Critical Perspectives of Educational Technology in Africa: Design, Implementation, and Evaluation [1st ed.] 9783030537272, 9783030537289

This book is a critical-cultural evaluation of educational technology adoption in Sub-Saharan Africa, including projects

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Critical Perspectives of Educational Technology in Africa: Design, Implementation, and Evaluation [1st ed.]
 9783030537272, 9783030537289

Table of contents :
Front Matter ....Pages i-xvii
Introduction and Background (Bellarmine A. Ezumah)....Pages 1-13
An Overview of the African Education Systems (Bellarmine A. Ezumah)....Pages 15-48
Critical and Cultural Perspectives of Educational Technology Transfers and Theoretical Frameworks (Bellarmine A. Ezumah)....Pages 49-67
Challenges of Educational Technology Adoption in Africa (Bellarmine A. Ezumah)....Pages 69-89
Teacher Training and Pedagogy in Africa (Bellarmine A. Ezumah)....Pages 91-108
Case Studies of Educational Technologies Deployment and Initiatives (Bellarmine A. Ezumah)....Pages 109-162
Ezumah Model for Effective Planning and Implementation of (Digital) Educational Technology (Bellarmine A. Ezumah)....Pages 163-178
Conclusion (Bellarmine A. Ezumah)....Pages 179-187
Back Matter ....Pages 189-193

Citation preview

DIGITAL EDUCATION AND LEARNING

Critical Perspectives of Educational Technology in Africa Design, Implementation, and Evaluation Bellarmine A. Ezumah

Digital Education and Learning

Series Editors Michael Thomas Liverpool John Moores University Liverpool, UK John Palfrey Phillips Academy Andover, MA, USA Mark Warschauer University of California, Irvine Irvine, CA, USA

Much has been written during the first decade of the new millennium about the potential of digital technologies to produce a transformation of education. Digital technologies are portrayed as tools that will enhance learner collaboration and motivation and develop new multimodal literacy skills. Accompanying this has been the move from understanding literacy on the cognitive level to an appreciation of the sociocultural forces shaping learner development. Responding to these claims, the Digital Education and Learning Series explores the pedagogical potential and realities of digital technologies in a wide range of disciplinary contexts across the educational spectrum both in and outside of class. Focusing on local and global perspectives, the series responds to the shifting landscape of education, the way digital technologies are being used in different educational and cultural contexts, and examines the differences that lie behind the generalizations of the digital age. Incorporating cutting edge volumes with theoretical perspectives and case studies (single authored and edited collections), the series provides an accessible and valuable resource for academic researchers, teacher trainers, administrators and students interested in interdisciplinary studies of education and new and emerging technologies.

More information about this series at http://www.palgrave.com/gp/series/14952

Bellarmine A. Ezumah

Critical Perspectives of Educational Technology in Africa Design, Implementation, and Evaluation

Bellarmine A. Ezumah Journalism and Mass Communication Murray State University Murray, KY, USA

Digital Education and Learning ISBN 978-3-030-53727-2 ISBN 978-3-030-53728-9 (eBook) https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-53728-9 © The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020 This work is subject to copyright. All rights are solely and exclusively licensed by the Publisher, whether the whole or part of the material is concerned, specifically the rights of translation, reprinting, reuse of illustrations, recitation, broadcasting, reproduction on microfilms or in any other physical way, and transmission or information storage and retrieval, electronic adaptation, computer software, or by similar or dissimilar methodology now known or hereafter developed. The use of general descriptive names, registered names, trademarks, service marks, etc. in this publication does not imply, even in the absence of a specific statement, that such names are exempt from the relevant protective laws and regulations and therefore free for general use. The publisher, the authors and the editors are safe to assume that the advice and information in this book are believed to be true and accurate at the date of publication. Neither the publisher nor the authors or the editors give a warranty, expressed or implied, with respect to the material contained herein or for any errors or omissions that may have been made. The publisher remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations. Cover illustration: © Witthaya Prasongsin/Moment/gettyimages This Palgrave Macmillan imprint is published by the registered company Springer Nature Switzerland AG The registered company address is: Gewerbestrasse 11, 6330 Cham, Switzerland

Dedicated to my parents, Late Emmanuel Alicho Ezuma and Ezinne Mrs. Martina Ngwanma Ezuma Renowned teachers who first instilled in me the value of education.

Foreword

This book strongly commits to a widely universal discourse on the critical perspective of technology advancing the educational system in the continent of Africa. It provides insight into the role educational technology had played and subsequently will play in the transformation of academic curricula in the changing African educational systems. The advancement in technology in Africa, which is the main focus of this book, has played a tremendous role in bringing about monumental changes in academia most importantly in its various institutional levels ranging from nursery, primary, secondary, teacher training institutions, and most importantly at the tertiary levels. Data have shown that in most of these institutions, academic curricular, instructional materials, and the method of course delivery have changed tremendously. Significance of these changes in modalities was evident currently as COVID-19 pandemic presents an unprecedented new normal resulting in the use of technology in various instructional platforms. The reason for the possibility of these changes was the advancement in technological innovations, which have become a formidable channel through which information and educational content delivery from the teachers was conveniently delivered to students simultaneously. Whereas the advent of the educational technology in Africa has tremendously led to the opening of new normal and formidable frontiers in the delivery of knowledge in a more timely and convenient manner, it has as well contributed in the offering of new possibilities for the academic

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community. Students can now elect to attend to lectures using various technology platforms such as virtual orientation to learning at the convenience of their respective homes through zoom and the opportunity to submit and take tests and examinations through the same virtual platform. The eight chapters of this book showcases the necessary and direct impact educational technology has had as evident in the current unprecedented global pandemic that had already changed the norms from a global vantage perspective. Beyond that, Ezumah posed some thoughtprovoking questions such as “Why is Africa so bent on incorporating universally, digital ICT in all schools even when such has proved attainable only to a small fraction of schools?” “Why is affinity to westernization the only measure of an effective pedagogy?” “How can elementary and/or secondary education function to prepare for the workforce, the percentile of African youth who may not necessarily proceed to the tertiary level?” While considering ICT for all, “Whose ICT for all?” And most importantly, “Which ICT?” Additionally, Ezumah presents a strong argument as to the critical perspective of educational technology in Africa regarding the significant impact the new technology is presently having across the world. But more so, she has touched a rare area which is seeking to evaluate educational technology transfers from the West to the developing nations. Such evaluation, she proffered, must include local peculiarities including culture, language, societal needs, and congruity with teacher training modalities and local pedagogical styles. The book also addresses the importance of the impact of technology in Africa as it relates to the educational systems and shows empirically with strong evidence on how such impact affects the academic environment in the continent of Africa. The book equally reviews critical and cultural perspective of educational technology transfer and its theoretical framework, reviewing the challenges associated with educational technology adoption in Africa, and calls for valid orientation, teacher training, and pedagogies, which, of course, is required in the introduction of such technologies. Ezumah has further addressed other theoretical and ideological outcomes for such transfer such as cultural imperialism and neocolonialism. To accentuate these theories, she has presented case studies informed by her empirical studies of educational technology deployment/initiatives and has formulated a model for effective planning and implementation of educational technology in various African learning environment.

FOREWORD

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The significance of this book lies within the emergence of educational technology as one of the most reliable inventions of our time. Technology, therefore, has so far significantly influenced the educational system in the developed democracy as the preparation of course content and delivery has tremendously changed. Teacher and student interaction has taken a different turn as learning has improved and more often individualized. In most instances, students can obtain course content information through an electronic means, and as well complete and submit homework and projects through the same means. Today, in a rapidly changing African educational environment, television and cable capabilities can deliver class content to students in the comfort of their respective homes or the library with or without the presence of the instructor (teacher). The significance of this book also lies in its assumption that technology will play a considerable role in changing academic curricula in African educational systems as it has done in the civilized Western democracies if properly and carefully integrated and effectively utilized. The empirical findings and a strong evidence of a model for effective planning and implementation of educational technology in Africa (The Ezumah Model presented in Chapter 7) go a long way to legitimize the significance of this book. The integration of COVID-19 pandemic outcomes and its unprecedented new normal, resulting in the changes in instructions and content materials in Africa’s school systems, supports the argument of this book that educational technology is imperative in African school systems. By educational technology, Ezumah legitimizes both digital and analog technologies as capable of serving education needs, depending on the nature and financial capabilities of the community in question. These strong arguments make this book a sure bet to be read and used by students across Africa in various tertiary institutions and students/scholars of communication technology across the boundaries of the world. I strongly recommend this book with its fascinating examples and critical research perspectives in exploring the new normal. Professor Cosmas U. Nwokeafor, Ph.D. Dean Graduate School Center for Business and Graduate Studies Bowie State University Bowie, MD, USA

Acknowledgments

I am profoundly grateful to God who has been the source and summit of my life. I thank Dr. Barbara Hines—my mentor and friend, who believed in me before she met me, and whose recommendation furthered my chance to benefit from the prestigious Frederick Douglass Fellowship at Howard University. I also thank the members of my dissertation committee—the etymology of this work—Dr. Carolyn Byerly, Dr. Anju Chaudhary, Dr. Frederick Harper, Dr. Chuka Onwumechili, and Dr. Kevin Clark, my external examiner. I am deeply grateful to the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Arthur J. Bauernfeind College of Business at Murray State University under the deanship of Dr. Tim Todd, for sponsoring my research trips. I thank also, my brother and mentor, Prof. Dr. Gerry Muuka. To my editors at Palgrave Macmillan, especially Linda Braus, I appreciate your patience and guidance. To my numerous friends and colleagues, I want you to know that I cherish your friendships and support during the first phase of this work in 2009/2010 and your continued support in this later phase that turned it into a book. In a special way, I acknowledge Fr. Charles Ebelebe, CSSp for his support and editorial touches. A special thanks to my local coordinators in Nigeria and Ghana who paved the way prior to my arrival for field research. Among them are Tomi Davies, Ahmed Dan-Hamidu, Ayo Kusamotu, Rev. Kingsley Dadebo, and Maxwell Akornor. Most importantly, I thank my research participants the

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students and staff of LEA Galadima and Kanda V schools in Nigeria and Ghana, respectively, as well as the government officials and experts in the fields of education and technology, and the OLPC staff, who provided me with vital data that informed this work. Finally, to my families, the Ezumas (my pride and my joy), and the Daughters of Mary, Mother of Mercy Sisters, I will sum up my emotions with, “I love you all!” I thank Rev. Mother Pauline Eboh, DMMM and Council for granting me the permission to further my studies. I thank my parents, my wonderful father, late Mazi Emmanuel Alicho Ezuma and my beloved mother, Ezinne Martina Ngwanma Ezuma. Mama, you are my rock! Thanks for your love and encouragement. To my siblings— Julie (RIP), Nkechi, Vero, Nma (RIP), Chukwuma, Kelechi, and my inlaws, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews especially, Ezinwannem, Divine, Goodluck, and Amanda, whose love maintained my sanity during the final preparations of this manuscript under COVID-19 pandemic, thank you!

Contents

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1

Introduction and Background

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An Overview of the African Education Systems

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3

Critical and Cultural Perspectives of Educational Technology Transfers and Theoretical Frameworks

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Challenges of Educational Technology Adoption in Africa

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Teacher Training and Pedagogy in Africa

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Case Studies of Educational Technologies Deployment and Initiatives

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Ezumah Model for Effective Planning and Implementation of (Digital) Educational Technology

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Conclusion

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Index

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List of Figures

Fig. 2.1

Fig. 2.2

Fig. 6.1

Fig. 7.1

Out-of-school rate by region and age group 2018 (Note Regions are sorted by the primary out-of-school rate. Source UNESCO Institute for Statistics database) School resources and learning environment in Africa (Source UNESCO Institute for Statistics (2016). School Resources and learning environment in Africa) Picture of Samsung Digital Village in 2015 (launched) and 2017 (two years later) (Source Dartey Media, Ghana [https://darteymedia.com/] Used with permission) Ezumah model for planning and implementing new educational technology in low-income communities

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116 174

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List of Tables

Table Table Table Table Table Table Table

2.1 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6

Nigeria and Ghana Fact Sheet Summary of participants Brief description of interview participants Major educational needs/problems identified by students Major educational needs/problems identified by parents Major educational needs/problems identified by experts Students’ favorite activities with the XO laptop

38 128 134 141 142 143 148

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CHAPTER 1

Introduction and Background

The idea for this book began in 2009, some 10 years ago when I was completing my graduate studies at Howard University. With a seven-year experience as Utilization Coordinator and later, Director of Instructional Technology for Catholic elementary and high schools in New York City (Brooklyn and Queens), I became aware, firsthand, the role technology—both analog and digital—play in improving teaching and learning. Therefore, it piqued my interest to review ways that educational technology might be efficiently conceived, designed, implemented, and evaluated especially for low-income and poor communities of the world. The earliest version of this work was informed by an empirical study integrating an extensive formative evaluation of the famous One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) XO-tablet initiative of MIT and Nicholas Negroponte. Later, I continued the quest by reviewing African homegrown educational technologies to ascertain their success and how effective they render teaching and learning in elementary and secondary education sectors. One of such studies was conducted in Osun State of Nigeria with the Opon Imo (Tablet of knowledge) which was a contrivance of the then Governor of Osun State, Ogbeni Rauf Odesoji Aregbesola. This book presents several years of inquiry on the best practices and most efficient ways to improve education among low-income communities and regions of the world through designing and implementing

© The Author(s) 2020 B. A. Ezumah, Critical Perspectives of Educational Technology in Africa, Digital Education and Learning, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-53728-9_1

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congruent educational technologies. The result indicates that certain challenges of Western-transferred educational technologies are present even in homegrown technologies. The broader view of this work therefore takes two perspectives; first, it defines what constitutes technology with regards to education and seeks to debunk the assumption that educational technology consists only of digital technologies. This work additionally launches a campaign for a paradigm shift aimed at validating analog technologies as equally capable of providing necessary and desired educational objectives and outcomes. Unbeknownst to many, books, pencils, desks, etc., are technologies and for certain communities, obtaining them would be a great achievement and improvement for learning. This line of argument poses an alternative theoretical action-oriented framework for designing and utilizing Information and Communications Technology (ICT) dissimilar to the general ethos of digitizing the planet by a certain timeframe. Akin to the purpose of reframing and redefining the meaning of technology, this volume emphasizes the need for a participatory approach incorporating stakeholders at all levels for an effective plan, design, implementation, and evaluation of educational technology especially of those initiatives that are transferred from the Global North or Western countries to developing countries. This will involve among other things, a consideration of cultural peculiarities. While the focus is Africa, one of the major contributions of this book is a model proposed via a flow chart (the Ezumah Model , presented in Chapter 7) as a prototype that can be adapted and adopted as any community deems applicable. While myriads of studies in the area of educational technology reformation focus on cost, technical assistance, environmental challenges such as power and need for sustenance as well as teacher-training and curriculum, in addition to all these, this work presents a critical-cultural lens that can inform all stakeholders—designers, implementers, and users of the technology. Yes, critical cultural, because, culture accentuates and solidifies a community, it is an inevitable fabric in any community’s tapestry and so removing it renders the community incomplete. Similarly, including culture in technology design renders such technology specific to the said community. Moreover, education and learning do not exist in a vacuum; they align with, and within every given community alongside their cultural identities and proclivities—all these play vital roles and should be considered in the decision making for any chosen education delivery modality.

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Central to popular perception of global educational technology adoption is a “leapfrog frenzy” that compels most low-income communities of the world to jump into the bandwagon of digital technology or ICT for all—toward preparing students all over the world for a digital twenty-first century. In alignment with the old development theory, the erroneous opinion asserts or at least suggests, by introducing computers and other digital tablets to poor schools even those that cannot provide notebooks and textbooks for their students, they will leapfrog into a digitized community and such equates development. Borrowing BrockUtne’s (2000) famous title “Whose Education for All?” While considering ICT for all, I pose similar question—“Whose ICT?” And most importantly, “Which ICT?” Are we promoting digital educational technology for all or educational technology for all? Technology generally refers to concepts, ideas, objects, or artifacts that can be employed in solving a problem or improving a situation. Therefore, educational technology is equally any of the above-mentioned ideas or artifacts that can be employed to solving any challenge or problem associated with pedagogy or simply, put, improving teaching and learning. Perhaps a more appropriate nomenclature might be the term “educational technology edutech” instead of digital ICT (as there is this embedded meaning in ICT that refers to specifically digital). Conversely, with regard to edutech, there is a broad spectrum of what is available and what should constitute the technology in question. However, ICT narrows down the choice and the “C” then becomes the operative word. A book is an education technology—whether exercise book or textbook but it lacks the popular opinion of “C” in communication or at least synchronous interaction as we know it in the twenty-first century. So, the operant “C” then forces policymakers, administrators, teachers, and parents to look beyond other affordable and equally effective technologies to focus on technologies with interactive communication capacity. Technology is not synonymous with digital or computer-mediated alone. Therefore, technology should be examined in a timeline of development which requires looking at it from a continuum instead of distinguishing it as standalone or a binary opposition of digital versus analog. Both are not distinct per se; but share an inter-relational existence in a continuum whereby one cannot exist without the prior existence or later existence of the other. This symbiotic relationship demands a seamless developmental trajectory that moves along in sequence as guided by the speed of available resources congruent to a particular region or milieu.

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Correspondingly, educational technology adoption and implementation decisions should be guided by the availability of infrastructure and other essential resources, and not by applying digital technological determinism, a mindset that believes digital technology shapes society and if we engage in digital technology, we automatically transition into a digital nation, natives, and ultimately development. Definitely, a sustainable digital education technology is preferred to a backward analog alternative. But, if the leapfrogging that is needed for a particular community is a textbook, an exercise book, a classroom, pens, and pencils,—then those will very well be meaningful; as opposed to leapfrogging to a full-blown digital tablet that in a few months or years proves unsustainable. I understand this is not the popular narrative as far as educational technology discourse in the twenty-first century is concerned; this frame of mind requires a reorientation on the part of local and international bodies for many reasons. First, studies have shown that a good number of digital technological investments in developing countries, Africa in particular, have met with alarming failure rates, and there is rarely effective assessment of those projects. While each emergent technology seems to displace and replace the previous ones promising a more effective outcome, especially the technologies that are designed and implemented in Western countries, that realization has been far-fetched. With such attestations, multilateral institutions, institutions of learning, ministers of education, and countries at large are vigorously investing in educational technology in their quest to meet demands in the global market. Such transplanting method does not necessarily work in lowincome communities due to several challenges. In light of all these, there is an urgent need to evaluate educational programs in Africa because technology when effectively designed and implemented can transform Africa especially in education delivery which in turn can lead to social and economic development. But what is also often problematic is a practice I choose to call the “Messianic-heroic compulsion” which propels technology innovators, designers, and chief executive officers to select the remotest districts and schools to deploy their device so as to yield the greatest possible effect thus, manifesting a ground-breaking result that catapults a school located in one of the remotest villages to be at par with schools in a Western Metropolis. One such example is the OLPC project which targeted poor schools who are unable to provide pens and pencils for all pupils. During my fieldwork in 2009 at LEA Galadima School located in the inner city

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of Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) of Nigeria and Kanda V Primary School also located in inner-city Accra (the capital of Ghana), several parents who wished to participate in the study had no transportation fare to come back to school a second time (after they have trekked several kilometers to drop off their children in the morning) just to participate in the research process while many of the students had no writing materials. Most students equally did not have writing materials with which to participate in the study. The transportation and writing materials were included in the research expenses. The Galadima School had no power supply but relied on the solar panel provided by OLPC which at the time of my study was no longer functional. The XO laptop idea is a great one that could have impacted schools in developing countries had OLPC chose those particular schools with at least the basic necessities that could provide a fertile ground for implementation. Granted the popular narrative on African education are schools that lack basic educational needs, I must highlight that every African country irrespective of their economy and education system, have several schools albeit mostly private schools that are at par with elementary and secondary schools in the Western countries. There are various evidentiary proof that attest students from these schools compete at the global arena and in many instances, have surpassed schools in the western countries in the areas of science and technology. There are also mid-range schools that are not top-notch but can sustain projects like the XO laptop and similar initiatives. One can understand the compassion and sentiment of propelling the rural schools to rise to the level of mid-range and top-notch schools thus leveling the playing field for all, but when such investment has no strong foundation and source of sustenance, the initiative becomes an exercise in futility. One other clarification I would like to proffer in this introductory chapter pertains to the critical evaluation of preference to digital technology only. Despite the critical review in this book, about the call for digital technology investment in all schools across the board, this volume echoes several studies that support educational transformation in digital age with mobile electronics and other emergent technologies. The pervasiveness of mobile electronic devices in the twenty-first century has permeated various facets of our society including teaching and learning. Initially, educational technology was prevalent among developed societies but is more and more transcending low-income communities of the developing world. For decades, numerous efforts have been made to improve education quality in developing regions of the globe—efforts

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by multilateral organizations such as the UNESCO, as well as individuals, companies, and governmental agencies. Often, some of these efforts overlook pertinent factors such as inclusion of local experts, provision of appropriate curriculum, meeting other needs of the targeted population such adequate learning environment (classrooms), qualified teachers, basic needs of food, pencils, textbooks and exercise books, cultural practices, overall cost of technology and financial sustenance, and many others. Such negligence rendered most of the educational technology projects unsustainable and in worse cases, unable to jumpstart the deployment. Criticisms of the processes involved in educational technology adoption in low-income communities include: • Mere dumping of hardware or software in schools and hoping it will somehow work. • Promoting technologies designed for a particular region as a universal educational panacea. • Failure to equip the technology with appropriate content. • Failure to involve local experts in all stages of design, implementation, and adoption. • Overlooking the necessity of teacher training efforts before adoption and a continuous training afterwards. • Overlooking other basic yet pertinent needs of the user population; for instance, food, shelter, school supplies, textbooks, qualified teachers, etc. • Overlooking the overall cost and plan for financial sustenance. • Failure to identify specific goal(s) for which the technology is expected to serve. In light of the above, this work adds to the volume of books on educational technology planning, designing, implementation, and evaluation specific to the African continent. However, there is still paucity of materials that focus on elementary education and technologies designed by the West and transferred to the Global South. Also, it addressed the issue of innovation as a process of transferring ideologies and not just the hardware and software technologies incorporating political and religious colonialism with its by-product of cultural imperialism.

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Despite the frenzy of every African country jumping on the bandwagon of incorporating ICT in education at all levels without the exclusion of the rural regions who need the basic supplies of books, pencils, pens, chalkboard and desks, and a sanitary environment, it has not been established empirically that mere incorporation of technology in schools correlates with improved education performance barring all other variables. Another major topic that was addressed is the educational policy or lack thereof in many African countries. Often, such decisions and policies adopt a top-down approach as opposed to comprehensive involvement of all stakeholders. Furthermore, this book addresses the notion of presenting some educational technologies as panacea for all African problems. Such mentality that these educational technologies especially those transferred from Western countries promise something entirely different and better evokes a nostalgia of colonialism. The best practice would be to organically incorporate the new technology as complementary rather than replacing what has been. Also, this new frenzy of considering educational goal as predominantly preparing our students to compete in the global arena is often misconstrued and thus pushing several African countries to adopt other nations’ ideas, strategies, systems, and plans so as to effectively compete. The confusion or misguidance may stem from semantics and the terminologies used. Instead of fixating on “new” technology, the term “latest” technology could be a better alternative. Latest is subjective and not universal. It curbs that universality of new—latest for some may be digital technology while for others, it is still analog. Several questions persist, why is Africa so bent on incorporating universally, digital ICT in all schools even when such has proved attainable only to a small fraction of schools? Why is affinity to westernization the only measure of an effective pedagogy? Myriads of studies show numerous challenges that impede effective ICT adoption and implementation of ICT in all schools. Instead of infusing such importance to a solution that is inaccessible, why not re-strategize and find more effective ways of improving education for low-income communities. Several studies provide oppositional results; some attest to ICT as improving education while others show results that are contrary—it all depends on which form of ICT and other extenuating variables ranging from what constitutes the expected contribution, to the method of implementation, teacher involvement with design and curriculum, actual information in the said ICT product and many more factors. Joyce-Gibbons et al.s’ (2018) study on

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the educational improvement through the use of mobile phones found that it serves as a distraction rather than an effective tool; while Asongu and Odhiambo’s (2019) study found otherwise. They assert, contrary to the findings of Joyce-Gibbons et al. (2018), ICT improves education quality in Sub-Saharan Africa and teachers should start considering its relevance in both elementary and secondary school levels. Perhaps another important contribution of this work is the incorporation of critical-cultural evaluation of educational technology in SubSaharan Africa. Several works have reviewed educational technology adoption in Africa from the economic, socio-economic, gender, cost, teacher training, pedagogical style, technical requirements, and even the economy of education. This particular work chose to review educational technology design and adoption from a critical-cultural lens touching upon the above-mentioned constructs but focusing on embedding the African traditional education system, juxtaposing the African culture and introducing the new technology only in a situation where these two major identities of an African society has been fully considered. Another factor that sets this work apart is that it focuses primarily on educational technology, design, implementation, and evaluation at the primary education level as this level is crucial in setting the foundation and pace for every child as he or she engages in other higher educational pursuits. Additionally, this rudimentary level is similar to the Precolonial African Traditional Education System and the focus of the pedagogy is more attuned to the environment in question. Tertiary institutions on the other hand, create spaces for more exploration in terms of preparing students to compete in a global world. Situating and grounding every child in their culture at the primary level provides that child with a solid background of who he or she really is and equips the child with a unique experience that defines the background, the pride, the understanding, and the framework upon which every other forms of education can be built and could yield the expected outcome. Often, nation states and individual schools misinterpret global promulgations or suggestive policies such as Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specifically the fourth one (SDG4) which focuses on quality education, by ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all, the goals are relative and ought to be interpreted differently and accordingly. In 2015 all United Nations Member States adopted a 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals. A 2019 review of the SDG goals indicates that Goal 4

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has been majorly under-achieved especially among the developing nations especially in the areas of teacher training and access to quality education and basic infrastructure (United Nations, 2019). For instance, the report indicates “many developing countries still lack basic infrastructure and facilities to provide effective learning environments. Sub-Saharan Africa faces the biggest challenges: at the primary and lower secondary levels, less than half of schools have access to electricity, the Internet, computers and basic drinking water.” Also, “Globally, there has been little progress in the percentage of primary school teachers who are trained: it has been stagnating at about 85 per cent since 2015. The proportion is lowest in sub-Saharan Africa (64 per cent).” And finally, “In 2015, an estimated 617 million children and adolescents of primary and lower secondary school age worldwide – more than 50 per cent – were not achieving minimum proficiency levels in reading and mathematics. Of these, about two thirds were attending school but were not learning in the classroom, or dropped out school.1 ” https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdg4. Even though this book is not proposing a precolonial system of education in Africa in the twenty-first century, it however proposes a re-evaluation of the major goals of education at the elementary and secondary levels considering that many African youth do not extend their formal education beyond this level. How then can elementary and/or secondary education function to prepare the percentile of African youth who may not necessarily proceed to secondary or tertiary institutions for the society? While the brunt of this work encompasses Sub-Saharan Africa, it is not aimed to demonstrate a monolithic perspective. Africa no doubt is a diverse continent; therefore, all suggestions in this book serves as a template that can be adapted and adopted to fit each environment. This work focuses mainly on those educational technologies that are designed and transferred from the West to the Global South and reviews as cases, the initiatives that are adopted or deployed to several African countries for a comparative analysis. It also focuses on the initiatives that multilateral organizations propose for educational improvement in regions where the designers of the technology and non-natives. It will focus majorly on the author’s research on the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) initiative by Nicholas Negroponte of MIT, United States that is geared toward

1 Details of the 2019 UN Report are presented on Chapter 2.

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improving elementary education among low-income communities of the world. Several themes resound throughout the book: Technology has always been an integral component of education— from slate and chalk, to blackboard and books; and to electronic machineries like computers and other handheld tablets. Each of these developmental tools that aid education has specific ways that both students and teachers could possibly enhance and harness their usefulness. Even the rudimentary slate and chalk had their challenges and disadvantages—they lack archival quality thus, storage of work is one of these challenges, as well as natural occurrences such as simple rain. Yet teachers found a way and made it work for that generation. Not all students were able to afford slate and chalk, especially chalk, yet learning occurred. Education in Africa is guided by several kernels that seem to apply across the board despite the African diversity. The major constant constructs are communal/community rather than individualistic; elderchild dynamic or relationship in Africa is not on equal basis; and this is in contrast to the constructionism pedagogy whereby children or students lead the learning process. African education is goal-oriented but for some of the educational technologies, their learning goals are not always manifested but are more focused on experiential. Western formal education was implemented in Africa simultaneously with two major developments or reformations —colonialism and evangelism. The three constructs—western formal education, colonialism, and evangelism thus became complementary and enmeshed in one another. In some cases, it is difficult to decipher one from the rest. Thus, education in Africa still retains some form of colonialism and religiosity attached to it. The advent of formal western-based education in Africa happened simultaneously with evangelism and so, many factors came to play such as: obedience, acceptance of the teachings without questioning, training masked with salvation (instead of for the good of the community), the form of education that was in play then was condemned and vilified as inadequate; same with African religion and Christianity or Islam—instead of acknowledging what is available and building upon it; devising a new way of achieving the old goals. The need for teacher training is paramount to any successful educational technology. Also, Colonial education neglected of the needs of the natives and its remnants resounds in current African education. Several

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studies geared toward improving educational technology implementation in sub-Saharan Africa all emphasized the need for teacher training. This research supports that every educational technology design and all subsequent processes including the implementation and evaluation ought to involve the teachers and education administrators who design and teach the curriculum. This participatory model should gear toward presenting the technology in question and seeking the input of teachers and education administrators on how this technology fits into their curricula. If it does not, all involved need to device a means whereby the technology should first of all, be amended to fit the environment. Then teachers can use this already malleable technology and tweak their curriculum to accommodate the technology. This compromise is necessary and should happen within a space referred to elsewhere (Ezumah, 2019) as Third Culture. Numerous studies that examined technology projects in Africa focused on non-school projects, but most of them are concerned with non-educational dimensions, such as marketing, finance, health care, social interaction, government policy, banking, technology divide, etc. (Halewood & Kenny, 2008; Hartley, Treagust, & Ogunniyi, 2008; McKendrick, 1992; Moussa & Schware, 1992; Shresta, 2000; Kinuthia, 2008) and not purely on institutionalized education. The few studies conducted in and for schools focused on the secondary and tertiary levels as well as on teacher professional development (Hartley et al., 2008; Kinuthia & Dagada, 2008; Leach et al., 2004; Xuereb, 2006). Moreover, many of these studies are quantitative in their approach, providing mainly statistical figures without much qualitative interpretation. Such interpretation can lead to a deeper meaning other than mere listed factors. In essence, there is a paucity of qualitative empirical studies as well as formative evaluation on the planning, design, and implementation phases of technological projects, especially in the elementary education of low-income students. The current study is different in that it focuses on educational technology at the elementary and secondary school levels. The work is organized into eight chapters. This current chapter presents the overview of the work stating the problem to be explored which relates to the issue of numerous educational technological investments in developing countries, Africa in particular, and subsequent failure rates as a result of many factors and the lack of effective assessment of those projects. Although multilateral institutions, institutions of learning,

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ministers of education, and countries at large are vigorously investing in educational technology in their quest to meet demands in the global market, there is an urgency in evaluating those programs in Africa because technology is transforming Africans’ style of life, especially education delivery, both in teaching and learning. Chapter 2 provides an overview of the African educational systems in precolonial, colonial, and postcolonial times—a background that will accentuate the understanding of the system in which the proposed technology will be implemented. Chapter 3 focuses on one of the central arguments of the book by extrapolating the cultural differences and presenting a critical cultural approach to evaluating and choosing congruent technology for each region or nation state in Africa. This chapter also covers the history of technology transfer from the global North to South and several theoretical frameworks that explain such phenomenon. Chapter 4 lists and explains challenges that African countries have faced in their adoption of educational technology and provides measures that have been employed to ameliorate such challenges. Teacher training is central to educational technology design, adoption, and implementation; therefore, Chapter 5 reviews teacher training and pedagogy in African elementary and secondary schools and policies therein. Chapter 6 presents sample case studies of educational technology transfers from the global North or Western countries to Sub-Saharan Africa—the three cases in question are the One Laptop per Child, Intel Classmate, and Samsung Digital Village. Chapter 7 introduces the Ezumah Model for Effective Planning and Implementation of Educational Technology—a framework that is informed by the 2010 research on OLPC. The model pictograph depicts a step-by-step process of what is expected to represent a joint effort of educationists, budget analysts, teachers, parents, community leaders, and technology experts. The ultimate overseer of the process is the education department but the decision will be made with inputs derived from grassroots personnel such as parents, teachers, educationists, and in some cases, students too. Once this is in place, it would serve as yardstick to measure any proposed initiative whether local or foreign. The concluding chapter, Chapter 8 provides some closing thoughts on the topic while highlighting the major contributions of this volume and proffering a way forward for a successful educational technology design, adoption and implementation in Sub-Saharan Africa.

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References Asongu, S. A., & Odhiambo, N. M. (2019). Enhancing ICT for quality education in sub-Saharan Africa. Education and Information Technologies, 3, 1–17. Brock-Utne, B. (2000). Whose education for all? Recolonization of the African mind. New York: Falmer Press. Ezumah, B. (2019). De-Westernizing African journalism curriculum through globalization and hybridization. Journalism & Mass Communication Educator, 74(4), 452–467. Halewood, N., & Kenny, C. (2008). Young people and ICTs in developing countries. Information Technology for Development, 14(2), 171–177. Hartley, M. S., Treagust, D. F., & Ogunniyi, M. B. (2008). The application of a CAL strategy in science and mathematics for disadvantaged Grade 12 learners in South Africa. International Journal of Educational Development, 28(5), 596–611. Joyce-Gibbons, A., Galloway, D., Mollel, A., Mgoma, S., Pima, M., & Deogratias, E. (2018). Mobile phone use in two secondary schools in Tanzania. Education and Information Technologies, 23(1), 73–92. Kinuthia, W. (2008). Another spotlight on the continent: TechTrends in Africa. TechTrends, 52(4), 21–23. Kinuthia, W., & Dagada, R. (2008). E-learning incorporation: An exploratory study of three South African higher education institutions. International Journal on E-Learning, 7 (4), 623–639. Leach, J., Patel, R., Peters, A., Power, T., Ahmed, A., & Makalima, S. (2004). Deep impact: A study of the use of hand-held computers for teacher professional development in primary schools in the Global South. European Journal of Teacher Education, 27 (1), 5–28. McKendrick, D. (1992). Use and impact of information technology in Indonesian commercial banks. World Development, 20(12), 1753–1768. Moussa, A., & Schware, R. (1992). Informatics in Africa: Lessons from World Bank experience. World Development, 20(12), 1737–1752. Shresta, G. (2000). The utilization of information and communications technology foe education in Africa. UNESCO—International Institute for Capacity Building for Africa. UN. (2019). The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2019. UN, New York. https://doi.org/10.18356/55eb9109-en. Xuereb, K. (2006). A comparative study of information and communications technology policy in primary education in two small islands. Technology, Pedagogy and Education, 15(1), 31–45.

CHAPTER 2

An Overview of the African Education Systems

A brief history of the education systems in Africa in precolonial, colonial and postcolonial eras are presented in this chapter. It would go far beyond the scope of this volume to represent all policies of every African country and their education systems due to the diversity in the continent. Therefore, the chapter focuses on representational policies. Given that the original work for which this volume emanates was done in Nigeria and Ghana, these two countries and their systems received more attention than others. Western formal education was implemented in Africa simultaneously with two major developments or reformations—colonialism and evangelism. Therefore, three constructs—western formal education, colonialism, and evangelism became complementary and enmeshed in one another. As such, in some cases, it is difficult to decipher one from the others and this created confusion and ripped these constructs of their uniqueness. This history is pertinent in understanding current African education systems for they still embody some colonial influences and these attributes are more manifest in the choice of language of instruction at various levels of education. Similarly, some religious practices influence African pedagogy; for instance, obedience reverence of authorities, and acceptance of the teachings without questioning, memorization of materials and regurgitation during exams, are still predominant in many African schools. Equally, the colonial training styles were masked with salvation instead © The Author(s) 2020 B. A. Ezumah, Critical Perspectives of Educational Technology in Africa, Digital Education and Learning, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-53728-9_2

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of providing education geared towards the good of the community. In essence, the Western missionaries preferred inculcating the basic tenets of Christianity or Islam—rather than acknowledging what was available at the time of their arrival, such as the African traditional religion and the African education systems and building upon them, they instead villified and condemned the system as inadequate.

African Education in Precolonial Time Education, including formal education was already in existence in Africa before the advent of the European Missionaries. Despite the missionaries’ attempts to vilify this education as archaic and mundane, scholars avow this education system, especially at the elementary and secondary levels, as more meaningful and effective than what was adopted during the colonial period. Brock-Utne (2000) citing Scanlon (1964) explains: [the] education of the African before the arrival of the European was an education that prepared the young African for responsibilities as an adult in the home, the village, and the tribe. Learning took place through doing and practicing, imitating the grown-ups. By this process, simple instruction was given and know-how transmitted. There were also more formal teachings by the fire-place at night, when the older members of the family taught the younger the history of the locality and developed abstract reasoning through riddles. (p. 48)

And as mundane and simple as the educational system described above may seem incongruent evaluating it from the twenty-first-century prism, it was, however, amply sophisticated and most importantly, relevant for its time and it served the local needs. Additionally, Scanlon (1964) countered the criticism of simplistic attributed to precolonial education in Africa and noted, in contrast, that there were complex educational systems in Africa prior to European invasion or arrival. He referenced the rite of Poro1 society of West Africa in the 1400s and 1700s which took several 1 Poro is often condemned by many as a male “secret Society” especially by Religious

Groups and others consider it Rites of Passage to adulthood. The intention of its discussion in this book and particular in this chapter is purely as an example of structured and formal educational training in Precolonial Africa. Its religious or ritualistic meaning could certainly be up for debate for another volume or forum; and most certainly not the focus of this book.

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years of intense training. Poro was notable in many African countries especially the present-day Sierra Leone and Liberia. Describing this rite, Little (1966) asserts “[the] judicial functions the Poro society possessed some important powers of administration. On the other hand, there was also evidence to suggest that the society carried on this wide range of activities, amounting almost to the government of the country, as an instrument of the chiefs” (p. 62) which serves also as the principal means of arbitration—one can liken such to the European court system. Poro was considered the quintessential seat of honesty; while a rich man may bribe his way out of a crime through local methods, the Poro system made this corruption impossible. “Sierra Leone’s Precolonial” (2019) describes the Poro system as a group that promotes law and order, intervening in prolonged wars and restoring peace. Its members underwent rigorous training similar to that of the military and they carried out the peace process in a democratic, rather than authoritative manner. Certainly, Poro, in Precolonial Africa is demonstrably a sophisticated education system that ensured a rigorous and systematic process of training and producing notable graduates that governed the African society. The African Precolonial Education contributed greatly to social and economic development for it prepared students for their respective roles in society. This contribution to economic and social development was halted with the advent of both the missionaries and colonists whose aim was to erase African traditional education entirely and erect a new and “better” system, for they considered the African system primitive and ineffective. The replacement failed to cater to the local need but served as a vehicle for evangelism consisting merely of catechesis reading the Bible and Koran and memorizing the passages. Learning was mostly measured by the extent to which students were able to regurgitate the content verbatim, as opposed to critical thinking and preparing the youth with skill-sets needed to assume their roles in society. The first component to be erased was the language of instruction. With the interrelation of language and culture, African culture was vilified resulting to cultural empiricism fueled by colonialism. Many have named this act “vandalism” (Gitari, 2008, p. 52). Gitari further described the arrival of Western education especially the science and technological aspect, as having destroyed the indigenous technological basis of many African societies because Urevbu (1984) noted that “Africa possessed a technological base on which a technological revolution and successful industrial development might have been achieved, but for the historical disaster of

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slavery” (p. 71). However, there was no chance for the traditional African education system to continue so as to support or refute Urevbu’s postulation due to the sudden overtake of the Western educational system. In essence, education which is aimed to holistically inform, enlighten, and empower, was not transferred; rather, schooling and other technological products were the main constructs transferred. Most knowledge remained impossible to contextualize in and for Africa because they were foreign and there were equally transferred as-is, without modification or localization. Many scholars realized this transplantation of western content and Mazrui (1978) recognized and affirmed, science has remained a foreign form of knowledge, probably because science and technology are forms of knowledge whose development require a context where there is indelible harmony between values and skills. Brock-Utne (2000) echoed similar sentiment by affirming the formal African indigenous education in precolonial times was organized and goal-oriented. She explained: It is clear that Islamic education in pre-colonial Africa was highly formalised, characterised as it was by learning occuring at a specific place and time, mediated by someone who was specialised as a teacher. In most societies the process of elementary education was brought to a close through a graduating ceremony when the successful pupil visited the houses of his parents, teachers and relatives, recited a verse selected for him by the teacher and was given presents. The graduating student reciprocated by giving appropriate gifts to the teacher. (pp. 5–6)

In those days, gender roles differ as they reflected the role each played in society. Brock-Utne continued: The training of children took note of sex-difference very early. This was justified on the ground that boys and girls at a later age would be expected to perform different tasks, boys engaging mostly in farming, house-building, herding and hunting, and girls in cooking, keeping the home and child-rearing. (p. 6)

Ultimately, the adults were always in charge as opposed to constructivist approach whereby the student steers the direction of learning with the teacher serving as facilitator. As the chronological age of the children progressed, the training intensifies but maintaining community values with the elders in-charge of steering the learning process:

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Girls’ education came to an end with puberty rites. These were organised when girls reached the age of fourteen or fifteen. A very important part of the puberty ceremony was the confinement of the girl into the house of some relative. The period of confinement varied between six weeks and two months in different parts of Tongaland; during which girls attaining maturity were subjected to an intensive training given by senior women of the community. This part of girls’ education was entirely controlled by women. The puberty ceremony had scope for physiological, social and moral education. The physiological education comprised the teaching of healthy sex habits and the knowledge of the procreation process. The social part of the training dealt with the rights and obligations of women in relation to the whole community, while moral training involved instructions in the art of self-discipline and control and trial of courage. Older women tried to reform the girls of the defects they had earlier observed in them. (p. 6)

The essence of this emphasis is to illustrate how education was carried out in line with the African culture and the role of young men and women in society.

