What do students in developing countries think about computer education? In our study we did not ask them directly, but we can deduce a good deal about their view, and that of their parents, from teachers’ reports and other sources. When we write ‘students’ we mean those with some prospect of contact with computers. David Young, training manager of the foremost company supplying computers to Zimbabwe, was probably right when he pessimistically estimated in 1988 that only one in a thousand Zimbabwean schoolchildren would see a computer before leaving school (Oosthuizen, 1988). In many other developing countries, participation rates in education are lower than in Zimbabwe, with a large proportion of children leaving during primary schooling. There, very few children indeed will see a computer. We take up this issue of equity again in Chapter 22. In this chapter, we also draw on authoritative sources in which the students perspective is sympathetically scrutinised.
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