Case Study on the Problems Faced in the Pacific Islands While Trying to Improve Education

As many people already know, in 2000 at the beginning of the Millennium, the United Nations held a summit in New York and adopted the United Nations Millennium Declaration and agreed that the world’s leading developed countries should work together to decrease world poverty.  Each of the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) had different targets to reach by certain deadlines, the final deadline being in 2015. The different MDGs range from general poverty and education to health and environmental issues, as well as a Global Partnership. While the MDGs are created as a way for the United Nations and countries to follow a set plan of action there are no rules on how to approach these goals. National organizations, local or national government as well as non- profit organizations create projects throughout the world as an attempt to help reach these millennium goals.

In Tim Unwin’s chapter 5 of ICT4D:Information and Communication Technology for Development, he discusses the strategies and policies necessary for ICT4D to be successful in developing countries. He differentiates strategies being the “strategic approach to the use of ICTs in development” and ICT policies being “used to refer to the implementation of policies geared to specific issues” (Unwin   150). He explains how e-strategies and how ICTs can work to help further improve the development goals. While he discusses ICT strategies and policies in different regions of the world, one that he played special attention to was the Asian- Pacific region. The UNDP’s Asia Pacific Development Information Programme was created in 1997 to “improve access and application of ICTS for social and economic development” (Unwin 152). While Unwin and the UNDP explain that ICTs are an important tool in the development of a nation especially in relation to some of the MDG goals such as Universal Education.

In the Case Study: ICT and education strategies in the Pacific written by Michael Trucano, he discusses the many challenges that the small islands of the Pacific would face while trying to improve access to networks and computers to local schools.  The Pacific Islands are affected by a variety of environmental issues that sometimes threaten to put certain islands underwater. However the potential that ICTs can help improve these challenges as well as Education has become an interest for the government agencies in these islands. Computer access is very expensive and because of the islands geographic remoteness Internet access is very poor. However, education policymakers want to make ICTs more accessible to education services in order to improve training as well as “building stronger ties”. One initiative that was created in 2001 is People First Network (PFnet) of the Solomon Islands, which sets up an e-mail system that provides access to remote areas. This project is an example that shows that although there may be some challenges within ICT initiatives, improving access can further improve education and help diminish illiteracy rates, provide education in all remote areas of an Island, and provide proper training and activities for teachers. The use of ICTs is indeed very useful for the Millennium Goal of approaching Universal Education and e-strategies should be approached the right way in order to overcome the obstacles.

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About vcahen

Hello all! I have been blogging for a couple years now not really for the sake of the readers but for the sake of writing. I have been writing in diaries since I was a little girl...maybe Matilda influenced me as a child, who knows?... but in recent years I have discovered the art of blogging. While studying abroad I tried to write my blog pretty regularly but with limited wifi access in Ghana that wasn't too successful. I am currently doing a year of service with AmeriCorps VISTA and we are required to write a monthly blog. But instead of writing just for them I have decided to expand my blog writing to write reviews on restaurants throughout the world as well as describe in detail my traveling stories. I hope you enjoy and feel free to leave comments!! Carpe Diem, V View all posts by vcahen

2 responses to “Case Study on the Problems Faced in the Pacific Islands While Trying to Improve Education

  • khock1

    I agree that ICT strategy and policy can help reach the goals of the MDG. I also believe that it is really important to approach these issues in a correct way to fully benefit those who are exposed to these ICT strategies. But I believe that before people gain access to these technologies, it is important to first meet basic needs of the people.

  • zswartz

    Internet access would be very valuable for education and support the MDG. It also seems like ICTs could be used in the Pacific Islands to address the challenges of climate change. I would be interested to see how ICTs have been used in disasters and also in raising awareness for issues that these island face.

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