Of Mice and Men: Educational Technology in Pakistan’s Public School System

Adeela Arshad-Ayaz

Abstract


In this paper I use a critical lens to examine the introduction and adaptation of computer and information and communication technologies in Pakistan’s educational system. This examination is based on two broad contentions: a) the introduction of technology in Pakistan’s educational system is not conducive to the creation of a locally relevant knowledge system; instead the motivation is to create a market for foreign technology (hardware and software) and technological ideas; b) such an uncritical introduction of technology suits the needs of the undemocratic governments and hierarchical societies in the developing world and the neo-liberal economic forces abroad. I argue that such introduction of technology in education suits the former because, unlike critical education, the market model of education does not prepare students to question unjust and inequitable social and political practices around them. It rather suits the latter because education based on a market model produces a global pool of semi-trained laborers that can process technological and scientific raw material without gaining the expertise required to produce knowledge that is socially relevant and of benefit to them. I conclude that in this way technology becomes a source of hegemony and yet another tool of oppression rather than a vehicle for liberation and a just society.

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