ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Education officials are finalising a five-year policy on Information Communication Technology (ICT) for the sector.
Members of the ICT Steering Committee and technical staff in the Ministry of Education, the Board of Education and the Teacher Education Department are into the final day of a national workshop that is reviewing the first draft of the document.
“The five-year plan speaks to seven priority areas,” explained Minister of Education Dr Jacqui Quinn-Leandro, “partnering with stakeholders; maintenance, support and security; training; curriculum development and revision to reflect integration of ICTs across all subject areas; infrastructure, hardware and software, and special needs.”
Work on the plan began in the second quarter of last year following the first workshop on the issue financed by UNESCO. Authorities hope the policy can be implemented this year.
“What this initiative is about is empowerment of our teachers and administrators and carving out aspects of the ICT policy that are implementable,” Dr Quinn-Leandro said, while referencing measures taken by the government to “revolutionise” the sector.
“I don’t think we can underestimate the impact on students, teachers and the communities of this ICT policy initiative and the power that accessibility and a more co-ordinated approach will bring to large groups of individuals,” she added.
UNESCO representative Fengchun Miao said the draft policy captures “key areas.”
He said too that with a significant portion of the population being students, the challenge is to develop their human resource capacity to aid the state’s development.
“As policy makers we cannot catch up with the different kinds of trends today and tomorrow. As policy makers we need to understand what’s happening and we need to analyse what has been achieved in other countries and try to put them in to our policy, into our ICT education master plan,” he stated.