African Education in Colonial Times Western education introduced to Africa was religionized and commoditized. Religion and education were weaved into an amalgam by the missionaries whereby one sells the other and the other paves an in-road for its twin. Education was the vehicle that provided an in-road for evangelization both for Islamic and Christian missionaries to Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa in particular. Between the Missionaries and the European “explorers” of Africa, the interest was not so much in saving souls as in forming a synergy to reap a rich harvest of this uncharted territory; hence, the (in)famous Scramble for Africa in the 1880s and the subsequent erection of the colonial rule that dissected, shared, and claimed the continent of Africa. The intention was purely economic. But even with education, the goal too was self-interest—replicating the colonists’ culture and erasing the African culture. This new system failed to validate the indigenous language and culture but tactfully removed both from the formal education curriculum. I am not making an argument that probably appears monolithic in addressing Western Colonialism of Africa through “education”; that would be inaccurate. Scholars have distinguished the styles and interests

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of each Colonists. French, German, British, and Belgian all differ in their styles and policies just as Christian style is divergent from Islamic and so on. To lend some insight into the distinct practices, France has been described as engrossed with transplanting their culture in their various colonies. Fafunwa (1982) as cited in Brock-Utne (2000, p. 18) termed it “frenchifing’ Africans. France also had a stronger synergy between the Missionaries and the government. White (1996) as cited in Brock-Utne (2000) explains: There were clear differences in how much the French and British governments were involved in the education efforts in the colonies. The French, who colonized large parts of western and equatorial Africa, stressed a colonial policy of assimilation. Although here the missionaries again arrived first, the French government was not far behind. Legislation in France between 1903 and 1924 eventually gave complete control of the colonial schools to the French government. France had a very tight grip on the development of educational systems in its colonies. In 1922 France put forth a decree announcing that the establishment of a new school in the colonies required government permission, government-certified teachers, a government curriculum and the exclusive use of French as the language of instruction. (p. 18)

Unlike the French, the British government was not as closely involved in the education system; rather, they left that sector to the missionaries although the missionaries kept the government informed of educational matters. Another distinction between the British and French governments was the inclusion of the local chiefs and leaders in their colonies which rendered the British system an Indirect Rule of government. Brock-Utne explains: British colonial policy has often been referred to as “indirect rule” since it used chiefs and kings as allies in colonial administration. The sons of these chiefs and kings were trained in English to serve as middle-men between the Africans and the colonial administration. The other Africans in anglophone Africa just had a few years of schooling. Their education typically involved learning to read an indigenous language before they were introduced to English. When the mission schools were taken over by the British government, they also introduced English at an earlier stage and relegated the vernacular languages to an inferior position. (p. 18)

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This relegation of the local language has remained an indelible mark and a threat to local languages, national identity, and culture, for most African nations. Language is a vehicle that preserves and furthers culture; the kernel of every culture is embedded in the language and language has the power to transform character, behavior, thought, as it guides the construction and deconstruction of meanings. So, when a country or continent’s language is threatened, subsequently, the culture is threatened and everything else that follows. It is impossible to engage in a discourse on the problems or challenges of African education and educational system without including the colonial legacy and its ripple effects. Although after a while, such argument begins to resound as a broken gong, but the history cannot be overlooked even though to some, it seems like promoting victimhood; nevertheless, the reality remains, colonial legacy shaped and continues to shape current African education. Just one example of such initiatives was the Phelps-Stokes Policy. The Phelps-Stokes Educational Commission to Africa (1921–1922) presented a framework for the Protestant missionary education in Africa. The education transferred was wholesale, verbatim, and seeks to eradicate the existing system prior to their arrival. This education system was oppositional to what was; it has an embedded agenda—conversion.

African Education System in Postcolonial Era The emancipation of African Nation States from colonialism was bittersweet. The young politically independent countries faced numerous challenges from manipulative policies and contracts of independence, to the challenge of raising revenue and managing revenue for a fast-growing population, and to dealing with the hegemonic shroud still hovering from the colonists in many cases, presented through Structural Adjustment Programs (SAP). Brock-Utne (2000) summarized the postcolonial education reformation as: (a) the aspiration to replace European decision makers by indigenous recruits, (b) the stress on ensuring the necessary supply of high-level manpower, a prerequisite of economic progress, and above all, (c) the hope of an intellectual and cultural renaissance - a close correlate of the search for spiritual identity. (p. 9)

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In addition to the above, African nation states struggled with the choice of language of instruction, especially at the elementary level. The language of instruction contributes greatly to the efficiency of pedagogy especially at the rudimentary level of education. There is no consensus in the policies guiding African nation states as regards the language of instruction, especially at the primary education levels. Some countries encourage the use of indigenous language for instruction at the primary school level and this requirement differs from the first three years to first six years. On a broad scale, the attainment of independence by the African nations did not eradicate educational challenges; in fact, the educational challenges escalated. The current African educational systems operate under the colonial legacy (Ajayi, Goma, & Johnson, 1996). Unfortunately, no substantial reformation occurred because the current educational systems of Africa still maintain western control. One among many examples is language; a construct that the missionaries and colonists used as an instrument both to vilify the local culture and to recruit followers (Brock-Utne, 2000; Sefa Dei, 2004). The abolishment of local languages and proliferation of the western language served to denigrate local languages as inferior and encouraged learning foreign language to enhance communication between the locals and missionaries/colonists (Ebelebe, 2009). The remnant of this legacy is present in many of the textbooks that are used in majority of schools in Africa. Ajayi et al. (1996) assert that the colonists left a permanent footprint on African education serving metropolitan interest instead of local interest. Unfortunately, such practice has become the modus operandi, a deviation from this norm is usually met with opposition either in the form of funding withdrawal or imposing a hegemonic structural adjustment program both by individual donors and international organizations. Albaugh (2012) provided a comprehensive listing of language policy for 50 African countries beginning at Independence or the 1960s through 2010. As noted earlier, the British, unlike the French and Portuguese, were more accepting of the use of indigenous language for instruction in school. The French and Portuguese were more stringent in imposing their language as the mode of instruction by mandating that French should be the language of instruction—this colonial policy is still evident even after independence. Below are just a few representational instances to demonstrate language policy in African schools for colonies of British, Portuguese, French, and Spanish.

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Samples of Language Policies in African School Systems2 Algeria was a French colony and became politically independent in 1962, French was the language of instruction in primary schools even though most of its citizens were literate in Arabic due to Islamic evangelization. Albaugh noted that the ratio of Francophone teachers to Arabphone teachers were 16,456 to 3452. Since Algerian independence, the country has been switching from French to Arabic as a language of instruction and introducing Tamazighy as a subject in 1995 and Berber in 2003 and making French once more a mandatory foreign language beginning at Grade Two. Similarly, for Central African Republic, French remains the language of instruction as well as in Benin, Republic of Congo, and the Comoros. But Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Côte d’Ivoire, while maintaining French, incorporate some indigenous languages as well. Angola obtained its independence in 1975. The language of instruction at all levels was Portuguese; this is unchanged as laid down in the 2010 edition of the Constitution. However, seven indigenous languages were labeled national languages for these were used in mass media as well as adult literacy programs. An effort was made in 1977 to instill the use of those national languages for instruction; however, the Angolan Education Law of 2001 renders Portuguese as the only language of instruction in schools. Albaugh cited a nation-wide initiative between Pearson Publishers, the Angolan Government and a South African NonGovernmental Organization—Monteno Institute for Language Literacy, to publish textbooks in seven Angolan languages. This experiment began in 2008/2009 with 120 classrooms and 10,000 books in seven indigenous languages—Cokwe, Kikongo, Kimbundu, Ngangela, Olunyaneka, Oshikwanyama, and Umbund. The first evaluation of this project was scheduled for 2011. However, Trudell (2016) noted in 2016, the result of the assessment is not available or accessible by the general public. As the compilation of this volume, a search for such report found no results. Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde were also colonized by Portugal. Portuguese remains the language of instruction during and after independence. The dialectical difference between the indigenous language 2 This section was informed by the comprehensive listing of language policy for 50 African countries by Albaugh (2012).

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and Portuguese is cited as the major deterrent from making Capverdian Creole the language of instruction. Botswana was a British colony and gained its independence in 1966. Albaugh noted that even during the colonial rule the Missionaries introduced literature in indigenous languages in the early years of formal education and switched to English in mid-primary years. This recognition of the local languages was extended to the Bible; as early as the 1850s Botswana had Bible written in the indigenous language, Setswana. With Botswana’s First National Commission on Education in 1977, it has maintained this education policy by making Setswana the language of instruction in the first three years of elementary eudcation and switching to English afterwards beginning with Grade 4. Later in 1993, the Second National Commission on Education (SNCE) furthered the use of the indigenous language, making it comprehensive throughout elementary school with the incorporation of English language from Secondary School (Standard 1). Although many other minority groups have raised the issue of using their own indigenous language as a means of instruction instead of the majority group Setswana; however, the use of Setswana is still within the purview of promoting indigenous languages. Equatorial Guinea was a Spanish colony and got its independence in 1968. After the independence, the issue of language was not included in the topics discussed during nation-building and so Spanish continued to be the official language. Spanish is the only language of instruction both at the elementary and secondary levels. With the influence of French in 1985 when the country joined the Franc Zone, French then became a compulsory subject but Spanish remains the primary language of instruction. Cameroon’s case is a little complicated because the country had the influence of French, British, and to some extent, German. Cameroon’s independence in 1960 was mostly, officially from English and French. Projet de recherche operationelle pour l´enseignement des langues au Cameroun/Operational Research Programme for Language Education in Cameroon (PROPELCA)—was a joint experiment by the University of Yaounde and the Summer Institute of Linguistics/SIL International (SIL) mission organization with the aim of testing the efficiency of a trilingualism—by integrating local languages in an environment that is already influenced by the two Western official languages (English and French) to determine what effect it might induce in pedagogical successes and

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learning outcomes. Gfeller and Robinson (2010) evaluated this experiment and concluded, children preferred the mother-tongue education and children also found local languages more relevant to their daily lives and this greatly increased their intellectual development and knowledge. Gfeller and Robinson concluded, “local language as a means of communication is examined and confirmed as the best vehicle both for cultural heritage and for comprehension on a personal level” (p. 18). The use of indigenous language for instruction is stronger in public schools in Africa than in private schools. Overall, Cameroon’s language policy is an amalgamation of foreign and indigenous languages. In essence, while English and French are being used, so are the indigenous languages. Just to cite a few other African countries, Eritrea was a British colony and maintains a multilingual policy for language of instructions. Conversely, Gambia’s only language of instruction is English; Ghana, Kenya, and Nigeria are multilingual with a combination of English and indigenous languages.3

Educational Policies in Africa: Multilateral Organizations’ Influence The independence movement between African nations and their European colonists intensified in the late 1950s into the early 1960s. In fact, between 1960 and 1962, within three short years, 25 African nations became independent of the Colonists. These newly independent states were enthralled with the task of nation-building and finding strategic ways of navigating their new found freedom without the interference of their colonial masters. One of the major aspects of nation-building, economic, and social development, is establishing functional and relevant formal education. It is within this purview that UNESCO organized two major and historic conferences focusing on educational development in Africa. The first conference in 1961 at Addis Ababa focused on elementary and secondary education levels while the 1962 Tananarive conference squarely discussed tertiary institutions. These two conferences are historic and vital, as they charted the path for African education systems and laid the groundwork for future discussions on education in Africa. While

3 A comprehensive list for all 50 African countries can be found in Albaugh (2012, p. 2).

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reviewing this document after almost 60 years, this author surprised that all the resolutions of the conference ring true for the present-day African education system. In some cases, it seems as though educational development in Africa was stagnant for these 59 years as the same resolutions and admonitions are currently relevant. The UNESCO Conference of the African States on the Development of Education in Africa (Addis Ababa, May 15 –25, 1961). This conference was organized to establish an inventory of educational needs and to set programs that would help to mitigate those needs in the coming years. About 39 African countries were invited, many of them at the time were still under colonial rules. Also invited were additional 24 non-African member states as observers, 10 United Nations specialized agencies, and 24 international and Non-governmental Agencies (NGAs). The chairman of the conference was the honorable A. J. Dowuona Hammond, the Minister of Education and Welfare, Ghana. According to the report (UNESCO, 1961), the problems to the investigated include and Development of education in relation to African cultural and sociocultural factors; Inventory of educational needs for economic and social development; Education as a basic factor in economic and social development; Patterns of international co-operation for the promotion and implementation of programs of educational development. Panels were set up to specifically discuss the issues of financing of education; educational planning, the content and method of school education, and the training of teachers; prerequisites in general education for specialized, technical and vocational training; and adult education. Ultimately, the conference rolled out an Outline of a Plan for African Educational Development as a template for promoting economic and social development through education.

Highlights of the 1961 Addis Ababa Conference As indicated earlier, it is surprising and at the same time depressing that the same problems and issues raised at the infancy of many African nation states some 60 years ago still persist. For instance, it was unanimously agreed at the conference to accelerate the reorientation of the education patterns and systems to the economic and social needs of their individual areas, and that education should be made available to all irrespective of gender and social class. Additionally, the conference discussed the need for expanding costs for the payment of teachers, construction of new

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buildings, production and supply of textbooks and teaching aids. Similarly, the discussion also included providing equipment and infrastructural needs, and adequate training to teachers as imperative to impactful education. These are exactly the issues that would populate the agenda should another conference be held today to discuss the state of African education system. One then could not help but ask the question: why is African education stagnant? What contributes to the stagnation of both social and economic developments expected through education? Why can’t African educational problems be solved? What then is the need to even try if after 60 years the system is more or less the same exact problems and ideological challenges? As frustrating and desperate as the above questions may sound, they are but rhetorical questions meant to induce deeper thought and perhaps, a different problem-solving approach to educational challenges in Africa. However, a total dependence on digital technology as a panacea for all educational problems, is equally problematic. Therefore, a re-evaluation of the curriculum, available teaching materials and available personnel who can render the materials relevant, is necessary and needed now than ever. This was equally represented in the 1961 conference. The following is a direct quote from the 1961 conference Against this description of urgent needs and plans for the expansion and modernization of education in Africa and the progressive Africanization of teaching personnel, there is major concern that curricula and teaching materials be adapted to African conditions and interests. This can only be brought about through the development for all levels of education of textbooks and teaching materials which illuminate the familiar environment of the pupils and reflect their cultural history. (Number 24)

The UNESCO conference on African Higher Education aka The Tananarive Conference of UNESCO in 1962 is considered one of the landmark symposia in the history of education in Africa especially in the higher education sector. The goal of this conference was to help the newly politically independent African nations and those still in the process of getting their independence to build a synergy among African nations through promoting research and scientific inquiry at the universities, setting higher education as model for evaluation, developing essential skills needed for social and economic development, and so on. African universities now have faculties of sciences, and many have started faculties

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of agriculture, engineering, and medicine, while a few have set up separate universities for technology and agriculture. Although this happened some 60 years ago when, understandably, these African nations were still in nation-building stages as such there were very few Africans who were qualified to carry out such deliberations. Therefore, these conferences and their similar efforts should be commended; but also, such efforts should be critically reviewed to ascertain why the decision for Africa must be made by non-Africans both then and now. That is not to dismiss some honest and altruistic efforts that have been made by non-Africans with regards to education in Africa; rather to advocate for a participatory approach whereby Africans will tackle their problems and make recommendations that are feasible. It is understandable that the solution to African educational probems is not so easy because the challenges themselves are multi-prongued incorporating human resources, infrastructure, learning materials but even more daunting is the national debt that continues to rise in almost all African nations. National Debts Arguably, corruption and mismanagement of funds by government officials contribute greatly to lack of funds to properly run African elementary and secondary schools. Similarly, the percentage of debts African countries owe to multilateral institutions like the World Bank contributes greatly to lack of financial resources to fully fund education. Many attempts have been made to propose a loan forgiveness program; one such case as cited in Brock-Utne (2000) narrated how several associations pled with the international body at the Jomtien Conference to consider loan forgiveness program for the developing countries as this is a major hindrance to achieving the basic needs for education for all and one of the contributing factors to their current and low socio-economic status. The resolution, as presented in Brock-Utne (2000, p. 7) notes: A resolution of the economic crisis associated with debt and North– South economic relations is a necessary precondition for the achievement of Education for All. Resources currently flowing from South to North in debt service, if reoriented to the service of education and development, could provide the debtor countries with an enhanced capacity to ensure the survival of children to school age, and release families, communities and nations from the poverty which prevents universal participation

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in pre-school, school and adult education. (NORRAG News, June 1990, p. 7)

And in another instance: We call on all governments of the North and all international financial institutions to cancel all existing debts as these are an intolerable burden on the people, make it impossible for them to mobilise the resources necessary for basic education, and ferment revolt and strife. It is necessary further to put an end to structural adjustment programmes and attendant conditionalities which have caused so much suffering to the people and undermined their capacity to mobilise resources for their basic needs. (Quoted in NORRAG News, June 1990, p. 7)

Most of the Africa nations’ debt are eternal and may never be fully paid. In addition to international debt, there are several other challenges facing African education delivery and policies. Current Challenges and Crises in African Educational Systems Collectively, African nations face the crises of access, lack of infrastructure, low funding, lack of, and in some cases inadequate, teacher training, gender disparities, brain drain, and so on (Ajayi et al., 1996; Brock-Utne, 2000). However, the most daunting global problem that is prevalent among African youth currently, is truancy. The out-of-school rate and dropout rate in Sub-Saharan African countries are demoralizing. Education worldwide has been a global priority even among multilateral institutions such as UNESCO and the World Bank. The UNESCO Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are geared toward improving the livelihood of people all over the world, and many of the proposals fall within the education category for it is believed that education can greatly influence the economic and social development of a nation. Even though on a global scale, it has been challenging to attain most of the goals; but, the failure rate is worse among less—developed countries (LDC) of which the Sub-Saharan Africa is in this category. The most recent data published by UNESCO Institute of Statistics (UIS) in September 2019 demonstrates that many of the goals, including Goal 4 (SDG4) which promises to provide universal primary education among adolescents and youth, show a high rate of out-of-school status among the world’s adolescents and youths. Specifically, the data concludes that even though there has

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been a reduction in overall number of out-of-school students—reducing from 376.1 million youths in the year 2000 to 258.4 million youths eight years later in 2018, but, percentage wise, there has been no significant reduction. Bringing this home to Sub-Saharan Africa, the out-of-school number for the primary school age is 32.2 million overalls, with 14.1 million males and 18.1 females and this provides an almost 20% rate in comparison to worldwide numbers. In essence, one in every five (5) outof-school children in the world is from SSA. This number is even greater at the lower secondary school level among African youths, with an overall 28.3 million children, 13.7 million males and 14.5 million females and a percentage of 36.7% worldwide. This indicates that one in every three (3) out-of-school children in lower-secondary schools in the world is an African. The deplorable figures indicate, in the upper secondary school age bracket, more than half (58.7%) of the world’s out-of-school adolescents are African, totaling 37 million young people. The countries with the highest out-of-school rates are South Sudan (62%), Equatorial Guinea (55%), Eritrea (47%), and Mali (41%). See Fig. 2.1.

Fig. 2.1 Out-of-school rate by region and age group 2018 (Note Regions are sorted by the primary out-of-school rate. Source UNESCO Institute for Statistics database)

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Earlier review of data indicated that 45% of the total out-of-school youth will never enroll in any school, 37% will enter late and 17% have dropped out of school (UNESCO, 2016). What then constitutes the reason for this high rate of out of school status among the SSA youth? To what extend does the current education systems prepare the youth for their roles in the society? How congruent is the curriculum to societal needs of social and economic development? How can digital educational technology contribute to ameliorating these educational challenges especially the challenge of over-crowded classrooms? The UNESCO Institute for Statistics (2016) reports classroom capacities of 80 pupils per class for Central African Republic and 70 pupils per class for countries such as Malawi, and Tanzania. Figure 2.2 is one of the pictures shared in the UNESCO (2016) report on the state of school resources and learning environment in Africa. As depicted in the picture, about 50 elementary school pupils sat on a sandy ground under a tree in an open space with the tree providing shelter. They were learning from one teacher who used a chalk book and a stick as a pointer to the material on that board. There was no elevation for the children sitting in the back row and it seemed some of the pupils in the front row blocked the view of those at the back. Additionally, lack of resources including books constitutes another challenge and the report indicates that on average, 14 students share the same Mathematics textbook in Cameroon, 5 children in Chad and South Sudan and 4 in Equatorial Guinea. A comprehensive report incorporating all schools in SSA countries irrespective of the affluent regions still shows at least 2 students or more share a Reading book and 3 students or more share a Mathematics textbook (UIS, 2016). With this reality, promoting ICT especially digital technology for all becomes unrealistic and utopian because for some students their immediate need that can improve learning is as basic as having a textbook for their use or a desk and classroom that can improve their learning environment. The picture (Fig. 2.2) represents the worst case scenario of African education system; it is not in any way a wholesome representation of all elementary schools in Africa. However, it is imperative to highlight this reality because such schools are often forgotten especially while promulgating policies that promote digital technologies as panacea for all educational problems. To avoid the one-sided, negative representation of everything Africa, which tends to be the dominant narrative paradigm, every African country irrespective of their level of economic

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Fig. 2.2 School resources and learning environment in Africa (Source UNESCO Institute for Statistics (2016). School Resources and learning environment in Africa)

and social development, has state-of-the-art schools in all sectors— elementary, secondary, and tertiary. Recent examples include, a group of young African girls, 15 years old competing and emerging as champions in a global arena on technological innovations at the Silicon Valley’s Technovation Challenge of 2018. This group of young girls defeated students from developed countries including, the United States of America, Spain, and China. Team Save a Soul is made of up five girls from Anambra State in the Southeastern Nigeria—Promise Nnalue, Jessica Osita, Nwabuaku Ossai, Adaeze Onuigbo, and Vivian Okoye with their mentor Uchenna Ugwu. The team invented an application (App) named FD-Detector that

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dictates Fake Drugs in Nigeria, a problem that has resulted to numerous deaths. Stephanie Busaro and Segun Akhande of CNN interviewed the team and noted, one of the girls Osita, who aspires to be a pharmacist has a personal interest and mission in the project because her brother died as a result of fake drugs (Busari & Akande, 2018). Similarly, in 2017, five teenage girls from Kenya also developed an app to tackle the female genital mutilation problem. Their app iCut was intended to connect girls affected by female genital mutilation to legal and medical assistance. Under the tutelage of Dorcas Adhiambo, their mentor, the five teenage girls, Stacy Owino, Cynthia Otieno, Purity Achieng, Mascrine Atieno, and Ivy Akinyi, competed at the 2017 Technovation Challenge as the only team representing Africa. Even though the team did not win, they tackled a socio-cultural problem that has ravaged many East African nations where it is estimated that one out of five girls undergo female genital mutilation (Osman, 2017). In essence, African schools of this repute are fertile grounds for high technological investments (whether Westernbased or locally engineered, as long as proper planning and assessment are in place) because such schools can afford those emergent technologies and they can equally maintain them without depriving students of basic educational materials such as textbooks, classrooms, and sanitary facilities. The negative criticisms arise when the Western messianic projects are geared towards the low-income communities with the hope to miraculously transform their situations and leapfrog the schools to the same levels as those of industrialized nations. An example is the case of OLPC XO-laptop which I consider was marketed as a Negropontean panacea that is charged with a messianic-heroism that can transform teaching and learning in poor rural communities of the world. The Educational System in Nigeria Located along the Gulf of Guinea in West Africa, Nigeria is the most populous nation in Africa with diverse cultures that represent almost every race in Africa. The Nok people inhabited Nigeria as far back as 500 B.C., and Nigeria now accounts for more than 300 different tribes and languages; however, the three main indigenous languages are Hausa, Igbo, and Yoruba. The main religions of Nigeria are Christianity, Islam, and Traditional. Nigeria has lots of natural resources; in addition to oil which is the known natural resource worldwide, other resources include talc, iron ore, gold, bitumen, rock salt, lead, coal, among others. Nigeria

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also produces several crops such as maize, rice, groundnuts, palm oil, cocoa, coffee, cashew nuts. The political history of Nigeria has been very turbulent—from democracy to military rule with a civil war in 1967 and back to civilian rule. Several coup d’états both successful and failed attempts have existed since 1966. The most recent ones include the Buhari 1983 coup, the Babangida 1985 coup, attempted but failed coup of 1990 by Gidean Orkar, and the Abacha 1993 coup. The current system of government is democratic with the three-tier structure of federal, state, and local sectors. The official language is English, reflecting British colonization (www.Nigeria.gov.ng). What is known as Nigeria today is made up of several distinct communities of people having varied values, belief systems, cultures, and languages; British rule forced the groups to cohabit within the bounds of a single nation. This establishment of nationhood through colonial process and the quest for national identity has posed the greatest challenge to Nigeria since her independence (Ajayi et al., 1996; Gutek, 2006). Nigeria’s education system has three phases: the indigenous African education, colonial period, and post-independence (Gutek, 2006). The indigenous African education was built on the social foundation of “kinship, tribal, and regional relationships” (p. 204). This education system strove to inculcate morality, patriotism, respect for the elders and the society, apprenticeship and tradition. Agbaje (2007) recalled that the traditional method of educating Yoruba children was oral tradition. During the colonial era, both the government and the Methodist, Anglican, and Roman Catholic missionaries established mostly primary schools and the primary level consisted of mainly basic education of reading and writing. The few schools that the British government established were exclusively for the children of the elite who were allies of the colonists in the mid-nineteenth century. Due to the rivalry between the Methodists and Catholics, missionary education was purely for evangelization; it concentrated on Bible reading, hymns, basic reading, and writing. The Koran schools for the Muslims were similar and consisted of learning Islamic practices and reading the Koran mostly with unqualified teachers (Agbaje, 2007). Nigeria achieved independence from British colonial rule on October 1, 1960, and invested tremendously in education during its first few years of indigenous rule. Some scholars have called those years the golden years of Nigerian education and the years of glory (Agbaje, 2007; Amobi,

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2007). But the optimism abated with a fall in oil revenue for Nigeria and the miscalculation of the population of primary school age children. There is now a lack of funding, less access to education for its citizens, inability to localize the curriculum, problems of brain-drain, lack of infrastructure, overpopulation, and poor planning.

Primary Education in Nigeria and Its Problems The importance of primary education is well noted even in countries where funding in the primary level is often neglected, as in Nigeria. Nigerian scholars have used several metaphors to describe primary education in Nigeria. Ajasa (2005) considers it a base which holds all other levels of education. Wokocha (1991) notes “primary school occupies in any educational system a position of centrality and supreme importance. A sound educational foundation is a sure ticket to an enlightened and development-oriented society and a Universal Primary Education scheme is the surest way of eradicating illiteracy in Nigeria” (p. 54). Despite the importance and benefits of pre-primary and primary education, Olusegun (2003) recounts that many preschool age children in Nigeria lack access to such a program. This may be due to ignorance on the part of the parents, poverty, unavailability of such programs and manpower to run the program. He discusses several projects that have been instituted to help primary education in Nigeria including the Early Child Care and Development (ECCD), a joint venture of the Federal Government of Nigeria and UNICEF to provide intellectual initiation and stimulation and emotional stability for children from poor and broken homes. Another organization that promoted primary education in Nigeria is the Mondiale pour L’Education Prescolaire (OMEP) which in English is the World Organization for Early Childhood Educational Programme (Odejide, 2003). Olaniyan and Obadara (2008) reiterated the importance of primary education and how it bolsters national growth and development. Their critique reveals sadly how primary education in Nigeria has been mismanaged since the colonial era. Notwithstanding the implementation of several bills and policies, this sector of education still suffers tremendously from a shortage of classrooms, overpopulation, lack of teachers and educational materials, under-funding, and non-usage of local languages for instruction.

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Some Efforts to Improve Primary Education in Nigeria UPE Universal Primary Education (UPE) 1955, 1957 and 1976 UPE was introduced in Nigeria during the pre-independence era; first in 1955 in the Western part and later, in 1957, for the Eastern part of colonial Nigeria. It was reformed in 1976. It offers free, mandatory, and accessible primary education to all citizens, uniformity of primary education for all Nigerians, bridges the education gap between Northern and Southern Nigeria (the Northerners prefer Islamic/Koranic schools) to eradicate illiteracy and build a solid foundation for sustainable growth and development in the country. Ajayi et al. (1996) and Odejide (2003) assert that the problems of UPE include inadequate statistical data that underestimated the population, so that Nigeria has far more pupils than estimated. This was the origin of lack of teachers to provide instructions for the schools; other challenges of UPE included inadequate funding, mismanagement of available resources, and lack of proper supervision. The National UPE was established by the Federal Government of Nigeria in 1976. National Policy on Education (NPE) 1981 As in many nations’ constitutions, the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria unfortunately did not provide assurance for its citizens’ rights to basic education. Rather, access to education is lumped under the complex section of social and economic rights. The objectives of primary education are (1) the achievement of permanent literacy and numeracy; (2) laying a foundation for basic scientific and reflective thinking; (3) effective participation in the life of the society—citizenship; (4) character and moral training; (5) providing basic tools for further educational advancement including preparation for trades and crafts of the locality (NPE section 3). Even though several policies on basic education have been in (the) Nigerian Constitution, it does not provide the means for that education. One of the ways that The National Policy on Education (NPE) highlighted primary education was authorizing the local government sectors of Nigeria to manage primary education. Wokocha (1991) acknowledged the importance of these objectives, but criticized the structure for the

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incompetent and corrupt local government officers who, through lack of adequate training in education, often fail to prioritize primary education. He also laments the low funding for primary education. The Nigerian Constitution and Right to Education Despite several basic and tertiary education policies that have been promulgated in Nigeria, it is disappointingly true that the Nigerian Constitution does not succinctly declare the child’s right to basic education thus indicating that such right cannot be guaranteed and as such institutions under the purview of the law may deny education to any Nigerian as in a recent case the Socio-economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) SERAP v NIGERIA (2010). Lawmakers are devising creative ways to grant such rights. For instance, Isopkan and Durojaye (2018) argue that even though such explicit provision is lacking in the Nigerian Constitution, the fact that Nigeria is a member of several international human rights organizations, it (Nigeria) therefore should abide by the organization’s’ ethos of obligation to provide basic education. National Primary Education Commission (NPEC) 1988 To prioritize primary education in Nigeria, a national policy on education was promulgated in 1988. Ocho (1991) considers the creation of the National Primary Education Commission (NPEC) by Decree No. 31 of August 8, 1988 paramount because it demonstrated the importance the Federal Government of Nigeria attributed to primary education by subsidizing state and local governments in financing primary education. The decree further created a synergic arrangement that allows for collaborative management of primary education among the local community including the village, and district, local, state, and federal sectors. Wokocha (1991) calls this decree the first effort in the history of Nigeria whereby the federal government attributed importance to primary education. Universal Basic Education (UBE) 1999 Basic education is often misconstrued as primary schooling—bearing in mind that basic education could be training given to even adults or youths to help them through vocational school. By 1990, primary education in Nigeria was dwindling both in size and quality; enrollment was low, the

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dropout rate was alarmingly high, and educational facilities were either poor or in some cases, non-existent—a factor that drastically reduced teachers’ morale. Subsequently, the primary education pupils were barely literate in both the local language and the English language and thus were not productive to society. Responding to this crisis, under a democratic rule by President Olusegun Obasanjo, Universal Basic Education (UBE) was instituted. UBE sought to increase enrollment and retention throughout the course of basic education, reduction of both gender and access inequities, enhancement of quality of education and encouraging the basic education attainment process as a collaborative effort of all involved: parents, local, state, and federal government (Odejide, 2003). Table 2.1 Nigeria and Ghana Fact Sheet is presented below to provide information on Nigeria and Ghana in the areas of population, economic Table 2.1 Nigeria and Ghana Fact Sheeta

Population 0–14 years 15–64 years 65 over Major natural resources GDP % of GDP central government expenditure allocated to education (UNICEF, 2011) Independence Literacy rate (total population) Government type Unemployment rate Population below poverty line Cellular phone usage ICT Development Index (IDI) Rank Internet users Percentage of population

Nigeria

Ghana

203.5 million (2019) 42.45% 54.29% 3.26% Petroleum, natural gas $1121 trillion (2017) 3.5%

28 million (2018) 37.83% 57.87% 4.3% Gold, timber, silver $134 billion (2017) 3.62%

1960 (British) 59.6% (2015) Federal Republic 16.5% (2017) 70% (2010) 62.988 million (2008) 1.65 (2008), 2.60 (2017) 122nd, 143rd (2017) 48 million 25.7%

1957 (British) 57.9% Constitutional democracy 11.9% (2015) 24.2% (2013) 37 million (2008) 1.75 (2008), 4.05 (2017) 116th same for (2017) 9.3 million 34.7%

a This serves to provide comparable background information for the two countries and a more

substantive report on the economic, political, and social dynamics of Nigeria and Ghana Source Compiled by author with data from: CIA World Factbook (2019), UNICEF (2011), and ITU (2016)

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capacities, natural resources, allocation of funding to education, literacy rates, and so on. According to the CIA World Factbook (2019) census report, 42% of Nigerians and 38% of Ghanaians fall within 0 and 14 years, which is the primary education age population. This demonstrates that there is a need for both governments to invest in primary education as almost half of their population fall within this spectrum. Noteworthy information on the table is the fact that the central governments of Nigeria and Ghana allocate only 3% and 22% of overall central government expenditure, respectively, to the entire education system—primary through tertiary levels. Finally, the cellular phone usage of Nigeria and Ghana is commendable and this information will be revisited in the professional recommendation section of the current work. About 62 million people use cellular phones in Nigeria and 48 million (25.7% of total population) use the Internet according to ITU 2016 report; while Ghana has 37 million users of cellular phone and 9.3 million users of the Internet, 34.7% of the total population. This number increased for both countries in 2019 when compared with the 2010 figures when the first empirical study was conducted. This supports ITU prediction of Nigeria and Ghana, and Africa in general, as having the highest growth of cellular phone usage in the world. This is because in comparison to other technologies such as computers, cellular phones are the easiest to use and the most affordable.

As Overview of Education System in Ghana Located on West Africa’s Gulf of Guinea, Ghana has 28 million people (World Bank, 2018). Ghana was the first sub-Saharan African country to gain independence from the British Colonial Rule in 1957. Like many African countries, Ghana sustained several political coups; the first of which deposed Ghanaian first president Kwame Nkrumah in 1966. Currently, Ghana enjoys a constitutional democracy (World Factbook, 2019). BBCnews.com profiles Ghana as a model for political and economic reform in Africa and says it is the world’s second largest producer of cocoa, its major export. Oil is among Ghana’s natural resources but not in the same quantity as Nigeria; other natural resources include gold, timber, tuna, aluminum, manganese ore, and diamonds. Formerly known as the Gold Coast, Ghana had an educational history similar to Nigeria’s. The Portuguese first invaded Ghana in search of

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gold, followed by Dutch and British merchants. Subsequently, the religious groups, mostly the Roman Catholics, Methodists, and Presbyterians established schools that displaced the local schools. These religious groups were funded mostly by the government and so carried out the government instructions of providing the indigenous people with basic education consisting of reading, writing, and religious instruction (BBC World Profile, 2009). At the wake of Ghana’s independence in 1957, it had only one university and a few primary and secondary schools. Currently, Ghana has over 12,000 primary schools, over 6000 secondary schools, 21 colleges, 18 technical institutions, and 66 universities (Ghanaweb.com). Like Nigeria, Ghana provides free primary education, and access to equal educational opportunities is considered a fundamental right by the constitution.4 As in Nigeria, several policies were implemented to enhance educational provision in Ghana, the major one being the Ghana Education Act of 1961. Ghana Education Act of 1961 The Ghana Education Act empowered the Ministry of Education for the first time to manage primary education. The Minister of Education makes regulations and deals with all matters relating to education, including administration, curriculum, school records, admission and promotion of pupils. The Act promoted compulsory education for all children between the ages of 5 years and 16 years and, as in Nigeria, empowered the local government to oversee primary education under a committee of nine members. Historical Account of Education Problems in Ghana Ghanaian educational problems can also be traced to the colonial era. Even then, access to quality education was lacking; equally deficient was access to the available education which lacked local relevance. Foster (1965) notes that the basic curriculum that was introduced by the missionaries was mostly what Ghana inherited and maintained even after independence. The only amendments were addition of arithmetic and

4 1992 Constitution of Ghana Article 25, Clause 1.

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geography for the advanced classes, for the pedagogical style used in the schools was pure memorization and regurgitation of memorized facts on tests. Foster cited a report by the English Commissioner appointed to inquire into the state of popular education as complaining, “there is too much time employed in the schools in the mere exercise of memory, too much of a mere teaching of words, and neglect of the knowledge of things, and too little employment of the faculty of thinking and of instruction in the habits of industry” (p. 53). Recent reviews of the Ghanaian education system resonate with Foster’s evaluation of 50 years ago (Abugre, 2018; Sarpong & Kusi, 2019). Poll Tax and Education Ordinance of 1852 Funding education has always been a challenge for Ghana and for all other Sub-Saharan African countries. During the colonial era several strategies were implemented to leverage the cost of education. As far back as 1852 the Poll Tax and Education Ordinance was imposed by the British governor to support the educational advancements in what was then the Gold Coast. Accelerated Development Plan Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s first indigenous president, led education to a great height through many plans including the Accelerated Development Plan, which enabled access to primary education in several schools for five million pupils (McWilliam & Kwamena-Poh, 1975). Unfortunately, like most African countries, the plan estimated five million pupils whereas the 1960 census showed seven million preschool children. The Ministry of Education was faced with combating this difference in terms of school buildings and teachers. It was challenging if not impossible to provide qualified teachers and access to primary education for the extra two million children who were not included in the budget. Ghana has never bridged this gap and other challenges to providing access and resources for the basic education population.

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Primary Education Structure in Ghana and Its Challenges Nigeria and Ghana share a similar structure for primary education; it spans over six years in two stages, lower primary (for ages 6 through 8) and upper primary (ages 9 through 11). These are only approximate ages—some students fall below or above the prescribed age ranges. In 2002, responding to both local and global changes, President John Kufuor called for a review of the Ghanaian educational system and commissioned a committee to provide recommendations for preparing students for the twenty-first century. The objectives of primary education, according to the 2002 Committee are (1) consolidation of knowledge and skills acquired at the kindergarten level; (2) lay foundation for inquiry, creativity and innovation; (3) develop an understanding of how to lead a healthy life and achieve good health; (4) adapt constructively to the changing local and global environment; (5) strive for good citizenship in children to enable them to participate in national development; (6) develop the skills and aptitudes for assimilating new knowledge; (7) prepare pupils for further education and training; (8) make pupils understand the environment and the need to contribute to its sustainability (Republic of Ghana, 2002, pp. 27–28). Primary education is structured to provide five hours of teaching and one hour of co-curricular activities for five days per week when school is in session. It was recommended that each grade has a maximum of 35 students and subjects taught include the English and Ghanaian languages, Mathematics, Integrated Science, religious and moral education, citizenship, French (optional), Introduction to ICT, Creative Arts, and Physical Education. Similar to Nigeria, several policies have been promulgated to provide a legal framework for education access in Ghana. The Education Act of 1961 as discussed earlier is the foremost of all that guarantees a right to education. Consistent with this right, the 1992 Ghanaian Constitution made further provision for achieving this basic right in its Article 38, subsection 2, “the Government shall within two years after Parliament first meets after coming into force of this constitution draw up a program for the implementation within the following ten years for the provision of a free, compulsory universal basic education.”

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Current Educational Problems in Ghana5 Ghana has made significant improvement in the areas of gender access, creating a healthier learning environment, and creating synergy with local communities in taking responsibility of schools (Pittman & Miller, 1996). However, according to a report by The Basic Education Division Ghana Education Service, presented at the 2004 International Conference on Education in Geneva, Ghana still faces some challenges in its primary education sector. The major problems as presented through this report include gender equity, fueled by abject poverty in some parts of the country, anti-girl child socio-cultural practices, lack of private sector financial support for girls, poor quality of teaching and learning. To combat this inequality, the Girls Education Unit was established in 1997. Other problems expressed in the 2004 report include curriculum adaptation, challenges of special education and social inclusion, and preand post-training for teachers. In fact, lack of teachers is one of the daunting problems; the 2002 presidential commission report cited a 2000/2001 statistic that shows that of the 12,225 public primary schools in Ghana, 625 have one or no teacher. Lack of classrooms forces some of the schools to run on a Shift System, in which a school building is used by two sets of schools with different students and teachers. The first shift usually runs in the morning between 7:30 a.m. and Noon and the afternoon shift uses the same classrooms from 12:30 p.m. until about 5:00 p.m. Sadly, the available teachers in most cases are ill-equipped to manage the tremendous number of students enrolled in schools due to lack of resources, or unqualified personnel to coordinate curriculum development (Kyei-Anti, 1983). Sources of funding for basic education include direct government funding, the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund), direct assemblies, development partners (bilateral and multilateral), and fees paid by parents and guardians. The percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) allocated to education decreases each year. About 4.1% of the GDP was allocated in 1995/1996, which decreased to 3.9% in 1999/2000. Most of the money (about 75–80%) goes to the pre-tertiary sector which includes primary education (Republic of Ghana, 2002). Interestingly, the 2001 Recurring Unit Cost per Pupil shows de facto that $128 US dollars is “planned expenditure per student” but in de jure, only $27.10 US dollars 5 Generally speaking, similar problems abound in most Sub-Saharan African countries.

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are spent on each elementary school pupil as of 2001, and this is expected to decrease. These statistics provide a stark incongruity with the demands of OLPC Foundation, which expects, or rather coerces, the Ghanaian government to spend between $300 and $450 dollars (all cost inclusive for the start-up year) for laptops for each student. The 1999/2000 census shows there were 2.6 million elementary students in Ghana; and that number is currently estimated at 6 million elementary school students. Even in this twenty-first century, Ghana, like many other African countries, continues to struggle with the problem of access to education for young Ghanaians and maintaining a redundant pedagogical style. Hale (2018) observed that Ghana lacks enough schools for the young population; in some cases, there are 100 students in one class. This lack of access in compounded by the practice of sending teachers from urban areas to rural areas to teach students with little access to education. The pedagogy continues to further the mundane colonial style of memorization, note copying, listening, and regurgitation of information during examinations. Hale labels this form of teaching a remnant of traditional Western teaching methods introduced by Great Britain which are still prevalent among many British former colonies. The Concept of Free Basic Education in Africa African countries parade the idea of free basic education for public and private institutions as one of the major provisions by the government to its citizens. However, this provision is nebulous as parents still pay fees, buy books, provide breakfast and lunch, purchase other school materials as well as school uniform which is mandatory for all students. The SubSaharan African countries continue to suffer unequal access to educational materials and tuition; the inequality occurs by gender, social class, or the quality of school. Better schools are more expensive and often owned by individuals or organizations (private schools) other than the government. As such, the lack of access to quality education by some citizens creates a selection process whereby students who can afford better education are advantaged and privileged to competitively earn scholarships and admissions to equally better universities because they were adequately prepared. This reality leads to unintended discrimination.

