Information and Communication Technology and Educational Policies in Primary and Secondary Education in the Middle East and North African (MENA) Region

  • Ghaida M. AlayyarEmail author
  • Reham K. Aljeeran
  • Abdullah A. AlmodairesEmail author
Reference work entry
Part of the Springer International Handbooks of Education book series (SIHE)


The chapter refers to policies toward information and communication technology (ICT) in primary and secondary education from the perspective of Middle East and North African region (MENA). The MENA region includes countries that vary in culture, language, religion and resources. Since it is quite difficult to cover the whole region, the researchers excluded some countries (i.e. Cyprus, Iran, Israel, & Turkey) that only share the geographical location with the other countries in the region. The analytical approach had been used to provide information on how policy deals with integrating ICT in teaching and learning in primary and secondary education in MENA region. Trends and developments are identified by analysing policy plans and strategies. Six main trends were identified in the region. The trends include using ICT in primary and secondary education to increase access to formal education, using ICT to improve teaching and to prepare students for future jobs, using data to align learning with job market, analysing performance for personalize learning, and utilizing online learning for learning and skills development. The most important finding of this section is that countries in the MENA region are willing to move forward the adoption of ICT in education by increasing their spending on planning and implementing ICT in education. However, the process of planning and implementation is not always successful due to different factors. The main challenges were: financial challenge, less attention given for the pedagogy behind ICT integration, resistance from actors, lack of cooperation, contextual challenges, technical challenges, and social and political challenges.


ICT MENA region ICT policy Primary education Secondary education K12 education ICT integration in education 


