The Digital Divide in Developing Countries: A Case for Distance Education
Kenneth E. Paprock
Although distance education is catching up in almost all countries in the world, it is still little known and less studied in many of the developing countries. Given such a lack of coverage even in the Western educational literature, the possibilities of finding in-depth exchanges concerning distance education in developing countries are very limited. This presentation presents the existing ‘digital gap’ in the world, and focuses on three important barriers to distance education or learning are: 1) the lack of resources 2) lack of infrastructures, and 3) lack of recurrent funding necessary to acquire or develop appropriate software and courseware on a continuous basis, and maintain, service and replace the equipment. Technologists and educators need to enter the developing world, study the market and then modify their wares according to local needs with the help of local industry and labor-force. This is one important way of building meaningful collaborations and partnerships between the developed and developing countries.