You are on page 1of 12

Investing on IT education in the undeveloped countries of third world: A

case study of Bangladesh

Investing on IT education in the undeveloped countries of third world: A


case study of Bangladesh

1|Page
Investing on IT education in the undeveloped countries of third world: A
case study of Bangladesh

Table of Contents
Introduction: ........................................................................................................................................... 3
Background of the study: .................................................................................................................... 3
Aim and objectives of the study: ........................................................................................................ 4
Research problem and research question: ......................................................................................... 5
Structure of the research: ................................................................................................................... 5
Literature Review: ................................................................................................................................... 6
Introduction: ....................................................................................................................................... 6
Contribution of information technology education to the development of Bangladesh:.................. 6
Issues in IT education in Bangladesh: ................................................................................................. 7
Women and IT education in Bangladesh: ........................................................................................... 8
Adult IT education and people’s empowerment: ............................................................................... 8
Improving IT education scenario in Bangladesh: .............................................................................. 10
Different ways present for getting investment for improvement of IT education in Bangladesh: .. 10
Gaps in the existing researches: ....................................................................................................... 11
Bibliography: ......................................................................................................................................... 12

2|Page
Investing on IT education in the undeveloped countries of third world: A
case study of Bangladesh

Introduction:
Background of the study:
The educational system of Bangladesh is three tired and it is highly subsidized. The
government of Bangladesh is responsible for operating a number of schools in primary,
secondary and higher secondary levels. The government also subsidizes by providing funding
to many private schools. In the territory educational sector, the government also provides
funding to more than 15 state universities through the University Grants Commission. But,
there are a number of problems faced by education system of Bangladesh. In the past,
education system of Bangladesh was basically a British modelled upper class affair where all
the courses were studied in English and very little initiatives were taken for the common
people. The Bangladesh education board has taken many steps to leave such practices and
they are presently concerned with providing better education to the young people which can
help them to enjoy a better future. Bangladesh has lowest literacy rate in South Asia. A study
found out that on an average there is 15.5% absence rate of the school teachers. The low
performance of the primary schools and secondary schools is a major concern in Bangladesh.
In the last few years, it is also seen that the school dropout rates and grade repetition rates
have also increased to a high extent. Poor school attendance of the students and low contact
time are also contributing to lower level of learning achievement. Apart from that the
education system of Bangladesh lacks a sound human resource development and deployment
system and it has demoralized the personnel of education sector such as teachers which led to
the poor performance of the students. Poverty is another major threat for primary education in
Bangladesh. The population of Bangladesh is quite high and the total number of seats
available in colleges is quite less than the total number of students who want to enrol in the
colleges. Apart from that, the cost of education is also increasing day by day in Bangladesh
which many students are unable to afford.

Bangladesh faces challenges of becoming the learning society and ensuring that the citizens
of the country are fully equipped with knowledge of information technology, skills and
qualifications that are needed in the century. Application of software technologies in
industries, businesses, communication and education is very important in the current century
and every other aspect of life demands extensive computer education from the primary to
post graduate level and in order to develop the nation, it is also important for the government
to introduce some career oriented information technology training to young people. There are

3|Page
Investing on IT education in the undeveloped countries of third world: A
case study of Bangladesh

some courses are already present in Bangladesh such as the ICT courses provided by NGOs
like Dhaka Ahsania Mission.

Formal education in information technology was first started in the year 1984 with the
foundation of Computer Science and Engineering Department in Bangladesh University of
Engineering and Technology. The IT education gradually increased till then to Bachelor’s
degree and higher secondary levels and there are a total of 1000 computer education centres
present in Bangladesh but due to the lack of funding, there is a lack of modern, state-of-the-
art IT education centres which can be compared to the developed nations of the world.
Recently, Government of Bangladesh formulated a National Education Policy in the cabinet
which was endorsed by the Parliament. Under this policy, IT education was included at the
primary and secondary level but it has been found that a majority if the schools can’t afford
to buy sufficient number of computers for the students. Though, some schools in the urban
areas have very limited number of computers for their students but they fail to help their
students make familiar with email and other internet related things. As there is lack of
nationwide telecommunication infrastructure and internet facilities, most of the schools of
Bangladesh failed to provide minimum level of IT education to their students. In order to
provide proper IT education in third world countries like Bangladesh there is a need for
proper investment. The main aim of the paper is to analyze the importance of investment on
IT education in undeveloped countries like Bangladesh.