  1. Abuloum, A., & Qablan, A. (2008). Evaluation of ICT resources provision, access and utilization. A national report prepared for the World Bank and the National Center for Human Resources Development (NCHRD). Amman. Retrieved from
  2. Al Dakkak, N. (2010). Obstacles towards curriculum reform in the Middle East: Using Jordan and the UAE as case studies for understanding education reform. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Dubai: Dubai School of Government Policy Brief. Retrieved from
  3. Al Mofarreh, Y. I. (2016). Implementation of ICT policy in secondary schools in Saudi Arabia. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, The University of Wollongong Thesis Collection, 1954–2016. Retrieved from
  4. Alayyar, G. M. (2011). Developing pre-service teacher competencies for ICT integration through design teams. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. Enschede: University of Twente.Google Scholar
  5. Alfelaij, B. (2016). Why integrating technology has been unsuccessful in Kuwait. An exploratory study. E-Learning and Digital Media, 13(3–4), 126–139.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Alharbi, G. (2012). Primary school teachers’ perceptions regarding ICT usage and equipment in Kuwait. Journal of International Education Research, 8(1), 55.Google Scholar
  7. Al-Hunaiyyan, A. A., Alsharhan, S., & Alhuwail, N. (2008). Blended E-learning design: Discussion of cultural issues. International Journal of Cyber Society and Education, 1(1), 17–32.Google Scholar
  8. Alkhezzi, F., & Abdelmagid, R. F. (2011). Technology integration: The use of computers by elementary school Kuwaiti teachers. Journal of the International Society for Teacher Education, 15(2), 1–18.Google Scholar
  9. AL-Refai, A., Al-Omar, M., Son, M., & Hamdy, H. (2015). Managing service quality of high school delivery: Evidence from Kuwait. International Journal of Education, 7(2), 67–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Alsharija, M., Qablan, A., & Watters, J. J. (2012). Principals, teachers, and student’s perception of the information and communication technology in Kuwait secondary schools (rhetoric and reality). Journal of Education and Practice, 3(12), 91–99.Google Scholar
  11. Alutaibi, K. (2003). Education reform for knowledge economy. In Regional Symposium on Women and Information and Communication Technology, Cairo.Google Scholar
  12. Brookings Institution. (2016). Will technology disruption widen or close the skill gap in the Middle East and North Africa? Washington, DC: Brookings Institution.Google Scholar
  13. Chapman, D. W., & Miric, S. L. (2009). Education quality in the Middle East. International Review of Education, 55(4), 311–344. Retrieved from. Scholar
  14. Cohen, D., & Hill, H. (2001). Learning policy: When state education reform works. New Haven: Yale University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Eqab, R. T. (2003). The King Hamad school of the future. Manama: Ministry of Education.Google Scholar
  16. European Schoolnet. (2006). The ICT impact report: A review of studies of ICT impact on schools in Europe. Brussels: European Ministries of Education.Google Scholar
  17. Farid, S. (2016). The impact of information and communication technology (ICT) on education in Egypt. International Journal for Research in Business, Management and Accounting, 2(3), 171–191.Google Scholar
  18. Friedman, T. (2015, November 25). Letter from Saudi Arabia. The New York Times. Retrieved from
  19. Galil, T. E. A. (2014). The Mohammed bin Rashid’s Smart Learning Program (SLP) initiative in the ministry of education and its impact on English language performance in Cycle2 classes, in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Unpublished doctoral dissertation. Dubai (BUiD): The British University.Google Scholar
  20. Ghazal, M. (2014, July 12). Strategy needed to integrate ICT into the learning process. Jordan Education Initiative CEO. The Jordan Times. Retrieved from
  21. Hamid, T. (2013, December 9). ICT spending in the Middle East to top $96 billion next year. The National Business. Retrieved from
  22. InfoDev Annual Report, 2014–2015. (2015). Growing innovation, fostering entrepreneurship. Washington, DC: InfoDev.Google Scholar
  23. Institute for the Future for the University of Phoenix (IFTF). (2011). Future work skills 2020. Palo Alto, California.Google Scholar
  24. Jones, R. (2003). Local and national ICT policies. In R. Kozma (Ed.), Technology, innovation, and educational change: A global perspective (pp. 163–194). ISTE, Paris.Google Scholar
  25. Knight, L. (2015). Get your code on in the MENA region. WAMDA. Retrieved from
  26. Koehler, M. J., & Mishra, P. (2005). What happens when teachers design educational technology? The development of technological pedagogical content knowledge. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 32(2), 131–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Kozma, R. (2008). Comparative analysis of policies for ICT in education. In J. Voogt & G. Knezek (Eds.), International handbook of information technology in primary and secondary education (pp. 1083–1096). Berlin: Springer Science & Business Media.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Kozma, R. B. (2011). The technological, economic, and social contexts for educational ICT policy. In Transforming education: The power of ICT policies (pp. 3–18). UNESCO Publishing.Google Scholar
  29. Lightfoot, M. (2012). Innovative teaching and learning and ICT: What’s the connection. In R. al Khaima (Ed.), The 3rd annual symposium of the Gulf comparative education society. Bahrain: The Qasimi Foundation.Google Scholar
  30. Ministry of Education (Kuwait). (2008). The e-learning strategy (report). Kuwait. Retrieved from
  31. Ministry of Finance (Saudi Arabia). (2015). Retrieved from
  32. Misra, S. (2012). Implications of globalization on education. Revista Românească pentru Educaţie Multidimensională, 4(2), 69–82. Retrieved from Scholar
  33. National ICT in Education Strategy. (2008, Feb). Paper presented at the national conference for the development of education. Kuwait.Google Scholar
  34. Schwab, K., & Sala-i-Martín, X. (2014). The global competitiveness report 2014–2015. World Economic Forum. Retrieved from
  35. Stahl, B. C. (2008). Empowerment through ICT: A critical discourse analysis of the Egyptian ICT policy. In C. Avgerou, M. L. Smith, & P. van der Besselaar (Eds.), Social dimensions of information and communication technology policy (pp. 161–177). Boston: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Stamboliyska, R. (2013). Information technologies and education in the Arab World: A new UNESCO report looks at how ICT is being used in education across five Arab states. Nature Middle East. Retrieved from
  37. Tatweer. (2015). King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz public educational development project. Tatweer Project. Retrieved from
  38. UNESCO. (2011a). Transforming education: The power of ICT policies. Paris: UNESCO.Google Scholar
  39. UNESCO. (2011b). UNESCO ICT competency framework for teachers. Paris: UNESCO.Google Scholar
  40. UNESCO. (2012a). ICT in primary education: Analytical survey. Moscow: UNESCO. Retrieved from
  41. UNESCO. (2012b). 2012 Paris OER Declaration. World OER Congress, Paris, June 2012. Retrieved from
  42. UNESCO. (2013). Information and communication technology (ICT) in five Arab States: A comparative analysis of ICT integration and e-readiness in schools in Egypt, Jordan, Oman, Palestine and Qatar. Montreal: UNESCO-UIS.Google Scholar
  43. UNESCO. (2015). Education for all 2000–2015: Achievements and challenges. Paris. Retrieved from
  44. Ungerleider, C., & Burns, T.C. (2002). Information and communication technologies in elementary and secondary education: A state of the art review. In Actes du Colloque 2002 du Programme pancanadien de recherche en éducation (PPRE): La technologie de l’information et l’apprentissage the Canadian Education Statistic Council, Montreal, Quebec (pp. 2–28).Google Scholar
  45. Wozney, L., Venkatesh, V., & Abrami, P. C. (2006). Implementing computer technologies: Teachers’ perceptions and practices. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 14(1), 173–207.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Public Authority of Applied Education and Training, Educational Technology DepartmentKuwait CityKuwait

Section editors and affiliations

  • Birgit Eickelmann
    • 1
  1. 1.University of PaderbornPaderbornGermany

Personalised recommendations