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Conclusion As Sub-Saharan African countries gained their independence, they are faced with challenges of nation-building including establish a formidable education system. Immediately thereafter, the countries were faced with the challenge of rapid growth of primary school children which has consistently increased exponentially in this twenty-first century where it is estimated that 125 million students in Sub-Saharan Africa are at the elementary school age. Meanwhile, Primary Education For All is in place—a product of the Continental conference in Addis Ababa in 1960—whose goal is yet to be achieved. The goal of universal primary education has been an elusive one in Sub-Saharan Africa as populations rapidly increase and strain available resources. It is imperative to redefine the goal of primary education; for such will provide a direction for educational policies and subsequent implementation of ICTs in schools.

References Abugre, J. B. (2018). Institutional governance and management systems in SubSaharan Africa higher education: Developments and challenges in a Ghanaian Research University. Higher Education, 75(2), 323–339. Agbaje, B. (2007). Chapter is the Yoruba experience in post-colonial higher education: A socio-cultural analysis. Higher education in postcolonial Africa: Paradigms of development, decline, and dilemmas (p. 293). Trenton: Africa World Press. Ajasa, F. A. (2005). A survey of personal interest of students of primary education studies in Oyo State College of Education, Oyo. The Journal of the Primary Education Studies Association of Nigeria, Oyo State Chapter, 3(1&2), 34–43. Ajayi, J. F. A., Goma, L. K. H., & Johnson, G. A. (1996). The African experience with higher education. Accra-North, Ghana: The Association of African Universities. Albaugh, E. (2012, January). Language policies in African states–Updated. Amobi, F. (2007). Tribute to the Apogee of Nigerian higher education: Reflections of a scholar in Diaspora. Higher education in postcolonial Africa: Paradigms of development, decline, and dilemmas (p. 343). Trenton: Africa World Press. Brock-Utne, B. (2000). Whose education for all? Recolonization of the African mind. New York: Falmer Press. Busari, S., & Akande, S. (2018, August 17). Nigerian girls won Silicon Valley contest for all that spots fake drugs. CNN Online. Retrieved

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from https://www.cnn.com/2018/08/17/africa/nigerian-girls-win-siliconvalley-contest/index.html. Ebelebe, C. A. (2009). Africa and the new face of mission. Lanham, MD: University Press of America Inc. Fafunwa, A. B. (1982). African education in perspective. Education in Africa: A comparative survey (pp. 14–22). London: George Allen & Unwin. Foster, P. (1965). Education and social change in Ghana. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Gfeller, E., & Robinson, C. (2010). Which language for teaching? The cultural messages transmitted by the languages used in education. Language and Education, 12(1), 18–32. Gitari, W. (2008). Some issues of science education in Africa. New directions in African education (pp. 41–72). Calgary: Calgary University Press. Gutek, G. L. (2006). American education in a global society: International and comparative perspectives. Long Grove: Waveland Press. Hale, J. (2018). A comparative analysis of education in Ghana and Cuba: Identifying relevant education reforms for developing countries. Journal of Information Technologies and Lifelong Learning (JITLL), 1(1), 1–10. Isokpan, A., & Durojaye, E. (2018). The child’s right to basic education in Nigeria: Commentary on the decision in Serap v. Nigeria. African Journal of International and Comparative Law, 26(4), 639–648. ITU, I. (2016). Measuring the information society report. https://web.arc hive.org/web/20170605134129/http://www.itu.int/en/ITUD/Statistics/ Documents/publications/misr2016/MISR2016-w4.pdf. Visited on 06 May 2015. Kyei-Anti, B. (1983). Contribution of teachers’ resource centres to the improvement of primary education in Ghana (African Studies in Curriculum Development & Evaluation No. 112). Little, K. (1966). The political function of the Poro. Part II. Africa: Journal of the International African Institute, 36(1), 62–72. Retrieved from www.jstor. org/stable/1158128. Mazrui, A. A. (1978). Political values and the educated class in Africa. University of California Press. McWilliam, H. O. A., & Kwamena-Poh, M. A. (1975). The development of education in Ghana: An outline. Hong Kong: Commonwealth Printing Press. Ocho, L. O. (1991). The philosophy and curriculum of primary education. In B. G. Nworgu & B. C. Emenogu (Eds.), The Nigerian primary education system: Trends, issues, and strategies for improvement (pp. 1–9). Onitsha, Nigeria: Etukokwu Publishers. Odejide, A. (2003). Navigating the seas: Women in higher education in Nigeria. McGill Journal of Education/Revue des sciences de l’éducation de McGill, 38(003).

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Olaniyan, D. A. L., & Obadara, O. E. (2008). A critical management of education in Nigeria. International Journal of African American Studies, 7(1), 1–19. Olusegun, A. (2003). TEE 406: Pre-primary and primary education projects in Nigeria and elsewhere. Ibadan, Nigeria: Distance Learning Center University of Ibadan. Osman, O. M. (2017, August 1). The Kenyan teenagers tackling genital mutilation with an app. CNN Online. Retrieved from https://www.cnn.com/ 2017/07/28/africa/kenyan-girls-fgm-app/index.html. Pittman, M., & Miller, E. (1996). Childscope: A community-based effort to improve primary education in Ghana. Accra: UNICEF. Profile, E. C. (2009). BBC news. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-140 94503. Accessed February 1, 2009. Republic of Ghana. (2002). Meeting the challenges of education in the twenty first century. Report of the President’s Committee on Review of Education Reforms in Ghana, Accras. Sarpong, M. B., & Kusi, H. (2019). Leadership of Inclusive Education in Effutu Municipality (Ghana): Challenges Facing Headteachers of Basic Schools and Existing Support Systems. Scanlon, D. G. (Ed.). (1964). Traditions of African education (No. 16). New York: Columbia University. Sefa Dei, G. J. (2004). Schooling and education in Africa: The case of Ghana. Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press. Trudell, B. (2016). The impact of language policy and practice on children’s learning: Evidence from Eastern and Southern Africa. Nairobi: UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund) Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office (ESARO). Retrieved June 8, 2018. UNESCO. (1961). Conference of African states on the development of education in Africa: Addis Ababa, 15–25 May, 1961. UNESCO. UNESCO Institute for Statistics. (2016). School resources and learning environment in Africa. Montreal: UNESCO Institute for Statistics. UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS). (2019, September). New methodology shows that 258 million children, adolescents and youth are out of school (Fact Sheet No. 56). UNICEF. (2011). UNICEF annual report 2010. UNICEF. Urevbu, A. O. (1984). School science curriculum and innovation: An African perspective. European Journal of Science Education, 6(3), 217–225. White, B. W. (1996). Talk about school: Education and the colonial project in French and British Africa (1860–1960). Comparative Education, 32(1), 9–26.

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Wokocha, A. M. (1991). The national primary education commission (Decree No. 31, 1988) and qualitative primary education in Nigeria. In B. G. Nworgu & B. C. Emenogu (Eds.), The Nigerian primary education system: Trends, issues, and strategies for improvement (pp. 50–59). Onitsha, Nigeria: Etukokwu Publishers. World Bank, T. (2018). World Bank open data. World Bank Web site (INTERNET). The World Factbook. (2019). Washington, DC: Central Intelligence Agency.

CHAPTER 3

Critical and Cultural Perspectives of Educational Technology Transfers and Theoretical Frameworks

This chapter presents a historical account of transfer of technologies from the West to the African countries. While the focus is on the hardware and software, the discussion equally incorporates extenuating outcomes or by-products of those transfers. Such include the cultural imperialistic effect, the historical relationship of colonialism between several western countries (colonists) and the African nations. Equally, other theoretical underpinnings inherent in the transactions, adoption of technology and implementation processes as well as power relations that guide such processes are discussed.

History of Technology Transfer from the Global North to South Various telecommunication technologies have been exported from Western countries to the African nations since the 1800s. The first telephone service that connected Nigeria to London was installed in 1886 (Ajayi, Salawu, & Raji, 1999). The Ivory Coast experienced its first telecommunication service in the form of the telegraph in 1887 (Kone, 1999). Ethiopia was introduced to telephone service in 1894 during the reign of Emperor Menelik II (Tsigie & Feyissa, 1999). However, in the twentieth century, specifically, the 1960s and 1970s, were the international decades of development, as proclaimed by the United Nations. © The Author(s) 2020 B. A. Ezumah, Critical Perspectives of Educational Technology in Africa, Digital Education and Learning, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-53728-9_3

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The Western countries who established the United Nations after World War II would later dominate development efforts, including introduction of the mass media and technology, to developing countries, most of them newly independent former colonial states. Western telecommunications exportation to Africa has included computer technology for several decades. The IBM 360 computers were exported to Nigeria in the 1960s for information storage by the Nigerian government. Ngwainmbi (1999) noticed that this version of computer was third-generation quality and not the same version used in Western countries. This lends evidence to the criticism that the devices transferred from Western companies to developing countries are ineffective or outdated. Unfortunately, the developing nations usually accept these items, believing they are adequate and effective. A study conducted by Ngwainmbi on 14 African countries representing different African regions showed that the Africans were excited about the ideas of western exports of Information Technology (IT) while the local experts in the diaspora were skeptical of the IT products exported to Africa finding them ineffective and of lesser quality.

Overview of Development Theory Development Theory holds that mass media and other technologies play a vital role in the development of the so-called “Third World”1 a dominant discourse during the 1960s and 1970s. Proponents of this notion included US scholars Daniel Lerner and Wilbur Schramm, both of whom promoted in the 1950s and 1960s the distinct contribution of communication to development, a belief that was generally known as the dominant paradigm of development. This paradigm holds that by exposing the developing nations to modernization, or western culture, they will learn new culture, behavior, and lifestyle; and, consequently, become developed (Melkote, 1991; Ojo, 2004). Originally an economic theory, this concept, crossed over to communication during the period when mass communication media were considered powerful instruments during the Magic

1 Third World refers to the countries of developing nations that are considered econom-

ically, industrially, and technologically impoverished—these countries are mostly located in sub-Saharan Africa, some parts of Asia, and Latin America. This term connotes a derogatory meaning and is considered archaic since the use of “First” and “Second” Worlds have been abolished by WWII. Alternative terms include developing countries, global south, emerging countries, less developed countries, and underdeveloped countries.

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Bullet or Mass Society era. One of its assumptions then was that mere transfer of goods, services, technologies, industries, and cultural values of the West to the developing countries will automatically yield increased economic productivity. According to Melkote (1991) and Lerner (1958) assert the dominant paradigm measures development by advancement according to Western measures of urbanization, industrialization, and literacy. These attributes, argue proponents, are expected to replace the so-called primitive lifestyle of the developing countries and ultimately lead to their economic and social development. Both Lerner and Schramm viewed the imitation of the Western model as a snow-ball process whereby the growth in one of the sectors of development would automatically induce growth in other aspects of development. In the same vein, the OLPC Foundation presumes that distributing XO laptops to elementary school students will automatically improve their learning and the entire education system. Lerner’s theory of development was fused with a sociopsychological variable he termed “empathy,” a factor that disposes the individual to embrace this new Western lifestyle, through getting lost in oneself and transforming affected individuals into the life and experiences of another (Melkote, 1991). Melkote (1991) stated that “modernization, according to Lerner, was essentially Westernization” (p. 82). The decades since the 1970s have witnessed a deluge of Western nations’ concerns over modernizing the developing countries of the global South. Fejes (1976) contends that “it was generally assumed that a nation became truly modern and developed when it arrived at that point where it closely resembled Western industrial nations in terms of political and economic behavior and institutions, attitudes toward technology and innovation, and social and psychic mobility” (as cited in Melkote, 1991, p. 38). Due to the popularity of the dominant theory and its assertion that the mass media and technologies are panaceas for social and economic development as well as literacy, the United Nations authorized its agency, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), to invest in communication projects in developing countries, beginning in the 1960s, now known as the first Decade of Development (Ojo, 2005). Asian communities were the first targets for this mandate; in 1960, when UNESCO convened its first meeting to discuss communication promotion in Bangkok. Successive meetings were held in Chile, for Latin America, and another in Paris, for Africa (Ojo, 2004). The report of these meetings by UNESCO stated that 70% of the population

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studied, lacked adequate information facilities. The report led to the UN and UNESCO’s crusade for exportation of ICTs to developing countries and their enthusiastic investments in communication technologies. The dominant paradigm lost its legitimacy through an uprising by “Third World” leaders and critical scholars in the decades of 1970s and 1980s. These critics saw the dominant paradigm as imperialistic and a process toward further neo-colonialism. Scholars of developing nations, particularly in Latin America and Africa, sternly criticized the dominant theory of development and proposed alternative paradigms including the participatory model. The tenet of participatory communication as described by Melkote (1991) includes “the input of individuals at the grassroots in defining and planning development goals and strategies” (p. 240). The confrontation by critical scholars forced Schramm, the architect of the dominant theory, to recant. He revised his theory to include the integration of cultural and other local needs of the community as part of the development process (Ojo, 2004). Melkote (2003) points out that the dominant paradigm exists under the assumption that progress and growth are rationalized and determined by the elites in the global North in conjunction with multilateral organizations and as such theorization is often presented in a universal manner with a “one-size-fits-all” model of development. For this approach, development is measured by Gross National Product, which overtly neglects and does not reflect individual development and progress nor does it take into account the histories of developing countries and their cultures. This neglect of history causes the problems and challenges to be viewed as natural rather than products of politics, corruption, and greed. It draws heavily on the positivist approach, which always claims the “truth.” Such truth has been accepted without question, Melkote says.

Development Theory and the Lingering Traces of Colonialism Central to this development efforts is the promotion of communication technologies. Mass media and subsequently communication technologies were considered markers of modernization and development. Such mindset created a dominant paradigm that equates industrialization to modernization; and modernization is measured by similarity to Westernization. According to Stevenson (1988) and Melkote (1991), were

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attributed the quality of a magic bullet, with people thinking these technologies would modernize the so-called backward countries in the areas of agriculture, industry and education in fairly similar ways. In most cases, these countries had no choice and were not allowed a say in the decision to innovate; it was thrust upon them. The assumption that such participation and contribution are essential to the introduction of communication technologies is integral to the participatory theory of development, which is here proposed as part of the theoretical framework. The same pattern of measuring modernization through the yardstick of Westernization is repeating in the scramble for educational technology— seeking a Western tool, pedagogical styles, and aiming to create a system similar to Western system. Just like many communication software and hardware were exported from Western Countries to African countries in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the same pattern is happening in the twenty-first century with many innovations. For decades, Africa has been used as laboratory mice for testing new technologies. In fact, as the entire world is being ravaged by the novel COVID-19, the French doctor’s suggestion of testing a very crude COVID-19 vaccine in Africa—one of the continents with the lowest cases of COVID-19, was nostalgic for Africans as they raised not just outrageous alarm and vicious oppositions but skepticism about the motives of most Western technologies to Africa. Wilson Wong (2020) of NBCOnline reported that Dr. Jean-Paul Mira, head of Intensive Care Unit at the Cochin Hospital in Paris was being interviewed by Camille Locht and without flinching, Dr. Mira suggested, “If I could be provocative, shouldn’t we do this study in Africa where there are no masks, treatment, or intensive care, a little bit like we did in certain AIDS studies or with prostitutes?” He also continued, “We tried things on prostitutes because they are highly exposed and do not protect themselves.” The interviewer, Locht of the French television LCI concurred “You are right. We are thinking of a parallel study in Africa to use this same kind of approach with the BCG placebos” (Wong, 2020). Mira and Locht did not see anything wrong with their statements until it generated a public uproar, and of course, that was when Mira offered a public apology. Perhaps Mira was just stating the obvious and perpetuating the status quo. We may not necessarily blame him, for that has been the pattern, the modus operandi for centuries. So, when scholars raise questions about Western transfer of technology and emphasize the need for critically evaluating Western initiatives, the skepticism is not illusory. The skepticism is informed by the

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colonial relationships between African countries and Western countries and the Colonists’ motives which have never really been for the utmost good of Africa, but for its usurpation.

Neo-Colonialism Communication systems and equipment are not the only tools exported to developing countries by the global North; education and evangelism are too (Ajayi, Goma, & Johnson, 1996). For over 400 years, Africa and other developing nations have served as sites for investment for several Western nations and religions. Western countries such a Britain, France, Portugal, and Italy have used slavery, colonization and evangelism to enrich themselves with the labor and natural resources of developing countries. Even on a deeper level, what is often transferred is not just technology. Ideology, is equally transferred and such gives rise to (Cultural imperialism and neo-colonialism) which are threats and replacement of the indigenous knowledge and culture. On another note, most technology transfers are done letter-perfect, without adaptation or alteration to the local peculiarities. This is where the problem lies—in the imperialistic practice and the one-size-fits-all mentality. The caveat though is, what is transferred is not just technology. Culture is embedded in all societal activities including education. In designing, distributing, and implementing educational technologies, the cultural constructs and particularities should remain innate in all planning and implementation phase(s). There’s been a plethora of research—individual, governmental, non-governmental, and multilateral organizations but very few if any, have viewed educational technology in Africa from a critical-cultural perspective. This book is an attempt to dissect this phenomenon from a social, cultural, political, and economic implications cultural, theoretical, and participatory lenses.

Hegemony, Cultural Imperialism, Electronic Colonialism Imperialism and colonialism are two inevitable constructs in discourses relating to Africa and the West. In most cases, the relationship is like a hand and fire—while each may desire the other, especially for warmth, very often the meeting results in one getting burned; and so, each time there is such relationship, carefulness is key. Even though cultural

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imperialism is now mostly referred to media (US media in particular) domination over world cultures, the practice of cultural imperialism which generally means one nations’ or culture’s domination over another or others, has been in existence long before the United States. At least for Africa, it dates to several hundred years ago. There are varied permutations of this line of thought and in discussing cultural imperialism, electronic colonization or their like, one has to dig deeper into their etymology. In doing so, we need to review the thoughts of Italian critic, Antonio Gramsci (1971) who was very active in the 1920s and 1930s during the reign of Mussolini, coined the term to refer to the ideological rule of one social class over another or power domination of one group over another. This concept of Cultural Hegemony was enlightened by Marx’s theory and Greek dominance. Gramsci describes cultural hegemony as power domination of one group over another. Gramsci believes this power exertion can occur in economic realm through capitalism or in the cultural realm by exerting cultural power. The US media critic, Herbert Schiller (1976) furthered this concept by applying cultural imperialism to the US mass media world in his book Communication and Cultural Dominations noting how information exchange and domination occur between the core and periphery countries. Tomlinson (2012) viewed this concept in a rather broader sense as encompassing all “exercise of domination in cultural relationships in which the values, practices, and meanings of a powerful foreign culture are imposed upon one or more native cultures” (Abstract). The hegemonic tendencies continue to develop into various permutations as long as there is some form of power relations especially as we delve deeper into the electronic age. Thomas McPhail extended the hegemonic notion to emergent technologies through his concept of Electronic Colonialism defined as the “dependency relationship established by the importation of communication hardware and foreign-produced software, along with engineers, technicians, and related information protocols, that establish a set of foreign norms, values, and expectations that, to varying degrees, alter domestic cultures, habits, values, and the socialization process itself” (McPhail, 2010, p. 19) He explicitly warned that the newly imported system will cause displacement, rejection, alteration, forgetting of native and indigenous customs, domestic messages, and ultimately, cultural history. Bringing this home to the current study, one of the two key cases of this volume is the One Laptop Per Child XO-laptop project. The major contribution of the XO-laptop is American version of constructionism

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which has proved oppositional to the pedagogical style and teaching training method inculcated in the African elementary and secondary school teachers. As indicated later in this volume (Chapter 6), elementary education teachers found the constructivist approach of teaching very difficult to imbibe and contrary to their teaching styles.

Manufacturing Consent and Engineering Consent What do the above theoretical substructures assert? They succinctly provide a lens through which the critical review of a potential hegemonic transactions can be evaluated. Although hegemony resounds an ideology of domination, in some instances, such domination may not blatantly be forceful. They may, subtly assume a latent domination which may seemingly convey that a consent was accorded the hegemon. Meaning, the acceptance, deployment, and implementation of those technologies may seem to have been requested by the African nations. Such tactics was described by Edward Bernays (1955) a renowned public relations guru, as Engineering Consent, a term coined from Walter Lippmann’s (1922) Public Opinion and later furthered by Herman and Chomsky’s (1988) Manufacturing Consent. The United Nations’ 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Right mandates that the Will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of their government and this sets off the requirement for public opinion and consent. Lippmann asserts that common people lack the cognitive ability to fully ascertain the socio-political or cultural environment. With this assumption, the people with the knowledge would step in and make the decisions for them. This is typical of the replacement of African traditional education system with a Western one and the basic tenets of development theory which considers Western culture as the best and a model by which every other education system should be measured. Herman and Chomsky revealed the propagandist motive of the news media and media in general in framing issues and using the double standard to furthering the social and political agendas of dominant and privileged groups to the disadvantage of the society. In this same line of argument, Edward Bernays added, this is done by using some form of manipulation in coercing people to adopt a situation or program. This is evidenced in the results of this research on the XO laptop. The OLPC Corporation approached the Presidents of Nigeria and Ghana to pitch their educational technology. Such negotiation did not involve the input of educationalists and including the national Ministry of

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Education. The then Nigerian President, Obasanjo may be skilled in many other disciplines but is neither a school teacher nor education technology specialist. OLPC having garnered the approval of the Head of State, now has the consent of the country to deploy the XO laptop. Meanwhile, the right approach would have been to negotiate with experts in education field to ascertain first, if this tablet is congruous to the Nigerian curricula, the feasibility of its implementation, and the modalities needed to train teachers and students to properly incorporate it in teaching and learning. Participants of the study explained, EXPG4 notes “the push for this [XOlaptop] was not from the Ministry of Education. Rather it came from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning. It’s interesting to note because when you look at other case studies with OLPC the negotiation it is never usually done with the Ministry of Education, but another ministry.” Similarly, EXPN2 explains that the initial negotiations were conducted between the OLPC founder, Negroponte and the then Nigerian President, Obasanjo. Upon receiving the approval of the president, OLPC proceeded to contact a Nigerian technology company to oversee the pilot project. The Nigerian education ministry was involved after the school was selected, informed, and the XO was shipped for deployment.

Critical Review of Education in Low-Income Communities Social science seeks to problematize social phenomena toward providing solutions to problems (Nichols & Allen-Brown, 1996). Access to education and the varieties of quality of education that is available and is offered in different societies have demonstrated varied levels of disparities among people of different social status, through digital divide, social, class, and racial discrimination, gender and economic disparities (Banerji, 1998; Bond, 1966; Jagers & Carroll, 2002; Wong & Lee, 1998). Kemp, Morrison, Ross, and Kalman (2004) expressed the need for educational technologists to assume a critical stance in their research. These scholars observed that a majority of research done in the educational technology field answers questions in the areas of technique, cognition, and science. What has been lacking in educational technology research are inquiries in the areas of: human understanding, freedom, and action… in the realms of ecology, society, school, and culture… people are examining educational capital

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from the point of view that asks where to get more money for more computers, but not from the view that asks why supporters of educational computing are taking advantage of women, people of color, and poor people. (p. 245)

In another instance, Morrison et al. (2004) admonished educational technologists to employ action research methods in studying educational technology and engage with the many foundational, essential, provocative, and morally pertinent issues that are ignored. Moreover, they advised that educational technologists should not be busy using technology to do things to and for learners. They should rather be busy asking learners to tell us what to do and to tell us from philosophically, economically, politically, ecologically, and educationally informed positions. Adhering to the above injunctions, the inquiry here seeks perspectives of the users of the XO laptop and other technologies, the local experts, teachers, and parents of students who usually, are not consulted in similar matter.

Critical Theorists and Education This section situates the argument with the assertions of other critical theorists on education. Paulo Freire, Henry Giroux, and Peter McLaren are among the critical education theorists who assessed the education of people in low-income and marginalized communities. Giroux (1983) highlights the importance of human agency rather than just the institution in defining the purpose of schooling. He asserts that teachers and students play a great role in defining schooling and its function. In the same vein, Giroux and McLaren (1986) emphasized the inevitable role of teachers whom they referred to as “transformative intellectuals” (p. 213) in the process of learning. They suggest that teacher education curricula while inculcating the study of power, language, culture, and history, should also incorporate the voices of the voiceless, that is, the students. Similar to the constructionist pedagogy, Paulo Freire (1985) believes that education should entail dialogue; therefore, students should not be assumed to be empty vessels or tabula rasa that need to be filled but should construct knowledge based on their familiar experiences and their already acquired knowledge. In line with the above, Emile Durkheim (1956) believes that education and learning involve knowledge creation and that the ideal

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education is one that is relevant to society. McLaren (1994) further distinguishes three forms of knowledge; he explains when knowledge can be considered as relevant, critical, and transformative. He asserts that: knowledge is relevant only when it begins with the experiences students bring with them from the surrounding culture; it is critical only when these experiences are shown to sometimes be problematic (i.e., racist, sexist); and it is transformative only when students begin to use the knowledge to help empower others, including individuals in the surrounding community. (p. 197)

The present study explores among other things, to what extent the educational technologies deployed to Africa incorporated familiar experiences and locally relevant knowledge of the communities in question. Theorists have also voiced their opinion on traditional schooling. The sociology of education garnered momentum in England and the United States in the early 1970s and was influenced by Brazilian radical educator Paulo Freire’s (1985) quest for ways that education can be meaningful, critical, and emancipatory, and that these traits are lacking in some traditional schooling. Similar to Freire, Henry Giroux also criticized traditional and institutional structure of schooling that do not incorporate the life and experiences of those students directly involved. In the same vein, McLaren (1994) warned that “as teachers we need to collectively demythologize the infallibility of educational programmers and so-called experts, who often do nothing more than zealously impose their epistemological assumptions on unassuming teachers” (p. 219). This argument might suggest that critical theorists are always negative about educational technology. They in fact believe in the intrinsic value of educational technology in furthering emancipation. Moreover, the constructionist pedagogy that the OLPC project and other initiatives promote is subsumed in a pedagogical method whereby the student is a co-creator of knowledge. This aligns with Freire’s (1970) description of a relevant pedagogy in his classic book Pedagogy of the oppressed, where he observed that: In a humanizing pedagogy, the method ceases to be an instrument by which the teachers (in this instance, the revolutionary leadership) can manipulate the students (in this instance, the oppressed) … A revolutionary leadership must accordingly practice co-intentional education. Teachers and students (leadership and people), co-intent on reality, are

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both Subjects, not only in the task of unveiling that reality, and thereby coming to know it critically, but in the task of re-creating that knowledge. (pp. 55–56)

The criticism then relies on the fact that the planning, design, and implementation phases especially of the OLPC as a case, and to some great extent, other technologies, failed to incorporate collective deliberation of the target audience and local experts both in the assessment of their needs and in the consultation of the best ways to implement the project.

Efforts to Improve Cultural Distinctiveness in Western Initiatives It should be acknowledged that multilateral and bilateral organizations especially the World Bank and UNESCO, and even the inventors of the initiatives for instance the OLPC Corporation, in an effort to improve and infuse cultural distinctiveness to western initiatives galvanize local experts as consultants, capacity builders and for program evaluation (evaluators), etc. This effort often is blurred by either the local consultants’ efforts to produce socially desirable results that are favorable to the Grantor so as to secure another gig afterwards, thus, failing to produce honest reports. In other words, aligning with the maxim, s/he who pays the piper dictates the tune. This was evident during the research trip in Nigeria and Ghana to review the OLPC initiative. The consultants involved in the deployment had an unalloyed loyalty that impeded their freedom to constructively criticize the deployments, implementation styles, and process in their evaluation. Brock-Utne (2000) made similar observation and noted that often fear and retribution of criticism from international donors thwart honest evaluation of projects from local experts. She writes: Many development consultants avoid criticizing the powerful donors. Those who know them well enough to be able to criticize them are normally dependent on them for funding of sectors or programs or for consultancies. Academics in the South are dependent on the consultancies for their living, as are the people working in consultancy firms in the North. Although their task is to appraise, evaluate, and review, they well know that they have to stay within certain parameters and critique within narrow limits if they wish to retain their jobs”. [She went on to claim]

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“Donor agencies, even tough ones like the World Bank, do not like criticism and have their ways of punishing those who speak too loudly or are too direct. (p. 15)

The above observation was partial to only some local experts and not all of them. They are consultants who also risk the so-called retribution and provide honest evaluation of projects and institutions appreciate such effort for it helps in improving the initiative. And such practice is very commendable both for the consultants and the donors.

African Culture, Education, and Technology It is imperative to examine, a little deeper in this section, the African culture and education in relation to educational technologies and their characteristics. This research, in discussing African culture, does not present a monolithic view of African culture. However, despite the diversity of African cultures there could also be some core similarities or values that are inherent in almost all sects and sub-sects of Africa especially during the precolonial era when culture was undiluted and customs intact. Some of the cultural traits to be discussed in this section are those that are in direct contrast to some of the characteristics of the Western educational technologies. For instance, the XO laptop by name (One Laptop per Child) and by deed, promotes individualism—a trait that one of the top education policymakers in Ghana disapproved and described as oppositional to the community-spirit that we teach our children. Community ties is a strong suit in Africa with reverence to lineage and kinship; even with marriage, it is not usually an affair of husband and wife but of two groups of kindreds and communities. Reflected in the most familiar Igbo culture are aphorisms such as “onye aghala nwanne ya,” “igwe bu ike” loosely translating to “we carry everyone along” and “there is strength in numbers.” This may seem a simple argument or issue that may not necessarily mean much to someone who is engrossed in western culture of individualism. But, just like a “Westerner” will shrink at someone “invading his or her space”2 and thus becoming very uncomfortable and such state of mind and environment makes it very difficult to learn and

2 This refers to pre-COVID-19 era before the institution of the universal social distancing.

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assimilate any concept taught; such applies to an African pupil who has been taught from birth to share and promote communal living. Another oppositional stance of Western educational technology is the Constructivist approach whereby students are expected and required to steer the wheel of learning while the teacher serves as a mentor. For full disclosure, this research subscribes to pedagogical style; I co-construct knowledge with my students and I have discovered that it is a more meaningful style of teaching for the environment that I live and work. As an educator in a Western country. In fact, all my postsecondary education was done in the United States and I have learned and imbibed the advantages of constructivist pedagogy and can apply it properly. However, a teacher in Africa may not be as comfortable as I am allowing students to learn through hands-on activities and interactions while he or she serves as a guide, lecturing sparingly. For a teacher without a grounded training in this style of teaching, it may seem foreign and it does seem foreign to them; hence, the need for proper teacher training which is discussed in detail in Chapter 5 (Teacher Training and Pedagogy). Respect is defined differently in the African culture with regard to child-elder relationship. As can be seen also in Chapter 5; teacher participants in the 2010 study raised the issue of feeling very incapacitated and losing control of the class and of the process of teaching and learning with the XO laptop. For those teachers, their training in classroom management is defined a little differently than the Western model proffers. Another major trait of the Western educational technology that clashes with the African culture is the transplantation of the American and European model curriculum; there is still an elusive attitude toward balancing indigenous knowledge with foreign knowledge by using locally relevant examples, materials, and artifacts. This need is somewhat realized at the primary school level and gets lesser relevance at the secondary and tertiary levels. But, there should be a balance whereby the local knowledge is accentuated with broader and foreign knowledge so as to prepare the student for the changing society/world. What then can be amended and what should be retained and not diluted? Curriculum developers must be trained to understand the culture(s) of a nation. Finally, the issue of Language albeit discussed in detail in Chapter 2, is equally important to be mentioned here along with the discussion on Meaning and Thought. The three core principles in the process of interaction in the formation of values for individuals include, Meaning, Language, and Thought as deduced from symbolic interactionism theory

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of George Herbert Mead (1934) and later Herbert Blumer (1986). The meaning given to an object presupposes how people act toward that object and this is central to human behavior and learning. By attributing the meaning of “solving all educational and health problems” and “the only way in which students will be prepared to compete in the global arena” to computers and other computed devices, will compel people to regard those devices in that same way. Conversely, by rejecting the potential and power of the old-fashioned, pen and pencils to achieving the desired pedagogical goals, will equally render those objects incapable of achieving such goals. Similarly, language gives people a means by which to negotiate meaning. The superfluous description and promises of these initiatives appear deceptive in the least, and evoke the feeling of disappointment when all that were promised are not achieved. Language encodes meaning that people decode in various ways and as Mead implies, the use of symbol in language transforms the socialization process and frees that meaning from the bounds of space and time—there is need to re-encode the meaning given to educational technology and to ICTs. The last construct, Thought, serves to modify each individual’s interpretation of whatever has been encoded through language and symbols. Thought is the fullness of the meaning that was encoded via language. This book calls for pragmatism on the part of all stakeholders involved in the process of designing, deploying, supporting, implementing, and evaluating technologies employed in all facets of education. Such synergy culminates into a participatory action model of praxis. Participatory Action Research (PAR) The participatory action research approach was developed in the 1980s and the 1990s when criticism of the dominant paradigm was at its peak. The major assumption of participatory action research (PAR) is that grassroots participation can help recapture the knowledge and narratives of the poor and oppressed (Melkote & Steeves, 2001). PAR seeks to generate knowledge that is “specific, local, non-Western, and nonpositivist” (Melkote & Steeves, 2001, p. 342). It is used to bring the opinions and knowledge of locals who otherwise may not be consulted. Incorporating a PAR model in introductory research of any phenomenon, especially one involving educational technology, can potentially provide utilitarian benefits to the users of the technology. In addition, the model can serve as cost effective information to the designers of the program.

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The feedback ensures user interest and establishes user input and ideas that will help avoid the costs involved in significant alterations (Liu, John, Maddox, & Henderson, 2001). PAR is also associated with pragmatic and emancipatory outcomes (Cousins & Whitmore, 1998). Unlike the topdown approach, PAR entails a collaborative effort of all stakeholders of the program which comprise of students, parents, and teachers, subject matter experts and local decision-makers as well as the representatives of the technology in question. Other attributes of PAR include an acknowledgment that people are capable of helping themselves and that everyone has something of interest to share. In terms of appraisal of knowledge, the participatory paradigm recognizes that traditional knowledge is equally relevant and that all people can be agents of change. It therefore maintains a bottom-up, two-way flow process. Kemmis and McTaggart (2008) provide several features of participatory action research. They indicate, it is a social process employed in settings such as education and community development; PAR also seeks to tap people’s current knowledge and thus applies a practical and collaborative approach by social interaction. The ultimate goal of PAR according to Kemmis and McTarggart (2008) is to help people recover and learn how best to work to improve their current situation. Limitations of Participatory Action Research PAR is often considered a means to an end or an end in and of itself (Huesca, 2003). Some scholars have noted that PAR can actually be misused in situations where there is passive collaboration or in situations where a pre-determined objective is already in place. Dissanayake (1985) as cited in Huesca also points out that it could be either a gross assumption or a somewhat generalized premise that the local people and peasants actually are qualified to provide vital local information that could inform a study. Finally, due to a lack of concrete definition of PAR and the wideranging scholarship that attempts to define each derivative, its critics aver that PAR is actually a dominant communication pattern in a different guise. These limitations were considered and best practices applied during the research. All respondents participated willingly. Purposive recruitment ensured that participants are knowledgeable about the subject; all student participants either used or are currently using the technologies and the parents consisted of men and women whose child/children or ward have

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used or are currently using the technologies under study, and who also have had some experience with it. The Subject-Matter Experts (SMEs) equally consist of people who are directly involved in the decision making, training, planning and implementation of the technologies or experts in the field of education and technology for the countries of focus.

References Ajayi, J. F. A., Goma, L. K. H., & Johnson, G. A. (1996). The African experience with higher education. Accra-North, Ghana: The Association of African Universities. Ajayi, G. O., Salawu, R. I., & Raji, T. I. (1999). Nigeria: After a century of telecommunications development, what next? In E. M. Noam (Ed.), Telecommunications in Africa (pp. 163–177). New York: Oxford University Press. Banerji, R. (1998). Why don’t children complete primary school? A case study of low-income neighborhood in Delhi. In K. K. Wong (Ed.), Advances in educational policy: Perspectives on the social functions of schools (pp. 19–47). Stamford, CT: JAI Press. Bernays, E. L. (Ed.). (1955). The engineering of consent. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. Blumer, H. (1986). Symbolic interactionism: Perspective and method. Berkeley: University of California Press. Bond, H. B. (1966). The education of the Negro in the American social order. New York: Octagon Books Inc. Brock-Utne, B. (2000). Whose education for all? Recolonization of the African mind. New York: Falmer Press. Cousins, J. B., & Whitmore, E. (1998). Framing participatory evaluation. New Directions for Evaluation, 1998(80), 5–23. Dissanayake, W. (1985). From a piecemeal approach to an integrated strategy for development. Media Development, 4, 20–22. Durkheim, E. (1956). Education and sociology. Glencoe, IL: The Free Press. Fejes, F. (1976). Communication and development (Unpublished paper). College of communications, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 4. Freire, P. (1985). The politics of education: Culture, power ad liberation (D. Macedo, Trans.). South Hadley, MA: Bergin & Garvey Publishers, Inc. Freire, P. (1970). Pedagogy of the oppressed. New York: The Seabury Press. Giroux, H. A. (1983). Theories of reproduction and resistance in the new sociology of education: A critical analysis. Harvard Educational Review, 53(3), 257–293.

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Giroux, H. A., & McLaren, P. (1986). Teacher education and the politics of engagement: The case for democratic schooling. Harvard Educational Review, 56(3), 213–238. Gramsci, A. (1971). Hegemony. na. Herman, E. S., & Chomsky, N. (1988). Manufacturing consent: The political economy of the mass media. New York, NY: Pantheon Books. Heusca, R. (2003). Participatory approaches to communication for development. In B. Mody (Ed.), International and development communication: A twenty first century perspective (pp. 209–226). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Jagers, R. J., & Carroll, G. (2002). Issues in educating African American children and youth. In S. Stringfield & D. Land (Eds.), Educating at-risk students (pp. 49–65). Chicago, IL: National Society for the Study of Education. Kemmis, S., & McTaggart, R. (2008). Participatory action research: Communicative action and the public sphere. In N. K. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), Strategies of qualitative inquiry (pp. 271–330). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Kemp, J. E., Morrison, G. R., Ross, S. M., & Kalman, H. K. (2004). Designing effective instruction. Hoboken: Wiley. Kone, H. (1999). The Ivory Coast (Cote d’Ivoire). In E. M. Noam (Ed.), Telecommunications in Africa (pp. 141–162). New York: Oxford University Press. Lerner, D. (1958). The passing of traditional society: Modernizing the Middle East. Glencoe: Macmillan. Lippmann, W. (1965). Public opinion. 1922. http://infomotions.com/etexts/ gutenberg/dirs/etext04/pbpnn10.htm. Liu, L., John, D. L., Maddux, C. D., & Henderson, N. J. (2001). Evaluation ad assessment in educational information technology. New York: The Haworth Press Inc. McLaren, P. (1994). Life in schools: An introduction to critical pedagogy in the foundations of education. New York: Longman. McPhail, T. L. (2010). Global communication: Theories, stakeholders, and trends. Chichester: Wiley. Mead, G. H. (1934). Mind, self and society (Vol. 111). Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Melkote, S. R. (1991). Communication for development in the Third World: Theory and practice. New Delhi: Sage. Melkote, S. R., & Steeves, H. L. (2001). Communication for development in the third world: Theory and practice for empowerment (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Melkote, S. R. (2003). Theories of development communication. In Bella Mody (Ed.), International and development communication: A 21st-century perspective (pp. 129–146). Thousand Oaks: Sage.

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Ngwainmbi, E. K. (1999). Exporting communication technology to developing countries: Sociocultural, economic, and educational factors. Lanham, MD: University Press of America Inc. Nichols, R., & Allen-Brown, V. (1996). Critical theory and educacion technology. Handbook of research for Educational Communications and Technology. Nueva York: Mac-Millan. Ojo, T. (2004). Old paradigm and information and communication technologies for development agenda in Africa: Modernization as context. Journal of Information Technology Impact, 4(3), 139–150. Ojo, T. (2005). Wiring sub-Saharan Africa for development. International Journal of Education and Development using ICT , 1(3), 94–107. Schiller, H. I. (1976). Communication and cultural domination. New York: M.E. Sharpe. Stevenson, R. L. (1988). Communication, development, and the third world: The global politics of information. NY: Longman. Tomlinson, J. (2012). Cultural imperialism. In The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Globalization. Tsigie, A. B. I. I., & Feyissa, G. (1999). Ethiopia: Past, present, and future. In Telecommunications in Africa (pp. 51–78). Oxford Scholarship Online. Wong, K. K., & Lee, J. (1998). Interstate variation in the achievement gap among racial and social groups: Considering the effects of school resources and classroom practices. In K. K. Wong (Ed.), Advances in educational policy: Perspectives on the social functions of schools (pp. 198–142). Stamford, CT: JAI Press Inc. Wong, W. (2020, April 7). French doctor apologizes for comments on testing a COVID-19 vaccine in Africa, prompting outrage on social media. Retrieved from: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/nbcblk/french-doctor-apo logizes-comments-testing-covid-19-vaccine-africa-prompting-n1177991.

