Philip W. Jones
Madhumita Bhattacharya and Tomas Tenno
This chapter introduces the history and present status of the Estonian education system and describes Estonia's past glory and present super highway of networking and digital divide. Since gaining independence in 1995 and becoming a part of the European Union, information and communication technology is making its way in all facets of Estonian society. There has been a big shift in the way people use ICT (henceforth called ICT) in their home and for communication. Unfortunately there has not been much change in the way teaching and learning takes place in Estonian educational institutions. Introduction of ICT needs a transfer of paradigm and acquisition of a set of new knowledge and skills. A number of schemes and programmes have been initiated by the government of Estonia for integration of ICT in all sectors of education. In this chapter, a new and flexible approach ofICT curriculum design and implementation suitable for a society in transition and unique to the University ofTartu has been discussed.
Billie Eilam and Miriam Ben-Peretz
The chapter will start with a brief analysis of processes and features of transition, characterising current Israel. Israelis live in constant uncertainty emerging from the unstable political context, accompanied by anxiety caused by the absence of peace and security. Israel is an extremely heterogeneous country with ongoing immigration from all over the world, leading to a dynamic and ever changing societal structure. The chapter will note some changes related to economy, technology, media and communication.
The transformational trends of school structure and curricula will be described, analysed and discussed in the framework of the elements previously presented and the relevant theoretical viewpoints and studies. Several main aspects of the response of the educational system will be emphasised in light of appropriate research findings:
• The tension between school autonomy and the aspiration for unity and control of educational authorities.
• The tension between striving for excellence and the desire for equity and equality of opportunity.
• The multicultural tension between different ssectors of society such as diverse ethnic and religious groups.
• The tension between parents' aims, beliefs and behavioural norms.
Strategies and programmes, based on a theoretical background, policy, curricula documents, prevailing practice and evolving from the issues above, will be presented and discussed. The chapter will conclude with suggestions for a conceptual framework for examining the educational implications for life in transitional societies.
Thakur Singh Powdyel
This paper attempts to present the unique position of the Kingdom of Bhutan in transition from a medieval society to a modem nation-state. It argues the centrality of education in the development of the country, focussing on the changes in the enrolment of girls in particular and that of children in general. The paper goes on to highlight the improvements made in formal and non-formal education, values education, quality assurance, teacher education and use of information technology. The paper concludes with a brief discussion on the advent of a national university as a culmination of the transition and looks ahead to the future where we hope to blend the fruits of the best of the modem with the best of the traditional.
South Africa is a country with a history of racism and racial subjugation - a country where black people endured approximately fifty years of domination by a white regime that skillfully manipulated every facet of their lives through an apartheid system. Mid and late twentieth century South African history is associated with apartheid which means "separate" and represents oppression, authoritarianism, inequality and human indignity. It is not possible to write a paper about the transition in South Africa without referring to apartheid- a derogatory, evil system (Tutu, 1987) where black and white populations where kept separated. The Nationalist Party - a white Afrikaner minority group who came into power by only white vote in 1948, enshrined legislation aimed at securing the white population as "pure" by keeping the whites and blacks separated (Gibson , 2004). It was political pressure by students and anti-apartheid activists that resulted in the removal of the apartheid regime. In 1994, it was a proud moment for many South Africans when they were allowed to vote in a democratic South Africa. Education has played a key role in South African politics since 1953. In order to understand the transition it is necessary to go back five decades to review the past in order to understand the present and the future. This chapter is divided into five sections, namely: 1) The Apartheid era and the State of education; 2) Teacher education during Apartheid; 3) Curriculum reform; 4) Teacher Education post 1994 and 5) A case study: Curriculum reform in the Eastern Cape Province in South Africa.