The Partnership on Measuring ICT for Development has released its 10-year milestone report, offering a comprehensive evaluation of the progress made towards targets agreed to by governments at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), held in Geneva (2003) and Tunis (2005).
The WSIS Final Target Review highlights progress made on each WSIS target – ranging from connecting villages, schools and health centres to providing people with ICT access – and calls for a greater role for ICTs in the post-2015 development agenda.
As part of its contribution, the UIS developed indicators for two WSIS targets related to ICT in Education. Measuring progress against ‘connecting’ all schools to ICT, Target 2 includes the following indicators:
- Proportion of schools with a radio for pedagogical purposes;
- Proportion of schools with a television for pedagogical purposes;
- Learner-to-computer ratio; and
- Proportion of schools with access to Internet by type.
According to the review, low-income countries have a learner-to-computer ratio as high as 500:1 or higher, whereas in developed countries the ratio is 10:1 or lower. Even when computers are available in schools, too often Internet connectivity lags behind.
Adapting curriculum to meet the challenges of the information society
The UIS has also supported WSIS Target 7, the adaptation of school curricula to meet the challenges of the information society, by developing the following indicators:
- Proportion of ICT-qualified teachers;
- Proportion of teachers trained to teach using ICT;
- Proportion of schools with computer-assisted instruction; and
- Proportion of schools with Internet-assisted instruction.
UIS data show that as connectivity and national ICT infrastructure grow, so does Internet-assisted instruction. However, to be delivered effectively teacher training is essential. While greater numbers of teachers are now trained in the use of ICTs in the classroom, in low-income countries the proportion of ICT-trained teachers may be less than 10%.
The lead agencies contributing to the report were the UIS, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and the United Nations University (UNU). Many other organizations and representatives of civil society have also contributed.