary task is to create the capacity to train technicians, engineers, and scientists in sufficient numbers to enable the local ICT in education industry to develop and be responsive to local demand. The outcomes of this initiative have yet to be analyzed. 334. As a future possibility in this context, The Study on Science and Technology and ICT and e-Learning, and Their Role in Supporting Development Toward a Knowledge-Based Economy112 had as one of its suggestions to assess the feasibility of establishing regional and subregional centers of excellence in science and technology, with specific reference to supporting development of ICT/English learning in countries within the Asia and Pacific region. C. Public/Private Education Partnerships and Initiatives 335. If governments of DMCs have difficulty raising money for large ICT investments from their own resources, then PPPs may be important drivers for ICT development. Private enterprise can usually move faster than governments to exploit the benefits of new technology, but it is in the interest of both parties to ensure an understanding of mutual responsibilities. PPPs not only play a part in developing infrastructure but also can be key to the development of digital content. APDIP has realized this and stated that strategic PPPs are the key building blocks in implementing ICT in education.113 336. It is not enough for governments to simply leave development to the private sector. Only governments can plan and integrate donor support into their education sector plans and access sources of finance that strictly commercial interests would not contemplate—in particular, ensuring IT for the most marginalized. Donors can also play some part in reducing risk for private operators who are building infrastructure such as backbone IT feeds, which may need to be supplied to areas of marginal interest to commercial companies. The Public Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility (PPIAF), to which the members of the European Union (EU) are major contributors, advises developing country governments on improving the environment for private sector participation in infrastructure development. Telecommunications infrastructure accounts for about 11% of the PPIAF’s budget. It is well aware that the private sector on its own cannot provide for the poorest members of society and yet these are the people who should be targeted to expand access to education to where most needed. Given the right circumstances, however, private sector companies are beginning to devise means of making profits by providing services to the bottom of the social and financial pyramid. 337. Furthermore, it is the donors who can help governments to develop realistic action plans—something that the private sector, with its justifiable vested interests, will not and should not do. Often the time taken for a market to develop does not synchronize with private enterprises’ commercial needs. However, expanding markets will in the end benefit both the public and private sectors, and establishing cross-subsidy schemes alongside innovative public- 111 Quoted from ADB. 2005. Technical Assistance Report: Establishment of Regional Knowledge Hubs. Project Number: 39201. Manila. 2. Available: http://www.adb.org/Documents/TARs/REG/39201-REG-TAR.pdf. 112 Chea, Horn Mun. 2005. Study on Science & Technology and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) & E-Learning, and Their Role in Supporting Development Toward A Knowledge-Based Economy. National Institute of Education Singapore. RSC–C51681. Singapore. 113 Tong, Tan Wooi. 2004. Free/Open Source Software: Education. APDIP. Delhi. 40. Available: http://www.apdip.net/publications/fosseprimers/foss-edu.pdf. 87 private partnerships may encourage commercial network operators to enter less commercially attractive sectors. 338. This situation seems to be understood by the private sector in our focus countries but, for fear of accusations of unfairness, public sector planners may be reluctant to look to the private sector to help. A view repeatedly expressed by the Pakistani delegation to the International ICT for Education Conference in October 2007 in Manila, for example, was that the commercial sector’s motivation for profit was in direct opposition to government’s obligations to provide education services. 339. Within education, private enterprise has a large part to play to ensure that there will be a future pool of technically qualified individuals who will be able to build and sustain the local industry. Properly certified private trade training courses can play a central part in building a country’s skills base. 340. Bangladesh typifies another problem in which the private sector could supply training and tuition through private institutions that for financial reasons are inaccessible to the vast majority of the population—not only in Bangladesh but in the DMCs as a whole—because of the tuition fees. If governments are unable to create enough such institutions themselves, they should look carefully at scholarship programs, if necessary even donor-funded ones, that would grow national skills. In an environment in which the private sector remains underrepresented on the bodies that govern ICT development, it is unlikely that such beneficial private solutions will materialize. Targeted scholarships have the further advantage of not distorting the tax system. In Mongolia in 2005, a voucher system for ICT training supplied by private firms was tried but unsuccessful, because the schools themselves wanted to have the capacity to provide such training, as well as the accompanying equipment. 