Live Debate on 21st April : Are Most Investments in Technology for Schools Wasted?

Team YS
14th Apr 2010
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On April 21 infoDev, a donor-funded agency hosted by the World Bank, will be launching the first draft of its Survey of Information and Communication Technology for Education in India & South Asia. This important new report, commissioned from Price Waterhouse Coopers India, is the latest in a series of regional surveys of the current state of the use of technology in education. The report will be presented and discussed at a public forum at the same venue, starting at 10.30 am - RSVP to Public Forum

Are most investments in technology for schools wasted?

A Live Educational Technology Debate, Wednesday April 21, 14;00 – 16:00

Hosted by the World Bank office Delhi, India

To help the report authors in their review process, and to stimulate discussion of these themes in South Asian society, infoDev will be bringing its successful online discussion - Educational Technology Debate - to Delhi, India in this special live debate, to be webcast around the world. An afternoon of lively discussion is promised around key topics at the intersection of ICT and education:

  • Are South Asian nations ready for large-scale use of ICTs in their educational systems?
  • If so, what are the organizational and financial preconditions for success?
  • What changes are required in systems and practices and in oversight arrangements?
  • How should success be measured?
  • Which are the existing good practice experiences in the region that can guide us?

The Educational Technology Debate will bring the classic Oxford-style Debate process to India as noted experts in the field are invited to debate the following motion:



Most investments in technology for schools are wasted: Discuss
There is a general consensus that Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) such as radio, TV, computers, the Internet, and mobile phones can increase educational experiences and improve education.  But is this opportunity being overhyped?


Invited Discussants
Speaking FOR the motion, arguing that most investments in technology for schools are wastedSpeaking AGAINST the motion, arguing that most investments in technology for schools are worthwhile
Atanu Dey is a noted speaker on ICT in education and an economist at Netcore Solutions in Mumbai, India
Ashish Garg is the Asia Regional Coordinator for Global eSchools and Communities Initiative, based in New Delhi
Benjamin Vergel De Dios is a Programme Officer for ICT in Education projects at UNESCO Asia-Pacific Regional Bureau for Education in Bangkok, Thailand.Neel Rattan, Partner, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, India, which is producing the infoDev Survey of ICTs for Education in India & South Asia
Sam Carlson is a World Bank Lead Education Specialist and project team leader for Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan in IndiaWayan Vota is an ICT in education consultant to infoDev, and moderators the online Educational Technology Debate


The debate will be moderated by Dr Tim Kelly, Lead ICT Policy Specialist, infoDev/World Bank

The moderator will introduce the topic and our discussants, who will respond with concise arguments, initially restricted to five minutes each, using only the power of their arguments to sway the audience. This will be followed by a discussion, initially among the panelist and then extended to the audience. To conclude, panelists will be given a further three minutes to summarise their arguments.

The goal of the panelists will be to persuade the audience to reach one of two conclusions:

  1. Most current investment is being wasted and needs a fundamental rethink (FOR the motion)
  2. Existing schemes are already bearing fruit and need only ongoing support (AGAINST the motion).

The audience will hold the last word. Participants will be invited to vote FOR, AGAINST or UNDECIDED on the motion both before and after the debate. The side that swings the most votes during the course of the debate will be declared the winner.

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