Aim and objectives of the study:


The main aim of the paper is to importance of investment for IT education in Bangladesh and
to analyze different options present for investment for the betterment of IT education in
Bangladesh.

The objectives of the research are:

 To analyze the importance of IT education in third world countries like Bangladesh.


 To analyze the scenario of IT education in Bangladesh.
 To identify the gaps present in the IT education in Bangladesh.
 To identify the options present for the betterment of IT education in Bangladesh.
 To identify the sources available for investment in IT education in Bangladesh.

4|Page
Investing on IT education in the undeveloped countries of third world: A
case study of Bangladesh

Research problem and research question:


In the modern world, it is highly important for every individual from primary school level to
understand the basics of information technology. As Bangladesh is considered as a third
world country, there is a lack of investment in IT education from rest of the world. A number
of researchers have explored different issues faced by the people of Bangladesh but there is a
lack of researches done on the area of IT education in the country and the benefits of having
proper IT education in the country. This research will help to identify the issues related to IT
education in Bangladesh, specifically related to lack of investment and it will also provide
options of investments that can help to develop proper IT education in the country.

Structure of the research:


The structure of the research is as follows:

Introduction: This chapter introduces the research and states the aim and objectives of the
study.

Literature review: This chapter acts as a theoretical foundation of the research. Different
existing literatures on the similar research area will be critically reviewed in this chapter to
develop a theoretical understanding of the research area and the gaps in the existing
researches will also be identified.

Research methodology: This chapter describes the research philosophy, research approach,
data collection methods, data collection tools, sampling, ethical considerations etc and it also
provides justifications for each of the research decisions.

Analysis and findings: This chapter analyzes the data collected for the research and discusses
the findings of the research.

Conclusion: This chapter concludes the research and it also highlights the limitations of the
research and provides recommendations for future research.

5|Page
Investing on IT education in the undeveloped countries of third world: A
case study of Bangladesh

Literature Review:
Introduction:
The introduction chapter provides the overview of the research and this chapter enters into
the main elements of the research. The chapter provides critical analysis of the existing
literatures on the research area and identifies the gaps present in them. It also makes
suggestions for the future researches. The main aim of the research is the importance of
investment on IT education of undeveloped countries like Bangladesh. The research draws
upon concepts from different areas related to the topic such as importance of IT education in
developing countries, the scenario of IT education in Bangladesh, the types of investment
plans present for Bangladesh for improvement of IT education etc. This chapter also provides
a brief plan of research methodology suitable for the research which will be described in
detail in next chapter.

Contribution of information technology education to the development of


Bangladesh:
Education is one of the primary things needed for the achievement of different developmental
goals. Researchers have shown that education is quite positively associated with the varieties
of human welfare issues which are seen as developmental goals. For example, Lockheed et
al. (2011) found in their research that in a modern environment four years of proper education
has improved the agricultural productivity by around 10 percent. Education also plays an
important role in reducing poverty. Tilak (2002, p.198) argued that there are hundreds of
researches available that can support the fact that education and poverty are related.
Education also plays an important role in improving the health and wellbeing of the entire
population of a country. A basic education provided to the entire population of a country can
help them to gain necessary knowledge required to understand the concepts like nutrition,
sanitation and hygiene. Health and education are mutually reinforcing. A study conducted by
Global Campaign for Education (2004) suggests that if Universal Primary Education (UPE) is
realized then a total of 700,000 young people can be prevented from contracting diseases like
HIV/AIDS. According to World Bank and UN, the social benefits of education for women
overweigh the costs without even considering the private benefits such as increased earnings
or productivity. Educating females can create a virtuous circle as the children of educated
mothers are more willing to receive an education. As per a study conducted by Glewwe

6|Page
Investing on IT education in the undeveloped countries of third world: A
case study of Bangladesh

(2011) who studied health data in Bangladesh found that mothers having proper numeracy
and literacy skills possessed greater knowledge about making their children healthier.