341. The Dhaka Ahsania Mission and the Grameen organizations in Bangladesh are both business organizations and NGOs with interests in ICT in education. The Grameen Village Phone program is an example of successful public-private cooperation that helps rural development. It enables women members of the Grameen Bank’s revolving credit system to sell cellular phone services to rural areas and could easily be extended to teachers to supplement their income and as an education tool. The Village Phone program initiated by the shareholders of Grameen Phone (GP) is implemented by Grameen Telecommunications (GT) in cooperation with Grameen Bank. Funding for the Grameen Village Phone program was provided by Grameen Bank in partnership with the International Finance Corporation, ADB ($50 million loan), and the Commonwealth Development Corporation in the United Kingdom, as well as Norway’s Telenor, Japan’s Marubeni Corporation, and the US’ Gonofone ($55 million). GT also received a $10.6 million loan from the Soros Foundation. Investments from the partnership amounted to about $115 million.114 342. GT, a nonprofit organization providing phone services in rural areas, is an income- generating activity for members of Grameen Bank. GP, on the other hand, is a commercial organization and one of Bangladesh’s mobile carriers. The rate charged by Grameen Telecom for a phone call is discounted by 50%. This subsidy is made possible by a transfer of profits from the more profitable urban part of the business to the rural sector. High revenues are generated by the shared-access business model, which in turn increases rural income. As of June 2004, there were 60,000 Village Phone subscribers and revenue growth had risen to $34 million at end of 2003. By providing telephone services, a Village Phone operator earns 114 Footnote 5 in Cohen, Nevin. 2001. What Works: Grameen Telecom’s Village Phones. World Resources Institute. http://www.digitaldividend.org/pdf/grameen.pdf. 88 about $300 per year, an amount that exceeds Bangladesh’s average annual per capita income of around $286 (from page 237 of footnote 20). The members of the FBCCI interviewed during this research have suggested to the government that a system ought to be developed in which the private sector could look after 5 to 10 villages and train trainers for the quickest growth. It was felt that a microcredit system could be developed to enable individuals to buy computers or at least to develop computer centers, with certificates of qualification being given as collateral for loans. The members of the FBCCI believed in the natural mushroom effect that would allow people with access to computers to train themselves but found that computers were often still treated by the teaching authorities as a preserve for the knowledgeable. D. Institutional Issues and Partnerships: Summary and Conclusion 343. Technology parks can be efficient drivers of ICT development. Several countries in the region, including Malaysia and Singapore, have such experiences. Of the four research countries, Mongolia already has a fully functioning technology park, while Nepal’s is under construction, and plans for such a park in Bangladesh have not yet materialized. Technology parks often are tax havens for local and multinational investors, exempt from customs duties on imported inputs, and from VAT, land, and property taxes. They also draw on advantages of concentrating IT research in one locality. At the same time, RETA research seem to indicate that technology parks also depend on proximity to adequately trained human resources, such as vocational and tertiary education institutions. Furthermore, while technology parks may be enthusiastically welcomed by local and international corporations, at least on paper, they may still require considerable public investment. Governments, therefore, should carefully analyze the return on investment for such institutions. Regional research on cost-effectiveness and lessons learned, which would help DMCs governance in such deliberations, however, is scarce. 344. The specific interest for the research on centers of excellence not in their role as innovators or developers of new practices and applications within the countries, but in how successfully they are transferring ideas and practices to teachers and schools. Study findings indicate, however, that direct outreach to schools with such innovation was still lacking in all cases explored. Another great challenge for DMCs, which effective centers of excellence may help address, is to ensure that their education systems have the capacity to train technicians, computer engineers, and even researchers to a level that can sustain their home indigenous ICT industry. These steps often cannot stop the brain drain, however. This is particularly in evidence in one of the focus countries, Samoa, where the comparatively liberal immigration policies of New Zealand tend to encourage the few available skilled locals to leave the islands. 345. National systems of innovation are dependent for their production on an alliance among interactive stakeholders, including research and teaching institutions, commercial ventures, and government bodies. When these stakeholders act in accord, the result is mutually beneficial; but in DMCs it is often difficult for governments to put into place such an enabling environment. X. STUDY SUMMARY OF FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS A. Overall Summary of Findings 346. According to the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), an enabling environment can be described as “a trustworthy, transparent and non-discriminatory legal, regulatory and policy environment” that needs to be created by governments “to maximize the social, economic and environmental benefits of the Information Society” (from page 6 of 89 footnote 6) With this background it becomes clear that appropriate ICT policies and strategies are at the core of an enabling environment for ICT. 347. All the subject countries have some form of ICT policy. Some even have specific ICT policies and strategies for education. The ICT policies include some common elements and address similar sectors, but the study found great variation in the extent