PRESSRELEASE: ICT in Education Masterplan

Mr. Nurul Islam Nahid, Minister of Education in Bangladesh

Nation moves one step towards digital Bangladesh - ICT in education in master plan soon

Bangladesh is moving one step ahead in making digital Bangladesh – master plan for ICT in education is going to be prepared soon. The government, stakeholders and development partners began a journey of formulating the ICT in Education Master Plan of Bangladesh through the first step- the Capacity Building Workshop on Using the ICT in Education Toolkit for Policymakers, Planners and Practitioners, started on 27th and will finish on 30 April 2009.

One of the agenda of this government is to make the country ‘digital’ through ICT capable and ICT enhanced education and making the people fit for the 21st century challenges. After coming to power in January this year, this government has already taken initiative to reformulate the education policy and now going to explore how ICTs can best be integrated and enhance quality of education.

Mr. Nurul Islam Nahid, Hon’ble Minister for Education, while speaking as Chief Guest for the inaugural session of the workshop, reiterated his government’s commitment to ensure quality education and making Bangladesh a digital nation. He hoped that this workshop will enable the policymakers, planners and practitioners to recommend policy changes to integrate ICT in education and prepare ICT in master plan. This government has already approved ICT policy 2008 and ICT laws. Among others Mr. Malama Meleisea, Director and Representative, UNESCO, Mr. Anir Chowdhury, Policy Advisor, Access to Information Programme of Prime Minister’s Office spoke the occasion. The speakers at the inaugural session underscored the need for designing ICTs in education keeping in the mind the needs of underprivileged and under-reached people.

Policymakers around the world face four basic obstacles – lack of awareness on how ICT can help improve the education sector; lack of technical capacity to develop policies to effectively integrate ICT in the education system; lack of leadership to implement what has been planned and agreed; and lack of effective coordination among the different agencies supposed to implement the national ICT in Education Master Plans. All these will be discussed by the participants during the workshop. But this is just the first step.

UNESCO, UNDP, and the Spanish Cooperation Agency are joining hands to assist government planners and policymakers make sure that the ICT in Education Master Plan is realized and approved within the shortest possible time. The draft master plan should be ready in a few months to be followed by a series of public consultations that will ensure that future initiatives in ICT in Education reflects the real needs of the people of Bangladesh. That’s a journey worth taking.

More than 30 policymakers, planners and practitioners from government and non-government agencies dealing with education and ICTs are attending the 4-day workshop at BANBEIS Bhaban.