One of the dynamics of the lives of children in the grip of poverty is disempowerment which
is a lack of control over the decisions made by them and for them. Information technology
can help to access the information by removing the barriers to some extent. Prahalad and Hart
(2002, p.9) stated that lack of proper information technology education is one of the major
roadblocks to sustainable development. People, from different political persuasions, state that
information technology education is an important tool for the development of a country.
Appropriate use of information technology can improve many aspects of the lives in the
developing countries, starting from health and education to economic growth of the nation.
Improvement of IT education such as deployment and improved access to the modern
systems can deliver tangible benefits. Information technology can help a more people centred
approach to education. Modern education in information technology can facilitate a
pedagogical shift in the interaction between the teachers and learners. Information technology
can also encourage and support a meaningful two way communication between the teachers
and learners and it can eliminate the old ‘banking’ method where the teachers used to transfer
the knowledge to the learners. Improvement of IT education in developing countries can also
benefit the economy of the country as a whole by producing skilled workforce and it can also
help in individual’s earning in the country and can also improve the employment potential.

Issues in IT education in Bangladesh:


In specific terms, there are a number of issues present in IT education in Bangladesh. They
are:

 Shortage of qualified teachers: GeSCI (2004) estimated that as many as 37% of the
total number of teachers of IT education in Bangladesh are not adequately qualified.
There is a need to accelerate the teachers training and pre and in-service teacher
training is required for IT education in the country.
 Low learning achievement: Another major problem faced by the IT education in
Bangladesh is low learning achievement of the students. This is mainly due to the
high student-teacher ratio, shortage of basic infrastructural materials and poor
physical infrastructure.

7|Page
Investing on IT education in the undeveloped countries of third world: A
case study of Bangladesh

 Lack of IT education opportunities in remote areas: There is a lack of proper IT


education in remote areas. There are many people present in the remote areas of
Bangladesh who are interested in developing their IT career but due to the lack of
proper access to IT education, they need to go with other disciplines.
 Lack of resources and study materials: Study and teaching materials are very sparse in
many schools and colleges of the developing nations such as Bangladesh. Due to the
lack of resources and study materials, the students of the institutions cannot get proper
IT education.

Women and IT education in Bangladesh:


Getting reliable statistics on IT education in Bangladesh for women is very difficult.
However, it is quite clear that the numbers of women enrolled in IT education is very small.
There are very few women present in Bangladesh who study information and communication
technology. Except upper class enclaves, access to internet is very small in Bangladesh.
There are a number of factors present that restrict women from getting proper IT education
such as language, time, cost, geographical locations of facilities, cultural and social norms
etc. Information technology education for women can offer numerous opportunities for all
girls and women in Bangladesh and it includes the women residing in rural areas of
Bangladesh.

Adult IT education and people’s empowerment:


The information and communication technology revolution brings various challenges to
education systems in the developing nations. The challenges can be classified into three broad
areas. The first one is participation in information society. The second one is impact of ICT
on accessing the education, quality and cost effectiveness of the education and the third one is
the way IT can change the process of education. The different types of learning of
information technology as identified by the researchers and educators can fall into three
different categories. They are:

 Formal learning: The formal IT training takes place in the schools and higher
education institutions which provide systematic education.
 Non-formal learning: The non formal learning of IT takes place outside the formal
education system but it is also an organized event having specific target groups and
specific learning objectives. It includes continuing education, professional training,
literacy programs etc.
8|Page
Investing on IT education in the undeveloped countries of third world: A
case study of Bangladesh

 Informal learning: The informal learning can be categorized as the individual


acquisition of the knowledge, skills from the everyday experiences and surrounding
environment.

Another most popular way for getting IT education in Bangladesh is distance learning in
which the students get IT education from one or more physically distant locations. Students
learn through different materials such as books, CD-ROM, references etc and media such as
TV, internet etc which replaces the usual face to face learning method.

On the positive side, the computers are used by the educational institutions of Bangladesh for
more than five years. Internet is also widespread and there is a significant number of
dedicated users present in Bangladesh too. Also, the Government of Bangladesh has also
taken a number of initiatives like tax reduction in software initiatives and reduction on duties
of hardware components. The government has also allowed the ISPs to choose vendors other
than the government owned BTTB which helped to increase the IT related activities
throughout the country.

But, the major obstacle of proper IT education in Bangladesh is the lack of infrastructure,
specifically in terms of telecommunication and networking. Bangladesh is considered as the
most expensive place in the world in terms of subscription of telephone network and internet
network services, despite being one of the poorest countries of the world. The internet
services through fast landlines via submarine cables have been going on for a long time but as
BTTB or Bangladesh Telegraph and Telephone Board is doing their unethical business as the
governing body or a competing service in the internet business. There has also been
unjustifiable increase in the charges with ISP which affected the educational institutions from
providing state-of-the-art IT education to the students due to lack of financial grants.

