ROLE OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY (ICT)

Thursday 29 Bhadra 2074 Sundarharaincha –

The higher education system in India is undergoing a dynamic change. Good education is always seen as a promoting factor for high career. Globalization has changed the education into a service industry (Hayward, 2000). The development of Information Communication and Technology (ICT) has brought a shift in the current education system in India. Higher education in India is considered as one of the most developed in the entire world (Bhattacharya & Sharma, 2007). The number of educational and research institutes both technical and non-technical like IITs, IIMs, B Schools, and number of Universities across the nation offer wide range of courses. The number of Universities is said to have doubled since 1990-91, the year which is considered as Landmark in Economic history of India. The Information Communication and Technology (ICT) enabled education has led to democratization of education. The issue here is to understand whether Information Communication and Technology (ICT) which is playing a very vital role in creating and producing knowledge in many aspects of Indian society has it promoted higher educational opportunities to the long time deprived people of SC/ST. ICT as Power building Strategy in SC/ST

ICT as Power building Strategy in SC/ST

Higher education has the power to build knowledge based society. It is the basis for development and empowerment of its citizens irrespective of whether they belong to this or that creed and gender. The constitution of India (1950) guarantees equality before the law under Article 14 it prohibits discrimination on the basis of religion, race, sex or place of birth further Article 46 promotes educational and economic interest of the Dalits (Shukla, 1964). The knowledge era require people to perform multiple roles like new knowledge and new capabilities. The higher education system has its own global challenges when a large section of the population is not involved in achieving this creative and new capacity due to the fact that they belong to suppressed group. In the case of education, the provision relates to non-discrimination in educational institutions, equal representations, and measures for educational promotions. Article 15 (4) states that “Nothing in this article shall prevent the State from making any special provision for the advancement of any socially and educationally backward classes of citizens or for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes”.

Article 29(2) provides protection for admission and against discrimination in any educational institution maintained by the State or receiving aid out of State funds on grounds only of religion, race, caste, language or any of them . In spite of all the constitutional and legislative measure to control such discrimination the society has not changed to provide an inclusive approach in higher education with such advanced technology. With legal safeguards against discrimination in employment, education and other spheres, the SC/STs continue to suffer from discriminatory access to the institutions of justices which are responsible for delivering justice (Suri and Rajaram, 2008). The planning Commission with Ministry of Human Resource Development, UGC and other Experts has been providing developmental grants to higher educational institutes but still significantly high proportion of SC/STs have remained far from higher education. There are large segments of the populations in India which are underrepresented in higher education system (Chitnis and Altbach, 1993).

The disparities between regions, social groups and gender are also very wide. India has the largest higher educational institutions in the world with around 430 Universities and 22,000 institutions of higher education. Only 7% of the Indians enter the higher education sector currently. The National Knowledge Commission constituted in 2005 has recommended opening 1500 Universities Nationwide to attain the gross ratio (GER) of at least 15% by 2015. In this the students of SC/STs enrolling for higher education is not only but dropout rate is very high (UGC, 2009).

Use of ICT/Web Tools in ELT in Nepal

ICT and Web tools have been integrated as potentially powerful information-handling tools for educational change and reform. Different kinds of ICTs which include radio and television, as well as latest digital technologies such as computers and the internet are widely used in the 21st century ELT classroom. The appropriate use of the ICT and web tools can be beneficial to strengthen the relevance of ELT to the increasingly digital workplace and to have better outcomes in teaching learning environment. They can also raise the quality of teaching learning activities making it engaging relating to real life experience. Highlighting the common use of ICT and Web tools in ELT classroom, UNDP (2003) states: In recent years there has been a groundswell of interest in how computers and the Internet can best be harnessed to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of education at all levels and in both formal and nonformal settings. But ICTs are more than just these technologies; older technologies such as the telephone,radio and television, although now given less attention, have a longer and richer history as instructional tools. The selection and use of ICT /Web tools in ELT class depends on different factors such as class size, classroom management, electronic literacy of the teachers and students, subject area, availability of the tools, etc. Considering these factors, the common types of ICT/Web tools used in ELT in the present day world are as follows:

Laptop: Laptop is a portable and a mini personal computer which is widely used because of its battery backup nature. Teachers as well as their students can use it to note down important information about their lessons. Digital Recording: It is a useful tool in foreign language classrooms where a primary goal is for students to practice speaking the target language, hear how they sound, and improve their speaking proficiency. Mobile Gadget: It is used to make a photo documentary using the camera function. And the teacher can assign a theme for the documentary to their students. Similarly, students can use the applications available in it. For example, instead of taking out a dictionary, students can simply use their translator, and instead of trawling through books for a piece of literature, they can search on Google and be directed to a specific word.

Multimedia Projector: Multimedia projectors are used frequently in classrooms for multimedia presentations. The teacher can use it to display his/her lesson along with audio visual features on the white board while instructing students.

Interactive White Board: Interactive whiteboards are good replacements for traditional whiteboards or flipcharts as they provide ways to show students everything which can be presented on a computer’s desktop. Chhabra (2012) says, “Interactive white board helps teachers use a studentcentered approach to teach language and they can use SMART Boards to improve reading comprehension, and teach grammar and writing”. Internet: Internet can be used as a medium of language learning through email, WWW (World Wide Web), text, audio and video conferencing. Internet is not merely a source of authentic material in English but also a source of information in the form of articles, courses, conferences.

Facebook: It has heavily influenced the world today and ELT has no exception to it. Mostly, students can get benefits from the Facebook-groups and pages where students as well as teachers can post and share the course-related information like assignments, outlines, and other materials.

YouTube: YouTube surfing can be very much effective for various aspects of English as to enhance language aspects such as vocabulary, accents, pronunciations, voice modulation and many more. Chhabra (2012) argues that ‘the real advantage of using YouTube in teaching English is that it offers authentic examples of everyday English used by everyday people’. The teacher can use it as a tool for improving their listening and speaking, reading and writing skills.

Weblog: Basically in blog visitors can read the post, comment on it or link to it or email to anyone they like. Blogging provides the bloggers and readers with the updated information and best practices in the pedagogy basing on true experience, knowledge and research findings.

Twitter: As an online education technology tool, the impact of it in teaching learning activities is limitless. The teacher can tweet a single word or an idea about his language lessons and can collect his students’ viewpoints and analyze their potential. It can be done with the students of the same classroom or the students of the different classrooms on the class twitter network.

Methods and procedures of the study

Design of the study This research work is a field-based crosssectional survey research. A survey usually relies on large-scale data gathered from a wide population in order to enable generalizations to be made about given factors or variables. According to Cohen et al. (2010), “A survey has several characteristics and several claimed attractions; typically it is used to scan a wide field of issues, populations, programmes etc. in order to measure or describe any generalized features” (p. 206). Thus, the main purpose of carrying out this survey research is to obtain a snapshot of condition, attitudes and or events at a single point in time on ICT and Web tools in ELT in Nepalese private secondary and higher secondary education.

-Nischal Ghimire(Marlyn)

Sukuna Multiple Campus

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