KARACHI: Expansion of broadband and introduction of 3G technology can help educators better prepare their students for 21st century skills and at the same time create economic opportunities for investors, said Intel Pakistan Corp Country Manager Naveed Siraj.
He was briefing the media about their education initiative “Intel Teach, a combination of online and face-to-face instruction” that just completed its 10 years in Pakistan. This K-12 program, he said, trained 306, 855 teachers of more than 60 districts in the country.
The program is designed for educators to use Information Communication Technology (ICT) into their lectures.
Siraj said they want to shift from conventional ways of teaching to profound learning so that they can promote students problem solving, critical thinking and collaboration skills. He said the program has achieved positive results but more needs to be done in Sindh.
Referring to a World Bank study ‘The Development Impact of Broadband’, Siraj said that a 10% rise in broadband use increases Gross Domestic Product by 1.3%.
He said there are very few providers of high-speed internet so there is opportunity for investors in this sector. 3G technology providers will grow even faster than broadband provider, he added, because they can reach more masses.
The program that mainly benefited public sector schools has greatly motivated participants who even arranged for computers on their own to make sure their learning doesn’t stop.
“We trained teachers of Government Boys Secondary School Godrah New Karachi in a two-day workshop,” said Asma Afzal, one of program’s district trainers and a government school teacher. She added these teachers didn’t have computers in their school or home.
Afzal said that the teachers wrote letters to the district officer education for allotment of computers but were asked to wait for at least one year.
“They purchased four PCs on self-finance basis, which reflects the level of their motivation,” she added.
Lack of resources has remained a problem for teachers but students also suffer in the absence of computer labs and internet.
“We have to take our students home to teach them on our personal computers,” said Samer Iqbal, a primary teacher and a trainer of Intel Teach.
She said they did not find desirable support from school management but still found their own ways to continue their teaching.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 29th, 2011.
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