to which these policies and strategies have been implemented—that is, specific action plans, appropriate budget allocations, and clear attribution of roles and responsibilities among stakeholders. This research suggests that contextual factors, as well as tangible and intangible factors, play a role in the design and implementation of such policies and ICT strategies. Intangible factors, such as broad stakeholder demand, a shared vision for ICT in education, prevailing perceptions on ICT, or political stability, have to date not been comprehensively discussed in publications on either ICT policies and strategies, or critical aspects of an enabling environment for ICT development. The study found that commitment to tangibles without addressing the intangibles weakens a country’s ICT in education considerably. Governments that want to nurture appropriate and increased use of ICT for education will therefore have to incorporate all these factors into their planning. 348. At the outset of any initiative on ICT in education, there has to be a solid understanding of the need for contextualization. This study found some best practices on nurturing appropriate and increased use of ICT in education, but no universal solutions. Because the countries in the Asia and Pacific region are diverse on social, demographic, geographic, and economic indicators, approaches and models of ICT integration—and related policies and strategies— used in one country must be carefully evaluated and adapted to another country’s local context. 349. Lack of demand for ICT and prevailing misconceptions on ICT are closely related to a lack of awareness and information about the potential of ICT and its use in education. The study found that where governments take an active role in generating public awareness, such as through marketing and information campaigns and communication of good local practices, stakeholder demand is high. At the same time, ignorance about ICT—often expressed as a limited view that ICT is only computer training—is low. Addressing misconceptions is critical. Findings suggest that groups in different DMCs appear to have varying perceptions and therefore expectations of technology in education. Misconceptions can lead to disappointment and even cynicism about the benefits ICT can offer for education. Political instability and a lack of transparence in regulations and their applications are also among the intangible factors that negatively impact ICT development. Study findings indicate that the government’s vision and commitment is pivotal in this process. ICT, however, must not be treated as a magic bullet to quickly solve education problems and deliver political promises. 350. Effective use of ICT in education requires diligent planning at all levels, from classroom to school to local authority to regional authority and to the Ministry of Education. However, the Ministry of Education’s plans, as often expressed in education sector development programs, have to ensure that micro-level needs arising from the schools are also integrated into macro- level national policy, because systemic integration of ICT depends heavily on factors outside of the education system. Examples include needs and demands from other sectors and ministries, such as labor, health, transportation, and communication. In addition, all sector plans are subject to fiscal plans demarcated by ministries of finance. Such external influences and demands need to be determined, ideally through an inclusive planning process, to define the parameters of a feasible SWAp. In addition, governments need to ensure that donor and private sector support is aligned with this demand. Donor-funded pilot projects are one important way to discover local lessons learned. However, they also have to include sufficient funds to evaluate 90 the costs of introducing, and maintaining alternate ICT models, so that it can be known how applicable they are to the larger system. Fragmented implementation of pilot projects and initiatives is inefficient. The study found that planning for the integration of ICT into education, therefore, has to be concerted, long term, systemic, and holistic, yet flexible enough to accommodate innovation and change. 351. Most critically, if ICT is to be integrated in a way that achieves sustainable change, it has to be driven by educational objectives, not technological desires. This is also expressed in the “value of investment” concept. As a complement to TCO deliberations, this concept centers the discourse on an understanding that the goal for schools is ultimately education (as compared to a return-on-investment discourse that focuses on business goals in revenue generation or cost reduction). Schools and education systems have to have clear educational goals and know how investments in technology can contribute to their achievement. The value of investment in technology is therefore determined by a profound understanding of the anticipated benefits versus the cost of implementation and ownership. 352. The emergence of new technology often requires regulation. Research under this RETA revealed that strong, independent, and transparent regulatory bodies backed by enforceable law are absolutely essential for innovative development of ICT. Government can put the legal and regulatory frameworks in place to create a vibrant, competitive telecommunication market that lowers costs to consumers and encourages expansion of access to underserved areas. To stimulate the ICT industry, governments have used tools such as licensing, tax breaks, or special technology funds that may also encourage providers to build infrastructure in rural areas. The study found that none of the countries under investigation has fully optimized use of such tools. This leaves opportunities for future initiatives. Laws also must protect intellectual property rights and create an environment in which new businesses can quickly develop and, increasingly important, be assured of digital security. Even where such laws exist, examples from DMCs indicate that implementation and enforcement are lagging. Careful review of the existing legal and regulatory frameworks, therefore, should be a key task for governments that aim to put in place a framework that truly nurtures ICT development. 