Making bold and landmark decisions in education: introducing Telecentres for rural education in Zambia
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Recognizing the government’s willingness to have most of its citizens educated with a view to foster national development, the purpose of this conceptual paper was to propose an approach that can be adopted to narrow the gap between those educated in urban areas and those educated in rural areas of Zambia using telecentres. A desk review of relevant literature on gaps among citizens educated in urban areas and those educated in rural areas as well as the use of telecentres in education was conducted. Findings indicate that a number of gaps currently exist between Zambians educated in urban areas and those educated in rural areas. Literature also shows that there is potential to use telecentres for educational purposes as information communication technologies (ICTs) have started being utilised by educational institutions both in urban and rural areas of Zambia. Thus, the paper shows how telecentres can be utilised to narrow the various gaps that exist among pupils, students and adult learners in urban and rural areas. As presented in this paper, it is practically possible to apply telecentres in education for narrowing the gap between those educated in urban areas and those educated in rural areas. However, in order to implement the proposed approach, concerted efforts in form of bold and landmark decisions to adopt the use of telecentres must be made by the government and other concerned stakeholders. The paper has original thinking in as far as the desire to use telecentres and not just ICTS for purposes of reducing educational levels for development purposes is concerned. Further, the paper is of value to educational policy makers as well as information professionals who have the desire to apply ICTs in education for emancipation of the rural poor in Zambia.