Initiatives And Challenges In Information And Communication Technology In Higher Education

Final Year Research Project and Seminar Material on Technology Education

Initiatives And Challenges In Information And Communication Technology In Higher Education

Chapter One


1.1 Background of the Study

The fast advancement of technology is quite exciting. Globalization and the information economy have made significant contributions to an economy’s economic, political, social, and technological development (David, 2008). African nations are not immune to the revolution that is sweeping the world of information and communication technology, despite the fact that this transition is moving at a glacial pace in poor countries throughout the world, including Africa. As a result, several studies have been carried out to guarantee that African countries are properly prepared to meet the challenges of the digital age (Louis, 2006). ICT is made up of electronic networks, software, and hardware, as well as many technological protocols. ICTs are surrounded by networks and services that help to disseminate private and public information locally and globally. Internet services, broadcasting, information and communication technology equipment, and other associated information and communication activities are all examples of ICT (United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, 1994). ICT is a computer-based technology that incorporates information processing, storage, transmission, and retrieval. It is clear that many African scholars are looking for ways to address the issues around data and accurate information transmission. The significant problem of ICT financing is linked to this; agencies and the government should do what is necessary, such as providing infrastructure to support ICT and educating staff to manage it. According to The Partnership for Higher Education in Africa (2007), some African countries have enacted important ICT policies, while others have not (Edwin, 2005). Despite the fact that several African universities in the collaboration are leaders in ICT, the research states that they have not planned to make ICT nationally sustainable. If African institutions have made efforts in ICT, given the times we live in now, all of these universities should have home sites with every detail about the school- admissions procedures, faculties, and departments. South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Mozambique, Nigeria, and Ghana are among the nations that have achieved a decent level of ICT adoption in their higher education institutions, according to this study. Ghana, for example, began using ICT in the 1990s and has progressed slowly since then (The Partnership for Higher Education in Africa, 2007b). Slow to the point where, in 2002, Ghana’s public institutions pooled bandwidth for the benefit of the internet via the Research Education Network (REN). However, owing to REN’s inconsistencies, several institutions have become self-sufficient in terms of internet access and connection. Tanzania, Uganda, and Mozambique are among the East African nations having just one of the numerous universities with internet connection (Moris, 2009). In addition, Mozambique became the second country in Sub-Saharan Africa to have complete internet connectivity, behind South Africa. From the 1990s forward, stories about internet availability in Nigeria have been epileptic. The first experimental version of internet use was conducted at the University of Ilorin with the assistance of McMaster University in Canada. Many university employees in Nigeria now have e-mail accounts, and more than 60 universities have websites. Some utilize VSAT, while others work on various educational programs (The Partnership for Higher Education in Africa, 2007b). The Federal Ministry of Education has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with a private business to offer computers to academic staff at universities to enhance teaching and learning as part of the Computerize Nigeria Project (CNP), which was initiated by former President Olusegun Obasanjo. Furthermore, it is important to note that ICT in higher education in Africa is beset by several problems that have impeded its development. As a result, it is necessary to analyze how far African nations have progressed in ICT, what they know, what they don’t know, and how successfully they have addressed the issues they confront. It is critical to understand the progress made in ICT to date, as well as where we are headed and what has to be done. The educational system in Nigeria was largely manual in the 1980s, but the National Universities Commission (NUC) introduced the computerized Management Information System (MIS) to Nigerian universities in 1989. (Mac-Ikemanjima, 2005). This research will look at Information and Communication Technology in Africa’s Higher Education: Initiatives and Challenges.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

It is clear that ICT in higher education in Africa is constrained by a number of factors, including: Africans are conservative by nature, which means they have a hard time accepting change. Always adhering to established teaching and learning methods. Due to this, the universities’ administrators in Africa consider it as a huge matter to equip both students and instructors with computer facilities (Albirini, 2006). (Albirini, 2006). Inadequate ICT infrastructure, such as unpredictable power supplies, excessive internet bandwidth costs, and so on. Universities in Africa have been overwhelmed with untrained ICT employees. Many professors are untrained in using ICT to educate and carry out their educational responsibilities. These are some of the difficulties this study focuses at proffering remedies to.

1.3 Objectives of the Study

Information and communication technology in higher education in Africa: efforts and problems is the study’s main goal. Other particular goals include:

  1. Studying the link between ICT and productivity in African higher education.
  2. To see if information and communication technology (ICT) makes instruction more accessible to African students.
  3. To find answers to Africa’s ICT issues in higher education.
  4. To investigate how private persons might assist in the adoption of ICT in African institutions.
  5. To investigate the influence of information and communication technologies on the African economy.

1.4 Research Questions

  1. What is the link between ICT and productivity in African higher education?
  2. How can information and communication technology (ICT) make instruction more accessible to African students?
  3. What are the answers to Africa’s ICT issues in higher education?
  4. How can private persons assist in the adoption of ICT in African institutions?
  5. What are the influences of information and communication technologies on the African economy?

1.5 Significance of the Study

The purpose of this study is to inform the general public, the government, and higher education administrators in Africa about the initiatives and challenges of ICT in higher education in Africa. This research intends to enlighten African governments and higher education administrators on the need to address the issues related with ICT in African universities. This research will be extremely useful to other researchers who want to learn more about this issue, and it may also be utilized by non-researchers to expand on their own work. This research adds to the body of knowledge and might be used as a model for future research or work.

1.6 Scope of the Study

Information and Communication Technology in Higher Education in Africa: Initiatives and Challenges is the focus of this research.

1.7 Definition of Terms

Information and Communication Technology (ICT):

An expanded term for information technology (IT) that emphasizes the role of unified communications and the integration of telecommunications (telephone lines and wireless signals), computers, and necessary enterprise software, middleware, storage, and audio-visual systems, which enable users to access, store, transmit, and manipulate information.

The convergence of audio-visual and telephone networks with computer networks via a single cabling or connection system is sometimes referred to as ICT. There are significant financial incentives to integrate the telephone network with the computer network system utilizing a single unified system of cabling, signal delivery, and administration (owing to massive cost savings from eliminating the telephone network).

Higher Education:

Higher education, also known as post-secondary education or third-level education, is a stage of formal study that occurs after secondary school. Higher education is typically provided through universities, academies, colleges, seminaries, and institutes of technology, but it is also available through certain college-level institutions, such as vocational schools, trade schools, and other career colleges that award academic degrees or professional certifications. As opposed to higher education, non-degree tertiary education is sometimes referred to as further education or continuing education.


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