Heading

Home | IRQUE Objectives  Procurement  | Project Staff  |  Contact us |   


Heading
About | ActivitiesProgress | Highlights | Staff | News
 

About the Program

Background

img_0300 (35K)

There is a serious deficiency in opportunities and resources available for undergraduates to get their ICT skills improved. This was confirmed by a survey conducted to find out the level of ICT skills of a sample of graduates of the university. This survey has indicated that more than 70% of the respondents believes that they are yet to use computers effectively. As such, the graduates leaving the university are handicapped when they compete for employments because they don't posses even bear minimum ICT skills expected by any employer in the present day.

Considering the facts emerged from the survey above, several serious weaknesses which hinder the improvement of ICT skills of undergraduate studying in the university have been identified. They are:

  1. Inadequate opportunities to get ICT skills improved
  2. Inadequate resources
  3. Low level of usage of ICT tools in undergraduate teaching
  4. Inadequate ICT competency of the staff

In addition to the weaknesses mentioned above the improvement of ICT skills of undergraduates of the university are affected by:

  1. the under utilization of resources due to the scattered nature of their distribution.
  2. the inaccessibility of ICT resources after working hours at many places.
  3. the inadequacy of funding for the expansion and improvement of ICT resources

These weaknesses have serious implications on the quality of undergraduate education. Inadequate ICT skills would severely restrict undergraduates' ability to search for, gain access, organize and process information. They also have implications on the quality of graduates leaving the university.

The root cause analysis of the weaknesses mentioned above reveals that inadequate resources and lack of opportunities are mainly responsible for these weaknesses. The student to computer ratio in average is approximately 30:1. Thus the average number of computing hours available for each student per week is about 6 hours. This is accurate if all computers are accessible 24-hours a day. If we assume 12-hour accessibility period then average computer time available per student is about 3 hrs per week too low for any productive work at undergraduate level. This indicates that access to computing resources is severely restricted in the university. As such improving the accessibility to computing resources stands out as one of the important activities.

The improvement of computing resources alone is not adequate to produce the expected improvement of ICT skills of undergraduates and university staff. Appropriate training programs are also essential to enhance the ICT skills

The sustainability of solutions proposed to address weaknesses mentioned above is paramount to the success of the attempt to improve ICT skills. Maintaining computing resources and training programs up to date is essential for this purpose. As such funding would be the most critical factor for the sustainability. However in the absence of regular funding from the state, self-generation could become an important proposition to support sustainability. Since there is a great demand for ICT education from the society, self-generation has a great potential to be the key fund raiser.

 
Visit IRQUE Project Home Page for more information.