CHAPTER 4

Challenges of Educational Technology Adoption in Africa

Several micro and macro challenges thwart the success of educational technology adoption in Africa. They range from personal, to the community, cultural, infrastructural, policies, inadequate training, or absolutely lack of training. This chapter highlights those challenges and provides results from empirical inquiry with major stakeholders including students, parents, teachers, educators, policymakers, community leaders. Almost every study conducted on Information and Communication Technology in African schools listed identical insuperable challenges facing ICT adoption and sustenance in Africa. Cost, building, equipment, basic needs, hygienic facilities like toilets, clean drinking water, textbooks, exercise books, pens, pencils, uniforms, etc. Yonazi (2012) note that “existing education policies in most African countries need thorough review and updating to ensure that the policy for ICT in education supports and is supported by complementary policies for education as a whole” (p. 8). Continuing, they buttressed several challenges that still hinder the successful implementation of ICT in education in Sub-Saharan Africa: The absence of comprehensive policies which enable and support interventions and which are supported by a clearly defined and resourced strategies for implementation at national level as well as at the level of educational institutions; lack of financing and prioritization of ICT investments; limited

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infrastructure of the kind required to support the use of ICT in education; lack of capacity at all levels to integrate and support the use of ICT in education effectively; lack of necessary ICT skills among teachers, and of the specific training needed to be able to use ICT appropriately in the classroom; lack of appropriate content; lack of accurate, comprehensive, upto-date data on education; and the tendency of ICT to accentuate social, cultural and economic disparities. (p. 15)

Yet, almost all studies propose, and strongly recommend ICT as an inevitable tool that ought to be integrated into schools from elementary through tertiary levels in Africa. This dichotomy is interesting because by reviewing the infrastructural conditions of some schools in certain communities it is almost impossible to invest in the kind of ICT that scholars, policymakers, and international agencies recommend. While it is commendable to utilize the technologies of the twenty-first century, influencers ought to be careful not to generalize this mandate to every school in Africa and policymakers need to review the nuances inherent in schools in their districts and consider the recommendations for ICT in education exactly what they are—recommendations—that has to be adapted as applicable. For instance, Kpaduwa (2015) advises, “the need for ICT in Nigeria’s secondary schools is no longer a luxury but a necessity. The demand for ICT in Nigeria’s secondary schools is increasing rapidly because it is now realized that computers and other ICTs can impact significant learning in the classrooms and beyond” (p. 53). He continued, “The federal government should provide ICT devices and application in all secondary schools in the southeastern states. Government should provide computers with Internet facilities in all secondary schools through the school boards. The state government should collaborate with secondary school boards and provide the principals with laptops” (Oboegbunam & Ugwu, 2013 as cited in Kpaduwa 2015, p. 37). The operational word in the above quote is all, some secondary schools are yet to meet the basic need of textbooks as many students share textbooks and some do not have any at all. Facing this reality, some schools will perform much better with non-digital technologies such as books. Therefore, earlier in this volume, was a recommendation to reconsider technologies commensurate to each school, community, country, and region. Whatever can effect change needs to be adopted as a congruent technology—whether analog or digital.

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Historical Background of Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) and Education Information communication technologies (ICTs) such as radio, television, and, recently, computers with an Internet connection, have been gainfully employed over time in the educational sector to enhance teaching and learning. ICT also includes communication and computing equipment or materials that support, enhance, and promote teaching, learning, and other educational activities. According to Johnstone (2003), the implementation of computing systems in education dates back to the 1950s with B. F. Skinner’s introduction of Programmed Logic for Automatic Teaching Operations (PLATO). This system was introduced in United States schools in the1960s and served as an aid for students to learn the material at their own pace. Warschauer (2006) calls this the First Wave of computing systems in education. He describes the Second Wave as beginning in the 1980s when the penetration of personal computers was prevalent. This wave considers computers as not just an aid or tutor, but a tool that students could employ to demonstrate their skills and creativity. This amalgamation of mass communication tools and education is more prominent today, especially with an increasing use of the Internet worldwide. Despite the digital divide that hinders a large part of the world’s population from gaining access to technology, the major obstacle to the success of technological integration in education is inadequate planning, design, and implementation (Flagg, 1990; Nicholls, 1983). Studies have demonstrated that there is an overwhelming improvement in the educational performance of students with the integration of technologies (Casserly & Snipes, 2005; Fishman, 2005). Benefits range from encouraging inquiryoriented learning, accessibility and instant availability of information, instructional coherence, enhanced student interest in learning, and subsequently, improved scholastic achievement. However, the technological tools are more likely to yield these results when preceded by an assessment of the need and the identification of the problems that the technology is meant to solve. Planning also includes the integration of the curriculum, substantial training and orientation of both teachers and students, and consideration of the pedagogical style related to the particular school or school system. Fishman (2005) emphasized the need for technology designers to collaborate with potential adopters to “produce a better fit

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with the capability, policy and management, and culture of the adopting district” (p. 63). Most of the identified benefits of educational technology are found predominantly in affluent regions of developed nations. Unfortunately, many of the educational Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) invested in developing nations have not met with similar or even proximate success rates (Bhatta, 2008).

International and Multilateral Institutions and ICT in Education The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is an organization known widely as a promoter of ICT in education and championing its contributions in enhancing learning and providing new skill sets for students. UNESCO’s efforts have provided unprecedented access to students, even those in remote areas, improving teacher training and lesson plans and somewhat minimizing other costs such as books and other traditional resources (UNESCO, 2015). Charged with these advantages, governmental agencies were mandated at the World Summit on the Information Society conferences to strive for an inclusive information society by implementing certain Plans of Action. The most related targets for this volume are Targets 2 and 7 and they are as follows: WSIS targets on education and related indicators Target 2. Connect all secondary schools and primary schools with ICT 1. Proportion of schools with a radio used for educational purposes 2. Proportion of schools with a television used for educational purposes 3. Learner-to-computer ratio 4. Proportion of schools with Internet access, by type of access Target 7. Adapt all primary and secondary school curricula to meet the challenges of the information society, taking into account national circumstances 1. Proportion of ICT-qualified teachers in schools 2. Proportion of teachers trained to teach subjects using ICT 3. Proportion of schools with computer-assisted instruction (CAI) 4. Proportion of schools with Internet-assisted instruction (IAI) Source Partnership on Measuring ICT for Development (2011)

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The target and goals set at the WSIS are commendable especially with regard to improving teaching and learning through ICT. However, such mandates become incongruent to reality because of the use of the word “ALL.” By indicating that nation states should “connect all secondary schools and primary schools with ICT” and “adapt all primary and secondary school curricula to meet the challenge of the information society…” contributes to the crucial problem for which this book seeks to decipher. All mandates, including ones in rural areas, strive for ICT and once that is unattainable, the goal had not been met. The ICT listed included Radio, Television, and computer and Internet access. How about schools that cannot afford chairs for students to sit as depicted in Chapter 2? While some schools may meet this mandate, many others have daunting problems and basic needs that must be met before engaging in any form of ICT investment. Often, in the quest to meet this and similar mandates, governmental agencies engage in ICT projects that neither serves the educational purpose nor are able to be sustained for a longer period. Noteworthy is the caveat on Target 7 “taking into account the national circumstances.” It is noteworthy even reducing this microcosmically to regions, states, and local communities. The best practice would be to change the narrative and for such world summits and mandates to rephrase the language of their mandates to incorporate regions that would gladly welcome the basic needs of clean drinking water, toilets, books for students, and enough qualified teachers in classrooms that would decongest the overcrowded classrooms.

Challenges and Hindrances to Education Adoption Even with schools and regions that can afford ICTs for education, evaluation of the contributions of those facilities is equally a challenge. UNESCO-UIS (2015) avers that systematic data collection is the most significant obstacle to measuring the impact of ICT in education in Africa. It was reported that several African countries do not have an established evaluation model to follow. Reporting on this issues UIS notes “recent UIS data survey amongst Sub-Saharan African countries, Angola, Benin, Central African Republic, Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti and Somalia all reported that at the current time (i.e. 2013/2014) no systematic data collection on ICT in education existed at the national level.” (p. 8). While African nations face the problem of

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evaluation, another fundamental problem is inability to implement ICT policies. Almost all African countries have ICT policy both in general form and some specific to ICT in education. While many stakeholders engage in formulating this policy, the problem lies in the ability to implement this policy for scholars over the years as cited in UNESCO-UIS (2015, p. 8) considered the policies to be: …mere symbolic gestures; ii) teachers actively resist policy-based change that they view as imposed from the outside without their input or participation (Tyack & Cuban, 1995); iii) they do not have explicit connections to instructional practice (e.g. focus on hardware rather than their relationship to pedagogy); iv) they do not provide teachers with an opportunity to learn the policies and their instructional implications; and v) there is a lack of programme and resource alignment to the policies’ intentions. (Cohen and Hill, 2001)

Other challenges as addressed in previous studies include, lack of qualified teachers to truly implement ICT, lack of computers, electricity, cost, infrastructure, connectivity (Kpaduwa, 2015). Additionally, Harris (2015) added ineptitude that result in lack of good governance, funding and accessibility, infrastructure, power supply and energy, and technological acquisition. Equally, the issue of overcrowded classrooms has been established as one of the challenges of basic education in Sub-Saharan African countries. Moreover, the chasm between availability of quality teachers and the rising enrolment rate of students is furthered by lack of teachers both in numbers and in qualification. While there are fewer teachers, there are other factors that further increase the rate of teacher attrition in Africa such as retirement, mortality, migration, and lack of compensation commensurate to their qualifications and work; ultimately, the morale of teachers increasing depletes. Similarly, lack of basic needs such as sanitation facilities and data indicate one in every three primary schools in SSA do not have toilets which poses health and safety risks as children could either hold in bodily wastes for the entire school day or use the bushes for relieving themselves. For female students especially, this poses a health and safety risk including rape. While on the issue of basic facilities, are lack of electricity that will eventually power the ICT devices that most of the countries and multilateral organizations champion as a panacea that will leapfrog Africa to

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industrialized status and prepare the students to compete in the global arena.

Guidelines for Successful Educational Technology Even in situations where costs, qualified personnel, and other requirements are available, there may be challenges if educational technology is not tailored to fit the local need. Osín (1998), a consultant in the area of computers in education for the Center for Education Technology, a nonprofit organization based in Israel, warns against copying to a developing country a technological project that was successful in a developed country. Instead of standardizing the technology in question, he suggested localizing it to fit the target community. He also acknowledges that incorporating computers into classroom learning encourages active rather than passive learning and allows for “individualized interactivity” (p. 3), and because each student will be in his or her unit, he or she will ultimately be working at his or her own pace. Computers provide numerous benefits to classroom learning, computation, design, and research. But providing computers alone cannot guarantee their effective use; neither does it guarantees that students will be willing to use it. Most importantly, even when students use computers, there is no guarantee that the same benefits derived in Western schools as indicated in several studies are attainable in developing countries. Developing countries have other confounding variables such as overpopulation, lack of basic infrastructure, classrooms, desks, electricity, lavatories, extremely low teacher remuneration, and subsequently, nonavailability of professional teachers. Osín (1998) accentuated the necessity for professional development, emphasizing teacher training as a priority over computer acquisition. Inasmuch as the constructionist or heuristic approach to learning supports that the student take charge of the learning process, the teacher is still responsible for guiding that learning; therefore, it is only right that the teacher be conversant with the learning tool as well. Budgetary plan for teacher training should be an integral part of the planning process. In alignment with previous scholars, this research maintains that careful planning prior to implementation is the key factor as well as the need for development and mobilization of local experts (in educational authority, governmental agencies) in exploration and decision-making. Local experts

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can help plan the pre-training and provide relevant information in the areas of education, evaluation, finance, and planning. The plan should define each stage of the project. Osín (1998) clearly listed what each stage should seek to accomplish—“defining the pilot projects, creating cadres of instructors, providing training for teachers in computer use, planning experimental evaluations of these steps, and attracting community support” (p. 10). Although many critics focus on the negative results of ICT and education in Africa, some positive literature also exists. Studies demonstrate that computers and other ICTs do have potential to enhance education in Africa (Francis, 1998). These studies show that the incorporation of computers in education provide access to the marginalized, especially women, married and working-class people. Computers have also alleviated some of the daunting challenges facing the African education system discussed earlier (Ambe-Uva, 2007; Ibara, 2008). Unlike this research that deals with the use of computer technology in elementary school classrooms, most of these positive results are in the secondary and tertiary level because these were the focus of most computer investments. Referencing Ezumah (2010) study on the One laptop Per Child, only one of the 12 OLPC projects evaluated was in Africa; that was the Rwandan OLPC, which was evaluated by the secretary-general of the Rwandan Ministry of Education. Again, the current study seeks to incorporate countries in Africa (Nigeria and Ghana) that were not among the previous empirical inquiries. Goals of previous studies differ from the goal of current study; the Rwandan evaluation assessed whether students who received laptops benefited from the computer and to assess whether the laptops in any way uplifted their learning (Nugroho & Lonsdale, 2010). The report indicated that students appreciated the educational content, learned how to interact with the computer, were able to surf the Internet and get maps and scientific diagrams. All the evaluations assessed mostly the outcome of the program, which is premature since the evaluations were conducted within two to nine months of the initiation of the project. Conversely, none of the evaluations focused on the planning and implementation of the project. Unfortunately, evaluation of educational programming is new for Africa in comparison to other regions of the world. The first evaluation seminar in Africa was conducted in May 1990 at Cote d’Ivoire, and a proposal for evaluation needs that would reflect the African perspective

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was raised at this conference. It was only in 1999 that an African Evaluation Association was promulgated and the African Evaluation Guidelines finalized in 2002. There is an urgent need to evaluate educational programs in Africa because technology is transforming Africans’ style of life, especially education delivery, both in teaching and learning. In fact, scholars have opined that investments in science and technology will not only ensure sustainable development for Africa, but will greatly help with the obstacle facing its education system, and greatly further its achieving the UN’s Millennium Goals of Universal Primary and Secondary Education (Ajayi, Goma, & Johnson, 1996; Leach, 2008; Shrestha, 2000). For several centuries, communication technologies have played a vital role in education enhancement, from the invention of paper through papyrus, books, chalkboard, radio, television, videos, etc. More recently, the advent of computers, especially the Internet has added a different approach to forms of knowledge creation, impartation, delivery, and intended output.

Defining and Measuring Failures and Successes: The OLPC as a Case Notwithstanding many efforts to promote the OLPC project, such as the Give One Get One drive (that encourages individuals in developed countries to pay for two laptops and donate one of them to a child in a developing country), and OLPC Corps (a newer drive that recruits undergraduate and graduate students to teach elementary students how to incorporate computers in learning), many programs in different countries never went beyond the pilot phase. Many developing countries, including Nigeria, Brazil, Uruguay, India, Argentina, Nicaragua, and Peru, who were the original target audience, did not embrace this project enthusiastically. Since its inception in 2005, OLPC has approached several countries; but only a few countries have committed to it. To simply declare the OLPC project a failure could be misleading. Failure of an innovation can be categorized in several ways. Lyytinen and Hirschheim (1987) listed four different ways that a program can be declared a failure. Their categorization stems from several studies. They include situations where the potential benefits of the Information System are not realized (Alter & Ginzberg, 1978); the Information System is not used; when the user’s attitudes are negative (Bailey & Pearson, 1983); when there is substantial user resistance and when a functioning system is not delivered. Also, Lyytinen and Hirschheim (1987) provide four

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failure concepts: correspondence, process, interaction, and expectation. The correspondence failure is determined by the managerial arm of the project; “its main premise is that design objectives are stated in advance, and if these are not met, there IS a failure” (p. 265). Process failure refers to lack of continuation of a project due to budgetary constraints. This can be demonstrated either through inability to provide a workable system in terms of design and implementation, or it could entail actually implementing the technology but with a cost exceeding the original budget. The interaction failure occurs when the users’ attitudes toward the innovation are negative. Heavy usage does not often correlate with higher satisfaction by users as some cited studies demonstrated.

Formative Evaluation Is Imperative to a Successful Educational Technology Adoption Evaluation in general is used to ascertain to what extent a program or project is progressing in accordance with the intention of the designer and the objectives of the program. Worthen and Sanders (1987) warned that “without careful systematic inquiry into the effectiveness of either current school practices or new programs, many changes occurring in education become little more than random adoption of faddish innovations” (pp. 3–4). Evaluation is multifaceted; it could be construed an everyday, unsystematic activity that people engage in based on their experience, instinct, generalization, and reasoning to form judgments and make decisions. Formal evaluations which qualify for a dissertation project however, are different. Assessment involves a structured, rigorous, and systematic inquiry. Formal evaluation of educational programs is an old phenomenon in comparison to other scholarly inquiries. Its early history dates back to the Greek teachers such as Socrates who evaluated the learning process albeit verbally (Worthen & Sanders, 1987). Such inquiry was made formal in the mid-nineteenth century in the United States of America through the instrumentality of Horace Mann and Henry Barnard. Worthen and Sanders recalled Their work began in the state education departments of Massachusetts and Connecticut and was continued in the United States Education Bureau with a process for collecting information to assist and support decision making…During the period of 1838 to 1850, Horace Mann submitted 12 annual reports to the Board of Education of the Commonwealth of

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Massachusetts…these reports identified all current educational concerns with empirical support. (p. 12)

Consequently, standardized examination was a result of several educational evaluations organized by Joseph Rice in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Flagg (1990) also defined formative evaluation as the systematic collection of information with the goal of providing feedback that will enlighten decisions about a program’s design and improvement. In essence, it is a branch of evaluation whose aim is to provide feedback on a particular program during the design and development stages and such feedback is intended to improve the project. Flagg’s (1990) statements on formative evaluation categorized stages of assessment process to include planning, design, production, and implementation. While other forms of evaluations, such as summative and confirmative, aim at judging the effectiveness of a project after its completion, and effectiveness over time, respectively, formative evaluation aims at collecting feedback and posing suggestions that will improve the project while it is still in its developmental phases (Morrison, Ross, & Kemp, 2004). Numerous OLPC projects are still in developmental stages therefore, formative evaluation is paramount.

Educational Technology Evaluations Dr. Shaffer, an Associate Professor of Learning Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison discusses how some video games and computer games can help children learn by stimulating their brains. Shaffer (2006) believes that learning that does not involve innovation and stimulate creativity in children is old-fashioned. In fact, he asserts that children need to be tech-savvy early in their lives. He further cautions that technology in itself is not sufficient; educators need to incorporate well-designed, rich content into the technology to turn any game into a learning system. The games that Shaffer suggests are based on reality and not abstract, futuristic ideas that a child may never encounter. For instance, to teach a child architecture, the game would allow the child to design or redesign a city similar to what she or she is familiar with and not some euphoric, unrealistic environment. Kraemer, Dendrick, and Sharma’s (2009) study funded by grants from Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the United States National Science Foundation (NSF) provided a review and analysis of the OLPC experience.

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Their focus was on the successes and failures in addition to understanding and matching the project mission to developing countries’ environment and challenging the competition from other computer industries. Results indicate that the number of computers deployed to countries represented on the OLPC website does not correspond with the actual deployment. Even after several pilot projects, some of the early challenges of the XO computer adoption were not mitigated. For example, some of the concerns were, the computer still does not cost $100 but almost triple that when all expenses are factored in, several evaluations that OLPC cites are not rigorous or systematic. Although children are excited to have the machinery, they are confused about how to use it because there is still no training and software content, etc. The Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) sponsored the Nugroho and Lonsdale (2010)1 research that compiled available evaluations of OLPC projects from different parts of the world. The intent was to “identify existing approaches to the evaluation of the OLPC programs globally” (p. 3). The 12 countries that were reported were assessed by independent evaluators such as ministers of education, nonprofit organizations, developers and educators, research centers, and public officials. In accordance with the varied communities and intentions of the assessment, different methods were employed ranging from case studies to field observations, interviews, focus groups, and surveys. The methods of evaluation conducted in the 12 countries (Brazil, Ethiopia, Haiti, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Peru, Russia, Rwanda, Sri Lanka, Uruguay, and USA)2 vary in methodology, investigated issues, and impact identified. 2007 Survey of ICT and Education in Africa (World Bank)3 A survey conducted in 2007 by the World Bank in collaboration with the US Agency for Information Development shows mostly comprehensive 1 The reports provided entail available results of Nugroho and Lonsdale’s (2009)

research as at the time of the original work in 2010. 2 Not all the countries included in the report have conducted an evaluation; many countries were included in anticipation of an impending evaluation. This section will report only those countries that have completed their evaluation. 3 It should be noted that at the preparation of this manuscript, a search for an updated Survey of ICT in Education in Africa resulted in the same 2007 document.

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data collection in the area of ICT and education in Africa. Fifty-three African countries were sampled; the survey is an illustration of the key findings of the ICT and education in the countries involved. Moreover, since ICT and education in Africa is burgeoning and the time allocated for the survey was limited, many projects were not included. The report provided information on the state of pilot projects in Africa, especially in the areas of computing systems and mobile telephony. The key recommendations from the survey include the need to monitor implementation, encourage total cost of ownership while promoting ICT in education, and allot equal support to both deployment of technologies and teacher professional development. OLPC Kappa IV, New York Evaluation An OLPC pilot project was launched at Kappa IV middle school in Harlem, a well-known multicultural neighborhood in New York City. The evaluation was conducted by researchers from Columbia University Teacher College, NY, in collaboration with the Teaching Matters, a not-for-profit professional development organization that partners with the New York City Department of Education to improve public schools (Nugroho & Lonsdale, 2010). A survey of 24 sixth grade students who participated in the OLPC project at Kappa IV Middle School was conducted and data showed that the students enjoyed the portability as well as sole ownership of the computer and that this increased their eagerness to take proper care of the machine. The students also enjoyed the interactivity that the machine provides; for it encouraged them to be more creative. But, the report listed several technical malfunctions of the machine, such as frequent freezing, slow load time, unreliable Internet access, inability to make use of computer sharing by the teacher, and inability of the computer to work with the projector that the teacher frequently uses in classrooms. Unlike an interpretive study, the Kappa IV survey study did not provide room for in-depth answers to questions or a deeper description of the experiences that students had with the XO laptop. Also, the study only evaluated students while experiences and opinions of teachers and principals involved in the project were not included. Lastly, the planning and implementation phases of this project were not reported in detail.

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Brazil OLPC Project Evaluation The Brazil assessment was conducted by Fundacao Pensamento Digital (FCP) and funded by the Brazilian Ministry of Education. It was a comparative study of three educational technologies, the OLPC XO laptop, Intel Classmates, and Mobilis Ncore Software produced by an Indian company. The three projects were implemented in five schools in Brazil; two schools used both the XO laptop and the Classmate and one school used the Mobilis software. The assessment documented both teachers, and students’ experiences in all deployed schools and they preferred the outcome of the Mobilis laptop project. Lavinas and Veiga (2013) conducted a comparatively comprehensive evaluation of use of laptops in Brazil and found that many teachers resist the incorporation of the laptop into classroom activities. Lavinas and Veiga note: Indeed, one sees that instructors’ use of the tool was not completely assimilated into classroom activities. Many of them experienced great difficulties in handling the laptop. And there remain those who resist incorporating the change into their work routine. Overall, teachers recognize that they have more difficulties than students in using the project laptops. (p. 555)

Overall, younger students had the highest positive impact as the laptop helped 6-year-olds in learning to read and write and for older students they suggested taking the laptop home and having access to the Internet might induce a positive impact. However, they found several challenges including high cost, inadequate network infrastructure, and lack of proper coordination throughout the deployment and implementation process and in terms of pedagogy, the use of ICT in the classroom is still very limited. Ethiopia OLPC Project Evaluation Through the Give One Get One (G1G1) fundraising initiative, four schools located in a rural community of Ethiopia and the capital city of Addis Ababa received 5,000 laptops from October to November 2008. Prior to this deployment, a pilot of 60 laptops was conducted in Addis Ababa and the evaluation was based on primary and secondary effects of laptop use by the students. The research was an effort of the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER). The methodology consisted of classroom observations, interviews, focus groups, baseline tests and

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questionnaires. The key issues found according to Nugroho and Lonsdale (2010) aligned with previous studies in echoing that there is the need to take into account the cultural and regional setting of the deployment project. They conclude: On the basis of the review it is suggested that future OLPC deployment projects embed an evaluation framework at the very beginning of a deployment, preferably at the project design and planning stage. Having an evaluation plan in mind at this stage helps clarify the aims of the evaluation, which as this review found can vary even among stakeholders in the same project, and enables baseline data to be collected so that change and impact can be measured.

Mongolia OLPC Evaluation Mongolia was the first country to benefit from the Give One, Get One (G1G1) fundraiser that allowed companies and individuals from developed countries to pay for two laptops and donate one to a developing country. Through the G1G1 program, 10,000 laptops were deployed to Mongolia in 2008, 1,000 in January, and 9,000 in June (Nugroho & Lonsdale, 2010). The implementation process was conducted by a team from OLPC who later handed over the management to a local team. The evaluation assessed the handover process and the methodology was a review of students’ grades, community engagement, and online networking. A summary of the report presented an impact of “observed sense of pride and ownership in students resulted to better attendance and participation in the classroom, behavior improvement of student previously considered troubled” (Nugroho & Lonsdale, 2010, p. 10). The available report purported a positive result but did not include information on the handover process from the OLPC team to a local team. Peru OLPC Evaluation The Peruvian government was among the first to adopt the OLPC project in June 2007 with 46 students in one of its primary schools. The school had prior experience only with a computer lab with five computers and an Internet connection. Six months later, in January 2008,

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40,000 laptops were deployed to several schools in Peru. The evaluation was conducted by the Peruvian Ministry of Education; it employed a case study approach using observation and interviews to collect data from teachers and students. The report indicated that the introduction of the XO laptop led to a decline in absenteeism and behavioral change to positive attitudes among students, both toward their peers and class activities. Insight from the OLPC Research (Ezumah, 2010) The 2010 study was conducted at the beginning stages of OLPC deployment to Nigeria and Ghana and so results in terms of impact may be considered anecdotal due to the duration of the program. However, the interest and goal of the study was not to measure impact but to evaluate the processes of planning, designing, deploying and implementing the project, perceived needs, and challenges to product implementation. And so, it fits perfectly within the purview of the aim of the study and the central argument of the current work. In reviewing the XO laptop as appropriate technology, participants reflected on some of the challenges and shortcomings that might hinder the laptop from serving as a solution to some or all of the listed needs. In a nutshell, high cost emerged as the major restraint. To be considered an appropriate technology, the cost of acquiring the technology must fall within the range that it can be attainable by the users. Respondents indicated that despite the excitement, the XO is definitely too expensive to be considered an appropriate technology. There seem to be some inconsistencies between the price of the laptop that the OLPC Foundation proposed to both Nigerian and Ghanaian governments and the actual price. EXPG4 explains that if you add up all the required costs, each machine would be coming up to an average of between $400 and $500. Moreover, the participants noted, OLPC Foundation had promised to fund both pilot projects in Nigeria and Ghana but both the Nigerian and Ghanaian governments contributed to the financing of both pilot projects in the long run. Thirdly and most importantly, the cost of implementing the OLPC project is beyond the affordability of Nigeria and Ghana as indicated by a survey of cost-effectiveness conducted by an international organization that specializes in effectively advising countries in matters of ICT adoption and implementation. A comprehensive study and report on the

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total cost of ownership was conducted for Ghana. It studied the required material and preparation that is needed for the XO to fully achieve the purpose for which the OLPC Foundation promised. This report included cost for content, infrastructure, power supply, basic security, training of teachers and students, public awareness and parent education, maintenance, Internet connection, shipment and insurance while in transit, and delivery to the schools. According to EXPG4, “the most startling thing that sobered everybody was that it would have cost 5.6% of Ghana’s GDP just to be able to get a national project up and running just for year one.” Meanwhile, Ghana currently spends 5.4% of its GDP on education in general; this includes the elementary, secondary, vocational, and tertiary levels. Another aspect of cost that was considered according to experts was the opportunity cost. Although it is apparent that Ghana and Nigeria could never afford the XO project, even if they were to give it a try and proceed with the investment, the respondents argued that there were issues of the opportunity costs since Ghana and Nigeria have several priorities. Other factors included lack of local content, some conflicting opinions on the One-to-one solution as oppositional to the African culture of community. Also, some parents expressed concerns that the device is more of a toy than a learning tool and it lacked necessary security and parental guidance which exposes children to pornography. Additionally, there were some negative criticisms about the implementation process—the training was inadequate for teachers and students and technical support was also lacking as broken devices were not repaired and the schools lacked power to recharge the device. As per classroom usage, participants indicated that teachers could not integrate the device into classroom activities. Finally, the negotiation phase of design and deployment excluded local education experts. A Detailed result is presented in Chapter 6—OLPC as a Case. The White Elephant Metaphor Arguably, there are some feelings of disappointment and despair whenever an innovation fails to achieve its aim or when the cost and challenges inherent in acquiring the technology far outweigh the benefits. This is the case with OLPC and also with many other initiatives; hence, their lack of sustenance. The Nigerian Minister of Education Dr. Aja Nwachukwu, in response to Nigeria’s discontinuation of the OLPC project, stated that “we discovered that the scheme is a conduit pipe to siphon public funds.”

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In another instance, Nwachukwu likened OLPC to a “white elephant project” (OLPC Nigeria: Lessons Learned). Merriam-Webster dictionary provided three definitions of white elephants thus: “a property requiring much care and expense and yielding little profit; an object no longer of value to its owner but of value to others; and something of little or no value.” Looking at these three definitions all of them can be attributed to the XO laptop and perhaps many other Western initiatives. But most relevant and applicable to all might be the first description—a property requiring much care and expense and yielding little profit. Such strong statement from Nwachukwu may seem extreme but there’s a long history of similar situations. Some scholars have claimed that the resources of the developing nations often entice several investments. Ngwainmbi (1999) asserts that the enormity of natural resources in the developing countries and not necessarily a quest for development is the attraction of importing telecommunications from the Western countries. Similar to OLPC, many other technological investments in developing countries and Africa in particular have met with very low success rates (Heek, 2002; Janssens-Bevernage, Cornille, & Mwaniki, 2005; Lyytinen & Hirschheim, 1987; Moussa & Schware, 1992; Shrestha, 2000; Wafula & Wanjohi, 2005). In fact, the World Bank’s InfoDev (2007) listed more than 50 educational technology projects initiated for developing countries that have been discontinued. The causes of failure as gathered from summative evaluations include government policy, lack of technical skill, inadequate fiscal support, sporadic power supply and inaccessibility of the technology to potential users (Montealegre, 1999). There are really no surprises here; these factors were present at the initiation of the projects, so one would assume that the major planning strategy would focus on ways of averting their impact so as to yield a successful outcome. Another example of wasting a colossal amount of money that resulted from poor planning can be traced to the 1970s. The Earth Station and the Spar Aerospace balloon projects with Spar Aerospace of Canada as the contractor for the $14 million project in the late 1970s and the 1980s was also not successful because Boafo Spar Aerospace “supplied an international telephone switch that was obsolete, ill designed and incompatible with the specifications of the satellite earth station” to Ghana (Ojo, 2004, p. 113). Ultimately, Ghana paid $14 million with interest but had no working telecommunications technology. A similar incident occurred in Nigeria with the Aerostat Balloon System project at the cost of $200 million; it promised also to improve the communication infrastructure.

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After spending the total allocation, the American company that contracted the project declared it a risk to aviation and so discontinued the project; its executives found the technology obsolete (Ojo, 2004). While these examples above focused on unsuccessful projects, there are certainly several successful projects; one may argue that the reality of life and actually business, involves winning some, and losing some. But also in business one reconciles the profits and losses and when the loss exceeds the profits, there lies the problem. To avoid the disappointment of loss, this volume provides a template for evaluating and negotiating educational technologies prior to adoption. Further discussions and examples of educational technology adoption is discussed in Chapter 6: Case Studies.

References Ajayi, J. F. A., Goma, L. K. H., & Johnson, G. A. (1996). The African experience with higher education. Accra-North, Ghana: The Association of African Universities. Alter, S., & Ginzberg, M. (1978). Managing uncertainty in MIS implementation. Sloan Management Review (Pre-1986), 20(1), 23. Ambe-Uva, T. N. (2007). National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN): A historical perspective and challenges. Online Submission, 8(1), 73–84. Bailey, J. E., & Pearson, S. W. (1983). Development of a tool for measuring and analyzing computer user satisfaction. Management Science, 29(5), 530–545. Bhatta, S. D. (2008). Tackling the problems of quality and disparity in Nepal’s school education: The OLPC model. Studies in Nepali History and Society, 13(1), 17–48. Casserly, M., & Snipes, J. C. (2005). Foundations for success in the great city schools. In Scaling up success: Lessons learned from technology-based educational improvement. New York: Josey-Bass. Cohen, D. K., & Hill, H. C. (2008). Learning policy: When state education reform works. Yale University Press. Ezumah, B. A. (2010). Toward a successful plan for educational technology for lowincome communities: A formative evaluation of One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) projects in Nigeria and Ghana. Howard University. Fishman, B. (2005). Adapting innovations to particular contexts of use: A collaborative framework. In Scaling up success: Lessons learned from technology-based educational innovation (pp. 48–66). New York: Josey-Bass. Flagg, B. (1990). Formative evaluation for educational technologies. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers. Francis, P. A. (1998). Hard lessons: Primary schools, community, and social capital in Nigeria. Washington, DC: World Bank.

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Harris, J. U. (2015). The promise, prospects and challenges of information communication technology (ICT) utilization in African educational system: Continental, National and Institutional Realities (pp. 99–118). In C. U. Nwokeafor (Ed.), Information communication technology (ICT) integration to educational curricula. Lanham, MD: University Press of America. Heeks, R. (2002). Information systems and developing countries: Failure, success, and local improvisations. The Information Society, 18, 101–112. Ibara, E. C. (2008). Open and distance learning: An emerging system for alternative higher education in Nigeria. Online Submission, 9(1), 118–122. Janssens-Bevernage, A., Cornille, B., & Mwaniki, N. (2005). Integrating ICT in teacher training: Reflections on practice and policy implications. In F. E. Etta & L. Elder (Eds.), At the crossroads: ICT policy making in East Africa (pp. 153–165). Ottawa, Canada: International Development Research Center. Johnstone, D. B. (2003). Higher education finance and accessibility: Tuition fees and student loans in Sub-Saharan Africa. In Financing higher education (pp. 201–226). Leiden: Brill Sense. Kpaduwa, F. (2015). Information communication technology (ICT) integration in African education: Opportunities and challenges for students, educators and the government (pp. 34–46). In C. U. Nwokeafor (Ed.), Information communication technology (ICT) integration to educational curricula. Lanham, MD: University Press of America. Kraemer, K. L., Dendrick, J., & Sharma, P. (2009). One laptop per child: Vision vs. reality. Communications of the Association for Computing Technology, 52(6), 66–73. Lavinas, L., & Veiga, A. (2013). Brazil’s one laptop per child program. Impact evaluation and implementation assessment. Cadernos de pesquisa, 43(149), 542–569. Leach, W. D. (2008). Shared governance in higher education: Structural and cultural responses to a changing national climate. Available at SSRN 1520702. Lyytinen, K., & Hirschheim, R. (1987). Information systems failures: A survey and classification of the empirical literature. Oxford Surveys in Information Technology, 4, 257–309. Montealegre, R. (1999). A case for more case study research in the implementation of information technology in less-developed countries. Information Technology for Development, 8, 199–207. Morrison, G. R., Ross, S. M., & Kemp, J. E. (2004). Designing effective instruction (4th ed.). New York, NY: Wiley. Moussa, A., & Schware, R. (1992). Informatics in Africa: Lessons from World Bank experience. World Development, 20(12), 1737–1752. Ngwainmbi, E. K. (1999). Exporting communication technology to developing countries: Sociocultural, economic, and educational factors. Lanham, MD: University Press of America Inc.

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Nicholls, A. (1983). Managing education innovations. Boston, MA: George Allen & Unwin. Nugroho, D., & Lonsdale, M. (2010). Evaluation of OLPC programs global: A literature review. Oboegbulem, A., & Ugwu, R. N. (2013). The place of ICT (Information and Communication Technology) in the Administration of Secondary Schools in South Eastern States of Nigeria. Online Submission, 3(4), 231–238. Ojo, T. (2004). Old paradigm and information and communication technologies for development agenda in Africa: Modernization as context. Journal of Information Technology Impact, 4(3), 139–150. OLPC Nigeria One Year Later: Hard Lessons Learned. (2008, July 2). Retrieved from http://www.olpcnews.com/countries/nigeria/olpc_nigeria_one_year_l ater.html. Osín, L. (1998). Computers in education in developing countries: Why and how? Education and Technology Team, Human Development Network, World Bank. Preimesberger, C. (2007, July 14). OLPC official challenges Michael Dell. Retrieved, May 23 from http://www.desktoplinux.com/news/NS6331409 497.html. Shaffer, D. W. (2006). How computer games help children learn. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Shrestha, G. (2000). The utilization of information and communications technology foe education in Africa. International Institute for Capacity Building for Africa: UNESCO. Tyack, D., & Cuban, L. (1995). Tinkering toward Utopia. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS). (2015). Information and communication technology (ICT) in education in Sub-Saharan Africa: A comparative analysis of basic e-readiness in schools (Information paper No. 25). Retrieved on July 20, 2019 from www.stats.uis.unesco.org. Wafula, J. M., & Wanjohi, N. G. (2005). ICT policy and ICT initiatives: What linkages? In F. E. Etta & L. Elder (Eds.), At the crossroads: ICT policy making in East Africa (pp. 142–151). Ottawa, ON, Canada: International Development Research Center. Warschauer, M. (2006). Laptops and literacy. New York: Teachers College Press. World Bank. (2007). Quick guide: Low cost computing devices and initiatives for developing world. InfoDev. Retrieved on June 10, 2009 from http://www. infodev.org/en/Publication.107.html. Worthen, B. R., & Sanders, J. R. (1987). Educational evaluation: Alternative approaches and practical guidelines. New York: Longman Pub Group. Yonazi, J. J. (2012). Exploring facilitators and challenges facing ICT4D in Tanzania. Journal of e-Government Studies and Best Practices, 2012, 1–16.

CHAPTER 5

Teacher Training and Pedagogy in Africa

This chapter provides an overview of the qualifications and the kinds of training provided to teachers in the elementary and secondary levels of education in Africa. It highlights available training, it equally presents models that can be incorporated in preparing teachers to include technologies in classrooms. The training modalities include both at the teacher preparatory colleges and short seminars and workshops provided by companies or organizations deploying educational technologies in Africa. Additionally, data on teacher training data obtained during the author’s 2010 research in Nigeria and Ghana also enriched this chapter. The chapter also reviews, albeit not in full detail, the curriculum and pedagogy of African elementary and secondary schools as it relates to new educational technology. Several studies geared toward improving education technology implementation in Sub-Saharan Africa all emphasized the need for teacher training. I add that every educational technology design process including the implementation and evaluation ought to involve the teachers and education administrators who design and teach the curriculum. The central focus of such negotiation should be to question to what extent the intended technology improves pedagogy not only from the student’s perspective, but equally considering how malleable teachers can incorporate it in classrooms. Often such negotiation calls for a compromise;

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such concession can be done seamlessly within a space referred to elsewhere as “Third Culture”—a respectful, engaging, and inspiring space for dialogue, negotiation, and meaningful engagement (Ezumah, 2019). The African continent lacks a consensus of a training model for teachers in elementary and secondary schools; each country has its own unique requirement. And so, teacher training colleges range from basic training of short seminars and workshops to diplomas and college degrees. Ampratwum, Awal, and Oduro (2018) noted from their recent study in Ghana that over half of the teachers work with the Basic Education Certificate Exam (BECE) which is the examination that qualifies candidates for admission into secondary and vocational schools; and in some instances, the ratio of students to teachers go as high as 55:1. Equally, Hale (2018) indicates, many primary school teachers do not go to college but attend training classes ranging from 6 months to a few years. Many teachers of Basic Education in Africa are high school graduates or attended a few years of polytechnic or college of education. Similar to lack of proper training for teachers, teacher absenteeism equally yields a negative domino or ripple effect whereby non-payment or poor remuneration leads to teacher absenteeism that further leads to low literacy rates among students and low teacher morale causes disinterestedness in teaching in general and in implementing new technologies as this would require additional work. Teachers indicate that several factors contribute to the low morale including poor salaries, lack of incentives, poor working conditions, and so on. Beyond the traditional teacher-training requirement, specific training or reorientation for the new teaching method required by the implementation of technology in classrooms is equally essential. African countries, for many years, in a quest to embrace modernization and improve the quality of education delivery, are shifting pedagogical styles in elementary and secondary levels from teacher-centered to Constructionism also known as Child-centered Pedagogy (CCP). The design and implementation of digital technologies are student-focused as opposed to teacher-focused. In some cases, teachers lack the technical knowledge of the equipment in question; thus, rendering them incompetent in implementing or incorporating them into teaching. Altinyelken (2010) noted, this new conceptual framework has been greatly influenced by international development agencies and the CCP as a condition for their funded educational projects and consultancies. The major problem with transitioning from the old paradigm to this constructivist approach arises

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when teachers are not properly trained on strategies needed to effectively employ the new teaching modality. In the absence of this training, teachers tend to lose their autonomy of content creation and relegating the lead role in teaching and learning process to students. Equally, infrastructural challenges abound in the form of structures needed for a successful implementation of the project such as Internet connection, electricity, computer laboratories. Like any diffusion of technology experience as described by Everett Rogers (1995 edition) there are the early majority who have embraced this concept and ran with it but the laggards abound as well. Therefore, African elementary and secondary classrooms are still dominated by the traditional teacher-centered methods of instruction. Overall, this new surge of digital technological innovation in primary and secondary schools are functioning as Push and or Pull inducements. Push entails forcing teachers to embrace newer technologies that demand student-centered method and Pull is a gentle way of encouraging teachers to adopt this novelty or attaching some incentives. Ultimately, pull might be a preferred and most effective method if proper training is provided. The mundane methods of drill, memorization and regurgitation method often practiced in African countries are not as effective as the hands-on, experiential learning method which evokes critical and creative thinking, problem solving skills, and taking initiatives in students; yet, the latter can still be practiced without relegating the role of the teacher to the back burner. There is an urgent need for the reformation of pedagogy whereby learning is more active, hands-on, tactile, yet with the guidance and leadership of the teacher whether or not the digital technologies are employed. On another note, the passivity of the teachers’ role may not be intentional or blatantly allocated, but when a teacher is oblivious of how a piece of equipment works and the students are the ones guiding the teacher on what to do, inadvertently, the teachers’ role then becomes passive and his or her morale, equally low. Therefore, the designing of instructional or educational technology, may unintentionally assign the students an active role and the teacher a passive role. Striking a balance between the ability of teachers to encourage and support students to learn by doing and taking initiatives rather than feeling helpless, inadequate, incompetent should be paramount to teacher training education psychology. Many African nations, if not all, are beginning to engage in pedagogical reformation. A major concern is when such reformation entails transplantation of the European model curriculum. There is still an elusive

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attitude toward balancing indigenous knowledge with foreign knowledge by using locally relevant examples, materials, and artifacts. This need is somewhat realized at the primary school level and get less relevant at the secondary and tertiary levels. But, there should be a balance whereby the local knowledge is augmented with broader and foreign knowledge so as to prepare the student for the changing society/world. The question then becomes, what should be amended and what should be retained and not diluted? This is a question that the local curriculum designers should answer in relation to the goal of formal education for the region in question. Many African countries are beginning to re-evaluate the relevance of their pedagogy in relation to perceived needs, especially in the lower levels of elementary and secondary schools. Roberts-Lewis (2015) described Ghana’s primary education system as one of the most progressive with regards to making it relevant to local needs by “meeting the manpower needs of the country” (p. 48) by preparing students at the elementary and secondary levels for the workforce by arming them with vocational knowledge and skills. This is a commendable practice!