353. Selection of appropriate technology should be driven by education development objectives, not by technology. Alternative technology models need to be evaluated carefully against overarching educational development objectives, as well as the social, geographic, and economic context of a country. Considerations of total cost of ownership and value of investment are applicable here. The study identified and described several equipment packages and current affordable computer initiatives, as well as strategies for providing connectivity, to highlight various approaches and options. It goes without saying that if there is no access to ICT, it cannot possibly be used to improve access to and quality of education. Study findings suggest, however, that effective use of ICT to improve teaching and learning does not necessarily require high-tech computer labs, or schemes in which every student receives a laptop, or 24/7 broadband connectivity. Instead, what is needed is careful consideration of the contextual factors mentioned earlier, consideration of existing human resources and capacity, and—most of all—clear objectives. In regard to content, decisions on the use of licensed or open source software are difficult ones. The study found that there is no universal answer as to which solution should be adopted and to what extent (i.e., as part of national policies and strategies, or not). In any case, decisions have to be informed by careful consideration of the advantages and disadvantages of each of these solutions. 354. This research also investigated the establishment of institutional structures, such as technology parks or centers of excellence; and partnerships that can support governments in 91 nurturing effective use of ICT for education. The study found that both technology parks and centers of excellence can be effective tools in promoting ICT development. Their contribution, yet again, depends on the clarity of their role and objective, on the long-term costs involved, and on contextual factors. Study findings suggest that for technology parks specifically, critical aspects may be proximity to vocational and higher education institutions as pools for qualified human resources, and proximity to other research and development sites. However, the study did not find any research into the cost-effectiveness of such endeavors. Centers of excellence can play a key role in training technicians, computer engineers, and even researchers to a level that can sustain their home indigenous ICT industry. Partnerships, among public sector actors, as well as between the private and public sector, are critical building blocks in ICT development. Public-public partnerships are one approach to integrate ICT-related planning and nurture ICT development. They can start with pooled interests and public funds for infrastructure development—balancing the needs and demands of different sectors (as outlined above); or they can engage in joint strategic initiatives to address sectoral needs. Partnerships with the private sector are also attractive approaches for governments to address issues of infrastructure, content, or human resource development; large-scale examples from Bangladesh and Thailand show their potential impact. Such partnerships, however, require a clear understanding of mutual responsibility and need to be integrated with overall ICT policy and education sector development plans. Governments need to be strong enough to balance their public responsibility for education with the private sector’s commercial interest. On the other hand, such partnerships have to be attractive to the private sector. Given the right circumstances, however, private sector companies are beginning to devise means of making profits by serving the bottom of the social and financial pyramid. However, not just donors, governments, and the private sector, but also civil society or professional associations, can assist and enhance interventions in areas of strategic importance in ICT development. B. Conclusion 355. In the course of the research, it became evident that the degree to which governments in the DMCs were successful in nurturing ICT can be categorized. The countries throughout the region could be placed into four broad categories—although none of the DMCs appears in the fourth (yet). 1) Countries without cohesive planning for ICT in education. 2) Countries that have paper plans but lack the structures, means, political will, or stakeholder buy-in. 3) Countries that have well-defined objectives and interconnected plans that include time-based implementation strategies, and are at least developing enforceable regulatory systems, and strive to stimulate stakeholder buy-in and demand. 4) Countries in which strategic planning, clear objectives, and enforced and transparent regulatory frameworks supported by realistic funding are ubiquitous current practice, and are coupled with strong political will and public awareness and support for the use of ICT for education. 