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CABE accepts ICT in school education policy - June 2012
Read the final version of the policy on ICTS in School Education
In January 2008, MHRD released a draft policy on ICTs in school education. This policy, created by a committee that included big businesses interested in the 'ICT in education' space was hugely problematic - in a way looking at education as a process of private sector training of public system teachers in its resources and models, creating labour force for the global economy. Many educationists were uncomfortable with both the process and substance of this and organised consultations on this policy, networked (the ict-education-india googlegroups was created for this) to build broad positions, submitted several policy advocacy letters as well as substantive comments on the policy, some of us met officials in MHRD and other institutions to explain how ICTs in education required a deep understanding of education, rather than of just technology. In November 2008, the MHRD minister cancelled the privatised policy making process (http://www.indianexpress.com/news/ministerial-panel-to-draft-hrds-ict-policy-for-schools/401222/). The policy itself had three more drafts over the next 3 years - the second policy draft included many of our suggestions - education perspectives, focus on teacher education, support constructivist approaches to integrating ICTs in education, systemic integration rather than just hardware and software procurement, resource rich environment, FOSS etc, and was quite different from the first one. The fourth and final version, which further refines the second draft is available here.
The issue of 'vendor driven ICT policy/program' was also raised by Vinod Raina in the CABE. He was part of a CABE sub committee which looked into this and their report provides several ideas on the role ICTs should play in education.
Both the final ICT policy in school education and the CABE committee report were unanimously adopted at the last CABE meeting on June 6 2012 and these documents can guide the design and implementation of ICT programs in school education, whose budgets will only increase exponentially over time... (UP budget presented this month earmarks 2200+crores for laptops/tablets for students. Hopefully this will support some of the ideas in the policy rather than just continue the failed PPP/BOOT models)
In 2008, the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) published a policy draft on 'ICTs in School Education'. IT for Change (ITfC) actively campaigned to challenge the draft policy, advocating for a greater participation of educationalists in the policy design promoting thereby a constructivist ICT at schools model for both teachers and students.