Pedagogy and Curriculum Joseph Ki-Zerbo, in his book, Educate or Perish: Africa’s Impass[e] and Prospects (1990) enjoins on indigenous African educators to design an education of Africa and for Africans. In the same vein, Namuddu (1991) declares the fundamental problem of education system in Africa stems from its foreign roots. Brock-Utne (2000) echoes the same message by emphasizing the need for Africa to “return to her roots to restore the cultural traditions of various parts of Africa” (p. 111). In order to restore the relevance of African education system especially in the elementary level, there has to be an interconnectedness, a seamless communication and harmony incorporating historical, geographic, linguistic, and societal characteristics. This means, localization of the curriculum that is specific to a particular area, that incorporates the history and culture of the people especially in relation to how knowledge is disseminated and pedagogical styles and specific functions such knowledge is expected to perform both for the individual and society. This pertains to, not just the regular curriculum, but to all technological devices designed to aid in teaching that curriculum. At least in the lower levels of formal education, the communication pattern of a given society should correlate with the method of teaching so that there is no disconnect between learning and

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reality. An example though rudimentary and seemingly insignificant could be the names and places used in children’s books. A very simple choice of using names familiar with children will bring the knowledge and learning home while a simple decision of using examples of names that students have never heard will render the entire process foreign and once it is foreign, it subliminally becomes difficult or challenging because the young mind cannot imagine that name or concept. For instance, imagine a textbook used by students in rural Kentucky or Tennessee or North Dakota (these are US states) where the population of elementary school students is predominantly White (Caucasian) and the characters or names used in Language Arts books or Mathematics were names such as Okereke, Okafor, Mgbeke, Mgbokwo, Ngozi, Ebere, Ndidi, Uloma, Tola, Tope, Ekaete, and many other “regular” popular African names. First of all, the child will be so fixated on pronouncing and understanding the names that the rest of the information will automatically appear foreign, more difficult, and more challenging than if the names used were Hannah, Joyce, Joey, Josh, Brian, and many other regular Caucasian names. Also, when the language of instruction including the language of the educational technology is different from mother tongue, the pupil is simultaneously learning multiple things—the language, the technology, the concept. The use of a different language could render learning distanced and thus imbibing the concepts becomes superficial, if not impossible.

Examples of Constructionism (Comparing Altinyelken, 2010; Ezumah, 2010) This section presents two independent studies on constructionism and learning in African elementary and secondary schools. One of the studies, Ezumah (2010) focused on Nigeria and Ghana (West Africa) and the second study Altinyelken (2010) examined schools in Uganda (East Africa). These studies however, are not presented as true representations of the state of affairs in Africa in general; rather, they serve an exemplary purpose and the similarity between the two studies lends credence to the arguments inherent in this chapter.

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The Case of Uganda The Uganda study was conducted in June and July of 2007 with eight public schools that served as pilot for the thematic curriculum implemented in 2006 among some hand-picked schools in Kampala, the capital of Uganda. These schools were selected on the basis of geographic location, socio-economic background and willingness of the principals of the schools to commit to this project. The population of the schools ranged from 500 to 2,258 students. The teachers’ socio-economic background were mostly poor and middle class and the ethnic background of both the schools and the students varied, with three schools located in the areas with the greater population of people affected by ethnic conflicts which compelled the students and their families to migrate to Kampala the capital city. Similar to the Ezumah (2010) study, this particular research was for a doctoral dissertation. However, unlike the Ezumah study whereby the researcher is a local (Nigerian), the Uganda study was conducted by an outsider—both statuses provided some advantages and disadvantages as far as participant interactions were concerned. For instance, Altinyelken reported that some teachers noted “I can tell you such things; you are not from here and you will leave soon” (p. 160) as opposed to Ezumah’s experience whereby teachers and education stakeholders with stop midway in their responses to seek assurance or reassurance by asking “you are from here; you know how things work here”. Data collection method was mostly interviews with teachers, principals, upper management education administrators’ officials of the Uganda examination board and educationists. A complementary method was observation whereby the researchers observed how teachers delivered their lessons at different times of the day and in major learning areas including English, Literacy and numeracy (Mathematics) as they form the major focus of the curriculum and the integration of the new pedagogical method. It should be noted that these two studies were in fact coincidental. While researching this book, finding Altinyelken’s study was a delightful experience. Altinyelken focused squarely on Child-centered Pedagogy (CCP); Ezumah focused on One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) but similar to CCP, Constructionism or constructivist pedagogy was one of the central components of OLPC. Interestingly, the Altinyelken’s and Ezumah’s studies were conducted about the same time, between 2007 and 2009 and in the opposite wings of the African continent -the East (Uganda) and the West (Ghana and Nigeria).

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A summary of the results highlighted teachers’ view on CCP, the implementation method and process and the challenges teachers encountered in this new teaching and learning approach. Teachers were very receptive of this new teaching approach and found it effective in getting children to engage with the learning process and it raised their interests and creativity which positively increased attendance rate. Conversely, Altinyelken noted “[teachers] had serious concerns regarding their implementation due to limitations imposed by structural problems, such as overcrowded classrooms and lack of aids” (p. 161). Once again, the lack of resources, infrastructure, and facilities seem to equally impede this innovation. The silver lining though is that, CCP was found to have some positive correlation with improved life-skills such as “creative-thinking, critical thinking, decision-making, problem solving and negotiation” (Altinyelken, 2010, p. 161). These results demonstrated that the teaching style is effective even in honing student’s knowledge and usage of their local languages. An example was “the News and Story Hour gave such opportunities to students to express themselves, not only in English, but also in their own local languages” (p. 161). CCP or constructionism had a positive impact because the local language and knowledge were employed in the process. But, even the positive outcome was somewhat questionable as Altinyelken tried to corroborate teachers’ high recommendation for CCP with his classroom observance. Contrary to the positive results about the impact of this new pedagogical style of CCP, the classroom observation failed to corroborate teachers’ enthusiasm during interview. Meaning, students were not as enthusiastic about the new teaching method as the teachers reported. There could be several explanations to this dichotomy. First might be the socially desirable answers associated with some self-reported data; perhaps teachers praise the new teaching style because they thought such was a socially desirable answer. Second could be teachers’ allegiance to the education department and understood such loyalty to require them to approve the project. Third could be an effect of the adage that “a watched kettle never boils”—which could apply to both teachers and students, making them uncomfortable in their roles, knowing that an outsider is in their midst watching and scrutinizing every move they make. Also, this contrast evoked a previously quoted statement from one of the participants (a teacher) affirming “I can tell you such things; you are not from here and you will leave soon” (p. 160). Could that have been loosely translated to “you will not stick around to

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know the truth?” Ultimately, the research observation notes indicate that overall, teachers made some effort in renovating the class—changing a few things from the way it used to be even though some challenges abound. Altinyelken observes: Some aspects of the pedagogical reforms were more easily and readily adopted by teachers than others. For instance, almost all teachers revised seating arrangements and organised students in groups. Likewise, all teachers attempted to make greater use of teaching and learning aids during their lessons, though these were mostly in short supply… teacher practices revealed a hybrid of traditional and reform-oriented practices, such as talking to the whole class from the front, extensive use of question and answer with the whole class, individual or group exercises, demonstrations, use of visual aids, practical activities, and field visits. Besides, several characteristics of structured learning were observed, including lesson planning, clear introduction of the objectives and themes of the lesson, making links with previous lessons, and use of formative assessment. Indeed, research evidence from various sub Saharan African countries shows that many initiatives that claim to be child-centred incorporate some aspects of structured pedagogy. (p. 161)

With no surprises whatsoever, inadequate teacher training featured as one of the major obstacles to effective implementation of the new pedagogy. Other challenges include “large class sizes, lack of adequate learning and teaching materials, instruction in English, unrealistic time-planning, low teacher morale, cultural appropriateness and the examination system” (p. 164). Often, due to quest for speed and haste to launch a new project, teacher training is compromised in the implementation of new technologies. For instance, in this particular case, the majority of teachers indicated the training was inadequate because it was short, hurried and lacked depth; although a few teachers disagreed. They were given about seven to 10 days prior to implementing the new curriculum and method. The inadequacy of teacher training was summarized thus: Teachers reported that they were learning by improvising and practising on a daily basis. Indeed, Pl teachers who had been teaching the thematic curriculum for a second year were more convinced of its value, and they seemed more confident to teach it. Yet, more confusion, disillusion and apprehension were observed among P2 teachers who had been implementing it for only five months at the time of this research. Teachers

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also noted that during their own schooling and pre-service training, they were mainly exposed to traditional teaching methods; hence they had little familiarity with the new, progressive pedagogical approaches. (p. 164)

Beyond the crash training program, another challenge was the levels of qualification of teachers whereby many teachers were either unqualified or underqualified to engage in the rigorous professional synthesis and application that CCP requires. This is more prevalent among majority of teachers who studied in teacher training institutions that taught the traditional methods of teaching. Therefore, transitioning to this new module became a problem. Additionally, the problem of overpopulation of schools with large class sizes which definitely is not tailored for a more intimate CCP approach was a daunting factor. Likewise, lack of adequate learning and teaching materials such as wall-charts, name-cards, and other objects that can bring learning to life. The schools were unable to provide such materials; equally, students are very poor and could not afford them on their own. It was also noted: Although teachers were happy to use learning aids, they complained that they did not have enough of them. Sometimes they asked children to bring real objects, such as beans or banana leaves. Yet, even this was problematic as some children could not bring such materials due to extreme poverty. Some printed materials were provided in limited amounts to teachers or not supplied at all. Materials were often expensive, yet the budget for such expenses was only a fraction of what was needed. (p. 165)

Even though the local languages were required for instruction in lower level elementary schools, elementary schools in Kampala have unofficially adopted English as the language of instruction owing to the influx of refugees from war-torn zones and the spike in the city’s diversity including language diversity. Therefore, English serves as the common language among the citizenry. However, this practice created some problems for students who did not have the luxury of attending preschool and so, they were not as proficient as others in the use of English language. Ultimately, teachers navigated and accommodated this diversity by defaulting to the local language of Luganda when the need for in-depth explanation arises. As mentioned earlier, the adoption of new technology in teaching could be done through pull or push strategy. Uganda ventured into CCP through a pull strategy fueled by the sponsorship of two international development organizations, the Aga Khan Foundation and the United

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States International Development Agency (USAID) (Altinyelken, 2010). The adoption of the pedagogy was initiated through several projects by the Aga Khan Foundation the Kampala School Improvement Project (1990s), and later in early 2000s, they also introduced The Enhancement of Universal Primary Education in Kampala, and The Enhancement of Universal Primary Education and Community in Kampala—all these projects were aimed at introducing, promoting, and adopting the Childcentered pedagogy. Similarly, the USAID initiative in 2002 promoted cooperative and experiential method through hands-on learning focusing on teacher training to prepare teachers for implementing this method in classrooms. Altinyelken indicated that initial assessment of the programs revealed: The Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES) has adopted some of the principles of CCP in Curriculum 2000, and recommended teachers to group children and encourage their participation in classroom activities. Nevertheless, classroom observations conducted by the Ministry itself have revealed that the policy has made little impact at classroom level, and that teachers continue to employ didactic, authoritarian teaching styles. (p. 158)

The above indicates that even with the implementation of CCP and accompanying funding, teachers were found to remain obstinate; preferring their method of teaching which does not correlate with CCP. The question then becomes, what fuels this disconnect, what exactly is the problem? Could it be a defiant attitude, or lack of knowledge and proper preparation as to how to transition to CCP? The Cases of Nigeria and Ghana (Ezumah, 2010)1 This study focused on the processes involved in the design, planning and implementation of the XO laptop projects in two elementary schools in Nigeria and Ghana. Similar to Altinyelken, the data collection method involved all key stakeholders beginning with students to teachers, parents, designers of the device, local educationists, and policymakers. The excerpt of results presented here relates specifically to the Constructionism and 1 Results from this study are presented in several chapters of this book especially, Chapter 4 (Challenges to education technology adoption), Chapter 6 (Case Studies featuring the OLPC in detail) and Chapter 7 (The Ezumah model which was greatly informed by the overall results of the study).

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teacher training and pedagogy. Other details are presented all through the book especially in Chapters 4, 6, and 7. Constructivist pedagogy has been defined broadly in the work of educational theorists such as Bruner, Piaget, Papert, and others. The thread running through all constructivist definitions is an acceptance that the process of learning is mostly, and in some cases entirely, controlled by the student. This approach became the dominant learning strategy with the introduction of problem solving rules in the 1960s by Bruner (1961). It allows the learner to “discover new rules and ideas rather than being required to memorize what the teacher says” (Mayer, 2004, p. 15). The second variation of the constructivist method arose in the 1970s with Piaget’s (1970) discovery of conservation strategies. This method allows students to “choose situations and manipulate it as they saw fit” (Mayer, 2004, p. 16). In other words, students decide when their current learning capabilities no longer match their observations and will provide corrections, all with little or no help from the teacher. There was a wide acceptance of constructionism among American scholars and thus it became the dominant pedagogical style in the 1970s (Mayer, 2004). Finally, the third constructivist discovery occurred in the 1980s with Seymour Papert’s 1980 LOGO programming. LOGO computer software which entirely removes the teacher and curricular objectives and empowers the students to learn without being taught by anyone. The One Laptop Per Child initiative adopts this approach. Mayer (2004) reviewed these three understandings of the constructivist models and concluded that while a constructivist approach has many advantages, removing the role of a teacher in the learning process is flawed. His study demonstrates that guided discovery, rather than pure discovery through a student’s self-guidance, is more effective. Three concerns regarding constructivist approach are investigated in the current study. 1. The computer learning machine (XO laptop) has no apparent information that coincides with the school curriculum from which children can create knowledge. 2. The constructivist approach is undermining the role of the teacher in class and making children to steer their own learning processes. OLPC did not factor in teacher training as a vital procedure because the focus was on student-created knowledge.

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3. The machine is designed as a universal tool, whereas each local curriculum is geared to local information and learning styles unique to a particular region. Culture is a strong variable in both instances (information and learning styles). However, the XO laptop promised a one-stop-shop and a one-size-fits-all device for learning, thus undermining individual and cultural differences as well as local needs.

The XO and Constructionism Are Inseparable especially in Nigeria and Ghana Pilots Constructionism is a derivative of constructivism theory which hypothesizes that learners create knowledge based on their experiences culminating from occurrences around their environment. It is an archetypical pedagogy in which the controller of the learning process and knowledge creation is the student rather than the teacher. Within this paradigm, the teacher therefore, is simply a mediator between what is learned, the knowledge that is created, and the student who creates it. The results show, that the majority of respondents, especially teachers and education policymakers in Nigeria and Ghana, believe that in order to achieve the constructionism approach of learning, an investment in the XO laptop is inevitable. Many were unable to separate the two as distinct concepts. They therefore suggested a need for compromise; meaning, although OLPC organization sells the XO with the constructionist package, constructivist learning can also be attained through other means of educational technology, including a locally produced computer.

Teacher’s Role Is Almost Irrelevant Often, the constructionist approach that OLPC postulates, is used as an excuse for deeming the teacher’s role irrelevant to the XO deployment equation. Negroponte, according to OLPCnews (2010) downplayed the teachers’ role and dismissed it as irrelevant in his presentation at the IDB conference. He reiterated the message in a video where he made the pitch to the United States government, in 2010 requesting that the US invest millions of dollars on the XO laptop as opposed to War. He opines:

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Kids in Peru not only teach themselves how to read and write, but most importantly, they teach their parents how to read and write. The country we’re focusing on now, is Afghanistan. In Afghanistan, first of all 50% of kids don’t go to school, 75% of girls don’t go to school. Much more importantly 25% of teachers are illiterate, the next 25% of the teachers only have one grade of education beyond the child...if they are teaching 5th grade, they have a 6th grade. So in those cases, you have to look at what is transformational. It is not making the classroom better, not trying to do traditional educational technology, it is actually using the kids, and I really mean using the kids, as agents of change. In Afghanistan, we, as the United States, are spending 2 Billion dollars per week on war; we are spending 2 million a week on education—that is our total USAID budget on education. Now think about that—2 Billion vs. 2 million. Mr. President, all you have to do is move 1/2 of 1 percent from column A to column B and every child in Afghanistan would have a connected laptop in less than 18 months. Half of 1 percent. And that’s what the United States would be remembered for. Karzai wants to do it; Petraeus wants to do it. The kids are ready to do it. The entire infrastructure is ready to do it. And that would make the change, the transformational change using the kinds of technology we’ve been talking about.

As indicates above and quite often, the teacher’s role is neglected in the technology transfers and implication; such neglect equally permeates to the curriculum and cultural dynamics. This trait was evident in the OLPC study whereby the technical support staff in Nigeria claim that OLPC refused to provide teachers with training because the project is all about student learning. In addition, The OLPC foundation employed local experts to conduct the deployment in Nigeria and Ghana but provided them with rigid principles which did not allow for adjustments. For instance, EXPG1 notes that Ghana would have applied several other techniques that might have yielded a broader outcome such as extending the ownership of the laptop to more students instead of private ownership of the few who received it, setting up a laboratory model, and extending the training sessions.

Constructionism: A Double-Edged Sword Constructionism is the kernel of the OLPC conceptual framework; naturally, respondents, especially the Subject-Matter-Experts (SMEs), voiced several opinions on it. There was a consensus that pedagogy in both

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Nigeria and Ghana needs an overhaul and should employ even in a small way, some form of constructivist approach so as to improve the learning by memorization method. Interestingly, all SMEs criticize the current learning style of lecture and memorization, the top-down approach method of teaching in the Nigerian and Ghanaian elementary schools. They advocated for a change of view that could consider constructionism as a progressive way of learning. EXPN3 emphasizes that “constructionism is intrinsic in learning.” Even a student (GS9) supports this approach without mentioning the term; she states “the teacher might help me to learn well in school and the laptop too can help me because if the teacher is not in school and if there is Internet in the laptop, I can use it to learn many things I don’t know.” In practice, however, application of the constructivist approach was not easy; EXPN1 notes that teachers who used the XOs resisted. He explains that “they [teachers] had their doubts and were reluctant to change. I think nothing much changed with the XO laptop. It’s still a teacher-centered approach. The teachers were still in charge because the test period was really brief and we expect these kinds of things to take a long time.” OLPC understood this resistance to change and acknowledges that it will definitely be a slow process; EXPOLPC1 likens introducing constructionist with the XO as the legendary “Trojan Horse”. He believes that by welcoming and adopting the XO laptop, constructionism will gradually sneak in and by the time the users realize what was happening, they may already have adopted it. He explains, “in some sense the approach we were taking—and we weren’t secret about this—is the Greek Mythology of the Trojan Horse. In some sense what we’ve done is we’ve made constructionism be the soldiers inside the horse and the laptop is the horse.” EXPN5, while concurring with this revolutionary approach, was also skeptical because he believes that constructionist learning style can only work where and when resources are available. He cautions that the approach is a very nice one, and the fact remains that even though they do tell us that teachers have to improvise, but Galadima School and most elementary schools in Nigeria lack resources such as textbooks, prerequisites for the teaching and learning process. Similarly, many other SMEs who consider the constructionist approach vital for learning for both Nigeria and Ghana also addressed several factors that should enhance its application to further a successful implementation.

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First, EXPN2 states that constructionism has to be relative to a particular region and be adjusted to fit the cultural and social dynamics. In other words, knowledge creation and learning process that employ studentcontrol and minimal teacher interference was considered impracticable for Nigeria and Ghana at this particular time as teachers are still resistant. Second, a unanimously agreed upon opinion holds that constructionism has to be grounded in a system that has educational materials readily available for both the teacher and student to cocreate knowledge which Nigeria and Ghana do not currently have. In all these, all SMEs agree that provision of a repository where materials can be digitized and stored is imperative for a successful constructionist pedagogy that is promoted with the XO laptop. This study of the One Laptop Per Child project and its deployment in Nigeria and Ghana has provided valuable insights. First and foremost, the study reveals that there were some confusion as to what the XO laptop was designed to do, and the expectations of the Nigerian and Ghanaian government officials who embraced the idea. The OLPC Foundation considered the XO a tool that can be used to teach skills; furthermore, it is considered an opportunity for children in the developing countries to participate in information society and an instrument to stimulate children’s creative abilities to actively participate in the learning process. This latter point, however, was either lost or was not fully enunciated in the negotiation process because results indicate that Nigerian and Ghanaian officials understood the XO to be a revolutionary device that is expected to supplement learning materials congruent to local curriculum, among other things. In addition, this study reveals that several dominant paradigmatic assumptions still exist in the relations and exchanges involving western companies’ transfer of technology to developing countries. Some of the assumptions of the dominant paradigm manifested in the overall planning and implementation of the One Laptop Per Child project include the idea of rationalizing educational effectiveness and progress to be measured and based on Western practices, theorization of the One Laptop Per Child program as a universal model which demonstrates a positivist generalization that computers have worked as a veritable learning instrument in Senegal and Cambodia; therefore, they ought to serve the same purpose in Nigeria and Ghana despite the fact that 30 years have elapsed since the former enterprise succeeded.

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Moreover, also significant was the idea of ignoring the historical account of Nigerian and Ghanaian educational systems and operations as this is indicative of a claim of “truth” that the XO is effective and therefore should be accepted without probing its compatibility with current educational logistics. The One Laptop Per Child Foundation, and more specifically, Nicholas Negroponte the founder, is fond of citing the LOGO experiment conducted over 40 years ago as proof that the XO is a veritable tool. In his speech at the Technology, Entertainment, Design (TED) conference in February 2006, Negroponte, after citing the Cambodia/Senegal study of the 1960s and 1980s, adds: So when you see that kind of thing, this is not something you have to test, the days of pilot projects are over. When people say “Well, we’d like to do three or four thousand in our country to see how it works, screw you, go to the back of the line and someone else will do it. Then when you figure out that this works then you can join as well. (Negroponte, 2009)

While Nigeria’s and Ghana’s new governments decided to wait for proof that the XO is an effective tool, some participants in Ezumah (2010) especially, EXPOLPC1 opined that such empirical studies should not emanate from OLPC, but from third parties. He notes “in fact, I think it’s inappropriate for OLPC to do the evaluations. I think the evaluations should be done by third parties, because if they’re done by OLPC they’re by definition prejudiced”. When asked about the significance of the OLPC pilot projects and the necessity for OLPC to have at least an initial evaluation that can back up their claim, EXPOLPC1 states that such proof already exists and so cited previous experiments conducted in the 1960s and 1980s on the use of technology in learning including the LOGO experiment by Seymour Papert. We’d been doing experiments with technology, and learning, and constructionism for 40 years, and we’ve got a wealth of reports and studies on that. So, in some sense one of the things that OLPC didn’t do was to repeat those studies because they were sort of … we weren’t sort of inventing something new in terms of pedagogy. We were saying here’s a wellestablished pedagogy. You might not like it, but here’s a well-established pedagogy. (EXPOLPC1, 2010)

EXPN2, however, disagrees with the OLPC’s continuous citation of a previously conducted study in a different part of the world. He frowns

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on the idea of using the one-size-fits-all model for the transfer of the OLPC product and argues that OLPC demonstrated cultural distancing by blanketing the educational problems of the people of Ghana and Nigeria under the guise that both countries’ problems and possible solutions are similar. OLPC further assumes, EXPN2 continues, that Nigeria and Ghana possess enough monetary means to invest in the expensive XO laptop. In conclusion, constructionism can be two-pronged; it can be excellent and enhance creativity and active learning through participation, but also it can pose a hegemony whereby pupils and teachers are cut in a cultural power struggle on who steers the wheel of learning. While experiential learning can be effective and help with application of concepts and retention—which in fact is the teaching method used in precolonial Africa, there has to be a compromise. The happy medium should entail ideological improvement in teacher training and a review of teaching methods taught in various institutions that prepare teachers for the workforce. Equally important is the need for teachers to relax their rigidity and embrace a newer method of teaching because the reality of it all is that the crop of students that populate the elementary and secondary schools now are digital natives whether or not they have access to digital technology. And, even though this volume to a greater extent advocates for the rural and low-income population, a greater percentage of schools in Africa including the four schools for the Ezumah’s and Altinyelken’s studies are located in the capital cities of Nigeria, Ghana, and Uganda. Therefore, even among students with no access to technology due to financially-induced digital divide, those young minds still think differently, and so teachers’ mentality ought to embrace that change in order to meet societal demands.

References Altinyelken, H. (2010). Pedagogical renewal in sub-Saharan Africa: The case of Uganda. Comparative Education, 46(2), 151–171. Retrieved February 4, 2020, from www.jstor.org/stable/27856156. Ampratwum, E., Awal, M., & Oduro, F. (2018). Decentralisation and teacher accountability: How the political settlement shapes governance in the education sector at sub-national levels in Ghana. Brock-Utne, B. (2000). Whose education for all? Recolonization of the African mind. New York: Falmer Press.

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Bruner, J. S. (1961). The act of discovery. Harvard Educational Review, 31(1), 21–32. Ezumah, B. A. (2010). Toward a successful plan for educational technology for lowincome communities: A formative evaluation of one laptop per child (OLPC) projects in Nigeria and Ghana. Howard University. Ezumah, B. (2019). De-Westernizing African journalism curriculum through glocalization and hybridization. Journalism & Mass Communication Educator, 74(4), 452–467. Hale, J. (2018). A comparative analysis of education in Ghana and Cuba: Identifying relevant education reforms for developing countries. Journal of Information Technologies and Lifelong Learning, 1(1), 1–10. Ki-Zerbo, J., & Armah, A. K. (1990). Educate or perish. Abidjan: Bureau régional de l’UNICEF. Mayer, R. E. (2004). Should there be a three-strikes rule against pure discovery learning? American Psychologist, 59(1), 14. Namuddu, K. (1991). Educational research priorities in sub-Saharan Africa. Strengthening educational research in developing countries (pp. 39–73). Paris: UNESCO and IIE. OLPCnews (2010, August 10). Nicholas Negroponte’s hard sell for OLPC in Afghanistan: Hald of 1 percent for an XO Laptop for every Afghan child. Retrieved August 5, 2020 from www.olpcnews.com/countries/afghanistan/ nicholas_negropontes_hard_sell.html. Piaget, J. (1970). Science of education and the psychology of the child (D. Coltman, Trans.). New York: Viking. Roberts-Lewis, K. (2015). E-learning as a vehicle for the development of rural girls in Ghana, West Africa. In C. U. Nwokeafor (Ed.), Information communication technology (ICT) integration to educational curricula (pp. 47–65). Lanham, MD: University Press of America. Rogers, E. M. (1995). Diffusion of innovations (4th ed.). New York: The Free Press.

CHAPTER 6

Case Studies of Educational Technologies Deployment and Initiatives

Africa as a continent is not lacking in terms of great ideas, technology summits, and initiatives both locally grown and in partnerships with international organizations and individual investors. In a quest for Universal Primary Education (UPE), Millennium development Goals (MDGs), Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and other mandates and expectations both on a regional level (African Union) and international level (UNESCO), Africa has consistently strived to keep up with social and economic improvements and expectations. Equally, African countries have engaged in multiple education technology initiatives which all promise to help deliver the desired outcomes. This chapter reviews just a few of those initiatives and evaluate to what extent they have fulfilled the goal for which they were introduced and how to improve those ideas and projects in line with the thesis of this book. The focus certainly will be on a sample of the most recent educational technology initiatives by Western companies with Africa as the desired site for both pilot and full deployment and implementation. There is a plethora of educational technology initiatives that are deployed by Western countries to Africa; This research focuses on a select three—The One Laptop Per Child, The Intel Classmate, and the Samsung Digital Village. Justifications for these selections are based on several factors, including, but not limited to, the OLPC is one of the most popular ICT projects in modern history for its reach and publicity © The Author(s) 2020 B. A. Ezumah, Critical Perspectives of Educational Technology in Africa, Digital Education and Learning, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-53728-9_6

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worldwide, as a revolutionary digital solution to education problems in low-income communities of the world even those in developed nations. It was also publicized and promoted at UNESCO Summits and by the UN. Also, these three projects fit within the framework of the thesis of this project which is the evaluation of Western educational technologies transferred to Africa. Samsung Digital Village was selected because it tackles one of the most daunting hindrances for digital technology adoption in Africa—electricity and the Internet connection. Furthermore, Intel Classmate and OLPC XO laptop had similar goals and both target the same audience—the emerging market of poor rural communities of the world. Both were geared to enhance teaching and learning in the lower educational sector of K-12. Even though the pilot projects are seemingly free, both Intel and OLPC required the government of the targeted countries to spend money in purchasing the product as well as maintaining manpower, the product and furnishing the content. Intel Classmate posed a formidable competition for OLPC at least in Africa. Moreover, all three initiatives have garnered the support and recognition of UNESCO— a multilateral organization with a goal of improving ICT in education worldwide with a focus in primary and secondary education levels—which is also the focus of this project.

OLPC and Intel Classmate (Frenemies) The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) XO laptop initiative is the brainchild of MIT-USA’s professor, Nicholas Negroponte. He designed a low-cost tablet that promised to revolutionize elementary education all over the world. His idea was inspired by the constructionist pedagogical style which promotes learning as a co-creation of knowledge whereby students lead the learning process with the teacher serving as a facilitator in an environment enriched with hands-on activities. This style of learning promotes learning by doing as opposed to learning by absorbing and later regurgitating what was probably memorized. Intel Classmate PC also known as Eduwise was an initiative of Intel Computer Company that was perhaps partly designed as a competition for OLPC. Unlike the OLPC, it focuses on secondary school level. A product of the greater Intel World Ahead Program, Classmate PC was developed in 2006. Unlike the original version of the XO laptop, Classmate PC allows for customization of the product while providing a platform upon which the subnotebooks can be built. Both OLPC and Intel reviewed and revised the versions

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of their products severally to accommodate prospective users’ demands and fix the problems discovered during pilot testing and initial implementation. Intel’s Fact Sheet on its World Ahead Program attests “The Intel World Ahead Program aims to enhance lives by accelerating access to uncompromised technology for everyone, anywhere in the world. Focused on people in the world’s developing communities, it integrates and extends Intel’s efforts to advance progress in four areas: accessibility, connectivity, education and content” (Intel World Ahead Program Fact Sheet). Furthermore, Intel proclaims “The Intel World Ahead Program is connecting the next billion people to 21st century opportunities by improving access to technology, high-speed internet connectivity, effective teaching and learning, and relevant local content. Intel collaborates with local and worldwide leaders on a comprehensive, long-term approach that positively impacts lives and creates sustainable development” (https:// www.intel.com/pressroom/kits/worldahead/). After a period of fierce competition and feud between the two, in 2007, OLPC and Intel announced a synergy geared toward improving education delivery to the poorest children of the world. Both Nicholas Negroponte the CEO of Intel, Paul Otellini welcomed this synergy with enthusiasm. Even though on the periphery, the intentions of the companies are seemingly altruistic, there is an embedded political economic intent that commoditizes education in the long run. For each initiative, both Nigeria and Ghana would have to spend on each device far more money than was budgeted for all other educational needs. Intel Classmate Intel strived to ensure the success of Classmate PC by donating 3,000 laptops for the pilot project in Nigeria and trained some teachers in the use of the laptop. Yet, the initiative was not successful; at least it was not sustained and no longer in existence in Nigeria. This initiative was adopted by a Portuguese company JP.IK which provides low-cost computers for educational use in developing countries including Kenya, Senegal, and Zimbabwe, providing what they refer to as “popup Schools” which is described by Sandra Jesus as a “structure designed to be the pillar of an entire community and can function as a community centre, a training centre, a medical post or a school. Installed in five days, this multi-purpose classroom can use renewable energy and is equipped with the most innovative technology designed for education” (Jesus, 2018).

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This new form of Intel Classmate known as Megallan computers has been evaluated and found wanting in most areas relating to XO laptop and its older version, the Classmate PC. Loureiro, Linhares, and Ramos (2012)1 review the limitations and potential for usage of this new version of tablet in Portugal and conclude that teachers do not necessarily incorporate it in teaching but students use it predominantly for text production such as typing their homework and photo stories or research on the web and for drawing, among other activities. This is similar to the Ezumah (2010) research on OLPC XO tablet, parents and teachers consider the tablet a toy because of its size and ergonomic makeup, lack of teacher training prior to tablet delivery was also criticized, although some training was provided for some teachers but it was not geared toward how they can incorporate it. Loureiro, et al. concluded, “An important finding of this study is that the computers were introduced in schools without a real raise of awareness of the actors for the aims and advantages of the Magellan project” (Loureiro et al., 2012, p. 5). While a small percentage of participating schools indicate daily use of the Magellan, majority use it only one day per week. Similar to the OLPC research this study on the Megallan demonstrates teachers’ aversion to students’ access to the World Wide Web as such poses a risk for plagiarism, distraction, and access to inappropriate sites. Additionally, an almost identical result from the Ezumah (2010) study teachers who participated in the Megallan study noted a “(i) the lack of technical support; (ii) the lack of continuing education; (iii) the suspension of the project; and (iv) the parents’ attitude towards the acquisition of computers and their respective maintenance” (Loureiro et al., 2012, p. 5) as major deterrents to its success. However, a poignant revelation from the study indicates that teachers who already use a different kind of digital technology found Megallan useful both to them and to students. Loureiro et al. (2012) quoted one teacher who, in addition to the Megallan computer, uses digital Whiteboard thus: My students use it every day. Before Magellan my students already used the computer. Computers were old and slow but since the first year they are familiarised to using the computer. Reading images, email, how to make

1 This researcher did not find any review of adoption and implementation evaluations of Intel Classmate in any of the African countries. Moreover, some of the initiatives have been discontinued due to lack of sustenance. The cited evaluation, even though it was not in Africa, it goes to demonstrate the project that was deployed to African countries.

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power point, the letters… all day. They do grids, use Excel and make graphs in mathematics. They search and use all types of sites in the web for their work, and virtual learning environments. I implement a lot the use of the site Escola Virtual3, this platform has everything in the program. (p. 4)

Additionally, similar to previous studies, the most advantage that teachers attribute to Megallan is evoking interest in activities and spiking students’ motivation and not necessarily, contributing to pedagogy, per se. Quoting one of the participants, Loureiro, et al. continued: (students) are not to be mistaken. At intervals they all play online games (…) to write at the laptop is no longer motivating. What motivate them there are the games, interactive games… because often educational games for them do not have interactive challenges. The games of Magellan are very didactic… games to learn multiplication tables, are no longer accepted. The discovery of Magellan is done. In the first year they are in the process of acquisition of skills but (when) they come to the fourth year (the last one) they already know it all. (p. 5)

Earlier in this volume, highlighted the incapacitations faced by rural schools in terms of promoting digital educational technology, results from this equally concurred that rural location is a deterrent to effective use of technology. Participants of the study comprise of teachers in rural and urban areas. Whereas 87.7% of urban area teachers (even though overall, as a representative number, is a very small percentage), indicated using the Megallan; in contrast, 35% of rural area teacher participants reported they do not use the Tablet. The authors conclude that “teachers from more urban regions are much more predisposed for this culture of new modes of learning and teaching” (p. 5). In essence, due to the digital divide as a result of access, cost, and levels of technological skills set, schools in rural areas may not necessarily find digital technologies feasible in comparison to urban and more technologically advanced regions. Samsung Digital Village As indicated earlier, my interest in choosing this project as a case for this book is because of the frenzy that came with it. Beyond that, even more important was the fact that it was designed to integrate multiple services including hospitals, schools, lighting and energy services provided

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via solar power—sunlight is one of the natural resources in Africa that has been under-utilized. Samsung has high hopes for this initiative; as indicated in Samsung website, the Digital Village was expected to “provide comprehensive support to improve health standards, bolster education opportunities and increase the potential for people to lead economically independent lives” (https://news.samsung.com/global). The design and configuration of each unit demonstrates a wellorganized package that truly can prepare economically independent individuals. Samsung provides the description of each segment thus: the first segment is the Solar Powered Internet School (SPIS)—which is intended to be a mobile school with interactive Whiteboard and Samsung Galaxy note PCs that can accommodate 24–32 students at a time with Internet connections and the curriculum for K-12 tailored to fit each country. The school will be equipped with staff to monitor the activities. The second segment is the Solar Powered Tele-Medical Center (SPMC) that would provide medical care from specialized physicians and because it will also be mobile, patients’ records will be stored in the network. Patients will receive medical assistance via remote access such as videoconferencing; also from the unit, the community will receive education on health issues. The third service is the Solar Powered Lantern (SPL) as the name implies, these are solar chargeable lanterns that will be used in homes, education facilities and for outdoor activities. The fourth service is Solar Powered Generator (SPG)—generators are most common in African and other rural communities where the electricity supply is very limited or sporadic. Usually, people power the generator with gas or fuel which can be very toxic as they emit dangerous carbon in the atmosphere. With this solar-powered generator, such dangerous by-product is eliminated and the solar-powered generator can supply power to schools, medical and telecommunications equipment, government agencies and small businesses. With a constant supply of sunlight, power production is guaranteed. Finally is the Solar Powered Health Center (SPHC) to focus on medical care for ear and dental care, eye clinic, and blood analysis while eliminating economic and geographic barriers. https://news.samsung.com/global/samsung-harnes ses-solar-power-to-build-digital-villages-in-africa. The African countries with the deployment of the Samsung Digital Village are Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), South Africa, Ethiopia, Gabon (there could be more).

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The initiative seems to be a well-packaged answer to so many problems in the areas of education, health care, power supply, and employment. Expectedly, there were several superfluous commendations especially regarding the project’s ability to combat one of the challenges facing technology adoption and social and economic development—reliable power supply. Mr. Bill Kim, Managing Director of Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) Branch for Samsung Electronics East Africa affirmed: The Digital Village demonstrates our innovative approach to investing in people and their communities. This initiative offers a complete educational infrastructure, comprehensive healthcare solution and power generation capabilities that will spur the growth of small businesses and harness the energy of the sun to minimise running costs, among others. (www.itnews africa.com—September 14, 2015; accessed on November 5, 2019)

So again, the above testament affirms the tendency of generalization and becoming overtly excited about what each technology can, or cannot do. In reality, there is no single project or technology that is capable of offering a “complete educational infrastructure, comprehensive healthcare solution…” in one simple mobile unit. The IT News Africa joined in the excitement while reporting on Samsung launch in Ghana, “Samsung believes that technology is a powerful tool to change these circumstances, improve people’s lives and create a better society” (May 4, 2015). Some of the projects were launched in 2015 and by 2017 (two years later), many of them were abandoned. August 15, 2017 (two years after the Ghana launch), Dartey Media publishes this online headline “Samsung Digital Village in Ghana rots away under the rocks.” They went further to describe the place as: … a compound that looks abandoned with weeds growing and sheltering reptiles. The fence wall is not in good shape and the main facility was on lock down. The structure had started to develop rust due to no maintenance. The images showed expired consumables and the equipment that have not been touched in a long time. Some of them still wrapped in plastic.

