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 International Journal of Education and Development using ICT > Vol. 8, No. 2 (2012) open journal systems 

A needs assessment to identify the reality of two rural school cases in South Africa: potential for ICT4D or not?

Caroline Pade-Khene, Rhodes University

Understanding the potential or need for ICT support in education within developing countries, requires an in-depth needs assessment to comprehend, elaborate and set the desired priorities of rural schools. A Needs Assessment was conducted as part of an on-going comprehensive evaluation process of an ICT for development project, the Siyakhula Living Lab. The needs assessment focused on an elaboration of a high level need, ‘access to education and knowledge’, identified in a Baseline Study of the community. The needs identified were based on an understanding of the existing operation of local schools, from the perspectives of local representatives who are more familiar with their environment and its challenges. This paper presents a report on the findings of the Needs Assessment, which include: 1) the elaborated needs and priorities for developing access to education and knowledge in a rural area, and 2) proposed solutions to address these development needs. Examining these elaborated needs indicate that potential solutions to address them are beyond the scope of computer science and information systems, and should also include other development solutions, such as, education, government, sociology, etc. The Siyakhula Living Lab still needs to build on the expertise available, in order to propose diverse solutions that can support the integration of the technology within the schools. A description of the contribution of the needs assessment for subsequent or future evaluations of the Siyakhula Living concludes the report.

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International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology. ISSN: 1814-0556