By Tansaoui lekbir
By Tansaoui lekbir
Morocco World News
Ouedzem, Morocco, May 21, 2013
All over the world, ICT or information and communications technology has played a big role in designing educational curricula. According to ICT educators and advocates, and in the Competency or Standard Based Approach, and in the framework of ICT, pupils should be able to acquire and achieve skills in using ICT in their learning at school and at home. But the questions that should be raised are the following: Do teachers use ICT in accordance with the stated competencies by the curriculum. Are students really able to use digital equipment and Web 2.0 (social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and others) in their learning?
In order to answer this question, many surveys were conducted in European and American countries. Results show that teachers and practitioners display a great understanding and use of technical ICT skills, but do not know or find it difficult to integrate this technique into the teaching and learning process, to the extent that both teachers and learners excel in using and manipulating computer programs and different software applications but only for personal use. When it comes to education and classroom practices, the vast majority are reluctant to use ICT tools.
Now, let’s try to investigate the situation in Morocco. As we are aware, most Moroccan classrooms are equipped with the latest computer machines and gadgets. More than that, they are wired either by ADSL or 3G connections, but so many constraints block teachers and students from benefiting from these programs.
First, schools have few classrooms that are equipped; they are referred to as ‘multimedia rooms’. Such rooms are regulated by a chart among teachers to take turns using. Second, some teachers find it a big and time-consuming task to take their students the those classrooms and ask for the keys, arrange the tables, request for the video projector and plug/unplug the gadgets … Also, most of the time these rooms are closed and the keys are either with the school principal or with the janitor who may be absent for administrative purposes (this happened to me as an English teacher at my school, when I ask for the keys of the multimedia room, they told me to wait for the janitor who had gone to the post office to bring the daily mail !).
Besides, most learners are good at using technology. Yet, they hate using Facebook, YouTube, and other social websites to learn. As a practitioner, I assign many activities to be done online and via Facebook, and/or using YouTube but only very few students manage to do it. This is due to the fact that most net users are busy chatting, designing websites or ‘hacking’ each other while others tell me that they cannot obtain access to the Net either because they are not wired or because they don’t have money to do so.
Another big constraint is the reluctance of many school principals, either in primary, junior or high schools, who belong to the old generations and are themselves lagging behind the digital world. Let me tell you an anecdote about accessing the multimedia room. One day during the 2008-2009 school year, the city of khouribga, 74 miles south east of Casablanca, delegate of the Ministry of National Education made a tour around schools to spot any misuse of these equipped rooms, and when he entered a primary school, he found the multimedia room closed and the school principal was very proud to tell the delegate that the computers are still new and laminated, but fortunately the delegate verbally reprimanded him and told him that these computers are brought to this school to be operated by students—not to be stored.
Finally, a few legitimate questions should be asked. How can we reach all Moroccan schools and students as far as ICT is concerned? How can we increase the access to these schools, let alone integrate ICT in our learning and teaching as stated by educational curricula and syllabi, so as to .make our students good and skillful operators i.e. using the equipment, and help them develop social and ethical competencies i.e. using ICT in an adequate and a responsible way.
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