The picture depicting the facility in 2015 alongside a picture of it two years later accompanied the above description—see Fig. 6.1. Although Ghana News Agency reported in 2018 that the center in Volo was

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Fig. 6.1 Picture of Samsung Digital Village in 2015 (launched) and 2017 (two years later) (Source Dartey Media, Ghana [https://darteymedia.com/] Used with permission)

reopened for service. The South African project was launched in 2013 with high hopes and promise. Hong Sung Yong, Head of Samsung Electronics Africa Headquarters vowed: “We will work together with governments and international organizations to ensure that the potential of these Digital Villages is fully realized…we will deliver better education opportunities, greater medical access and improved economic self-sufficiency for people in Africa”. https://newatlas.com/samsungs-dig ital-village-south-africa/29529/. Like many other Western projects, the Samsung Digital Village project is not thriving, and in most cases, it is not surviving; yet, Samsung continues to establish more projects. One of the most recent ones is the Samsung Digital Village—Tanzania (Mgorongoro Community) established in 2018 after its first project in Tanzania, erected in 2014. Meanwhile, many projects in other parts of Africa are not maintained or evaluated and the multiplication and mushrooming of other sites are on

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the rise. So, this makes one wonder where lies the goal—is the focus on quantity or quality; number, reach, or impact? The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) Overview of the OLPC Program One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) is a nonprofit organization based in Cambridge, MA. It designs and produces low-priced laptops called XO -laptops (aka $100 Laptop) for elementary school students. Its original target populations were children in developing countries; however, the project has recently incorporated communities within the developed nations, focusing on those with lower socio-economic status populations. Examples include Birmingham, AL; Lancaster County, PA; and the Harlem neighborhood in New York City. The OLPC statement on its website laptop.org states: It is critically important to adequately educate all the children of the emerging world. Simply doing more of the same is no longer enough, if it ever was. If their citizens are to benefit, as they should from the spread of the technology-based, global information economy, these nations must rethink the old top-down classroom paradigm, and replace it with a dynamic learning model that leverages the children themselves, turning them into “teachers” as well as “learners.” The tool with which to unlock their enormous potential is the XO. Put this ultra-low-cost, powerful, rugged and versatile laptop in their hands, and the kids will do the rest. (http://laptop.org/en/vision/mission/index.shtml)

The OLPC project prides itself on having computers with numerous attributes that set it apart from expensive laptops. According to the organization, the XO laptops include open source, a marketing policy which allows users to reshape, reinvent and reapply the software and the content of the machine. It also features non-electrical power requirements, which makes it appropriate to use in developing nations where electricity is either nonexistent or sporadic. The mesh network quality connects the laptop to the Internet through a wireless router and to other networks so that children in proximate communities can see and interact with each other. The laptop has a rugged encasement made of rubber seal that is resistant to both dust and heat. Other qualities include the dual-mode display that provides color or black and white interface to enable students to see their own work, as well as the activities of other students. The touch

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pad located on the screen supports pointing, drawing and writing with pencil, pen or stylus, and the computer is very portable; it folds over like a notebook. In addition to drawings and writings, students can capture images with the built-in still and video cameras. OLPC states that the machine is environmentally safe and fully in compliance with Reduction of Hazardous Substances (ROHS), and it is equipped with a safety system that protects against cyber threats and thefts (www.olpc.org). Although it never really had a smooth beginning and probably received the most criticisms of all Western-designed educational technology for Africa and other low-income communities, the OLPC XO laptop has received several refurbishment and several design improvements that it has undergone several versions. However, the maiden version with the hand-cranking gear rendered it unforgettable most especially with the embarrassing moment the former United Nations Secretary General, Kofi Annan had with the XO’s founder, Nicholas Negroponte. Robertson (2018) reminisced on that incident when both men proudly presented the revolutionary tablet to the world: After UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan offered a glowing introduction, Negroponte explained exactly why. The $100 laptop would have all the features of an ordinary computer but require so little electricity that a child could power it with a hand crank. It would be rugged enough for children to use anywhere, instead of being limited to schools. Mesh networking would let one laptop extend a single internet connection to many others. A Linux-based operating system would give kids total access to the computer… Then, Negroponte and Annan rose for a photo-op with two OLPC laptops, and reporters urged them to demonstrate the machines’ distinctive cranks. Annan’s crank handle fell off almost immediately. As he quietly reattached it, Negroponte managed half a turn before hitting the flat surface of the table. He awkwardly raised the laptop a few inches, trying to make space for a full rotation. “Maybe afterwards…” he trailed off, before sitting back down to field questions from the crowd. (Par. 2 & 4)

Critiques of OLPC The XO laptop has been criticized for its authenticity of purpose, despite the fact that the organization has promoted itself and its works as an altruistic venture. Several governmental agencies, schools, and parents have demonstrated significant skepticism over its capability as an educational

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tool. According to Hauben (2007), Stecklow and Bandler (2007), and Ashok (2008), critics of OLPC have argued, first, that OLPC does not provide a clear plan or a longitudinal study that proves the potential of its XO computers’ capability to enhance learning. Other opponents of OLPC have questioned the legitimacy of prioritizing OLPC laptops over other more daunting needs that face the developing countries such as food, shelter, and clean drinking water. Still others question the wisdom of investing in laptops costing an average of $189 each, as a means of enhancing education in developing countries when most of these countries are still dealing with the challenges of nation building with educational budgets of less than $20 per year per student. Also, scholars have voiced oppositions to the XO laptop on similar grounds that the Western communication hardware and software that were exported to the developing countries had been widely seen as mostly attempts to further neocolonial relations (Mody, 1991; Urey, 1995). This criticism stems from the historical relationships between the Western definitions of development in the 1960s decade, often referred to as the dominant paradigm. The dominant paradigm treats development as the ability to imitate Western lifestyle; therefore, the only acceptable yardstick for measuring development of any country is the country’s close resemblance to Western modernization in terms of technological and industrial prowess. Communication has in fact played a major role in this practice of Western nations setting examples for others to follow; in some cases, the technology or ideas are being imposed on many developing countries as a solution to their problems. Other concerns about the OLPC include the Foundation’s omission of conducting an extensive needs assessment of its target audience prior to the design and implementation of this “tool” that is expected to solve all educational needs (Bhatta, 2008). In essence, this intended or unintended omission resonates with the dominant paradigmatic practice that insists on the Western model serving as a viable means of solving the developing countries’ problems with or without prior assessment of whether or not such means is relevant. In addition to not conducting a needs assessment prior to designing the XO laptop, Bhatta (2008) observes that OLPC has not published any evaluation of any of its projects; in many cases, it failed to properly address the many challenges that emerged from the pilot projects. Such challenges include lack of a wireless network for the rural areas where the laptop will be used, extensive training of teachers and

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students prior to deployment, and lack of power and technical support for schools (Hauben, 2007). These were the concerns that compelled an initial investigation in 2008 by this researcher, who was seeking to examine the motives and mission of the OLPC project. The goal then was to investigate what exactly the OLPC-XO computer is and how it might support the claim of a philanthropic endeavor for educational enhancement for poor elementary school children. That investigation laid the groundwork for the dissertation of 2010. As one of the first independent attempts to empirically research the OLPC-XO project, the initial investigation employed document searches and in-depth interviews with OLPC staff. The major themes that emerged from in-depth interviews with two OLPC design and deployment personnels with pseudonyms Representative A and Representative B were: 1. OLPC did not conduct needs assessments of the local populations or educational officials to ascertain the problems and needs of the target audience. In addition; OLPC did not consult local experts for advice on the best ways to solve those problems and needs. Rather, OLPC assumed they know both the problem of the educational systems and the solutions. 2. OLPC did not acknowledge the importance of the role teachers and educators should play in this project. Such omission was justified by a constructionist learning whereby the student becomes the center of the learning process and steers the wheel, while the teacher observes the activity. This was reflected in OLPC’s inadequate teacher training prior to deployment of the laptops in different schools. 3. The constructionist approach was presented by OLPC as a revolutionary method that would enhance education in most areas of the developing world. But OLPC overlooked the socio-cultural dimensions of various countries that might pose a constraint to the proposed method of learning. Studies have shown that in most educational technology projects, organizers invest time, talent and fiscal capabilities in software design, training, maintenance and professional development but very little effort in the evaluation and assessment of the projects (Bhatta, 2008; Hauben, 2007).

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Vota, Derndorfer, and Berry (2009) are the editors of OLPC News, an independent blog that tracks different OLPC projects by acknowledging their successes, questioning their failures, and suggesting areas of, and factors for improvement. They listed several factors that contributed to the slow adoption of the OLPC project. They claim, OLPC projects fail to measure up in the following areas: 1. Incomplete Technology—despite the promotional efforts of the XO laptop as an educational tool, the OLPC program lacks the amalgamation of technology and education. Vota et al. (2009) noted that the XO laptop lacks a concrete educational content that fits into the designed curricula of the target audience. Possessing such quality could be an enticement for teachers and students. However, both teachers and students cannot identify with the laptop because it is a one-size-fits-all tool. 2. Lack of compelling argument—OLPC was unable to convince ministers of education in various developing nations on how the constructionist model of pedagogy can be more effective than the traditional models most of them currently use. 3. Few concrete examples—OLPC disregarded the idea of formative evaluation of the laptops and a longitudinal study that will record its effectiveness prior to deployment. They rather based their conviction on a research that Nicholas Negroponte and Seymour Papert conducted in Cambodia and Senegal in the 1980s. The 1980 study was incongruous with the OLPC project because it was not conducted with the XO laptop but with the Logo computer. Vota et al. (2009) added that neglecting a comprehensive study prior to deployment was a strategy that OLPC devised to accelerate the diffusion of the technology and convince countries to adopt the innovation. 4. OLPC did not provide any implementation plan for the target countries to follow, including teacher training. The 2010 OLPC study was premised on the hypothesis that thorough planning and assessment of need, together with the involvement of the target audience and local experts, are central to any successful educational technology application. So, acknowledging this inevitability of needs assessment for any product planning, the formative evaluation employed

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a participatory model through inclusion of all stakeholders, identified the educational problems of Nigeria and Ghana that the OLPC project proposes to address. The assessment of needs as expressed by participants is reviewed and compared to the solutions that the OLPC laptop project proposes. The second segment of the study assessed the implementation of the program. Again, since the actual assessment of the program’s contribution to scholastic achievement is still premature, the implementation segment of this study focused on the delivery process, including teachers’ and students’ training and orientation, cost evaluation, technical assistance, realizations of the XO laptop’s assumed functions, and other situations surrounding the initial deployment of the laptops in Nigeria and Ghana. The results of this study will first provide guidelines for overall improvement of the OLPC project, especially since it is currently experiencing slow adoption among its original target audience—the world’s developing regions. Second, the results will yield guidelines that will inform the decision of policymakers in developing countries such as Nigeria and Ghana, as well as the stakeholders of the OLPC Foundation. Similarly, companies that provide educational technology to developing countries, including international bodies for example, the United Nations and World Bank, might also benefit from the results.

My Initial Interest in the Problem I consider myself a proponent of ICT for education because of its potential to greatly enhance teaching and learning. With a seven-year experience as a program director of an educational technology firm in the New York City area that serves elementary and high schools in the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens, my responsibilities included selecting appropriate educational programs in correlation with grade levels and curricula, scheduling broadcast of instructional programs on three channels of a closed-circuit television, distribution of programs via video tapes, DVDs, and online video streaming, and providing workshops to teachers on the best ways to implement available technologies. The biannual surveys and quarterly focus groups conducted during those seven years demonstrate ample evidence that, if planned and implemented accordingly, instructional technologies can enhance learning even at the pre-kindergarten stage.

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This study greatly benefited from my position in relation to one of the chosen countries of study. As a dual citizen, Nigerian/American who completed her primary and secondary education in Nigeria and has kept abreast of some educational and technological milestones as well as visited relatively frequently, I have the advantage of understanding the issues associated with the OLPC projects and interpreting any coded meaning of participants’ responses. Ghana was selected to provide a wider range of data and for a comparative analysis.

Goals of the 2010 Investigation Granted that the OLPC project is seemingly well established due to several deployments throughout the world and therefore any needs assessment may be considered fruitless, this study is still very useful and pertinent to not just Nigeria and Ghana but other countries and other projects. At the time of data collection, the OLPC Foundation still considered Nigeria a viable target; this is demonstrated through the OLPCorps in three sites at Ibadan, Minna, and Ota. Similarly, Ghana is still open to a large scale rollout of the XO if any empirical study could confirm the XO could enhance their elementary school system. Whereas this study defines the educational needs of Nigerian and Ghanaian elementary schools, it also aims to provide information that will inform the decision of the Nigerian state and local government ministers and policy makers who are considering investing in the XO laptop. In the same vein, results will provide a comprehensive critical view of the projects, thereby enlightening and clarifying ambiguities that currently exist as mentioned above. Equally, it is expected that this study will provide information that could inform similar educational technology investments in Nigeria and Ghana and other West African countries; for instance the Intel Classmate computer project. Finally, with the paucity of scholarly research on OLPC, this study also serves as an exploratory investigation which can enlighten subsequent inquiries in this regard. Research Questions The following questions guided the original research (2010): RQ1:

What are the scope and nature of the educational needs of Nigeria and Ghana that the XO laptop project sought to fulfill?

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The study sought to learn the needs as expressed by the target audience and local experts with firsthand knowledge, who are most qualified to determine those needs. This information is vital in determining whether the features of the XO laptop match the needs expressed by potential participants. RQ2:

To what extent did the XO laptop prove an appropriate technology for the expressed educational needs in RQ1?

This question generated data on whether or not the participants consider the XO laptops appropriate or competent in solving their educational needs; whether they can offer suggestions on how the XO laptop can be revamped, or validate its current state. To answer this question, student participants are expected to illustrate how the XO laptop served their educational needs within the period they used them. Also, investigated, was the financial capability of Nigeria and Ghana as to whether both countries are capable of providing this tool to students. Nicolas Jequier (1981) defined appropriate technology as “low-cost technologies aimed specifically at meeting the most basic needs of the world’s poorest people” (p. 541). The design of such technology is expected to consider cost and the environmental, social, cultural, economic, ethical, and political characteristics of the users. RQ3:

What are the scope and nature of the implementation process of the OLPC projects in Nigeria and Ghana?

This question addressed the processes employed by OLPC in determining Nigeria and Ghana as viable sites, the length and the breath of student and teacher training as well as the quality of materials used. School records that document the planning and implementation phases were expected to help answer this question. RQ4:

From the perspective of the users and participants in the XO laptop project, what led to their discontinuation in Nigeria and Ghana?

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Participants were not prompted in how to answer this question; rather, it was asked as an open-ended question both in the survey questionnaire and the interviews. This approach allowed participants to present their opinion and perspectives on what led to the termination and suspension of the projects in Nigeria and Ghana, respectively. Such feedback might incorporate reasons that even the OLPC Foundation overlooked and inform their decision in planning for future deployments. Results for Research Questions 3 and 4 are presented in the next chapter—Chapter 7 which presents the educational technology planning and implementation model. RQ5:

What lessons for improvement can be learned from the Nigeria and Ghana OLPC experience?

Answers to this question serve as suggestions that will inform OLPC Foundation in its decision to re-negotiate business with the Nigerian and Ghanaian governments. Also, the answers serve as advice for many other educational technology companies that plan to do business with these and similar countries. Relevance of the Study Developing nations of the world are continually expanding consumption of new technologies. The International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU) statistics show that residents of African nations increased their subscription to mobile telephony from 36 million in 2006 to 274 million in 2007. Referencing ITU’s ICT Development Index (IDI) and ICT Price Basket, the two benchmarks for measuring access, use, skills and affordability of fixed or mobile telephony and fixed broadband Internet, Nigeria and Ghana show a significant increase from the previous year. In 2007, Ghana and Nigeria ranked 119 and 134, respectively, among IDI statistics collected on 159 countries. In 2008, both countries jumped to 116 and 122, respectively, and Nigeria was among the seven countries listed by ITU as countries that have shown strong improvements in their IDI score (ITU, 2010). Similarly, multilateral institutions, corporations and developing countries are aware of this increase. Investments in educational technology such as One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) and other ICTs are among the key

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expenditures of multilateral institutions, like the United Nations and the World Bank. Also, institutions of learning, ministers of education, corporations and countries are vigorously promoting educational technology in their quest to meet the demands of improving educational systems, especially the Millennium Development Goal of Universal Primary Education (UPE) for all. Seymour Papert (1993) is the inventor of LOGO, computer software with child-friendly programming language. Papert is popular for his belief that computers enhance learning in children. As a promoter of constructionist pedagogy, his book Mindstorms: Children, computers, and powerful ideas reviews computer cultures and child education. It argues that just like children learn and become familiar with their first language, introducing computer language to children at an early stage has the potential of empowering young students to invent ideas and share knowledge among peers. Ultimately, such interaction enhances knowledge creation. Papert’s idea is the prototype of the OLPC vision—the belief that computers excite interest in children and such interest excites the willingness to be a part of the learning process; consequently, the tool serves as a plausible learning inducer. Ezumah (2010) evaluated two cases, the OLPC project at the LEA Primary School Galadima in Abuja, Nigeria, which was initiated in 2007,2 and the OLPC project at Kanda Primary School, Accra, Ghana, one of the two elementary schools in Ghana that have participated in the OLPC pilot projects since 2008.3 The focus of this research is primarily on the planning and implementation phases of both projects and to a lesser degree, because of the short duration, the learning outcome of both projects. Most of the evaluations conducted on this project reviewed the impact of the program, which is premature since all the evaluations were conducted within two to nine months of the initiation of project. Conversely, none of the evaluations reported focused on the planning and implementation of the project. It is within this framework that the current study situated

2 LEA Galadima Primary School is the only school that participated in the 2007 OLPC pilot in Nigeria. 3 Two elementary schools participated in the OLPC pilot in Ghana; Kanda was chosen because it shares similar features with Galadima and thus offers a better comparison. The other school in Bonsasso is located in the rural area in northern Ghana. Similar to Galadima, Kanda is located in the outskirts of the federal capital of Accra; it also has electricity, caters to inner city students, and is a public elementary school.

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its legitimacy to review the planning and implementation phases, compare results from both sites, and pose alternatives that will improve the OLPC projects in Nigeria and Ghana and probably at other similar sites.

Sampling Method Purposive Sampling The study used a purposive sampling method to assure a representation of groups involved in this project. A purposive sampling is defined by Babbie (2007) as “a type of nonprobability sampling in which the units to be observed are selected on the basis of the researcher’s judgment about which ones will be the most useful representative” (p. 184). Flagg confirmed that the best formative evaluation always included the people who are directly involved with the project to be evaluated as well as Subject-matter Experts (SMEs) and local experts in the field (Flagg, 1990). Description of Pupils The total number of participants (139) included seventy-six 5th and 6th grade students, 50 parents, and 13 subject-matter experts who are made up of teachers, technology consultants, and education and technology upper management individuals. Every student at Galadima School received a laptop during the pilot testing; however, the upper elementary students who used the laptop have moved on to high school, the very lower grade students are not able to accurately articulate their experience based on English language survey. Therefore, the call for participation was only extended to primary 5 and 6 students of Galadima School as this group of students were able to remember vividly, their experience as well as possess the minimal language skill to articulate those experiences.4

4 There were other students in Primary 5 and 6 at Galadima School who did not respond to the call for participation because they enrolled in the school after the deployment and did not have the experience of using the laptop.

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Summary of Participants More than 100 students in LEA Galadima and Kanda V primary schools who have used or are currently using the XO laptop were invited to participate in this study. A total of 51 students (Galadima = 25; Kanda 5 = 26) participated. Ghanaian students consisted of primary 5th and 6th grade students, including 13 females, 8 males and 1 (gender not indicated). Their ages were between 11 and 18 years. Nigerian students included 12 female, 9 male and 4 (gender not indicated). Sixteen parents completed the parent questionnaire; this consisted of eleven from Nigeria and five from Ghana, both men and women. The researcher hoped to interview the primary 5th and 6th grade teachers for Nigeria since two classes were used and Primary 5 teacher for Ghana (the only class that participated in the OLPC project), however, only one teacher was available for interview for Ghana and the same number for Nigeria; the teachers indicated they were not included in the process and therefore, do not have much information to share. The principal during the Galadima project was no longer in the school; the assistant principal also, was not included in the process and the current principal did not have much to share knowledge of the project to engage in an interview. Therefore only one teacher and one principal from Kanda V Primary School participated in the research and one teacher representing the Galadima Primary School. In terms of subjectmatter experts, four individuals volunteered for Nigeria, five for Ghana, and one representative from OLPC. Table 6.1 provides a compilation of participants. Table 6.1 Summary of participants Students Instrument Questionnaire

Parents

Principals/Teachers

Subject-matter Experts (SMEs)

Total

In-depth interviews

Nigeria Ghana Nigeria Ghana Nigeria Participants 25 26 11 5 1

Ghana 2

Nigeria Ghana OLPC 4 5 1 80

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Description of Schools LEA Galadima School is the only school that participated in the OLPC pilot in Nigeria; two elementary schools were involved in the Ghana project, one in Accra and another in Bonsasso a remote community in the northern Ghana. Kanda Primary school was chosen because it is has several attributes similar to the Galadima School and would yield a better comparison. Such similarities include the location as both schools are located in or near the federal capital of each country (Accra and Abuja); they also both have access to electricity although in some cases as in Nigeria, the power supply is mostly sporadic. The LEA Primary School Galadima is a public elementary school located in a small town called Gwarimpa, some 20 km away from the heart of the capital city, Abuja. The road that leads from Abuja to Gwarimpa was partially paved at the time of this research, with gullies and ongoing construction. There were no traffic lights, no exit pathways and no official diversion routes that connect to the other side of the traffic. In fact, the taxi driver I used had to maneuver to the other side of the road through a high barricade. Located just a few kilometers away from the school, is the LEA Galadima Housing Estate which is made up of buildings both privately and government owned. The school compound has three bungalows. The first building is divided into two sections. The first half has two rooms; one of the rooms serves as both the reception area and office for the head teacher (principal) and her assistant. The other half has two small rooms which serve as classrooms for about 50 students each. The other two buildings have two rooms and each room represents a class for about 50 students. The classrooms were equipped with benches and desks that can only comfortably fit three students; however, about four or five students squeezed into each bench and desk set. The floors of all the buildings were either not paved or had patches of potholes. There were no decent toilet facilities in the entire school compound and no running water. Similar to LEA Galadima Primary School, the Kanda V Primary School also is a public elementary school located just a few kilometers from the heart of the capital city, Accra. It is one of the consortiums of schools that share the same compound; it is recognized as Kanda V, with other Kanda schools in the same compound. Space is a huge challenge. About 3000 students share four buildings, two bungalows with about four rooms each and two “upstairs” with a few rooms. Due to constrained space, the

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Kanda Schools consortium is forced to operate on morning and evening shifts. The first session runs from about 7:30 a.m. to 12 Noon, and the second session runs from 12:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. This allows students to receive only about four hours of instruction per weekday since a half-hour recess is allotted to each shift. The Kanda consortium schools have toilet facilities and running water but the electricity is a makeshift of wires not properly insulated.

Procedures of Data Collection One Laptop Per Child is a relatively new phenomenon that has few or no scholarly materials but a plethora of information was on wiki websites. To garner enough data to justify this dissertation research, several data collection methods were employed. They include questionnaire, in-depth interviews, observations, and to a lesser degree, documentation. The entire research process followed the guidelines of the Howard University’s Institutional Research Board (HUIRB).

Instrumentation Questionnaire Two versions of the questionnaire—one each for parents and students— were designed. The students’ questionnaire was derived from a template used to evaluate the OLPC project at Kappa IV Elementary School in Harlem, New York City. It used simpler English words and terminologies congruent to the target audience’s education level. The researcher contacted the Principal Investigator of The Kappa IV School in Harlem and obtained written permission to modify their questionnaire to use in Nigeria and Ghana. Both parents’ and students’ questionnaires were designed to conform to the intersubjectivity of the interpretive paradigm which is the framework of this study. The questions were mostly open-ended so students’ voices could be represented rather than providing them with ready-made answers. The questionnaire was patterned on the five research questions; the first part seeking to answer what the educational needs of individual communities were as well as means of solving those needs. Further, students were asked to share their experiences using the XO laptop, what they liked and disliked about it, the uses, the activities of the planning

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and implementation phases including training, orientation, technical assistance, repairs, charging of the XO, maintenance, and its uses both in the classroom and at home. This information informed the research on the extent the XO laptop proved an appropriate technology for both communities. Students also were required to check off all the listed features of the XO according to the OLPC website and to indicate any other features they have used that were not represented and the reasons for using or not using any of the features. The questionnaire also provided room for students to evaluate the planning and implementation of the project by describing the nature of training they received prior to, during, and after deployment of the laptops. Some questions also dealt with the perception of what led to the discontinuation of the project in Nigeria and the hiatus status in Ghana. In order to also consider the suggestions of students who used the laptop, a section was created to allow students to offer their suggestions and advice for future use. Finally, the students were asked some demographical questions to ascertain their level of literacy and parents’ level of education as well as languages spoken at home and in school and their favorite subjects. Comparable to the students’ questionnaire, the parents were required to share their experiences or lack thereof with the XO. Parents were also required to evaluate any changes in the academic performance of their children as well any usage limitations imposed. Similarly, parents’ opinions were sought in terms of future implementation and any lessons learned from the XO laptop experience. Interviews In-depth interviews were deemed a fruitful form of inquiry for this research especially with the teachers and subject-matter experts because of the rich data they produce about experiences, opinions, perceptions, feelings, and subjective knowledge. Through the help of the local coordinators for both countries, a solicitation message approved by HUIRB was distributed in October 2009 by word of mouth. The sampling of participants was intended to target experts who had worked for OLPC or are very conversant with the educational and technological processes of Nigeria and Ghana. The first step in conducting an in-depth interview is gaining access to participants. This was not an easy task since recruitment was being done

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across several continents; Africa, Europe, and North America. The most helpful device was the involvement of a gatekeeper or the local coordinators for both Nigeria and Ghana. Once approval for the research was granted by the HUIRB, the researcher contacted the local coordinators in Nigeria and Ghana and sent them a copy of the approved solicitation message. Within a few weeks, the local coordinators responded with a list of subject-matter experts and teachers who indicated interest in providing information through an interview. The researcher contacted them through e-mail and telephone calls for introductions and to establish a relationship with participants. This step is encouraged by Seidman (2006) and Lindlof and Taylor (2002) as a way of establishing rapport with participants, so as for the interviews to assume a conversational tone. It also calls for the researcher to position herself with the study by explaining her interest in the subject, her status as a researcher and the outcome expected of the chosen research method. The researcher explained the goals of the study, how the interview would be conducted and how long the process would take. Some of the potential participants were provided the sample questions ahead of time upon request but the researcher explained that probes may follow to solicit clarification of statements; all interviewees were informed of their rights and choices to discontinue or withdraw their participation at any time. Additionally, the researcher provided a clear and honest reason for soliciting the participants’ involvement; they qualified as informants. Several types of interviews exist. The informant review and she was not involved because although the researcher had knowledge of the environment and culture, she is not involved in the OLPC project and therefore needed people who possess significant knowledge of the planning and implementation processes. Lindlof and Taylor (2002) explained the importance of using informants who possess the following attributes: They have long experience in the cultural scene, perhaps by having “risen through the ranks”, and thus can serve as reliable sources of the local institutional memory. They have served the scene in many different roles, or currently have more mobility than others, and thus can speak knowledgeably about people’s roles and responsibilities and how the social parts work together. They are well respected by their peers, superiors, and/or subordinates, and are plugged into one or more key social networks. They are facile speakers of the local language forms and can debrief the researcher on contextualized uses and meanings. (p. 177)

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Each interview participant possesses almost all qualities listed above and falls within the age range of 25 years and 65 years old and was very willing to participate. A brief description of each participant and their corresponding pseudo names derived to maintain confidentiality is given below. Five participants were recruited from and for Nigeria and each is labeled Nigeria Expert abbreviated (EXPN1 through EXPN5); same applied to Ghana Expert (EXPG1 through EXPG7) and finally, one expert from OLPC Foundation labeled (EXPOLPC1) (Table 6.2).

Data Collection How Questionnaires Were Administered The questionnaires for the Galadima School, Nigeria were administered in late fall of 2009. The researcher and local coordinator, who was also an upper management staff for the OLPC project in Abuja, visited the school on several occasions prior to the questionnaire completion day. The visits were to introduce procedures; the researcher met with the head teacher whom she had engaged in telephone conversations several times while still in the United States. The local coordinator introduced the researcher to teachers and students and students were asked to inform their parents about this research. Parents were invited to come to the school for briefing before signing the consent. Thirty-five parents attended the meeting at Galadima School where the researcher explained the nature and goal of the study as well as participants’ rights and remuneration, refreshments, and reimbursement of transportation fare. The parents asked questions such as whether the researcher works for OLPC and when OLPC could send computers to the students. The researcher explained to parents that she had no affiliation with OLPC but is a concerned graduate student from Howard University and a Nigerian native interested in finding ways to effectively implement computer technologies in elementary schools. Moreover, the parents explained their disappointment with the abrupt discontinuation of the project and lack of explanation for such action. After addressing these issues, the researcher distributed Consent Forms approved by the HUIRB, explained to the parents their rights as participants and parents signed the Consent and Assent forms for themselves and for their children/wards. Another session was held with students with parents and some teachers present. The researcher explained in very

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Table 6.2 Brief description of interview participants Pseudonym

Description

EXPN1

Technical support specialist by profession and was greatly involved with the planning and implementation of the OLPC at Galadima School, Abuja. Participant served as technical support associate for hardware, software, and security building for the OLPC project An IT expert, worked in upper administrative position of a Nigeria-based IT company. Has both academic and industrial experience in education and instructional technology. Developed interest in OLPC and followed the progression of the Nigeria project very closely One of the staff of the OLPC project in Abuja and was coordinator of the content, software and problem solving solutions Worked at the OLPC Abuja as intern and was one of the pioneer OLPCorps Nigeria One of the Galadima School teachers who strived to implement the XO usage in the classroom. Insisted on being involved in most of the planning and implementation processes A teacher by profession; was very involved in the OLPC project in Ghana from its inception; oversaw the training and technical support programs and very knowledgeable about the Ghanaian education system An elementary school teacher with several years of teaching; experience obtained degree online; has prior computer knowledge before the XO laptop; owns a desktop computer An upper-management official in Ghana Education Ministry and very knowledgeable about the ICT and education. Very involved with the OLPC planning and implementation of Ghana project Works for a renowned international Non-Governmental Organization that advised Education Ministries on ICT implementation. Also very knowledgeable about the OLPC project in Ghana An upper-management staff member at the Kanda primary school for over three years and has been greatly involved in the XO project since its inception An upper-management officer in Ghanaian education and finance sector. Was involved in the initial negotiation and proposal visits from OLPC staff including with the founder, Nicholas Negroponte Worked for a multilateral organization in the USA and is currently holding an upper administrative position in the Ghanaian education ministry. Very knowledgeable about the OLPC project as well as Ghanaian education system Served in upper management position for the OLPC foundation. Played a major role in the initial deployment to several countries including Nigeria. Currently manages another foundation in collaboration with OLPC

EXPN2

EXPN3 EXPN4 EXPN5

EXPG1

EXPG2

EXPG3

EXPG4

EXPG5

EXPG6

EXPG7

EXPOLPC1

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simple terms the goal and nature of the study and assured the students that participation was voluntary and that they would not lose any benefits by not helping. Opportunities were also given for the students to ask questions and they asked similar questions to the parents’—inquiring when they could have their XOs and why the XOs were taken away from them. HUIRB-approved Assent Forms were distributed and the students signed them. The Kanda V school questionnaire completion process was similar to Galadima’s and this was conducted also in late fall of 2009. The only difference were the questions and concerns parents and students expressed. In this case, the concerns lie with the future of the OLPC project since the program is currently suspended. The researcher explained that she has no information on the future of the project and that she hopes this research will answer such question. The entire process for student questionnaire completion lasted four hours because of the reading level of some students and they needed assistance. The researcher was assisted by the local coordinator and two teachers who were advised to only read the questions but not provide answers or sway students’ opinions in any manner. Some students completed the questionnaire without any help. Afterward, students were provided with refreshments and received a small gift as stipulated in the consent form. The completed survey questionnaires were stored in a locked box during the researcher’s stay in Nigeria and Ghana to ensure confidentiality. The materials were domiciled in a locked file drawer accessible only to the Principal Investigator and researcher and have been destroyed since the maximum duration of three years had elapsed. How Interviews Were Conducted The interview sessions were conducted also between late fall 2009 and early spring 2010 at different venues. The venues included Abuja, Nigeria; Accra, Ghana; Boston, MA; and Lampeter, Wales, UK. Eleven of the 13 interviews were conducted face-to-face and two were done by telephone. There was an option to record the interviews; this was expected to aid in capturing the interview process exactly as it happened enabling the interviewer to capture both the words and the intonation or hidden nonverbal gestures in the tone. Twelve participants accepted this option and one declined to be recorded. The unrecorded interview was conducted via

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telephone and the researcher used a speaker phone to provide a handsfree opportunity to take extensive notes. The telephone was an advantage because the participant was unable to observe the note-taking of the researcher, which could have been a distraction or a clue that might affect the interviewee’s honest participation. The interview style was semi-structured and since most in-depth interviews do not follow a strictly standardized set of questions because of the uniqueness of each participant, efforts were made to maintain a conversational tone (Babbie, 2007). These questions were arranged in themes that correspond with the research questions. While each question specifically seeks to elicit information on a particular aspect of the research, they were worded broadly so as not to sway the answer of participants. A few examples include, in what capacity were you involved with the OLPC Ghana (OLPC Nigeria)? In your opinion, what is the scope of the problem that the elementary school students in your area currently face? What functions, services, would you like an educational technology to provide in alleviating those problems? What kind of technology would you consider appropriate? Why? What was the level (length, quality, variety) of training that the teachers, students, principals received prior to the XO laptop deployment? What factors should the designers of educational technology consider when creating equipment for elementary schools in Nigeria and Ghana? All participants read and signed the consent form before the interview and each session lasted from 45 to 90 minutes with a mean duration of about 45 minutes. Each interview recording was downloaded onto the researcher’s personal laptop and converted to a digital voice file stored on a hard drive and flash drives that were accessible only to the researcher and the Principal Investigator. Observation Notes The researcher took detailed field notes from observations of students in their natural settings as they used the XO laptops. This was only applicable to Kanda Primary School students since the LEA Galadima Primary School students no longer had the XOs. Also, to supplement the unvoiced actions of students and parents and to provide voices to the parents and students unable to complete the questionnaire, the researcher observed the students working on their XO laptops in Ghana and listened to parents’ discussion at Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) meeting.

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Other observational notes covered the ecological setting and the environment. The research was provided office space for the duration of this study and could observe the day-to-day activities at the Ministry of Education in Ghana. Additionally, the researcher had the opportunity to spend several days at both the Galadima Primary School and the Kanda Primary School observing students who do not have the laptops as well as other extra-curricular activities of the school. Notes from observation were used to create a rich context (what anthropologists call thick description) of the situation so as to provide a better understanding of participants’ responses. As Patton (2002) rightly stipulated, this aids in understanding the context within which people act, interact, and form their opinions, and provides a window that can lead to a holistic perspective on a situation.

Data Management and Analysis Questionnaires The questions as previously mentioned were open-ended. The data was coded to generate categories and later, themes. The themes were entered on Excel program and pivot tables were generated for frequencies of responses. Interviews The total length of interviews was about 10 hours and the transcripts produced more than 200 single-spaced pages. The first step in the analytical process was a close reading of the entire document several times and in some cases concurrently with the audio tape. Next, categories were developed; this process began with blurry categories, which were refined several times as the researcher engaged in several close readings of the entire raw data. Lindlof and Taylor (2002) defined categorization as “the process of characterizing the meaning of a unit of data with respect to certain generic properties. Category then is a covering term for an array of general phenomena: concepts, constructs, themes, and other types of “bins” in which to put items that are similar” (p. 214). Some of the categories used included, educational problems, educational solutions, planning pros, planning cons, implementation pros, implementation cons, best XO, Least XO, Constructionism, Assessment, future implementation, etc.

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After the document was transcribed, data were reduced using what Seidman (2006) referred to as boiling down the data. This process is done through several steps that include highlighting the interesting or relevant sections of the text, grouping similar ideas or information into categories making it easier to organize the material by themes. The categories were collapsed into sub-headings to facilitate coding. In addition, participants were assigned numbers such as Ghana Student 1 through 26 (GS1–GS26), Nigeria Student 1 through 25 (NS1–NS25) and similarly for parents, GP1–GP5 for Ghana and NP1–NP11 for Nigeria. Responses both to questionnaires and interviews were then entered with a spreadsheet. Codes are defined by Lindlof and Taylor (2002) as short words or phrases used to label data arrangements and they help to sort, retrieve and organize information as it relates to a particular category. Rubin and Rubin (1995) suggested it as one of the preferred methods of organizing interview data to combine similar ideas, concepts and themes. The entire interview transcripts and questionnaires were carefully reviewed and coded. Finally, a Pivot Table that yielded frequencies was drawn from the coded spreadsheets and this provided comparison between different groups of participants (such as parents v. students) and between countries (Nigeria and Ghana). The data was further reduced through thematic analysis and the themes were created using the five research questions—educational needs of target audience, XO laptop’s representation as a tool to fulfill such needs, the nature of the implementation or deployment of XO laptops to both schools, especially training and technical expertise, reasons for discontinuation of Galadima and suspension of Kanda projects, suggestions for improvement and for future educational technology programs. Analytical Process The analysis of final data was guided by the five research questions that asked about the educational needs of elementary schools in Nigeria and Ghana, how the XO laptop served as, or propose to serve as appropriate technology in solving those needs, the processes employed in the planning and implementation of both projects, the reasons for the discontinuation of Nigerian pilot and suspension of Ghanaian pilot and finally, the lessons learned for the entire experience. Additionally, the theoretical framework of communication development theory and participatory action research lent insight to the analysis and interpretation.

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Validity For any scholarly work, validity is paramount. Validity ensures that the research conducted was indeed what was intended. The structure of the interviews can easily undermine a researcher’s validity since subjective influences can blur meaning represented in the data collected (Seidman, 2006). To ensure validity in this qualitative study, the researcher applied several techniques including, triangulation, member check-validation, rich text or chunks of text, self-reflexivity, and field notes. Triangulation Triangulation is a verification of a statement or information through more than one source or evidence; this can serve as a veritable means to establish validity in social science research. Lindlof and Taylor (2002) assert that “if data from two or more methods seem to converge on a common explanation, the biases of the individual methods are thought to “cancel out” and validation of the claim is enhanced” (p. 240). The present research applied several data collection methods such as interviews, questionnaires and observation as well as diverse participants including parents, students, teachers, subject-matter experts and OLPC staff whose opinions were compared and contrasted to arrive at a result. Moreover, the interview and questionnaire methods complemented each other as questionnaire responses served as a window into interview probes for clarification and elaborate meaning. Member Check Member validation also known as member checks or host verification, as the name implies, entails cross-checking of facts and processes to confirm accurate representation and interpretation. This process was applied at various stages during data management; the Principal Investigator crosschecked the assigned categories and codes provided by the Student Investigator to approve of their conformity with the data. Moreover, the researcher reviewed her findings and interpretations with two key participants for Nigeria and Ghana. The Nigerian member validation was done over the telephone while the Ghanaian check was conducted face-toface during a visit by one of the key participants to the United States. The reviewers generally confirmed the findings as accurate and provided

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further explanation on some issues that were not fully explored, especially in relation to what led to the discontinuation and disruption of the projects in Nigeria and Ghana. Rich Text Rich text or chunk of data style was also employed to ensure participants’ voice and meaning rather than the researcher’s opinions. Therefore, the findings section entails a good representation through direct quotes. Very often, information reported out of context may provide a different meaning; this was guarded against by using field notes derived from observations. The researcher is using this device to situate each discussion in the context for which they were made as well as to present some cultural and social dynamics that otherwise may not be understood by the reader. Self-Reflexivity Finally, the researcher’s self-reflexivity is paramount to validating this research. Although the researcher is considered an outsider by virtue of her non-involvement with the OLPC projects, her Nigerian nationality and affiliation with Nigerian institutions provides an insider’s advantage as demonstrated by her ability to understand the language and culture being studied. Findings A good portion of the research findings informed Chapter 4: Challenges to educational technology adoption. The information provided in Chapter 4 covered the conflicting opinions about one-to-one solutions as they relate to African culture. Concerns expressed by parents were also included as well as inadequate technical support for both teachers and students, improper technology integration for teachers due to inadequate training and lack of participatory action by excluding education authorities in the initial negotiation of the deal. For details on this segment of the results see Chapter 4. This section provides results of the study and it is arranged according to the research questions. The first research question (RQ1) asks:

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What are the scope and nature of the educational needs of Nigeria and Ghana that the XO laptop project sought to fulfill? This question seeks to gather the needs as expressed by the target audience and local experts who have firsthand knowledge, and who are most qualified to determine those needs. The tables present a list of major educational needs and their frequencies as expressed by students, parents, and SMEs arranged by country and presented in order of magnitude (Table 6.3). These are needs expressed by students in both Nigeria and Ghana; the figure represents the actual number of students that indicated such needs with their percentages in parenthesis. It should be noted that none of these items were provided because the question was open-ended to enable respondents present the problems themselves instead of choosing from a list of educational problems. Furthermore, the items above represent coded answers and were used to quantify participants’ answers. Books and other educational supplies such as writing materials emerged as the most pressing educational needs expressed by Nigerian students. Ghanaian students considered functional laptops, books and financial support their most pressing educational need. Other needs expressed by Nigerian students in order of magnitude of importance are clothing, lack of competent teachers, financial support, infrastructure, and sanitation. Similarly, Ghanaian students listed clothing, infrastructure, child labor, and food as needs that affect their education. Table 6.4 presents a list of needs as expressed by parents, also based on open-ended question that asked them what their greatest educational Table 6.3 Major educational needs/problems identified by students Ed. Need Nigeria

Books/supplies Functional laptops/Internet Clothing Lack of competent teachers Financial support Infrastructure Sanitation

Student

Ed. Need Ghana

(n)

%

23 19 10 8 7 6 6

(92) (76) (40) (32) (28) (24) (24)

Financial Support Functional laptops/Internet Clothing Books/supplies Infrastructure Child labor Food

Student (n)

%

20 23 18 9 5 3 3

(77) (88) (69) (35) (19) (11) (11)

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Table 6.4 Major educational needs/problems identified by parents Ed. Need Nigeria

Infrastructure Books/Supplies Lack of competent teachers Students’ laxity

Parent

Ed. Need Ghana

(n)

%

10 9 5 4

(91) (82) (45) (36)

Financial Support Computer Lab Students’ laxity Clothing

Parent (n)

%

5 4 2 2

(100) (80) (40) (40)

needs could be. The idea of providing a check-off list was considered preemptive; therefore, the researcher wanted the parents to come up with the answers themselves. Similar to student responses, open-ended answers were coded to determine the frequency of item above. Interestingly, similar factors that students listed were replicated by their parents. For instance, Nigerian parents considered infrastructure, books and supplies, and lack of competent teachers as educational needs. Contrarily though, Nigerian parents added students’ laxity and disinterest in learning as a major deterrent to higher scholastic achievement. Also, Ghanaian parents’ responses synchronized with the students as financial support, computer lab and clothing were indicated. Similar to Nigerian parents, Ghanaian parents also feel that students are sometimes not attentive and lack interest in school and such constitute a problem that should be resolved (Table 6.4). The educational needs expressed above in Table 6.5 are the concerns of experts who participated in the study. Interestingly, both the Nigerian and Ghanaian experts’ views seem to align although several degrees of importance are allotted to each category. Most of the experts’ listed needs fall within the category of fiscal and administrative incompetence. Also, noteworthy, is the fact that experts provided answers both as a listed need and as narratives, and responses were coded to provide frequency. Interestingly, the need as expressed by experts from Nigeria and Ghana were similar notwithstanding the fact that no check-off answers were provided. One hundred percent of Nigerian participants consider funding a major problem for the Nigerian education system; the same number also listed overpopulation and unstable system as critical. Other factors listed were lack of competent teachers and teaching materials. Ghana experts, on the other hand, consider lack of infrastructure as a major challenge;

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Table 6.5 Major educational needs/problems identified by experts Ed. Need Nigeria

Funding Unstable education system Overpopulation Infrastructure Lack of competent teachers Teaching materials/technology

Expert

Ed. Need Ghana

(n)

%

5 5

(100) (100)

5 4 4

(100) (80) (80)

4

(80)

Expert (n)

%

Infrastructure Access to education

7 6

(100) (86)

Overpopulation Teaching materials/techn. Lack of competent teachers

5 5 5

(71) (71) (71)

Inefficient management

5

(71)

other factors included access, overpopulation, teaching materials, lack of competent teachers, and ineffective management. As shown in these tables, the educational needs and problems indicated by students in both countries are mostly similar, with differences only in order of rank or magnitude. Experts from both Nigeria and Ghana provided essentially the same needs; however, the difference lies in the order of importance. Both Nigerian and Ghanaian experts consider funding, infrastructure, and access as the most pressing challenges of education for Ghana and Nigeria. Similar to subject-matter experts, parents’ expressed needs that included funding infrastructure and concern that teachers be competent to teach their children and for children to be interested in learning. These needs are analyzed in three broad themes: Finance, Poor Management, and Resources. Lack of Funding Is the Major Educational Challenge Another major need that experts listed was lack of and mismanagement of funds. The population at Galadima and Kanda Primary Schools includes those from poor family backgrounds. Since both schools are governmentowned and funded, parents and children expect most of the educational expenses to be covered through government subsidies. The demographic information obtained for parents, occupation demonstrates that 95% of the parents have menial jobs such as petty traders, peasant farmers, hair dressers, village taxi drivers, cocoa farmers, craftsman, sanitation workers, though a few indicated they were police officers, teachers, engineers, and civil servants.

