<h4>ICT4E in India and South Asia, A Country Study</h4>
<p>In Pakistan, fiber availability is relatively high and therefore even though at present connectivity is a constraint, this can be overcome. Further, the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) is committed to providing broadband to underserved areas. In terms of infrastructure, it was understood that low levels of electrification, posed a more significant challenge for integrating ICTs in the education space than low levels of connectivity.</p><p><br>The most important aspect in ensuring that ICT investments yield results would be to ensure that ICT usage is promoted in a way such that ICTs are used as tools to enhance the teaching learning process itself and not merely to familiarize students with the hardware and software. ICT usage in government schools is extremely low and as efforts are beginning to get underway to provide government schools with ICT facilities, it is important to that ICTs are integrated as tools for improving teaching learning rather than focusing exclusively on a specific IT curriculum-based approach. On the other hand private schools systems in Pakistan such as the Beaconhouse School system have been making effective use of advanced ICT tools to enhance their teaching learning practices. However, given the relatively high fee structure in these private institutions cost of ICTs is met by the school and students themselves, which is not a viable option for government schools.</p><p><br>Distance education in Pakistan is well established at the higher education level. Both AIOU and the Virtual University are achieving important milestones in ICT-enabled learning at the higher education level. However, Open Schooling has not yet been established for the K 12 level and given the expertise in the country in distance learning systems, it could be an avenue worth exploring.</p><p><br>Another key aspect that needs to be addressed is the gender disparity in educational attainments and access to ICTs. Initiatives to promote educational attainments in girls and women using ICTs should be encouraged. Further, awareness among women and girls about specific opportunities using ICTs should also be increased.</p>