learning landscapes in southern africa

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Costs of Information and Communication Technology in developing country school systems: The experience of Botswana, Namibia and Seychelles

Andrew Paterson, Human Science Research Council
 
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Paper (11 pages)

Despite the steady decline in relative cost of acquiring information and communication technology (ICT), the cost of owning and maintaining sustainable computer systems in schools is rising. Simultaneously, Ministries of Education in sub-Saharan Africa are under pressure to invest in ICT. However, there is very little evidence upon which decision makers can base their decisions to allocate finances to ICT. This article is based on a survey of total costs of owning computer rooms in 62 schools across Botswana, Namibia and the Seychelles. It reveals that in Botswana and Seychelles, which have provided computer facilities to all post-primary schools, ICT expenditure per school is much higher than in Namibia where school computer facilities are funded from government, NGO and community sources. It is argued that high expenditure is not necessarily associated with efficiency of resource usage, and that internationally benchmarked research is needed in order to support MoE decision making, and reduce risk in allocation.