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Although primary education is supposedly free in both countries, other ancillary fees such as examination fees are imposed, which negates the reality of free education. NS5 complains, “the school fee is too much for our parents to pay and I want it to be reduced please.” NP7 agrees with this concern and pleads that “teachers should please avoid exploiting money from the parents. The government made education free for students because they discovered that most parents could not afford to pay for their children.” The Nigerian government has always been chastised for not prioritizing education due to the percentage of funding allocated to it (Olusegun, 2003; Wokocha, 1991). In comparison to Ghana which allocated 5.2% (in 2007) and 3.62% (2017) of its total GDP to education, Nigeria allocated only 3% for 2007 and 3.5% in 2017 (UNICEF, 2007, 2018; World Factbook, 2019). Although parents and SMEs agree that the primary or elementary school sector is an area where the government ought to invest more money, EXPN4 explains “it is one thing to say that education is a priority in Nigeria but another thing to implement that. If we prioritize education, we will be able to have better classrooms, more qualified teachers, electricity, textbooks, and exercise books for these pupils to learn” (personal communication, December, 2010). This lack of adequate funding is considered a major problem that reverberates across the education sectors. For instance, poor funding begets many other problems such as non-payment of teacher salaries or poor remuneration for teachers, which provokes strikes and repels good educators from teaching in the public sector. However, Ghanaian students identified the poverty level of most public school parents as the most pressing educational needs. GS1 writes “the problem I have in the school is that sometimes, I need money for transportation and other needs because I take care of myself…” GS14 adds “My problem is that I don’t have a mother or father and I stay with my brother and sometimes he have money to give me and sometime I have to beg for money to go to school. I need a lot of things for myself but I have no money and no helper.” EXPN2 shares similar experience of how teacher strikes have greatly affected the duration of elementary education. He cited the incapacity of the local governments who manage primary education in terms of their nonchalant attitude toward teacher compensation which often leads to several months of teacher strike. He continues that the primary education teaching profession in Nigeria has a reputation of not paying salaries, so it has not in recent times attracted the

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brightest percentage of the nation’s population. Ultimately, the primary education sector continuously lacks teachers; and the rural areas are the most affected. EXPN2 states “You have some schools where you have up to 50 pupils in one classroom with one class teacher, it becomes a problem to manage” (personal communication, December, 2010). Educational Resources Are Also Lacking This section includes concerns that participants identified regarding computer technology, teaching and writing materials, low numbers of teachers /lack of qualified teachers, infrastructure, and sanitation, as well as clothing. Books and supplies were the most daunting needs expressed by the students at Galadima School, Abuja. Although it came in fourth position of the Kanda primary school students’ needs, it nonetheless was also an expressed need. The researcher observed that the students at both schools, especially at Galadima School, had no writing materials with which to complete the questionnaire. The researcher had to provide them with pens and pencils with which to answer their questions. Such was not the most pressing need for Ghana as can be seen from the chart because the Ghanaian government provides a grant to elementary school principals with which to purchase writing materials and distribute to needy pupils. EXPG5 explains “the former regime [government] provides exercise books, uniforms, writing materials to students because some of them can’t even afford a pen! We don’t have problem with exercise books and textbooks because of the competition grants… I was able to use part of the money to buy some exercise books and I have to distribute them to students.” Also noteworthy is the fact that textbooks at Galadima and Kanda primary schools are not owned by students but loaned annually. In fact, the students at Kanda Primary School do not even take the textbooks home but could only use it while in their classrooms, a situation that EXPG2 complained as depriving the students the opportunity to study and revise materials taught in class. EXPG5 adds that although the XO has the potential to encourage students to learn, the lack of resources should be a priority. Lack of sponsorship is a serious issue that is forcing Ghanaian elementary students to engage in unnecessary child labor in order to cater for themselves. EXPG5 tells a story of a primary 5 pupil who was gravely absent throughout an academic year. When one of the

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teachers approached the child, it was discovered that the student is interested in school and learning, but could not attend because he takes care of his blind father through petty trading. Both Galadima and Kanda V schools were faced with scarcity of teachers and in some cases, the available teachers are either not qualified to teach or are not interested. Many respondents think this laxity by teachers is a result of inadequate compensation. All these problems seem to be interwoven and share reverberating effects. Teachers’ poor compensation lowers their morale and zeal to work effectively; in most cases, such despair and disgust leads to short-term and long-term strikes. In essence, this situation renders the teaching profession unattractive to younger and brighter students and people often choose to attend teacher training colleges as the last resort or as a consolation. Similarly, inadequate infrastructure was also indicated as among the daunting challenges of elementary schools in the Abuja and Accra regions. The Kanda V Primary School has six classes of about 50 students each with only three classrooms. The school then is forced to operate in shifts; the three upper and lower classes, respectively, alternate the use of classrooms by running a morning and afternoon shift. Functional laptops, and computer laboratories were various ICTs that participants listed as educational needs. There was a consensus that all levels of education should incorporate ICT as part of the preparation for the current century and the digital world. Functional laptops particularly was on the top of students’ list of expressed needs; they defined “functional” as better and bigger laptops with Internet connections and more educational activities. A majority of parents and experts indicate that a computer laboratory approach may be more effective. There was a consensus among all participants that elementary school students in Nigeria and Ghana need education that can prepare them for the technological world. This seems to be the ultimate goal of the OLPC foundation as EXPOLPC1 reiterated that the XO only serves the purpose of introducing an alternative way of learning for students. Some of the participants agreed with this goal; EXPG7 states “We need to have a society that is looking forward to meeting the challenges of the 21st Century. Now to achieve that, the place of ICT is very clear both in terms of academic and technical and vocational skills.” However, he does not consider a one-to-one solution a plausible means of introducing the ICTs; rather, he proposes a laboratory system that could provide access to all students and comparatively, cost effective.

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Poor Management The management issues expressed by participants include an unstable education system, overpopulation, and lack of access to education. Some Nigerian parents described the education system as corrupt and selfish. Others indicated that the lack of prioritizing education, especially primary education, which is the basic foundation, is appalling. Again, all of these needs and problems are interconnected. Poor management of the available fund and resources both physical and material often render the primary schools overpopulated, lacking basic and vital infrastructures such as classrooms, laboratories, computer labs, libraries, desks, chairs, and other necessary materials. When such is the case, access to education even at the primary level becomes difficult. EXPN1, one of the key administrators of OLPC Nigeria, while describing the educational needs of Nigeria, comments that infrastructure is paramount and should be provided first and foremost. “The first thing would be to get basic infrastructure such as ensuring a comfortable environment – you know, seats, tools to work with… you need field trips, chemistry lab, proper gym, power, books, and then curriculum itself really needs to be worked on because we are teaching kids things and they are coming out and still can’t do things.” Many respondents complained about the literacy level of the students who were given the laptops. Several completed questionnaires were thrown out because the students could not make a cohesive statement and some students simply repeated the questions on the answer space. EXPN1 compared ignoring these needs and embarking on the OLPC project in many metaphors, “learning to fly a 747 without first learning to fly on the simulators,” “buying a plane before securing where it is going to operate” and “flying blind – though one might be able to land that way, but it is easier to land knowing and seeing your destination than landing blind.” EXPG2 acknowledged all these problems but presented a different perspective about solving the argument of solving the problems before embarking on an ICT project. He avers that if Ghana decides to wait until all its educational resources are met before embarking on the technology investment in schools that such decision may actually deter young Ghanaians from getting the education they need.

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Research question number two (RQ2) asked: To what extent did the XO laptop prove an appropriate technology for the expressed educational needs in RQ1? In reviewing the XO laptop as appropriate technology, participants reflected on the extent to which this tool can help in solving the educational problems addressed above and some challenges and shortcomings that might hinder it from serving as a solution to some or all of the listed needs. Assessment was based on cost, ability of the XO to meet the most basic needs, and how its design, planning and implementation process took into consideration the environmental, social, cultural, economic, ethical, and political characteristics of the users. Dominant themes that emerged included utilitarian services, cost, content, ownership (one-to-one solution), and localization. Table 6.6 presents a frequency of students’ answers to the question on what they liked best about the XO laptop and different ways that the XO helped them learn. Table 6.6 represents the activities that students engage in with the XO; 100% of Nigerian students listed “games” as the major activity they use on the XO. Interestingly, many Nigerian parents indicate that they set a time limit for the XO use—because the students spent time playing games with the XO as opposed to engaging in some creativity relating to their curricula; perhaps because no one taught then to utilize the laptop in that manner. Other activities that Nigerian students performed with the XO laptop include video and audio recording, taking notes, chatting, browsing, and calculations. For Ghanaian students, taking notes is the activity most of them (92%) did with the XO, other activities by order of magnitude, are chatting, audio and video recording, calculations, browsing and keeping busy which was described as playing games. Table 6.6 Students’ favorite activities with the XO laptop What do you like best about the XO? Nigeria students responses

(n)

%

Ghana students responses

(n)

%

Games Audio/video recording Copy notes Chat Browsing Calculations

25 20 19 16 12 10

(100) (80) (76) (64) (48) (40)

Copy notes Chat Audio/video record. Calculations Browsing Keeps busy

24 21 18 16 6 5

(92%) (81) (69) (61) (23) (19)

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Utilitarian Need I—A Writing and Calculating Device Students listed several activities for which they used the XO and a majority of the students noted that the XO served as writing materials for them. As noted from the list of educational needs, several students indicated that books and writing materials were among their many educational needs. GS2 noted “what I like best about the XO is that it helps me not to buy notebooks, and the XO lets me stay at home to learn more and it makes me feel very proud.” GS9 “The reason why I like the XO is that I can write my note in it and if the teacher gives us a difficult mathematics I can use the XO to help me find the answer” Utilitarian Need II—Increases Zeal for Learning in Students One major role that the XO laptop played in the academic life of the elementary school pupils in Accra and Abuja is that a good number of participants agreed on its ability to make learning interesting for students and provides a conduit for self expression among students. This is achieved through chatting with friends who have the XO. Other ways are recording voice and videos and pretending to be musicians and journalists. EXPN3 feels that although the project in Nigeria lasted for a year, the impact was enormous, especially in terms of energizing the students and creating excitement in the community. Apparently, with the use of the XO, many students who had never seen nor touched a computer were able to acquire and refine their technological skills with the XO laptop. The XO has helped the pupils acquire computer skills and in some cases, it serves utilitarian purposes for the family as well. EXPG1 observes, “the children who received the laptops were children who have never touched a computer before. And when the computers were given to them some of them were afraid even to touch the keyboard. They thought it might break. But today if you see the children what they can do with the computer; sometimes when I get to the schools and I see things that they’ve done, I’m surprised because nobody taught them those things and their parents use the XO for balancing their petty cash accounts.” High Cost Emerged as the Major Restraint To be considered an appropriate technology, the cost of acquiring the technology must fall within the range that it can be attainable by the users. Respondents indicated that despite the excitement, the XO is definitely

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too expensive to be considered an appropriate technology. There seemed to be some inconsistencies between the price of the laptop that the OLPC Foundation proposed to both the Nigerian and Ghanaian governments and the actual price. EXPG4 explains that if you add up all the required costs, each machine would be coming up to an average of between $400 and $500. Moreover, OLPC Foundation had promised to fund both pilot projects in Nigeria and Ghana but as indicated by participants, eventually, the Nigerian and Ghanaian governments contributed to the financing of both pilot projects. Additionally, the cost of implementing the OLPC project is beyond the affordability of Nigeria and Ghana as indicated by a survey of cost-effectiveness conducted by an international organization that specializes in effectively advising countries in matters of ICT adoption and implementation. A comprehensive study and report on the total cost of ownership was conducted for Ghana. It studied the required materials and the preparation that is needed for the XO to fully achieve the purpose for which the OLPC Foundation promised. This report included cost for content, infrastructure, power supply, basic security, training of teachers and students, public awareness and parent education, maintenance, Internet connection, shipment, and insurance while in transit and delivery to the schools. According to EXPG4, “the most startling thing that sobered everybody was that it would have cost 5.6% of Ghana’s GDP just to be able to get a national project up and running just for year one.” Meanwhile, Ghana at the time of this study, spends 5.4% of its GDP on education in general; this includes the elementary, secondary, vocational, and tertiary levels. Another aspect of cost that was considered, according to experts, was the opportunity cost. Although it is apparent that Ghana and Nigeria could never afford the XO project, even if they were to give it a try and proceed with the investment, the respondents argued that there were issues of the opportunity costs since Ghana and Nigeria have several other priorities that will ultimately be forgone if they embark on the XO project. Enhancement of XO Through Content Localization In essence, the claim that the XO laptop will improve the educational and scholastic competencies in elementary students is contingent upon providing content that could serve as a locally appropriate educational materials reservoir or repository. The impression given by OLPC, or at

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least taken by both countries was that the OLPC Foundation provides the XO as a tool ready to be used to enhance scholastic achievement. On the contrary, the XO laptop needs to be embedded with educational content before it can adequately serve the promised need. Both Nigeria and Ghana, however, were unaware of this reality during their negotiations with the OLPC Foundation. Later, it was discovered that the XO had several fun games and drawing programs as well as picture and video capabilities, but there was no content directly correlated with the local curriculum. EXPN1 explains that there was no content match with local curriculum because the XO was considered supplemental. However, he expressed disappointment because OLPC did not accomplish its promise to provide on time a Server which could function as both a storage site and repository for any student-created content and a monitoring device for students’ activities. It arrived toward the end of the project and there was no time to use it. On the contrary, EXPOLPC1 provided a dissenting view on the issue of lack of content on the XO laptop. He argues that whether or not a locally correlated curriculum is loaded on the XO is the decision and responsibility of the Ministers of Education. In some countries, he says, education ministers take this responsibility to heart while in others they simply don’t. He further cites the case of OLPC Peru as thriving because the education ministry cooperated with OLPC organization and prepared materials for teachers’ and students’ use. He continued “I participated in a lot of the early training with the teachers, and one of the things that we focused on then was that the teachers already had been learning… had been immersed in the national curriculum goals, and so what we spent a lot of time with the teachers working on was not so much “here are the goals” as much as to say alright, given the goals, here are different ways or different approaches to using the goals.” Conflicting Opinions on the One-to-One Solution Respondents noted that the OLPC Foundation emphasized the need to implement the Nigeria and Ghana projects on the basis of one-to-one solution. Ironically, this turns out to be the most criticized aspect of both projects. First, the one-to-one solution was criticized as an unrealistic proposal since both countries would never be able to afford such expense. EXPG4 puts it succinctly, I think that it was a little bit unrealistic to expect a country like Ghana with the number of students at elementary level, which is about

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2.2 million people, to actually be able to offer a one-to-one solution…I think that if developed countries such as the U.S. and other countries have not been able to implement a one-to-one solution themselves despite their best effort and despite their investments and technology, then why should we? In addition to the feasibility limitation of the one-to-one solution, there was also a cultural conflict in adhering to the one-to-one solution mandate of OLPC. EXPG7 condemned the method as conflicting with the civic rights that Ghana tries to inculcate in its students to encourage a culture of sharing and learning to look after government property. He believes that allowing students to share the laptops and consciously not misuse it would instill in young students the value concept of caring for public property. He explains “we don’t have a culture of maintenance; we don’t have a culture of responsibility towards property that is not perceived as ours. So I would much rather encourage that of sharing…because the notion of “this is mine,” “this is for me,” I don’t think it’s a positive one.” On another note, EXPG5, considers the one-to-one solution of the XO as blocking access for many pupils. She noted, only one grade at Kanda V received the XO and the experience has been confined to this group “Right now it’s their personal bona fide. So when the students go away, the laptops will go away.” Meanwhile, she thinks that a laboratory solution has the potential of reaching a wider audience. Other Parents’ Concerns Most parents believe in the potential of the XO to harness learning and prepare students for the technology world. NP7 explains, “I like it [XO] because you get to know more about what one has not known before. And like they say, our children are the leaders of tomorrow, which means that if they get to know more about the technology of this thing, example the XO- laptop, they will take us to many places.” However, quite as many are also concerned that students spend more time playing games than actually engaging in substantial learning. Therefore, 98% of parents indicated that they imposed limits on the time their children spent on the XO. Their reasons included, in addition to playing too many games, students need time to do house chores, read their books, rest, and do their homework. Moreover, parents were concerned that local content was not included in the XO package and so considered the laptop a videogame or toy. The major concern expressed by several parents was the potential exposure to

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pornography. Such incidents occurred in both Nigeria and Ghana and still at the time of the study, there were no parental blocking devices installed to ward off children accessing inappropriate sites. The only control was that the laptops ability to connect to the Internet was disabled; so this deterred students from accessing other pertinent information on the World Wide Web and accessing some programs on the XO. Finally, parents in both sites addressed the issue of disappointment (for them, the students, teachers, and the community in general) with the interruption and discontinuation of the projects. In Nigeria, the parents were disappointed because no information was given about the short duration of the project. The parents thought that the project was going to be a long-term educational investment. As a result, parents were livid when the computers were taken away from children and demanded an explanation from the principal, who was also unaware of the sudden disruption. NP7 stated that for future implementation “if the students are given the laptops again, there should be no returning back, in order to avoid disappointment.” While parents praised the XO for instilling excitement and willingness to learn among students, helping them acquire technical skills and boosting their morale, they also consider the reality that XO is not the major solution to their educational problems. NP10 indicated that there are other major economic problems and crises surrounding the country than the XO laptop. Research question number five (RQ5) asked: What lessons for improvement can be learned from the Nigeria and Ghana OLPC experience? This concluding section engages in extensive examination of the negotiation and deployment processes of the One Laptop per Child projects in Ghana and Nigeria and provides lessons for improving future implementation of educational project for elementary schools in Nigeria and Ghana. Results are arranged under six themes: feasibility, implementation, managerial dynamics, and planning, technical, and socio-cultural values. Some of these themes have already been established in the above sections, so this section will summarize the findings. Standard Educational Technology Model Is Paramount The overall managerial process of the OLPC projects in Nigeria and Ghana should incorporate a joint effort among the OLPC Foundation and the Nigerian and Ghanaian governments. Participants provided

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suggestions that could enhance such process in the future; EXPG6 and EXPN2 both expressed the need for Nigeria and Ghana to set up an educational technology model which can serve as a standard to assess every technological program’s appropriateness for the country. A committee to set up the model should include competent people from the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Technology as well as parents and teachers, educators and other relevant subject-matter experts. High Cost and Lack of Funding Remain Major Challenges Affordability and sustenance emerged as the most daunting aspect of the OLPC project for Nigeria and Ghana and a major hindrance to its advancement from pilot to full adoption. EXPG4 puts it succinctly, “Frankly speaking, there is no way the government of Ghana will get the money to buy a laptop for each child, and afterwards [the child] will take them away. Yes because I don’t think it will happen even in the near future. Because even with textbooks, children don’t own a textbook. The textbook is provided to you, you use it… it is passed on to another student.” In this respect, lessons learned include that the idea of ownership as designed by the OLPC Foundation as a bona fide property of each student should be re-evaluated because both Nigeria and Ghana cannot afford to provide one laptop for every elementary school child even if the project implements a longitudinal structure. In this vein, OLPC and the two countries involved (Nigeria and Ghana) may need to re-evaluate creative ways of combating this major problem. Ideas such as considering a collaborative effort with other stakeholders and donors in providing ancillary support for instance, Internet, power, digitized curriculum, etc. might increase the chance of combating the feasibility hindrance. Other possible efforts to abate the high cost could be considering designing and manufacturing of the computer locally, which would drastically shed the shipping, insurance and customs costs. Lack of Empirical Assessment Based on the shared experiences of the informants, several lessons can be noted from the way the OLPC project was planned. As a relatively new company and a newer technology, OLPC should take the time to document assessment of current projects that would establish both proof and credibility of the XO. Even though OLPC is hastening to reach as

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many countries as possible, in this case, accuracy and detailed documentation should trump speed. The Nigerian government preferred Intel’s Classmate because unlike the XO that uses Sugar interface, Classmate is demonstrably a Windows-based computing system that fits into the larger environment. Intel conducted a study to discover this. EXPN1 states “the OLPC rivals [classmate] were after the Nigerian market, making money, getting solutions to people for profit. However, they were able to convince the Nigerian government that their solution has been tested…whatever they had has been proved to work, for instance, some of their products in the past all over the world really work while OLPC was actually developing something.” In the same vein, EXPG4 notes that there is a need to adopt a transparency in the intention and clarity of expectations of the project by both the OLPC and the countries especially in terms of price and the actual content of the laptop, irrespective of the nature of the project whether a pilot, or full deployment. Rigidity of the OLPC Rules and Restraint of Deployment Options The effort to implement the XO as a learning tool was guided mostly by a set of principles provided by the OLPC Foundation. These principles were integral to the contract and so were not to be breached by the OLPC staff that were on site in Nigeria and Ghana. The rigid rules worked against the project. Obviously, some level of flexibility was needed to make the necessary adjustments to the OLPC’s binding principles in order to conform to local need. Also, a better solution could be a collaborative effort of local staff and OLPC in drawing up the binding principles of implementation instead of a subjective opinion of OLPC. In order to achieve a successful implementation of the project, Subject-Matter Experts unanimously assert that longer and in-depth training for teachers and students is imperative. It was also noted that both teachers and students will actually gain more from the XO with a better knowledge of how it functions. The Open Source Sugar is Commendable The open source technology that OLPC adopted was highly commended by participants, especially the technological experts. EXPG1 adds that the sugar meshwork should be maintained for future projects to allow for creativity and sharing information by both teachers and students. But, the major lesson for improvement lies in the need to create content specific materials that correlate with local curriculum—this responsibility should be a concern for the education and technology ministries of Nigeria and

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Ghana. This would enable the XO to become an established educational tool. Lack of Internet Service Restricts Access to Applications For future projects, uninterrupted internet service should be provided even though participants considered it a double-edged sword. EXPN3 states “Internet component is paramount but should be guarded for security reasons.” On the one hand, the Internet availability ensures access to a wealth of knowledge and to several programs on the XO; but, the pornographic experience that both the Nigerian and the Ghanaian students had was a serious concern for parents. Therefore, while the XO is equipped with Internet connection, there is also a need for parental guidance. Increase Storage Size; Change Interface Since the ultimate objective of the Nigerian and Ghanaian projects as expressed by EXPOLPC1 was to test the technical aspect of the XO laptop, the following lessons for improvement were observed by participants. All students and SMEs unanimously agreed that the processing speed and the memory capacity of the XO is too slow and too small; therefore, this obstruction cases the screen to freeze. It was noted that the current 500 megahertz for speed and 2 gigabytes for storage should be increased to allow for multitasking and downloading of materials. Additionally, some students indicated that OLPC should reconsider the current ergonomics of the XO; the size of the machine, the nonconventional interface, battery lifetime, durability and defective keyboard. Some students’ reactions include “OLPC should bring us the real laptop”; “we like the bigger and better laptop, people make fun of the XO”; “my battery spoiled and no one can fix it”; the screen froze while I was working on the XO and this happens all the time.” One student described the XO as “a practice for the real laptop.” Socio-Cultural Values/Issues As a new phenomenon with varied concepts of educational delivery, this project cuts across communication and educational technology to include social and cultural values. It is imperative to study the target audience in terms of their literacy level, educational systems, environment, policies, and other factors which would greatly improve OLPC’s initial approach to any country.

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Other Issues That Emerged The misconceptions that mere distribution of the XO laptop to schools will automatically improve scholastic achievement of students have been explored and found refutable. Unfortunately, both Nigeria and Ghana participated in this project believing such paradigm. The reality, however, is that the XO laptop is a tool which can only be rendered efficient based on its content; currently, most games, notebooks, and components for audio and visual recordings as well as drawings. In fact, a more important component of the OLPC project is the idea and the concept of using the computer machinery to further learning. Such concept can actually be achieved with any computer and not just with the XO. EXPN3 observed that “Nigeria can actually benefit more from using computers to enhance learning by locally manufacturing their own computers and digitizing and uploading the local curriculum.” Several other SMEs who participated in the interviews share the same views. Major OLPC Assumptions Revisited The five assumptions of the OLPC project are, (a) mere distribution of the XOs will yield enormous and successful educational change; (b) the XO is an equality tool—it can propel the low-income students to the same standards enjoyed by students in developed countries; (c) the XO laptop and the OLPC conceptual pedagogical paradigm are one and the same (d) teacher- role is irrelevant and therefore should not be factored into the XO deployment equation; and (e) the OLPC foundation has declared the XO effective, therefore countries should oblige to this declaration and no assessment is necessary. Mere Distribution of the XOs Yields Successful Learning Outcome Sometimes, the over zealousness and enthusiasm of OLPC founder Negroponte have led critics to consider the project as having an utopian vision. In fact, Greenhill and Isomäki (2005) once referred to Negroponte as a “techno-utopist” (p. 58). This trait was found in the current research and it does not necessarily pertain to the OLPC Foundation alone but to the Nigerian and Ghanaian government as well. The results demonstrated that both countries engaged in a large scale order of 1 million and 10,000 laptops respectively; it was upon later investigation that both countries realized that educational materials, teacher and student training,

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technical support, and other factors need to be present for the XO to definitely achieve the projected outcome. This resonates with the dominant paradigm assumption and the universal applicability notion. The XO Is an Equality Tool By believing in the potential of XO catapulting the Nigerian and Ghanaian students into the Technological Age as noted by many respondents, XO in essence is regarded as an equality tool. As a recommendation for professional practice, both Nigeria and Ghana, and the OLPC project, it should be noted that “equalizing ownership of resources or holdings of primary goods need not equalize the substantive freedoms enjoyed by different persons, since there can be significant variations in the conversions of resources and primary goods into freedoms” (Sen, 2004, p. 33). This is evident from the results; apparently, what worked for other countries did not work for Nigeria and Ghana—at least, it did not work for the selected pilot schools. The XO and Constructionism Are Inseparable It was observed that a majority of respondents, especially the interviewees, believe that in order to achieve the constructionism approach of learning, an investment in the XO laptop is inevitable. Many were unable to separate the two as distinct concepts. This study recommends that although OLPC organization sells the XO with the constructionist package, constructivist learning can also be attained through other means of educational technology, including a locally produced computer as suggested by EXPN2. Teacher’s Role Is Irrelevant Often, the constructionist approach that OLPC holds dearly is used as an excuse for deeming the teacher’s role irrelevant to the XO deployment equation. This also was confirmed as only two teachers were involved in the entire implementation process and had enough knowledge to participate in this study. But, often, this neglect of the teacher’s role transfers into neglect of the curriculum and thus neglect of the cultural dynamics. This trait was evident in this study whereby the technical support staff in Nigeria claim that they refused to provide teachers with training because the project is all about student learning.

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Recommendation for Professional Practice Referencing the three most striking discoveries of this research—(1) the ambiguous presentation of the XO, (2) the financial challenge of purchasing millions of computers, and (3) the nonavailability of digitized local content, this section provides recommendations for professionals who are interested in educational technology in Nigeria and Ghana. To avoid confusion, the OLPC Foundation could develop a hard copy of their proposal that clearly specifies the goal, functions, and expectations of the XO and make this available to key stakeholders, not just to the government officials. The package should also tabulate clearly what countries could do in order to locally integrate the XO into classroom learning. It is imperative that an affordable technology devices be invested in elementary education in Nigeria and Ghana as this would provide great assistance to the teacher. Also, notable is the fact that such technologies should not be digital only; analog alternatives should equally be considered. An interesting statistic on the penetration of telephone usage for Nigeria and Ghana shows as of 63 million Nigerians and 37 million Ghanaians have access to cellular phones (as at 2009); that number increased to 172.7 million subscriptions of cellular phones for Nigeria and 40.9 million subscriptions for Ghana as represented by the 2020 Statista.com report. Additionally, the Pew Research studies conducted by Poushter, Bishop and Chwe (2018) and Silver and Johnson (2019) present a significant rise in the use of cellular phones and smartphones among the younger generations in Sub-Saharan Africa. Mobile phone device has several advantages over the laptop computer such as affordability and a relatively longer battery lifetime. Therefore, cellular phones may actually be considered as an educational device alongside with radio which can even penetrate the remotest areas of Sub-Saharan Africa. The period of quarantine and distance learning induced by the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic just supported this claim. Companies or multilateral organizations could consider funding a project that focuses on digitizing the elementary school curriculum and providing mobile telephony devices as much cheaper rates than laptops. Finally, as a cost-effective effort, technology companies in Africa could consider producing learning that could help in elementary education. Several countries and state governments have done this; an example is the Tablet of Knowledge or the Opon-Imo that was introduced to the secondary schools in Osun State, Nigeria by Governor Aregbesola. This researcher conducted a study on this project

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in 2014; but the results are not included as this volume focuses on Western-based technologies.

Evaluation as Praxis Granted that it has been widely documented that Western companies and countries often usurp the resources of the developing countries and use technology transfer as a conduit for furthering colonial and imperialistic intentions; it should also be noted that developing countries need to desist from the blame game; especially when all actions end with the blame game. This research shows that the Nigerian and Ghanaian governments failed to be proactive and willingly chose not to utilize the services of their experts in the negotiation and implementation stages of the OLPC projects so as to ensure a more successful outcome. The case of Nepal is a typical example that demonstrates a country actively defining the nature and process of technology deployment for its elementary schools. In light of this, this research calls for action on the part of Nigeria and Ghanaian education ministries and all African countries in channeling the guidelines for implementing projects especially if such projects are foreign-based. This study suggested ways technology can be harnessed to serve the educational needs of low-income communities. Some of the ways include a need for each country to define a standard educational technology that is congruent to its need, provide a committee that comprised of educationists, technology experts, parents, and government officials, a collaborative effort by OLPC and the education ministries in securing avenues for funding and sustenance, and the need for digitizing the elementary school curricula and setting up a server that will operate as the reservoir for the materials. The ultimate goal would be to connect the devices so as to function as interconnected networks that will feed from a server that contains locally produced materials. Finally, assessment, especially the ongoing formative evaluation, is always encouraged and recommended for a successful educational program. This study provided an exploratory inquiry into the planning and implementation processes of the OLPC pilot projects in Nigeria and Ghana. It also allowed for the compiling of comprehensive educational needs of the two countries as expressed by elementary school student, parents, and education and technology experts. Finally, and more importantly, it achieved its aim of enabling the posing of a model to inform

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the process of planning for the introduction of new educational technology in low-income communities. The model is presented in the next chapter—Chapter 7.

References Ashok, A. (2008). Towards a design framework for IC projects in the developing world. Retrieved March 18, 2008, from http://www.arvindashok.com/portfo lio/capstone/ashok_capstone.pdf. Babbie, E. (2007). The practice of social research. Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth. Bhatta, S. D. (2008). Tackling the problems of quality and disparity in Nepal’s school education: The OLPC model. Studies in Nepali History and Society, 13(1), 17–48. Bruner, J. S. (1961). The act of discovery. Harvard Educational Review, 31, 21–32. Ezumah, B. A. (2010). Toward a successful plan for educational technology for lowincome communities: A formative evaluation of One Laptop per Child (OLPC) projects in Nigeria and Ghana. Washington, DC: Howard University. Flagg, B. (1990). Formative evaluation for educational technologies. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers. Greenhill, A., & Isomäki, H. (2005). Incorporating self into web information system design. In Future interaction design (pp. 53–66). London: Springer. Hauben, R. (2007, October 28). “One laptop per child” program presented at UN will it help to spread the internet to all? The Sun. Retrieved March 18, 2008, from http://www.nettime.org/Lists-Archives/nettime-l0710/msg00058.html. International Telecommunication Union (ITU). (2010). Measuring the information society report 2010. Geneva, Switzerland. Jequier, N. (1981). Appropriate technology needs political “push”. World Health Forum, 2(4), 541–543. Jesus, S. (2018, November 29). Jp.ik, Portuguese company, leads pioneering journey in technology for education. Innovations. Retrieved October 3, 2019 from https://www.itweb.co.za/content/rW1xLv55lajvRk6m. Lindlof, T. R., & Taylor, B. C. (2002). Qualitative communication research methods. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Loureiro, M. J., Linhares, R. N., & Ramos, F. (2012, September 26–29). The Magellan project and Portuguese teachers’ perspectives. A paper presented at the 62nd Annual Conference of ICEM-International Council for Educational Media, Nicosia, Cyprus. Mayer, R. E. (2004). Should there be a three-strikes rule against pure discovery learning? American Psychologist, 59(1), 14.

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Mody, B. (1991). Designing messages for development communication: An audience participation-based approach. New Delhi: Sage. Olusegun, A. (2003). TEE 406: Pre-primary and primary education projects in Nigeria and elsewhere. Ibadan, Nigeria: Distance Learning Center University of Ibadan. Papert, S. (1993). Mindstorms: Children, computers, and powerful ideas. New York: Basic Books. Patton, M. Q. (2002). Qualitative research and evaluation methods. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Piaget, J. (1970). Science of education and the psychology of the child (D. Coltman, Trans.). Oxford: Orion. Poushter, J., Bishop, C., & Chwe, H. (2018). Social media use continues to rise in developing countries but plateaus across developed ones. Pew Research Center, 22, 2–19. Robertson, A. (2018, April 16). OLPC’s $100 Laptop was going to change the world—Then it all went wrong. The Verge. Retrieved May 2, 2019 from https://www.theverge.com/2018/4/16/17233946/olpcs-100-laptopeducation-where-is-it-now. Rubin, H. J., & Rubin, I. S. (1995). Qualitative interviewing: The art of hearing data. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Seidman, I. (2006). Interviewing as qualitative research: A guide for researchers in education and social sciences. New York: Teachers College Press. Sen, A. (2004). Rationality and freedom. Harvard University Press. Silver, L., & Johnson, C. (2019). Majorities in sub-Saharan Africa own mobile phones, but smartphone adoption is modest. Stecklow, S., & Bandler, J. (2007, November 24). A little laptop with big ambitions. The Wall Street Journal, p. A1. The World Factbook. (2019). Washington, DC: Central Intelligence Agency. UNICEF. (2007). UNICEF annual report 2007 . UNICEF. UNICEF. (2018). UNICEF annual report 2018. UNICEF. Urey, G. (1995). Telecommunications and global capitalism. In B. Mody, J. M. Bauer, & J. D. Straubhaar (Eds.), Telecommunications politics: Ownership and control of the information highway in developing countries (pp. 53–83). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Inc. Vota, W., Derndorfer, C., & Berry, B. (2009, March). One laptop per child overview: The status of OLPC and its iconic xo-1 laptop in 2009. OLPC News. Wokocha, A. M. (1991). The national primary education commission (Decree No. 31, 1988) and qualitative primary education in Nigeria. In B. G. Nworgu & B. C. Emenogu (Eds.), The Nigerian primary education system: Trends, issues, and strategies for improvement (pp. 50–59). Onitsha, Nigeria: Etukokwu Publishers, Ltd.

CHAPTER 7

Ezumah Model for Effective Planning and Implementation of (Digital) Educational Technology

In this chapter, I present a framework that was informed by data collected in two studies conducted in Nigeria and Ghana. The model—Ezumah’s Model —is a pictograph that depicts a step-by-step process of what is expected to represent a joint effort of educationists, budget analysts, teachers, parents, community leaders, policymakers, government officials and technology experts. The ultimate overseer of this participatory process is the education department but decisions will be made with inputs derived from grassroots personnel such as parents, teachers, educationists, and to some extent, students too. Once this is in place, it would serve as a yardstick for measuring any proposed initiative whether local or foreign. This model was informed by many years of research and evaluation in educational technology transfer from the global North to the global South and homegrown initiatives. Arguably, adopting any large-scale technology involves a substantial amount of money, talent, time, and energy, and can pose a militating factor to the budget of any developing country. The only African country with large deployment and sustained use of the XO laptop, Rwanda, has

This model was published earlier with IGI Global publishers. It is presented here with proper permission. © The Author(s) 2020 B. A. Ezumah, Critical Perspectives of Educational Technology in Africa, Digital Education and Learning, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-53728-9_7

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spent over $60 million US Dollars and has only deployed computers to 466 schools out of a total of 2,711 and that is only 17% of the total number of schools in the category to be deployed. Details of a 2016 evaluation on Rwanda project conducted by Adam and Cruickshank is provided in subsequent pages. The findings of the 2010 research indicate that to get the One Laptop Per Child project off the ground and running for the first-year, Ghana would spend about 5.4% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Meanwhile, at the time of data collection (2009) Ghana allocated 5.6% (3.62% most recent figure—2017) and Nigeria 5.2% (3.5% most recent figure—2017) of their GDP to the entire education sector, comprising of primary, secondary, vocational, and tertiary schools, including salaries and remunerations for staff. In light of this reality, this study draws greatly from the omissions and oversight of vital issues in the planning and implementation processes of the OLPC projects in Accra and Abuja. The model proposes a careful and extended evaluation of any new program prior to large-scale rollout. Such evaluation was lacking in many cases cited in Chapter 6, especially the OLPC projects that were introduced in Nigeria and Ghana according to findings from the 2010 research. Research question number three (RQ3) inquired on the scope and nature of the implementation process of the projects in Nigeria and Ghana.

What Are the Scope and Nature of the Implementation Process of the OLPC Projects in Nigeria and Ghana? Data collected address the criteria for choosing Nigeria and Ghana and Galadima and Kanda in particular. Additionally, it provided information on the pros and cons of the implementation process, such as training, technical support, integration of the laptop in classrooms, continuous assistance and training, one-to-one solution. Other themes which have been reoccuring all through the volume include: Choice of Sites Was a Joint Decision The OLPC experts were unable to provide criteria for choosing Nigeria and Ghana for the pilot, but the choice of Galadima and Kanda primary schools was a joint effort of the OLPC Foundation and its local staff.

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OLPC provided criteria for the site; its intended target was a rural area that is hard to reach, without electricity or with sporadic electricity supply and the student population must be elementary school pupils who have not sampled technology. According to EXPN1, they considered these characteristics but added one more characteristic—a school that could be accessed in the shortest time possible considering the budget with which they were working. In Ghana, one other component was added as well; EXPG1 explained that they decided to choose two schools located in urban and rural communities for easier comparison. The Kanda V School and Bonsaso Primary School met those criteria for urban and rural location, respectively. Training Lacked Longevity and Depth According to respondents, there was no official training for the OLPC local staff who conducted the OLPC project in Nigeria. But 10–12 Ghanaians traveled to Boston, Massachusetts for one week for training although experts criticized this trip especially with regards to those selected for the training. EXPG4 stated that the Boston trip involved mainly technical staff and none of them were able to train teachers in terms of how to integrate technology. She added that the training process should have been continuous instead of a one week program that barely introduced teachers and students to the use of the XO laptop. Further she opines, “there could have been a refresher … some interim refresher courses… and I don’t think that that was addressed properly.” Another criticism was voiced by EXPG7, who was astonished at the number of people selected for the Boston trip and similar to EXPG4, he questioned the individuals selected for the trip. He states “I think 10 or so people went, but they didn’t seem to me to be the ones who are going to come back and give the training.” He notes that the trip could be compared to a leisure trip by the senior executives of the Ghana OLPC Foundation. Nigeria’s case was not much different; teacher training in Nigeria lasted for only few hours per day and for a total of one week. This was done simultaneously with student training because the project was considered a tool to enable a constructionist pedagogy whereby the student steers the wheel of learning while the teacher watches and intervenes sparingly when necessary. EXPN1 states that the OLPC instructions were succinct, “distribute the laptops to the children and show them, point them in the

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direction, because they were following the constructionist approach.” He added that “basically we monitored them and, you know, stood there to give them technical support so that we could integrate the laptop into their daily use in class.” Similarly, Ghanaian teacher training lasted for one week for three hours per day. EXPG5 explains that the training was provided to only three teachers; the head teacher and the teachers of the particular grade who received the XOs. The disadvantage, she points out, is that other teachers do not know how to operate the XO and as each year progresses, the Primary 4 students move to a new class and their new teacher neither owned an XO nor aware of how to use it. Most of the students indicated they were unable to use many of the programs because they did not know exactly what they were and no one taught them how to use the programs. GS9 wore, “one thing I don’t like about the XO is that I don’t know many things in it. And I want you to load something nice on it so that I can learn many things.” Inadequate Technical Support There was a conflicting opinion on the provision of technical support especially among students at both schools. Some students indicate that the OLPC staff provided technical support and in fact wrote the names of the individuals that helped them repair their XO laptops. Others, however, stated that their teachers, friends, and parents provided technical support when they experienced some difficulties with their laptops. Still others indicated that no one was able to help them and as such their XO laptops are currently not functional (at the time of the study). This conflicting report was triangulated with responses from Experts and unfortunately, their responses also disputed one another. Another impact of the project according to OLPC staff was that the XO helped students acquire technical computer skills. EXPOLPC1 noted, the students fixed the laptop problems themselves and considered this a bonus to the OLPC project because it instilled technical and programming skills in children. He proudly narrates that at Galadima School, the pupils invented an Igbo (local language) dictionary because they were using the XO to type in Igbo but the English spell check function was not applicable; since the program is an open courseware, the pupils wrote an Igbo language dictionary. He adds, “so again the kids solved the problem and they learned that they could solve problems. So that latter lesson is

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really important.” EXPN1 also confirmed that students were taught how to fix the keyboard problems and that staff was always available at the Galadima School to provide support as needed. He continued, the major problem was having a power supply to charge the batteries, and, most of the batteries were defective. Several editions of the batteries were tried and replaced until a better version was developed. OLPC provided solar cells, but the panel was not working at full capacity and it was complicated for the staff to maneuver. In essence, the batteries were charged with portable and fuel-powered generators at homes and in school. Improper Technology Integration Several accounts including those of the EXOLPC1 demonstrate that both projects failed to provide a structured guideline for proper technology integration in classrooms. The OLPC expert acknowledges that merely providing laptops without adequate logistics on how to properly integrate it into learning is almost worthless. He explained that lack of structure and trivialization of teacher’s role posed serious contention among OLPC staff. Some staff advocated for incorporating the teachers while others refused to acknowledge the need for the teacher to mediate the use of the XO. In another instance, some staff members questioned the lack of structure in providing a systematic framework for implementing the program, while others promote the idea of simply deploying the laptops to students and allowing them to use the equipment as they see fit. The integration of the XO into daily learning in classrooms garnered several varied opinions as well. EXPN3 shares some instances where the XO was integrated into classroom activities. She recalled that learning by exploratory activities enabled the Galadima students to draw and paint the map of Nigeria in their XOs. However, she also concurred with EXOLPC1 that the project should have been structured better instead of the chaotic implementation process. Likewise, EXPG5 noted that the XO increased students’ love for learning at Kanda V School. She shared her experience on how students used the XO for various activities especially for calculations, drawing, composition, and most of all, for exploring their talents and boosting their morale. EXPG5 boasts, and you know one funny thing. We were here with two young men from the U.S. that I think [they] were the producers of the XO. They came ‘round to see how the children were using it, and a boy had done some

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artwork. And the White man said, You know, I cannot even do this. And I say, Yeah, but my P4 child is able to do it! And I was very proud.

