Overview of the Development of Education Systems in the United Arab Emirates UAE and the UK; Current Circumstances and Availability of Educational ICT Networking By [Name of Student] [Name of Institution] [Date] 1453 Words Introduction Educational Information Communication technology (ICT) refers to the use of ICTs within the technologies used in an education system…
Learning processes that use media and methodology have been found to benefit most from ICT use in education. Information Communication Technology is also useful in familirising learners with the installation and the use of IT equipment such as computers (Hsi, 2006). Furthermore, ICT is important for addressing technological ethical and social issues encountered in educational institutions (Bagley et al., 2010). Additionally, educational ICT instills multiple intelligences in learners by simulation, thus promoting learning by all senses (Andrews, 2004). This paper explores the educational ICT networking availability and circumstances in the UK and the UAE. For both countries, educational ICT is categorised as subject, tool/support for other subjects, administrative tool and as a medium for the exchange of knowledge and information (NAEYC, 2008). Educational ICT in the United Kingdom For a long time in the UK, ICT has not only been taught by individual schools as a subject but has also been part of the national curriculum. In fact, most UK students are free to study ICT at the GCSE level (Department of Education, 2011). Among the ICT initiatives that have promoted the growth of educational ICT networking in the UK was the Curriculum Online scheme which unfortunately closed in 2008 (Computer Aid International, 2009). The main purpose of this scheme was to accelerate the uptake of ICT in UK schools (Leask & Pachler, 1999). The agency mandated to oversee the development of educational ICT networking in the UK until April 2011 was Becta (Vanderlinde et al., 2010). In the execution of its mandate, Becta worked closely with the Joint Information Systems Committee to develop the necessary ICT strategies (Young, 2008). With the government cutting its spending on Becta, a major shake-up occurred in UK’s state schools’ ICT networking, with stakeholders giving divergent opinions on the future role and effects of ICT in the educational sector. As a result of the spending cuts and the feeling that it had become redundant, Becta was abolished in April 2011 (Driscoll et al., 2011). Some stakeholders such as Bernadette Brooks of the Educational ICT Association asserted that the UK government lacked the emphasis that UK’s competitors laid on the need to invest on educational skills in its educational system. In fact, Brooks cited the policy statements of countries such as the United States, UAE and Hong Kong as those in which educational ICT has been identified as central for 21st century growth and development (Harlen &, James, 1996). Brooks also asserted that although it was a positive step for the government to promote ‘free’ schools and freedom for schools to invest in ICT, cutting funding and abolishing advisory agencies such as Becta created new types of challenges for the inclusion and growth of ICT in the education system. For example, it has been a big challenge to harness grants for ICT developments in UK schools since the abolition of Becta (Wray, 2005). Similarly, the abolition of the Building Schools for the Future programme has also considerably reduced the funds available for educational ICT (Fraline, 2011). Holding similar thoughts to Brooks is the National Association of Head Teachers which believes that the spending cuts impose long- and short-term limitations on UK schools’ ...
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