356. All four focus countries had national education plans. Nepal and Bangladesh, both experiencing great political instability, however, seemed to have difficulty at the time of the study of moving out of category 2—countries with paper plans but no structures, means, or will to implement. Samoa, on the other hand, has appointed an independent regulator and its telecommunications market is rapidly freeing up, so that country appears to be moving toward 92 category 3. Mongolia is firmly within category 3. As noted, no current DMC has yet reached category 4. This study discussed what elements are necessary to move into category 4, and what tools governments have at their disposal which they can apply to encourage ICT in education and benefit those who are currently unconnected. These are for example: • the stimulation of public awareness and demand • the institutionalization of integrated ICT planning • the constructive use of SWAps • the taxation of products and services • the granting of licenses • the imposition of special technology development funds • the constructive use of IT parks • the establishment of centers of excellence • the development of strategic partnerships. 357. In none of the DMCs were all these being used to the best advantage of ICT in education. It would be beneficial for ministries of education to consult with the appropriate government authorities to rectify this and incorporate agreed reforms to benefit their education sector plans. It is this sort of innovative planning that in other countries in the region, Singapore in particular, has stimulated demand for ICT in education and encouraged the creation of a critical mass that brought about reform. 358. The study findings suggest that these elements form of a framework and are part and parcel of a new understanding of an enabling environment for ICT, which can guide DMCs and ADB in formulating strategies that promote appropriate and increased use of ICT to improve quality of and access to education. XI. STUDY RECOMMENDATIONS A. Recommendations 359. Individual chapter summaries and conclusion in this report have already provided some detailed recommendations, where appropriate, these are not being repeated here as such, but instead focus will be given on the bigger picture in regards to the tools and options governments have to nurture appropriate and increased use of ICT in education. 360. While there are many important stakeholders to effectively use ICT in education, government is the sole institution that spans the entire process from policy to pupil. Macro strategies and plans have to be in place for the child in the classroom, on the micro level, to benefit. Government therefore has a strategic role to play in driving the advancement of ICT in education. The speed at which a country develops its ICT capacity and at which it may reach category 4 above, is therefore in the hands of government. 93 361. Government is the coordinator and the legislator; however, it is not enough for a country’s leaders to pass the right legislation, and expect a blossoming of IT that will lead automatically to economic growth. Its obligations are to embed ICT into the education system in such a way that it will help in improving the quality of and access to education. Improved education has positive impacts in terms of reducing poverty and the supporting economic growth. Instead, government must: • Not just look at demand as a static force. By informing the public of the benefits of ICT, government can stimulate demand in such a way that pupils, parents, and teachers, as well as education administrators and politicians both understand and have the will to implement educational change. • Show the will and demonstrate a lead in ICT through planning, leading, guiding, and informing as part of good governance. • Regulate in a fair, evenhanded and transparent manner so that the interests of all stakeholders are considered when major strategic decisions are made. • Not only put regulations in place, such as intellectual property rights, in place, but also impose and enforce them. • Plan ICT investment in such a way that capital from the private sector can be combined with the government's own tax resources and donor support to deliver an efficient and dynamic telecommunications service that will ultimately connect the rural poor on an equal footing with the more advantaged urban populations. • Consider using the leverage of taxation—by attaching conditions to the sale of licenses and allowing tax breaks to subsidize recurring costs to stimulate ICT development. 362. Overarching all this, however, has to be a paradigm shift away from a concept of ICT in education, to a concept of using ICT for education. Linked to this is an understanding that ICT not only can function as a tool to support achievement of education objectives, but also can even be a catalyst for large-scale change and reform. The ultimate aim of governments, however, should be to mainstream ICT into education to such an extent that it becomes an integral part of education sector planning and budgets. Government can, in addressing some of the recommendations provided here, take necessary steps in this regard. 363. Given the speed at which solutions are being found to the technological challenges of ICT in schools’ development, attention should turn to the less tangible elements that are required for the adoption of ICT in education. This RETA and other pilot projects and initiatives have produced a wealth of data from across the region but the time has come to move away from treating ICT as a subject of endless piloting but to consider the systemic integration of approaches that are appropriate both, in terms of TCO and value of investment. Where such information is not available, further research, e.g. meta-analysis on pilot projects and their total cost of ownership, should be commissioned. 364. Related to this, focus on sound monitoring and evaluation of ICT initiatives or pilot schemes should be increased, to provide more solid information on value of investment. Parallel to this, where lacking, planning and financial modeling capacity needs to be developed to TCO models for technology approaches and to address information needs for potential scale-up. 94 365. On the other side, results across the region should be gathered and synthesized in such a way that they can easily be used by planners who are designing ICT strategies in both donor organizations and DMC governments, where lessons learned are too often disregarded and ignored. First steps in this direction are being done by regional actors such as UNESCO or APDIP, but increased efforts to collaborate in this area are needed. 