A Study of the Problems Associated with ICT Adaptability in Developing Countries in the Context of Distance Education


Communication technologies have come to play a vibrant role in democratizing Education not only in the Developed but also in the Developing Countries. However, in spreading the use of Information and communication technology some major difficulties are felt by the policy makers as well as the implementers. These difficulties are felt both at the growth and application stages of communication technology. Yaverbaum and Reisman highlight the importance of three aspects in the application of new information and communication technology. They are People, software and hardware. Different permutations and combinations with regard to the three variables create different implications for the growth and application of Information and communication Technology (James C Taylor, “Computer assisted Distance Education: A pedagogic and professional Development Perspective”). Among these, they stated that the most difficult aspect to address would invariably be the human element. Pete Thomas and Dean Taylor state that as access to Information and communication technologies become more extensive, their use is extended from the activities related to internal administrative aspects towards more of interaction with students (James C Taylor, “Computer assisted Distance Education: A pedagogic and professional Development Perspective”). Such a scenario throws up new challenges before technologists in terms of both technical and human aspects. Hidetoshi Kato states that in the years to come communication technologies will play a major role in deciding learning outcomes. (Kato, Hidetoshi (1995) “Technology and Distance education”, Indian Journal Of Open Learning, pp.11-14) The problems associated with the growth of ICT that have been focused upon in this paper are Political factors, Economic factors, Cultural factors and technological factors. Among the major problems associated with application of ICTs the focus will be laid on Socio-political factors, Human and Administrative factors, Economic factors and Technical factors. Further, the paper based on various case studies derives important conclusions and also provides pertinent suggestions to ensure the smooth growth and effective application of ICT in the Third World.

KEYWORDS: ICT, ICT in the Third World, Distance Education, Communication Technology, Democratizing Education