A regional analysis of ICT integration and e-readiness
Information and communication technologies (ICTs) have become a fixture of classrooms in many parts of Latin America and the Caribbean. From low-cost radio and television, to laptops and smart-boards, teachers are using technology to enhance and extend learning.
A new UIS study, ICT in Education in Latin America and the Caribbean: A regional analysis of ICT integration and e-readiness, based on survey responses from 38 countries, reveals the extent to which factors such as education policy, teacher training, and infrastructure drive or hamper the integration of ICTs in schools.
In general, the report states, Caribbean countries have much higher levels of ICT-assisted instruction using computers and the Internet than in South and Central America, where lack of infrastructure is an obstacle to e-readiness.
There are exceptions. In Uruguay, for example, the learner-to-computer ratio in primary school is 1:1, thanks to a one-laptop-per child policy, while in the Dominican Republic, where the provision of basic electricity in schools is a challenge, an average of 122 pupils share a single computer.
Despite the relatively high integration of ICT in some countries, there is a surprising lack of teachers trained in the use of educational technology. In Saint Kitts and Nevis, for example, where 100% of primary schools are well equipped with ICTs, a negligible number of teachers are ICT-qualified, potentially undermining the effectiveness of technology in the classroom.
The survey, completed in 2011, was conducted in an effort to provide regional benchmarks for countries monitoring the integration of ICT in education.