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ICT in Papua New Guinea

Information Technology (ICT) for education: achieving the goals of PNG Vision 2050 

Joseph Kim Peter K. Anderson

The PNG Vision 2050 is the overarching development roadmap by the government of Papua New Guinea which delineates the overall development goals. Through partnership between relevant stakeholders, ICT1 could be used to provide education to the school population regardless of their location. The technology is available to realize this goal, given good leadership collaboration and cooperation between stakeholders. Partnership arrangements will result in benefits in terms of the sharing of costs and rewards, experiences and knowledge which will elevate public good by fulfilling the educational goals stipulated in the PNG Vision 2050. An example of such partnership in action and ensuing benefits is provided by the functioning of PNGARNet for the PNG tertiary sector. 

Key words: Catholic, church and other education agencies, globalization, partnership, PNG Vision 2050, Information Communication Technology (ICT), pedagogy, content/curriculum, PNGARNet, course management systems Introduction The evolution and advances in ICTs interconnect the world electronically thereby accelerating the process of globalization which manifests itself in a multitude of ways making living in the 21st century very competitive and challenging (Singer, 2003). One possible consequence is that, with the emergence of new economic forces driven by globalization and ICT and their influence on the world economy, nations that are relatively small, weak, and impoverished will be further marginalized, making it even more difficult for them to compete (Yunus, 2007) on a global level. In recognition of this reality, PNG needs to act now to capitalize on available opportunities and avoid being further marginalized by globalization. The recognition of the globalization phenomenon particularly through high level development strategic plans such as the PNG Vision 2050 is important to raise awareness and develop carefully thought out strategies.  

Benefits of ICT to PNG
Benefits of ICT from the perspective of education and learning include the
ubiquitous nature and high speed availability of information and content which
can be harnessed by mitigating distance/time barriers (ITU News, 2008). ICT
also has huge information gathering, storage, transmission and exchange
capabilities, a useful feature for research and learning. The rugged
geographical terrain and related challenges of PNG can be overcome through 

the use of ICT for education purposes. Modern telecommunications and the
Internet have the potential to greatly expand education opportunities for all in
PNG (MTDS 2005-2010).
Further, the ubiquitous nature of ICT renders itself suitable for collaboration,
research and learning anytime, anywhere and can usefully serve even
rural/remote areas of PNG. ICT systems and networks can also be designed to
be environmentally friendly, in the light of global awareness for a greener
environment (IB, 2011).
ICT provides an important link in enhancing the quality of learning including
content development and delivery. Many countries around the world such as
Korea and Sweden have fully integrated ICT into their schooling systems with
successful benefits (ITU News, 2010).

ICT and improvement of education
ICT can play various roles in the education system value chain which can result
in an improved quality in education and learning in PNG. For example,
PASTEP is involved with AV3
 equipment which helped strengthen teaching
methods with the use of overhead projectors and use of computers which are
used to write curriculum and assessment among other things (Nongkas, 2007).
ICT can also help in delivering lessons or educational content within and
between distinct locations of PNG, a country with challenging terrain,
mountains and islands spread over an area of more than 640,000 square km.
Moreover, the introduction of ICT in the educational curriculum for schools,
colleges and universities can help create a critical mass that could see a greater
appreciation of it by the populace in the face of globalization. It is an
empowering tool that enhances options and brings the world’s knowledge to
everyone’s doorstep (Yunus, 2007). 

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