An Imperative for the National Public Health School in Burkina Faso to Promote the Use of Information and Communication Technologies in Education During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Critical Analysis

JMIR Med Educ. 2021 May 18;7(2):e27169. doi: 10.2196/27169.

Abstract

Background: Several studies have reported the positive impact of information and communication technologies (ICTs) on academic performance and outcomes. Although some equipment is available, the ICTs for education at the National Public Health School (NPHS) of Burkina Faso have many shortcomings. These shortcomings were clearly revealed during the search for responses to the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Indeed, to curb the spread of COVID-19, some measures were taken, such as closure of educational institutions. This resulted in a 2.5-month suspension of educational activities. Despite its willingness, the NPHS was unable to use ICTs to continue teaching during the closure period of educational institutions.

Objective: In this paper, we aim to propose practical solutions to promote ICT use in teaching at the NPHS by analyzing the weaknesses and challenges related to its use.

Methods: We conducted a critical analysis based on information from the gray literature of NPHS. This critical analysis was preceded by a review of systematic reviews on barriers and facilitating factors to using ICTs in higher education and a systematic review of ICT use during the COVID-19 pandemic in higher education. An ICT integration model and a clustering of ICT integration factors guided the analysis.

Results: The weaknesses and challenges identified relate to the infrastructure and equipment for the use of ICTs in pedagogical situations in face-to-face and distance learning; training of actors, namely the teachers and students; availability of qualified resource persons and adequate and specific financial resources; motivation of teachers; and stage of use of ICTs.

Conclusions: To promote the use of ICTs in teaching at the NPHS, actions must be performed to strengthen the infrastructure and equipment, human resources, the skills of actors and the motivation of teachers in the pedagogical use of ICTs.

Keywords: Burkina Faso; COVID-19; ICT; challenge; critical analysis; e-learning; information and communication technology; learning; online learning; public health; teaching.