30.07.2004 General News

ICT Ministerial Conference Delegates Issue Communique

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From Yaa Oforiwah Acquah, GNA Correspondent Abuja, Nigeria
Abuja, July 30 GNA- African countries were on Friday asked to develop national, local and institutional policies for the integration of ICT in education and also ensure timely implementation.
They should also develop sub-regional policy guidelines for effective partnership mechanisms for cost sharing, human resource development and optimising the use of available capacity in all areas of ICT in education.
These were contained in a 16 -point communique issued at the end of the Ministerial Conferecne of the Integration of Information and Communication Technology in Education in Abuja today.
The conference organised by the Association for the Development of Education in Africa was on the theme" Integration of ICT in Education, Issues, Challenges and Infrastructure".
The communique asked Countries to negotiate with other governmental agencies and regulatory bodies in their various countries to create the necessary environment for reducing connectivity cost and equitable allocation of bandwith.
They should accelerate result oriented policies and programmes to eliminate the digital divide and other inequities as regards gender, rural/urban environments and the physically disadvantaged.
It said countries should adopt measures to meet the learning needs of all to improve the quality and outcomes of education especially by developing learner-centred curricula and appropriate teacher professional development in ICT and their use in teaching and learning.
"Embark on nationwide programmes leading to computer literacy and the development of computer related skills and sufficiently fund the comprehensive training of teachers, administrators and others in the use of ICTs".
" Strenghten the capabilities and increase capacities for the collection and processing of data and improve monitoring systems in the use of ICTs in education as well as planning and management."
For future commitments, the Ministers and representatives of the ADEA Bureau of ministers among other things pledged to intensify efforts and strenghten policies for achieving the laudable goals of integrating ICT in education.
Closing the the conference, The Nigerian Minister of Education Professor Fabian Osuji urged his colleagues to make ICT use in education a primary focus of their ministries to reach the target goals of ICT introduction in five years.
They should also form partnership with the private sector and carry advocacy with donors to help in the development of education.
They should form partnership with the private sector and the donors to help in the development of education on the continent and its subregions.

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