366. IT parks are popular with both government and donors as levers to develop the technological aspects of localized ICT industries. However, there appears to be no data on the impact that they have not only financially on the country’s economy but also in terms of their success in breeding innovation. This should be further looked into. C. Synthesis 367. On the basis of study findings and conclusions, the study contributed to a more differentiated and expanded view on the “enabling environment” for ICT. It adds new elements to a discussion on ICT policies and strategies, most notably the inclusion of intangible factors critical to ICT in education development. With this, the study identified six dimensions or pillars of national ICT policies and strategies. These are: 1) Intangible Factors 2) Issues of Planning 3) Legal and Regulatory issues 4) Issues of Infrastructure and Content 5) Issues of Institutional Structures and Partnerships 6) Human resources Development 368. Exhibit 12 below is an attempt to map the six dimensions and many issues explored in this study as a framework for easy reference by governments, education planners and donors in mainstreaming ICT into education in consideration of the aspects investigated in this study. It is imperative, however, to clarify that this framework does not assume to be exhaustive in any way, but rather a work in progress to be evolving with further research to be made that would, e.g., add other tools to some of the six dimensions identified. The framework highlights, however, that any deliberation of aspects to nurture appropriate and increased use of ICT for education needs to be embedded in a consideration of the social, cultural, and geographic context of the country, and taking already existing ICT policies as well as the legal traditions into account. 95 Exhibit 12. Framework of an Enabling Environment for the Effective Use of ICT for Education Focusing on Tools and Aspects That Can Be Controlled and Nurtured by Government 96 XII. REFERENCES Asian Development Bank (ADB).1998. A Graduation Policy for the Bank’s DMCs. Manila. Available: http://www.adb.org/Documents/Policies/Graduation/grad401.asp ADB. 2005. 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APDIP. Bangkok. Available: http://www.iosn.net/education/foss-education-primer/fossPrimer-Education.pdf 101 United Nations. 2006. Millennium Development Goals Report. Progress Report. New York United Nations Country Team in Thailand. 2004. Thailand Millennium Development Goals Report. Bangkok. United Nations Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (UNESCO). 2003. Meta-Survey on the Use of Technologies in Education in Asia and the Pacific 2003-2004. Bangkok. United Nations Population Fund. 2007. State of the World Population 2007: Unleashing the Potential of Urban Growth. New York. Available: http://www.unfpa.org/swp/2007/presskit/pdf/sowp2007_eng.pdf United States Central Intelligence Agency. Undated. World Factbook. Washington, DC. Available: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook Ure, John. 2005. ICT Sector Development in Five Central Asian Economies: A Policy Framework for Effective Investment Promotion and Facilitation. 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Available: http://www.worldbank.org/data World Bank. Undated. EdStats Query. World Development Indicators Database. Washington, DC. World Bank. 2005. Attaining the Millennium Development Goals in Bangladesh. Washington, DC. Available: http://www.mdgbangla.org/report_publication/Final_Bdesh_MDG_report_wb.pdf World Bank. 2006. Information and Communications for Development: Global Trends and Policies. Washington, DC. World Summit on the Information Society. 2003. Plan of Action. Geneva. Available: http://www.itu.int/dms_pub/itu-s/md/03/wsis/doc/S03-WSIS-DOC-0005!!PDF-E.pdf 102 Appendix APPENDIX: COUNTRY CONTEXT INFORMATION ON MDGS AND THE GENERAL TRANSPORTATION, COMMUNICATION, AND INFORMATION INFRASTRUCTURE 1. Mongolia 1. MDGs. Mongolia has set 11 targets for its seven Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).1 Of particular relevance to this study are the following two MDGs: • Target 3: Ensure that by 2015 children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling • Target 4: Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education preferably by 2005 and in all levels of education no later than 2015. 2. Transportation, Communication and Information Infrastructure. During the Cold War (1945–89), Mongolia’s transportation infrastructure enjoyed a relatively high level of investment to ensure its military usefulness. Afterward, investments in transportation infrastructure diminished considerably, and the quality of the roads is declining. Electrical power is supplied by the Central Electricity System (CES), which in 1998 produced around 2.66 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) of power. Five coal-fired power stations provide almost 85% of the total power used in the country, with the balance imported from Russia. During the 1990s, attempts were made to renovate the CES with international aid and to build small hydroelectric and wind-powered stations. Power interruptions are common, and some remote areas remain without electricity, where diesel oil, wood, and dried horse and camel dung are used as fuel. Telecommunication services in Mongolia have been under reconstruction since the early 1990s. There are 14 Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in Mongolia and 4 mobile phone operators. There are 70 companies working in the software development industry and more than 80 companies in computer and IT equipment trade. More than 25% of the population has a mobile phone (774,900 in December 2006.) There are an estimated 10,880 Internet users in the country.2 2. Samoa 3. MDGs. The MDGs are shared by four Pacific island countries in the South Pacific Polynesian subregion: Cook Islands, Niue, Samoa, and Tokelau. The key challenges have been identified as democratic governance, environment and energy, sustainable livelihoods/poverty reduction, and crisis prevention and recovery. Specifically, these MDG challenges are as follows: • Goal 1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger • Goal 2. Achieve universal primary education • Goal 3. Promote gender equality and empower women • Goal 4. Reduce child mortality 1 See page 127 of Appendix 8 of the RETA Final Report, the Mongolia Country Report. 