Initial Negotiations Excluded Educational Authorities Respondents generally provided an unfavorable report on the planning of both projects. Several experts commented on the incongruity of OLPC Foundation, claiming that the XO project is an educational project; yet, they sought first, the approval of the President and Finance Minister of Ghana and the President of Nigeria instead of approaching the Education Department. Other criticisms were lack of focused objective, lack of clarity on what is in the XO and what the actual cost would be. EXPG4 notes “the push for this was not from the Ministry of Education. Rather it came from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning. And I think it’s interesting because when you look at other case studies with OLPC, the negotiation is never usually done with the Ministry of Education, but another ministry.” Similarly, EXPN2 explains that the initial negotiations were conducted between the OLPC founder, Negroponte and the then Nigerian President, Obasanjo. Upon receiving the approval of the president, OLPC proceeded to contact a Nigerian technology company to oversee the pilot project. The Nigerian Education Ministry was involved after the school was selected, informed about the project, and the XO was shipped for deployment. Support of XO Fueled by Political Ulterior Motive The planning and implementation phase was described as impulsive and was emotionally induced due to the sudden death of the Ghanaian Minister of Finance (Baah-Wiredu) who, together with the president, were staunch proponents of the OLPC project. Also, the decision to engage in the XO project was a political prop for the election year. EXPG7 explains, President Kufuor placed the order of 100,000 laptops out of emotional exuberance and impulsive reaction at the sudden death of his Minister of Finance, Baah-Wiredu. Just by chance, the president was in a meeting with Negroponte when he received the news of the fatal car accident of Minister Baah-Wiredu, President Kufuor impulsively dedicated the order of 100,000 laptops to Baah-Wiredu’s memory.

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Due to the fact that the decision to engage in the XO-laptop project was impetuous, the Ministry of Education, Technology and Sports and the Finance Ministry purposely delayed the payment and finalization of the mass order because there was no establishment of evidence that the pilot was successful. EXPG1 further explains that the decision to quietly ignore the 100,000 laptop order was also due to an already existing and underlying political conflict. He explains that prior to the OLPC personnel’s visit to Ghana, the Ghanaian Ministry of Education had conducted a thorough re-evaluation of the education system as mandated by the President and had decided to introduce ICT as a subject at all levels of education in Ghana. The Ministry presented a budget for establishing computer laboratories in schools but federal government dismissed the idea based on the fact that the budget was expensive. However, to demonstrate how African nations have bought into the development theory that Western products are better and superior, EXPG1 added, “a few years later, OLPC came up with the XO idea and the Federal Government jumped at it because it was a Western idea and was considered to be better than the Ministry of Education’s plan although the cost was far higher than the ministry’s budget.”

Reasons for Project Disruption and Discontinuation Research question 4 asked: From the perspective of the users and participants who were directly involved in the planning and implementation of the XO-laptop project, what led to the discontinuation and interruption of the OLPC projects in Nigeria and Ghana? The status of the Galadima School project at the time of study was “closed” and the status of the Kanda V School was “dormant.” However, other OLPC projects were ongoing in Nigeria and Ghana. The OLPC Foundation approached several states in Nigeria through the Nigerian youths who were engaged in the OLPCorps to establish three more projects under the OLPCorps program. Also in Ghana, the 1,000 laptops were distributed to schools in several regions of the country in late 2009. It is still uncertain what the Ghanaian government plans to do with the remaining 9,000 laptops. EXPG6 states that a re-evaluation of the entire procurement must be completed prior to new shipment.

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Lack of Needs Assessment and Inclusion of Local Experts Was a Factor for Discontinuation Overall, the respondents assert that the major cause of failure for both projects was that OLPC Foundation did not conduct needs assessment and assessment of educational operations in Nigeria and Ghana. EXPN3 avers that the Galadima project was not discontinued; rather, the duration of the pilot elapsed. She adds that the major goal of the project was to test the laptop to discover what errors might be found. EXPN1 holds a dissenting opinion; he believes that if the pilot had taken a due process and ended as implied, there should have been a comprehensive assessment report and the report might enlighten the incoming government to act on the 1 million XO laptops that the outgoing president (Obasanjo) had already ordered. Moreover, EXPN1 indicates that the LEA Galadima project ended abruptly and even parents, teachers, and students were not informed why the laptops were taken away. Later, this lack of information caused parents to accuse the principal of selling the laptops to make money. The Political Conflict Was Another Factor EXPOLPC1 opines that the major cause of the project’s discontinuation in Abuja was that the school system is a large bureaucracy that was not ready to make any changes especially with the introduction of constructionist approach because they are already comfortable with the current system and OLPC could not convince them to change. He pointed out that Galadima School is within a school system that is the secondlargest bureaucracy in the country and adds “large bureaucracies don’t change very readily or very rapidly. They have a lot of inertia, and so to make change, you need to have a very compelling story, a narrative.” Unfortunately, OLPC has narrative but not a compelling one. As EXPN1 observed, competition from other well-established companies who have successfully implemented their projects elsewhere led the Nigerian government to change to Classmate computers and abandon the OLPC XO laptops.

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Lack of Transparency in the OLPC Operation Was Equally Another Problem Participants complained that the OLPC project provided ambiguous information during the initial negotiations. At first, the project was presented as a philanthropic and altruistic initiative “providing the world’s poorest children with computers that will enhance their education” (OLPC.org). Experts complained that such a jingle made the foundation seem like a philanthropic endeavor. Again, EXPG4 recommends that OLPC needs to be very clear on what they provide, and whether or not those services will be free or paid for, including the pilot projects. She also does not believe entirely on the non-profit status of OLPC. She stated “at the end of the day, even though they call themselves a foundation, they have a profit…they have a profit margin in mind and there’s nothing wrong with it. I mean there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, but don’t try to present that it isn’t; and don’t try to call it by a different name.” Lack of Empirical Study to Support some OLPC Claims Was Contributory to the Discontinuation While Nigeria’s and Ghana’s new governments decided to wait for proof that the XO is an effective tool, EXPOLPC1 feels that such empirical studies should not emanate from OLPC, but from third parties. He advised, “in fact, I think it’s inappropriate for OLPC to do the evaluations. I think the evaluations should be done by third parties, because if they’re done by OLPC they’re by definition prejudiced.” When asked about the significance of the OLPC pilot projects and the necessity for OLPC to have at least an initial evaluation that can back up their claim, EXPOLPC1 states that such proof already exists and so cited previous experiments conducted in the 1960s and 1980s on the use of technology in learning including the LOGO experiment by Seymour Papert. We’d been doing experiments with technology, and learning, and constructionism for 40 years, and we’ve got a wealth of reports and studies on that. So in some sense one of the things that OLPC didn’t do was to repeat those studies because they were sort of … we weren’t sort of inventing something new in terms of pedagogy. We were saying here’s a well-established pedagogy. You might not like it, but here’s a well-established pedagogy (EXPOLPC1).

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EXPN2, however, disagrees with the OLPC’s continuous citation of a previously conducted study in a different part of the world. He frowns on the idea of a one-size-fits-all model for the transfer of the OLPC product. He chastizes that OLPC demonstrated cultural distancing by blanketing the educational problems of the people of Ghana and Nigeria under the guise that both countries’ problems and possible solutions are similar. OLPC further assumes, EXPN2 continues, that Nigeria and Ghana possess enough monetary means to invest in the expensive XO laptop. Lawsuit by the Nigerian-Owned LANCOR Company Was Believed to Have an Effect as Well Another factor that contributed to the abrupt suspension of the LEA Galadima School project was a multi-million dollar lawsuit against OLPC Foundation by a Nigerian company. The lawsuit claimed that OLPC infringed upon the rights of a keyboard layout that the Nigerian company has copyrighted. When probed further, Nigerian participants as well as the OLPC experts were unable to provide more information on the status of the lawsuit. Successive Government Questioned OLPC Legitimacy The timing of the OLPC project negotiations in Nigeria and Ghana contributed to its suspension. Unfortunately, both negotiations occurred toward the end of the presidential terms in both Nigeria and Ghana as noted by EXPG2. The incumbent presidents at the time of the negotiations were staunch proponents of the OLPC so much so that Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo placed an order of 1million XO laptops without the approval of his Education Minister. Similarly, the Ghanaian President Kufuor ordered 10,000 laptops for Ghana and without any report on the assessment of the pilot project, and ordered the Finance Minister to remit the balance to OLPC Foundation. EXPG1 explained that the XO laptop project was used as a “campaign prop” for Ghana; that it was one of the major promises that President Kufuor made to parents and the Ghanaian citizens that he must make sure every Ghanaian elementary school pupil owns an XO laptop computer. According to EXPG4, “it was not up to the Education Ministry to decide; the project was already announced and subsequent orders placed, so it was already in the public

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media. So people were not necessarily listening to what needed to be considered, but were pushing ahead with what they thought needed to be done.” But the Finance Ministers in both countries delayed the payment because EXPG4 continued “the more legwork that was done, the more the Ministry of Education realized that it just could not afford it.” Unfortunately, the successors of both President Obasanjo and President Kufuor were not as excited about the project as their predecessors. Competition from Intel Classmate Posed a Problem Another factor that emerged in the discontinuation of the LEA Galadima project was competition from several other technology companies. Unfortunately for OLPC, and according to participants, these companies more established and provided equipment loaded with better content. For example, Intel introduced Classmate, a laptop that is geared toward the secondary school population in Nigeria. The Classmate project seems to be thriving and EXPN1 adds that “they were able to convince the government that their solution had been tested, while OLPC was actually developing something.” He also thinks Nigeria was impatient with OLPC. The Ezumah Module for Education Diffusion in Low Income Communities This module was drawn from the hermeneutic or interpretive and critical paradigms used for my methodology. It represents and promotes intersubjective opinions from all stakeholders involved in making a decision for adoption of any educational technology. Recognizing the contribution of stakeholders in defining their nature of reality (ontology) and participating in the process of discovering how that reality is lived (epistemology), were central aspects of the module. The ultimate goal is (praxis) which is reflected in a more effective designing, adopting, and implementing educational technology in low-income communities. It is expected to contribute to some form of social change in how new technologies are introduced into education within developing nations (Fig. 7.1).

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Proposed Educaonal Technology Needs Assessment

Congruity with Educaon Department expectaons

Feasibility (Cost and Sustenance)

Provision of, and compability with localized content

Small-scale Pilot (Collaborave effort of local experts and stakeholder)

Assessment

Successful

Unsuccessful

Large-scale Pilot

Reject

Assessment

Unsuccessful

Successful

Reject

Adopt

Fig. 7.1 Ezumah model for planning and implementing new educational technology in low-income communities

Explanation of the Model It is imperative for each entity—country, local and state governments, schools, etc., to carefully define their expectations of any educational technology and to have an established educational goal for each level of formal education. Such would include first, an extensive assessment of educational need as it pertains to the country and region in question, what role technology would play in solving those needs, the expected features of such equipment, the expected fraction of overall education funding to be allocated to its deployment and sustenance, the extent to which teachers

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will be involved in the process, the ownership of the equipment and other pertinent factors. This step is expected to represent a joint effort of educationists, budget analysts, teachers, parents, community leaders, and technology experts. The ultimate overseer of the process is the education department but decisions will be made with input derived from grassroots personnel such as parents, teachers, educationists, and in some cases, students too. Once this is in place, it would serve as a yardstick to measure any proposed initiative whether local or foreign. The first step of the model indicates a “proposed educational technology” and it represents any untested project that a company or government is recommending for use in schools. Such project should be evaluated and determined to what extent it aligns with the expectations already established. Three major yardsticks to measure its congruity include expected outcome, means of acquisition and sustenance, and provision of/and its compatibility with local contents especially the curricula. Contingent upon the congruity of the proposed project to the established objectives, a country, or community planning for the adoption should negotiate for a small-scale pilot first and the project should be assessed at the end of a reasonable time. If the assessment at this smallscale yields an unsuccessful pilot, the project should be discontinued. This stage will draw heavily on the contributions of teachers and students as well as local experts, and upon a successful assessment, a larger-scale pilot should be conducted to ascertain whether such success is consistent. Meanwhile, the cost for these pilots should be a joint responsibility of the technology innovators and the country or on a term mutually agreed upon by both parties. The next step would be an evaluation of the largescale pilot and again, a successful outcome should lead to adoption; and non-adoption if the result proved otherwise. Some of the proposed steps have been employed by Nepal and Rwanda in their adoption of the XO laptop; although Nepal is still in its introductory phase at the time of the study but they are moving in the right direction. This model could inform future decisions based on the outcome of the pilot project.

Needs Assessment Cannot Be Over-Emphasized Needs assessment is only a segment of the evaluation the planning process for the introduction of a technological innovation. In selecting or initiating any new technology for education it is preferable for an innovation to be designed by the schools or region where it will be implemented.

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The audience has the best knowledge of its problems, and is able to suggest ways to solve those problems and to pose question that will evoke discussions capable of honing the technology. Nicholls (1983) listed some questions that can guide needs assessment process of any innovation include, Why are we considering innovating? What is the problem, are we clear about our needs? What are its aims and objectives, stated or implied? Are they compatible with those of the school or department? Does it demand knowledge/skills that teachers who will be involved do not have? If so, can the knowledge/skills be acquired? How? Where? In what ways might this innovation be better than what we are doing now? Is there any evidence available? Is the evidence relevant to our situation? (p. 80)

These questions and others will help in ascertaining the need for technology and the process through which it can be obtained. Involving potential users in the needs assessment process is cost effective. The feedback ensures user interest and establishes user-input and ideas at the onset and will help avoid the costs involved in significant changes later on. The paragraphs following provide two examples of somewhat best practices using Nepal and Rwanda.

Nepal OLPC Project: An Example Nepal is among the few countries (if not the only country) that insisted on conducting a substantive assessment prior to full-scale deployment of the XO computer projects in its elementary schools. The most daunting educational challenge for Nepal is poor quality of public education and disparity in access to quality education (Bhatta 2008) which compelled Nepal to test solving these problems with the XO laptop. Unlike several countries including Peru, Uruguay, Mexico, Ghana, that engaged in large-scale distribution without extensive assessment, Nepal is engaging in a small-scale pilot project that the Nepalese education ministry is monitoring closely. In addition to collaborating with a non-governmental open learning organization—Sajha Sikchya Epaati, works on digital content development with a clear focus on the two subjects students found most difficult—English and Mathematics. Two schools in Makawanpur and Mustang districts were selected to serve as sites for the pilot and laptops were distributed to students in grades 2 and 6 of both schools. Nepal’s

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OLPC website (known as OLE Nepal) listed three distinct approaches to its pilot project—teacher training, network infrastructure building, and capacity building. The core team of directors includes local experts; the education director, director of government affairs, finance manager, senior engineer, curriculum specialist, content design coordinator, and the program manager (OLE Nepal). Open Learning Exchange (OLE) was formed in 2007 as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) by a group of activists. They took over the project and propelled it to higher heights providing over 6,000 laptops (e-paatis) to 150 schools. OLE has also incorporated other wonderful educational technologies including epustakalaya which provides both offline and online users the access to over 8,000 e-books and over 1,000 interactive lessons (Pyakurel, 2018). Realizing the enormous success and impact of OLE, the Nepalese government has stepped in by providing financial support to this thriving home-grown educational technology. Nepal stands as an example for other developing countries to follow in planning and implementing educational technology.

The OLPC Rwanda---Surviving and Thriving? Unlike many OLPC projects in Africa, including the Nigeria and Ghana pilots, the Rwandan government initiated the connection and contacted the OLPC Corporation for laptop deployment. Adam, Haßler, and Cruickshank (2016) conducted an evaluation of the project which at the time of their study in 2015 Rwanda had deployed 210,000 laptops to 466 schools. Rwanda spent an estimated $60 Million US Dollars so far; the schools covered is only 17% of total possible schools—2711 schools. Judging from the evaluation, there were several successes or what the scholars referred to as the enabling factors. These factors were fueled by the interest and proposal from the Rwandan government as the officials ensured the success of the project. In addition, given that Rwanda made the initial contact, they had conducted assessment of needs and had several required infrastructures such as electricity and building facilities in place, this made the deployment process more organized than in many other African countries. With the involvement of the education ministry provisions for local content such as the Rwanda curriculum and cultural and familiar icons were used in creating the digitized contents. Even with the recorded success of the Rwanda OLPC project, several shortcomings abound. Adam, et al., indicated that success is measured

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by quantity as opposed to quality and many have questioned whether spending such an exorbitant amount on equipment that does not replace textbooks is a wise decision. Also, proper integration of the project has not been fully realized due to strained communication between the Teacher Education management office and the curriculum and this makes it difficult to collaborate on the best ways to help teachers implement the device in classrooms. As has been the case with almost all education technology adoption, teacher training, and professional development is very minimal, as is the provision of technical support. Adam and Cruickshank noted that 14 Trainers were deployed for 466 schools and this translates to one staff per 33 schools. Even though the Nepal and Rwanda projects are not archetypal, but a little planning has gone a long way to providing a solid ground for growth and relatively sustainable project. They also can boast of a vision for the program. The African continent is diverse and so are its problems and proffered solutions; a one-size-fits-all model will be too presumptuous, if not utopian. The model provided in this volume is, categorically, a template and not a mandate that has to be applied verbatim. The model also is not in any way considered a panacea but a starting point toward incorporating a participatory action solution. It is, however, informed and grounded in the reality and realization of the most intrinsic attributes of Africa and her history, Africans, school systems, and the role educational technologies could play, if effectively planned and deployed, in ameliorating myriads of challenges facing the continent.

References Adam, T., Haßler, B., & Cruickshank, H. (2016). One laptop per child Rwanda: Enabling factors and barriers. In Empowering the 21st century learner (pp. 184–195). Pretoria: African Academic Research Forum. Bhatta, S. D. (2008). Tackling the problems of quality and disparity in Nepal’s school education: The OLPC model. Studies in Nepali History and Society, 13(1), 17–48. Nicholls, A. (1983). Managing education innovations. Boston, MA: George Allen & Unwin. Pyakurel, D. (2018, August 23). One laptop per child: How an NGO adopted govt brainchild to educate rural kids. OnlineKhabar, Retrieved, August 4, 2020 from https://english.onlinekhabar.com/e-paati-ngo-adopts-govern ments-brainchildto-transform-nepals-education.html.

CHAPTER 8

Conclusion

I was working on the final preparations of this manuscript in the middle of COVID-19 pandemic, precisely between the end of March and the beginning of April of 2020. This unprecedented and infamous contagion disrupted every facet of life including of course, the education sector. Interestingly and unplanned as it may be, I found myself “stranded” in the epicenter of the pandemic in New York State in a situation whereby, a one week Spring Break trip turned into a three-month sojourn. I spent the time taking care of business as a professor and graduate program coordinator with numerous virtual meetings, lecturing, advising, grading, and planning a new online graduate program, in addition to other family engagements and responsibilities. Amidst the chaos and uncertainties, learning was not interrupted, all education levels in the United States and in many other developed countries were conducting teaching and learning but in a different format. Even though campuses were closed, schools and universities remained open. I have nieces and nephews in both elementary and high schools—they continued with the planned curriculum—maintaining a schedule, videoconferencing with their teachers and fellow students, completing their assigned work, taking tests, and keeping up with the planned schedule only in a different version—a digitized virtual form. Similarly, in developing countries, several high quality and affluent schools experienced uninterrupted learning through television and radio programs and lectures via school websites and social media. © The Author(s) 2020 B. A. Ezumah, Critical Perspectives of Educational Technology in Africa, Digital Education and Learning, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-53728-9_8

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But then, several challenges abound especially for students who were unable to seamlessly transition online to continue learning. The greatest challenge was an absolute lack of resources to engage in any form of official learning relating to the curriculum; students in this category simply stopped interaction and had no form of instruction with their teachers because it was absolutely impossible to do so. Another level comprised of students who had limited access to learning. This happened in several layers—watching educational programing from public television or listening to educational programming on radio. Others were able to log onto the school websites to download or copy assignments posted by their teachers and completed the assignment, then wait for an opportunity to send them to teachers or wait for their teachers to post the answers online. In some cases, the assignments were not even graded and students received no feedback. Other students engaged in some level of interactivity albeit asynchronously, whereby professor (this is mostly in higher education sector) taped lectures and posted them on class group Whatsapp page for students to watch/listen and engage in chat or discussion via the same mode—Whatsapp. Even in situations where teachers or professors were able to engage students in some form of learning, other extenuating factors mitigated learning. Those factors include lack of electricity or power, lack of Internet connection, lack of conducive environment for learning since some students share a one bedroom apartment with a family of five or even seven. There are also other extreme cases such as Kenya with the decision for schools to remain closed until 2021; subsequently, students will lose one academic year. As I review my manuscript conscious of this reality, I began to think about my subjects of focus—elementary and high school students in lowincome, rural sections of Sub-Saharan Africa. I placed a few telephone calls to colleagues who are educators at primary, secondary, and tertiary levels in several countries in Africa, just to gauge their pulse and gather some unofficial data regarding teaching and learning in COVID-19 era. The results were exactly what I had envisaged—the high quality affluent schools continued with e-learning at home, while the mid-range socioeconomic status schools had some level of learning but definitely not with a synchronous interactivity but receiving a list of assigned work, completing them and some students will have a means of getting it to their teachers while others did not. The third category is my main focus—students who, even though their public media systems—radio and television—still these students were unable to benefit from such service

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because they had no access to radio and television, or they had no electricity, or other source of energy/power to access the programming. Sadly, many of these students or pupils share textbooks; and with the trend of social distancing were unable to visit a classmate to even review the materials. Also, some students because they share a textbook, can only use the books while in school. But with the shutdown, schools are closed; apparently, so is learning. I began to question the wisdom in proposing a universal education technology. I also began to conjure the best technology that can augment teaching and learning for such population. Also, I wondered the best way we (scholars, educators, parents, policymakers, multilateral/international organizations) could serve this population. Despite the quest for digitization so as to be at par with developed countries, it was clear that to some people, it was impossible for teachers and students to continue teaching and learning in the only alternate mode that COVID-19 allowed—online (digital). African nations are yet to attain the level of digitized learning; and so should not adopt verbatim the development goals as set by multilateral organizations but should adapt first and then adopt as congruent. Amidst the crisis and epidemic of COVID-19, has emerged a reality that illustrated the strengths and weaknesses of each region, nation state and local community as evidenced in how they responded to, and managed life during the crisis. The disparity in access and digital divide is obvious in education sector—while developed nations with all necessary ancillary support for a digital pedagogical mode seamlessly transitioned online and kept to their schedule, several African schools including the tertiary institutions halted their official teaching and learning activities. This reality evokes the following questions and thoughts. Is Africa ready for a fully digitized learning environment in the elementary and secondary sectors for all children irrespective of their geographic location? To what extent and at what scope and parameter can African elementary and secondary schools effectively and feasibly implement the universally attributed development goals especially the goals focusing on educational technology? How can African nations and multilateral institutions cater to, and incorporate the low-income communities in the universal declaration of development and sustainable goals? The contributions of this volume and the central arguments for this volume can be simply summarized thus:

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• Technology is not synonymous with digitized devices; any artifact, idea, concept, employed in solving a problem or improving a situation is technology. • Educational technology should not be regarded as digital only; Analog technologies are equally effective. • There is urgent need for reorientation and reframing of the dominant narrative that promotes digital technology in all schools even among the schools that are yet to afford the basic needs such as pencils, pens, desks, and sanitary resources. • Educational technological initiatives in low-income communities or Africa in particular, especially those designed and packaged in Western countries should be thoroughly evaluated before implementation. Such implementation should invoke a participatory action model involving all stakeholders using the proposed model or a variation of it. • Cultural concepts are imperative and should constitute a central argument in the design and implementation together with proper teacher training.

Self-Reflexivity on Educational Technology This volume, to a greater degree has catered to leveraging analog technology in improving teaching and learning among low income communities. Equally, it has catered to revisiting cultural peculiarities of a given region to ascertain to what extent the education being delivered, serve the social and economic development and prepares graduates for the workforce. And so seemingly, the digital educational technology was almost relegated to the back burner and was not promoted as such. It therefore, behooves this volume to equally discuss my perception and engagement with implementation of digital educational technology. I am not advocating for a regression to a stone-age because for full disclosure, and self-reflexivity, I am immersed with digital technology and learning. I am an avid proponent of digital educational technology and I use educational technology heavily in my teaching. I practice constructivist pedagogical approach with experiential learning and application of concepts. In fact, interactivity constitutes the centrality of my teaching; and often, I assign as large as 15% of final grades/overall or cumulative points to active participation. Constructivism and digital technology make learning

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exciting. I have tried various digital learning approaches, flipped classrooms whereby I record lectures for students to watch and the class meeting time is used for meaningful discussions, I have employed experiential learning through concept application, role-play, etc., and I have used discussion boards in online teaching both synchronously and asynchronously. All these are proven strategies that instill creativity, increase critical thinking skills, and impact overall teaching and learning. But then, the above strategies work for the population and the region with whom I work. The students can afford the equipment and teachers receive extensive and frequent training to effectively implement such learning tools and strategies. However, this is not feasible universally. Given that a plethora of books are dedicated to showcasing and promoting digital technology and the empirical data supporting the impact of technology in the scholarship of teaching and learning, this volume advocates for, and focuses on that forgotten percentile to whom digital educational technology is impossible. It should be noted that elementary and secondary schools in Africa and worldwide run along a continuum from the very basic arrangement where teaching and learning are conducted under a tree, to a state-of-theart affluent options; therefore, global policies on education and education reformation should consider these nuances. The major corollary to this central argument is the need for a conscious reframe of the narrative of education technology, highlighting the epistemic nuances that validated analog technologies as equally capable of achieving the goals whether global or local, if the technologies in question are leveraged efficiently, even in rural communities. This work by no means subscribes to victimhood or a victimized population that lacks agency whereby Western companies or multilateral institutions compel Africans to adopt educational technology under duress. But, it should equally be known that a certain mentality exists whereby Western products are considered superior to home-grown products in Africa—the example of choosing OLPC Ghana over a computer laboratory option suggested the Ghanaian education ministry is an example. Additionally, suggestions from international organizations are often perceived as ultimate solution to many problems. So, while international or multilateral organizations continue to issue policies on education and developmental and sustainable goals in general, those policies should be considered as templates and suggestions and not mandates in and of themselves. Therefore, those suggestions and prescriptions should be

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adopted and implemented as needed and not wholesale. Also, I would like to further emphasize that while positive impact of educational technology abound even in empirical data, any technology bereft of local content or consideration and which fails to align with local curricula becomes a distraction and a deterrent to achieving the goals of education. Other final thoughts must highlight proper training in terms of teacher professional development efforts as inevitable for a successful adoption of any new program both software and hardware. This reality is universal even for the digitally-savvy nations. As such lack of proper training for a new program will always produce a chaotic outcome. A most recent example of such disaster is the 2020 Democratic Iowa Caucus which recorded the most chaotic procedure and a very unusable result which came out over a month after the Caucus. Experts noted that the Iowa Caucus flopped due to newly introduced technology and subsequent lack of proper training of staff—and this is for the First World, and a developed country with established technology advancement. Epstein, Ember, Gabriel, and Baker (2020) of the New York Times reported: The fragile edifice of the caucuses, which demoralized Democrats in search of a strong nominee to take on President Donald Trump, crumbled under the weight of technology flops, lapses in planning, failed oversight by party officials, poor training, and a breakdown in communication between paid party leaders and volunteers out in the field, who had devoted themselves for months to the nation’s first nominating contest. (Par. 10)

Even in a developed, digitized society, lack of training or proper training for a new technology has proven to be disastrous. New York Times Reporters, Leatherby, Gamio, and Collins (2020) provided a list of what went wrong with the Iowa Caucuses and the top four included: the app was not adequately tested, the volunteers were unfamiliar with the new system, the app did not work for everyone, and thus submitting results was more complicated than usual. The impact of ICTs in education improvement is incontrovertible. This has been documented in terms of boosting zeal and enthusiasm, enhancing creativity, problem solving and providing alternative ways of handing teaching as well as materials. ICT cannot improve poor teachers or poor pedagogy or curriculum. On the contrary, it exposes such. For good teachers and teacher training will address the best ways of incorporating ICT. So, decision-making stakeholders should not focus on just

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securing the best ICTs but to improve teachers’ skills and attend to other factors that could enhance the achievement of educational goals. The crusade then becomes a call for multilateral organizations, specifically the World Bank and UNESCO to reorient people to see the potential of other tools that could enhance pedagogy. UNESCO, other multilateral institutions, government agencies, etc. should launch a campaign of reorienting all stakeholders that ICT should not be considered only as including computer and the Internet. It is obvious that irrespective of technology deployment and penetration level, there still exists digital divide, the process of diffusion of innovation will always occur at several stages and at different pace. So, for the technology adoption, there will always be laggards, and that does not necessarily indicate learning is not occurring in their own level of diffusion—we simply need to use those forms of technology that suits their situations. Perhaps a more progressive and efficient perspective might be to refrain from comparative analysis between African countries especially the SubSaharan Africa and Western countries like the United States and others. In reviewing several studies, scholars have emphasized the disparity between African nations and the Western world lamenting on how African countries are left behind in the global arena of ICT in education. It is grossly incongruent to compare low-income or even no-income communities of subsistent farmers with affluent communities and berate the schools of not stepping up to the twenty-first-century standard. By no means am I making excuses or praising the status quo in Africa. However, the goal of this project is to unveil the nuances and lend new meaning to the term educational technology or Information and Communication Technology. All technologies do not necessarily have to be digital in order to be effective; in many cases, analog ICT and even technologies that lack the “C” (communication or interactivity) component in them can equally if not better serve low economic regions of the developing world. There is an urgent need to also consider textbooks, Radio, television, mobile telephony, any other technologies that do not necessarily have the 2.0 capabilities. In the same vein, it is grossly presumptuous to think that only digital technology is what is needed to tackle poverty and improve learning. Reviewing all works on how to effectively implement educational technology, the materials are the same. The cultural aspect of Africa is often ignored. We need to review theoretical foundations established by

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reputable educationists such as Piaget, Dewey, Bandura, etc. and how the environment shapes learning. Having addressed that, it is equally important to address culture in consonance with the argument of education. As such, it is difficult to sieve out African culture from the social framework and treat it as an isolated construct in this work.

Evaluation as Praxis Every formative assessment concludes with a call for action that aims at improving the project assessed. Therefore, this work calls for action to provide a public relations, marketing and rebranding strategy that will convoke reorientation on what it means to infuse technology in education especially at the rudimentary school level. Instead of painting broadly the goals and a quest of ICT4All, a fine brush that recognizes that to some, their most valued and anticipated technology could be access to a textbook and other basic educational needs should be used instead. To others however, it could be owning digital Tablets with uninterrupted Internet connection and a wealth of digitized contents for augmenting pedagogy. Therefore, UNESCO and governmental Agencies, both at the local and national levels,—are called to revise the narrative and acknowledge this diversity and so act accordingly for a desired goal and outcome. In defining what it means to “prepare our students to compete in a global arena,” globalization is good but becomes questionable when it means only Westernization and losing one’s identity to that of another in the quest to be able to compete in the global arena. The dominant assumption promotes, bringing technology/education to uneducated people; instead of bringing technology to people of different educational systems/methods and finding a balance through best ways to apply their educational system to the technology instead of better way to educate them—this latter statement renders the existing system invalid or ineffective. The caveat though is forcing the new technology into the already condemned system and hegemonically applying it. Meanwhile, there is a huge resistance from both the teachers/educators and then even more severe resistance from the system and environment in general. Instead of condemning it entirely, demonstration of similarities would probably help close the gap (between old and new) and not render the new experience entirely foreign.

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While this work presents a few cases as samples, its greatest contribution is providing a praxis-informed perspective through a critical framework that informs (re)evaluating ICT in primary and secondary education in Africa. It is hoped that future editions will provide countryspecific information given that Africa is not a monolithic society but very diverse on many fronts—political, educational systems, culture, and language.

References Epstein, R. J., Ember, S., Gabriel, T., & Baker, M. (2020, February 9). It was so much more than a bad app: Here’s how the Iowa caucuses disaster happened. The New York Times. Retrieved February 10, 2020 from https://www.nyt imes.com/2020/02/09/us/politics/iowa-democratic-caucuses.html?action= click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage. Leatherby, L., Gamio, L., & Collins, K. (2020, February 4). Here’s a list of everything that went wrong at the Iowa caucuses. Retrieved February 10, 2020 from https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/02/04/us/politics/iowademocratic-caucus-explained.html.

Index

A Accelerated Development Plan, 41 Adam, T., 164, 177 Africa, 52 African culture, education and technology, 61 indigenous education, 18 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals, 8 Ajayi, G.O., 49 Ajayi, J.F.A., 54 Allen-Brown, V., 57 Altinyelken, H., 95, 99, 100, 107 Anglophone Africa, 20 Assessment, 78, 154, 175

B Bernays, E.L., 56 Bible, 17 Boiling down the data, 138 Botswana, 24

Brazil, 82 Britain, 54 Brock-Utne, B., 3, 16, 18, 20, 21, 28, 94

C Cameroon, 24 Child-centered Pedagogy (CCP), 92 Chomsky, N., 56 Christianity, 16 Classmate, 173 Colonial era, 15 Colonialism, 7, 10, 15, 49, 52 Colonial times, 19 Colonists, 49, 54 Colonization, 54 Community planning, 175 Constructionism, 92, 95, 102, 103, 107, 158 Constructivist approach, 62 pedagogy, 101

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020 B. A. Ezumah, Critical Perspectives of Educational Technology in Africa, Digital Education and Learning, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-53728-9

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INDEX

COVID-19, 53, 179 Critical-cultural evaluation, 8 Critical-cultural perspective, 54 Cruickshank, H., 164, 177 Cultural distinctiveness, 60 Cultural imperialism, 54 Cultural imperialistic effect, 49 Culture, 2, 58 D Dartey Media, 115 Decade of Development, 51 2020 Democratic Iowa Caucus, 184 Design phase, 60 Developing countries, 52 Development theory, 50, 52 Diaspora, 50 Dominant paradigm, 52 of development, 50 Dowuona Hammond, A.J., 26 E Educational needs, 141 Educational programming, 180 Educational resources, 145 Educational technology, 2, 53, 59, 62, 75, 109 Educational technology adoption challenges of, 69 in Africa, 8 Education problems, in Ghana, 40 Education stakeholders, 96 Education system in Africa, 15 in Ghana, 39 in Nigeria, 33 Edutech, 3 Eduwise, 110 Electronic colonialism, 54 Electronic colonization, 55 Emancipation, 21, 59

Emperor Menelik II, 49 Engineering consent, 56 Epistemological assumptions, 59 Epistemology, 173 Equality tool, 158 Equatorial Guinea, 24 Eritrea, 25 Ethiopia, 49, 82 Evaluation, as Praxis, 160, 186 Evangelism, 10, 15, 54 Ezumah, B., 11, 92, 107 Ezumah, B.A., 76, 95, 106, 112 Ezumah Model , 2, 12, 163

F FD-Detector, 32 Feyissa, G., 49 Formal education, 15 Formative evaluation, 78 France, 54 Freire, P., 58 Funding, lack of, 143, 154

G Ghana, 56, 60, 163, 164, 176 education problems in, 40 education system in, 39 primary education structure in, 42 Ghana Education Act of 1961, 40 Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund), 43 Giroux, H.A., 58 Global South, 6 Goma, L.K.H., 54 Gramsci, A., 55 Grassroots personnel, 175

H Hegemony, 55, 56 Herman, E.S., 56

INDEX

High cost, 149, 154 History, 58

I iCut , 33 Ideology, 54 Igbo culture, 61 Implementation, 182 Implementation phase, 60 Indigenous customs, 55 Indigenous knowledge and culture, 54 Information and Communications Technology (ICT), 2, 3, 71, 185 Initiatives, 60 Intel Classmate, 12, 109 Intel Classmate PC, 110 Interviews, 137 Islam, 16 Italy, 54

J Johnson, G.A., 54 Jomtien Conference, 28

K Kanda V Primary School, 5, 128, 129 Key stakeholders, 100 Kone, H., 49 Koran, 17 Kufuor, John, 42

L LANCOR Company, 172 Language, 58 Language policies, African school systems, 23 Latin America, 52 LEA Galadima School, 4, 129 LEA Primary School Galadima, 129

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Learning outcome, 157 Lerner, D., 50 Lippmann, W., 56 Local curricula, 184 Local experts, 75, 170 Localization, 18 Localizing content, 150 Locht, Camille, 53 M Magic Bullet/Mass Society, 51 Manufacturing consent, 56 McLaren, P., 58 McPhail, T.L., 55 Meaning, Language, and Thought, 62 Megallan, 113 Megallan computers, 112 Melkote, S.R., 50, 52 Member check, 139 Memorization, 41 of materials, 15 Mexico, 176 Millennium development Goals (MDGs), 109 Mira, Jean-Paul, 53 Modernization, 50, 53 Mongolia, 83 N National debts, 28 National Policy on Education (NPE), 36 National Primary Education Commission (NPEC), 37 Needs assessment, 170, 175 Negroponte, Nicholas, 1, 106 Neo-colonialism, 54 Nepal, 175, 176 Nepal OLPC Project, 176 Ngwainmbi, E.K., 50, 86 Nicholls, A., 176

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Nichols, R.G., 57 Nigeria, 56, 60, 163, 164 educational system in, 33 primary education in, 35 Nigerian Constitution and Right to Education, 37 Nkrumah, Kwame, 41 O Observation notes, 136 Ojo, T., 50–52 OLPC Corporation, 56, 60 OLPC Foundation, 44, 51, 123 OLPC Kappa IV, 81 OLPCorps, 123 One laptop Per Child (OLPC), 1, 12, 76, 96, 105, 109, 117 One laptop Per Child (OLPC) project, 164, 177 in Accra and Abuja, 164 One-to-one solution, 151 Ontology, 173 Open source Sugar, 155 P Papert, S., 101, 106 Participatory action research (PAR), 63 Participatory lenses, 54 Participatory process, 163 Pedagogical goals, 63 Pedagogy, 15, 93 and curriculum, 94 in Africa, 91 Periphery countries, 55 Peru, 84, 176 Planning phase, 60 Political ulterior motive, 168 Poll Tax and Education Ordinance, 41 Poor management, 147 Poro, 17

Portugal, 54 Postcolonial era, 15 Power, 58 Praxis, 173 Precolonial Africa, 17 Precolonial African Traditional Education System, 8 Precolonial era, 15 Primary education in Nigeria, 35 structure in Ghana, 42 Primary, secondary, vocational, and tertiary schools, 164 Programmed Logic for Automatic Teaching Operations (PLATO), 71 PROPELCA, 24 Public relations marketing and rebranding strategy, 186 Push/pull inducements, 93

R Raji, T.I., 49 Regurgitation, 41 Rich text, 140 Rogers, E.M., 93 Rwanda, 163 Rwandan government, 177 Rwanda project, 164

S Salawu, R.I., 49 Samsung Digital Village, 12, 109, 113, 115, 116 Save a Soul , 32 Schiller, H.I., 55 Schramm, Wilbur, 50, 52 Scramble for Africa, in 1880s, 19 Self-reflexivity, 140 Sikchya Epaati, Sajha, 176

INDEX

Silicon Valley’s Technovation Challenge, 32 Social change, 173 Socio-cultural values, 156 Solar Powered Health Center (SPHC), 114 Solar Powered Internet School (SPIS), 114 Solar Powered Tele-Medical Center (SPMC), 114 Stevenson, R.L., 52 Structural Adjustment Programs (SAP), 21 Sub-Saharan Africa, 9, 185 Sub-Saharan African, 45 Sub-Saharan African countries, 74 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), 29, 109 Symbolic interactionism, 62 T Teacher absenteeism, 92 Teacher’s role, 158 Teacher training, 91 Technical support, 166 Technology integration, 167 The Basic Education Division Ghana Education Service, 43 The Education Act of 1961, 42 The Phelps-Stokes Educational Commission, 21 The Tananarive Conference, 27 Third Culture, 11, 92 Third World, 50 Tomlinson, J., 55 Triangulation, 139 Tsigie, A.B.I.I., 49

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U Uganda, 96 UNESCO Conference of the African States on the Development of Education in Africa (Addis Ababa), 26 United Nations, 49 United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), 51, 52, 60, 185 Universal Basic Education (UBE), 38 Universal Declaration of Human Right, 56 Universal Primary Education (UPE), 36, 109 Uruguay, 176

V Vaccine, in Africa, 53 Validity, 139

W Western Colonialism of Africa, 19 Westernization, 7, 53 Wong, W., 53 World Ahead Program, 111 World Bank, 60, 185 World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), 72 World War II, 50

X XO-laptop, 56, 100, 163, 175, 176 favorite activities with, 148