The worst part of IT education is that the IT sector of Bangladesh is taking a beating in the
job market. Thousands of students who pay a hefty fee for getting IT education are having
employment problems. Presently, the IT education in Bangladesh is viewed as a scam by a
huge number of people. Gradually, there has been a fast reduction of prospective IT students
in the IT education institutions and another issue which is growing is the shortage of skilled
IT professionals.

9|Page
Investing on IT education in the undeveloped countries of third world: A
case study of Bangladesh

Improving IT education scenario in Bangladesh:


From the observation of Bangladesh community by various researchers, it is found that
following policies and initiatives are required in order to improve the scenario of IT
education in Bangladesh.

 Government awareness of the importance of IT for national education: The


information and communications technology is very important for the development of
the economy and participation in the global information society. In order to compete
with the developed countries, it is important for the government of Bangladesh to
develop appropriate skills in the students and IT based learning and education can
play an important role in broadening the access to education for the entire society.
 A strategic plan or policy: There must be an analysis of the needs and priorities
regarding the improvement of IT education in Bangladesh. There are some key
elements and concrete steps should be present in the strategic plan and they are
integration of IT skills in the national curriculum, equipping the IT education
institutions with modern computers and internet systems, initiatives and programs
which can invite and attract private sector organizations.

Different ways present for getting investment for improvement of IT


education in Bangladesh:
In order to improve the scenario of IT education in Bangladesh, it is the primary duty if the
government of the country to look for investments from all possible sources to improve the
condition of IT education of the country. Bangladesh is considered as one of the poorest
countries of the world and thus, there is a need for external investments in order to improve
the IT education of the country which will in turn improve the economy of the country. First
of all, the government of Bangladesh should seek funding from the major IT companies
located in developed countries such as USA, UK and Australia etc. The IT companies can be
interested in providing funds to the IT institutions of Bangladesh and other supports such as
infrastructural supports, study materials, software etc, if they get qualified and educated
employees to work with them. In this way, the employment problems can also be solved. The
government of Bangladesh can also tie up with the governments of developed nations with
student exchange programs. The leading universities can also open their campuses in
Bangladesh if they are provided with adequate land to open their campuses and other local
supports. Bangladesh can also seek for investment from its neighbouring countries like India

10 | P a g e
Investing on IT education in the undeveloped countries of third world: A
case study of Bangladesh

to improve IT education because the scenario of IT education in India is quite good at present
and they can help Bangladesh by providing all types of infrastructural supports.

Gaps in the existing researches:


Some gaps can be found in the existing researches. For example, the first problem that can be
found from the existing researches is that there are very few researches present that can
provide exact figures and statistics about the IT education of Bangladesh because most of the
researches have been done using qualitative method and they did not employ any quantitative
research. This research will be conducted using quantitative research and it will find out the
IT literacy rate in Bangladesh and the need for improvement of the IT education
infrastructure and need for investment for improving the IT education scenario.

11 | P a g e
Investing on IT education in the undeveloped countries of third world: A
case study of Bangladesh

Bibliography:
Lockheed, M., Jamison, D. and Lau, L. (2011) “Farmer Education and Farm Efficiency: A
Survey” in Economic Development and Cultural Change, 29 October, pp 37-76.

Tilak, J.B.G. (2002) “Education and Poverty” in Journal of Human Development, 3 (2) pp.
191-206.

Global Campaign for Education (2004), “Learning to Survive: How Education for All would
Save Millions of Young People from HIV/AIDS”,
http://www.campaignforeducation.org/resources/Apr2004/Learning%20to%20Survive%20fin
al%202604.pdf Accessed 8 December 2006.

Glewwe, P. (2011)”Why Does Mothers’ Schooling Raise Child Health in Developing


Countries? Evidence from Morocco”, in Journal of Human Resources, 34 (Winter), pp. 124-
159.

Prahalad, C.K & Hart, S.L. (2002) The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid in Strategy+
Business, Issue: First Quarter.

GeSCI (2004) GeSCI website (global e-schools and communities initiative founded by UN
ICT Taskforce): http://www.gesci.org accessed 11 July 2015.

12 | P a g e