2 ADB. 2007. Key Indicators 2007: Inequality in Asia. Manila. Available: http://www.adb.org/documents/ books/key_indicators/2007. Appendix 103 • Goal 5. Improve maternal health • Goal 6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases • Goal 7. Ensure environmental sustainability. 4. Goal 2 has the target of ensuring that by 2015 children will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling. Goal 3 has the target of eliminating gender disparity in primary and secondary education, preferably by 2005, and in all levels of education no later than 2015. 5. Transportation, Communication and Information Infrastructure. The two main islands of Upolu and Savaii are quite well serviced by 790 km (491 miles) of roads, of which about 40% are paved. Nearly all villages can be accessed by road, and bus services reach most parts of the country. The two islands are linked by passenger and car ferries with frequent sailings, and there are local flights from Upolu to Savaii. The sole international airport is Faleolo Airport, on the northwest coast of Upolu. 6. While about 62% of Samoa’s electricity is generated using imported fuel, the remainder is generated by a local hydroelectric station. Telephone services extend to most parts of the country but public telephones are rare. International telephone service is usually good. In 2006, there were 19,500 landlines and 24,000 mobile phone subscribers. In 2006, the Samoan mobile phone market began to be opened up with the first prepaid subscription format. In 2007, this was followed by a second such subscription. As of 2007, about 30% of the population has a telephone connection of some sort, with an estimated 20,000 fixed lines and 33,000 subscribing mobile phone users. Mobile density has increased rapidly, from 3.9% in the year 2003 to 19.4% in 2006. In comparison, fixed line density has increased more slowly from 6.8% of population in 2003 to 11.2% in 2006.3 3. Nepal 7. MDGs. Political unrest in Nepal has led to a severe lack of data since 2004. The MDG Goal 2 on universal primary education is to ensure that by 2015 children will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling. Goal 3 on gender and equality aims to achieve equal access for boys and girls to primary and secondary education by 2005 and to all levels of education no later than 2015. However the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) report on progress deemed them unlikely to be achieved. The literacy rate of 15- to 24-year-olds is 73% (2004); the net enrollment rate in primary education was 84% in 2004. The ratio of girls to boys in primary education was 86:100. A recently conducted needs assessment study estimated that if Nepal is to achieve the MDG by 2015, a funding gap of $7.6 billion will have to be filled between 2005 and 2015.4 8. Transportation, Communication, and Information Infrastructure. In post-1950s Nepal, planners and foreign aid donors viewed the creation of infrastructure as vital to the success of the country’s economic development. Five-year plans prioritized transportation and communications, but although the results were significant, they remain inadequate. Nepal has 13,849 km (8,522 miles) of paved, graveled, and fair-weather roads, with the major highways linking east to west and north to south. Airports operate in 44 out of 75 districts, and include 3 Data in this paragraph are from ADB. 2007. Samoa: Private Sector Assessment. Consolidating Reform for Faster Growth. Unpublished draft. Manila. 18. 4 Government of Nepal. 2005. Nepal Millennium Development Goals. Progress Report 2005. Kathmandu. Available: http://www.undg.org/archive_docs/6563-Nepal_MDG_Progress_Report_2005.pdf. 104 Appendix domestic airports in remote areas that link up with the international airport in Kathmandu. Flying is expensive and unreliable. This network is crucial to the tourist industry but financial considerations make it unusable for most Nepalese with the resultant socioeconomic consequences. Recently, Nepal adopted an open-sky policy, allowing private airlines to operate domestic and international services.5 9. Other forms of transportation are underdeveloped. There is a single narrow-gauge railway line covering a distance of 52 km (32 miles) from Janakpur to Jayanagar in the south, and an underutilized 42-km (26-mile) ropeway (suspended cable car line) from Hetauda to Kathmandu, which transported 10,684 metric tons of goods in 1995. A limited trolley bus service operates in the Kathmandu Valley. Access to the sea is only possible through the Indian ports of Kolkata, formerly Calcutta (1,150 km, or 713 miles, from the Nepalese border), and Haldia. 10. Much has been said about the potential of Nepal’s hydropower to fulfill local power needs, drive industrialization, and boost revenues through the sale of surplus power to India. Of a feasible potential of 27,000 megawatts (MW), Nepal currently uses a mere 332.7 MW. Locally based small to medium hydropower schemes have met with success, but this approach needs government support. 11. Nepal has considerably improved its postal and telephone services, though they remain deficient in rural areas. The Nepalese telecommunications network is digital, and the Nepal Telecommunications Corporation (NTC) provides basic services for the country. Television programming began in 1985 and many families receive (not always legally) transmissions from foreign networks such as Star TV. Radio Nepal has existed since the 1950s and has a significant rural audience. 4. Bangladesh 12. MDGs. There are five major human development-related MDGs in Bangladesh— reducing poverty, reducing infant and under-five mortality, improving child malnutrition, increasing schooling enrollment and completion rates, and improving gender parity in schooling. The overall poverty rate has declined and primary school enrollment and literacy rates have increased. Women’s equal participation in many aspects of society (including public service and seats in parliament) has also been increasing over the past 20 years, including primary and secondary school enrollment, where male and female participation is nearly equal. Infant mortality rates have decreased, more children are being immunized, and nearly all households have access to safe drinking water. The birthrate has been reduced and life expectancy extended. 13. Despite these advances, poverty is still widespread, with nearly half of the population living below the poverty line. According to the World Bank,6 “there is little understanding of whether Bangladesh will be able to attain all of the MDGs, and whether there are some MDGs that Bangladesh will be able to attain. There is even less understanding of what it will take—by way of economic growth, infrastructural investments, and sectoral interventions—to attain the different MDGs.” Specifically for ICT, Bangladesh has adopted the MDG of cooperating with the 5 Adapted from Advameg Inc. Undated. Encyclopedia of the Nations. National Economies Encyclopedia. Nepal Infrastructure, Power and Communications. Available: http://www.nationsencyclopedia.com/economies/Asia-and- the-Pacific/Nepal-INFRASTRUCTURE-POWER-AND-COMMUNICATIONS.html. 6 World Bank. 2005. Attaining the Millennium Development Goals in Bangladesh. Washington, DC. iii. Available: http://www.mdgbangla.org/report_publication/Final_Bdesh_MDG_report_wb.pdf. Appendix 105 private sector to make available the benefits of new technologies, especially information and communications. 14. Transportation, Communication, and Information Infrastructure. Bangladesh is dominated by water and most of the country is flooded during the monsoon season. Building modern transportation and communication networks is therefore very expensive. Boats are used extensively and are cheap but slow and unreliable. The government has very limited resources for building new infrastructure as most resources are used to maintain what exists. Only recently has donor aid enabled the government to invest in roads, railways, and sea and airports. Aid investment has also been used to modernize the telecommunications system. The current instability of government further complicates long-term planning and current implementation of existing programs. 5. Cambodia 15. MDGs. Cambodia has made progress in increasing access to basic education, but the country has a long way to go to reach the targets set under the Cambodian Millennium Development Goals (CMDGs). One of 10 indicators shows Cambodia going backward, while four other indicators show minimal progress. Of the remaining five indicators, four do not show enough progress to reach the 2005 targets. One indicator—the proportion of 6- to 14-year olds out of school—shows improvement that exceeds the 2005 target.7 16. Transportation, Communication, and Information Infrastructure. Cambodia is dominated by the Mekong River and South East Asia’s largest freshwater lake, the Tonle Sap. Geographically, the country consists mostly of low, flat plains of rice paddies with forested mountains in the southwest and north. It has 602 km of narrow-gauge railway which is currently under reconstruction. Of 38,000 km of road, only 2,400 are paved and many are impassable in the monsoonal rains (June to November). Although improvements have been made in 2005– 2007, there is still an almost total lack of basic infrastructure for the rural population. Restrictions, ambiguity, and lack of transparency in telecommunications policies, laws, and implementing regulations constrain the development of the telecommunications industry. In addition, because only 26% of the population has any access to a fixed telephone line, the potential for dial-up Internet access is limited. 6. The Philippines 17. MDGs. The sole millennium goal that is concerned with education is to achieve universal primary education. This currently stands at 73.5%, down from 90.1% in 2001.8 18. Transportation, Communication and Information Infrastructure. Fiscal constraints limit ability to finance infrastructure and social spending. 7. Thailand 19. MDGs. Thailand will achieve most if not all of the MDGs well in advance of 2015. Poverty has already been reduced by two-thirds since 1990. The proportion of underweight children has fallen by nearly half. Universal access to primary school education is likely to be achieved within a few years. Malaria is no longer a problem in most of the country. The number of new HIV infections per year has been reduced by more than 80% since 1991, the peak of the epidemic. 7 Ministry of Planning. 2005. Achieving Cambodian Millennium Development Goals 2005 Update. Phnom Penh. 8 Department of Education, Government of Republic of the Philippines. 106 Appendix Great strides are being made toward gender equality. Thailand has set a timeline for ambitious targets that go beyond the original goals (“MDG-plus”).9 20. Transportation, Communication, and Information Infrastructure. Thailand has well- developed infrastructure. 9 United Nations Country Team in Thailand. 2004. Thailand Millennium Development Goals Report. Bangkok.
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