South Asia Regional Symposium on ICT for Education 2018
Click here to download the SARSIE Programme Booklet for more information on the complete programme, speakers and events.
When: 27-28 February 2018
Where: Colombo, Sri Lanka
Who: Government officials, private sector, researchers, development partners and civil society from across South Asia.
Why: Since 2000, South Asia has made significant progress in improving access to basic education in spite of the many challenges posed by the region’s diverse and large population. In 2015, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) were adopted to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. SDG 4 on Quality Education, together with the Education 2030 Agenda, aims to “ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning”. Given this new education agenda, South Asia faces the challenges of improving the quality of education in parallel with the continuing need to increase access. Only 64% of children who enter primary school, manage to reach the last grade in the region, compared to the global average of 75%. The lack of competent trained teachers is a key factor that affects the quality of education in South Asia as seen by the percentage of trained primary school teachers ranges from 44% to 100% with a median of 82%. Other commonly cited challenges include high teacher absenteeism and low teacher competency.
Given these challenges, the Education 2030 Agenda highlights the potential of information communication and technology (ICT) for education to facilitate progress towards SDG 4. For example, the percentage of individuals using the Internet in South Asia has grown from 11.9% in 2010 to 33.4% in 2016. At the Asia-Pacific Ministerial Forum on ICT in Education (AMFIE) 2017 in May, the South Asian representatives recognized the above challenges and agreed that the two immediate actions to improve quality of education were (1) improving teacher capacity and training and (2) developing quality standardized digital content for sharing between national repositories.
ICT can improve equity and inclusion by enabling access to high quality instruction and learning materials through, for example, massive open online courses (MOOC), open educational resources (OER) and personalized learning software. ICT can also improve effectiveness and efficiency of education systems through robust Education Management Information Systems that provide quality and timely data for evidence-based policies. While the region furthers efforts to offer stable internet connections to all, South Asian countries continue to demonstrate leadership in the innovative use of ICT such as mobile phone, DVD and other offline portable computer devices to improve education quality. The use of ICT in education can strengthen self-learning, and there is no doubt that ICT is one of the key instruments to strengthen 21st century knowledge and skills.
The success of ICT in education hinges on sound policy planning and implementation on the ground that are closely aligned with the national education goals and complement the national education sector plan. South Asian countries continue to ramp up their policy efforts. For instance, the government of Nepal developed an ICT in Education Master Plan in 2013, and the government of Sri Lanka is now finalizing their own ICT in education master plan in close collaboration with UNESCO’s Asia-Pacific Regional Bureau for Education (UNESCO Bangkok) and ADB.
In view of supporting South Asian countries in their efforts to achieve SDG 4, UNESCO Bangkok and ADB are organizing the South Asia Regional Symposium on ICT for Education for the following purposes:
- Share regional good practices and challenges on ICT in education;
- Discuss ways to fully utilize existing central and school-level ICT infrastructure in their own country context; and
- Discuss ways to prepare future-ready post-secondary students.
- ICT: Solution to Education Challenges (Mr. Sungsup Ra, Director, Human and Social Development Division, South Asia Department, ADB)
Session 1: ICT and SDG4
- The Asia-Pacific Regional Strategy: 4 Priority Areas and 6 Action Points towards SDG4 (Mr. Jian Xi Teng, Programme Officer, UNESCO Bangkok)
- ICT for Education in Developing South Asia (Prof. Cher Ping Lim, Chair Professor of Learning Technologies and Innovation, The Education University of Hong Kong)
- ICT Skills Demand (Mr. Gan Chia Huey, CEO, JobKred)
Session 3: Gallery Walk
Session 4: Teacher Development for ICT in Education
- Preparing Teacher to be a Change Agent – Singapore Experience (Dr. Shanti Divaharan, Associate Professor, National Institute of Education)
- Competency-Based Teacher Development on ICT in Nepal – Developing Teacher’s Capacity to Utilize School ICT Infrastructure (Mr. Shyam Singh Dhami, Deputy Director, National Center for Educational Development, Nepal)
- MOOCs as an Alternative for Teacher Professional Development (Dr. Wang Qiong, Director of X-Learning Center, Peking University)
Session 5: Beyond Foundational Skills for Future Ready Education
- Digital Skills for Decent Work for Youth (Mr Sameer Sharma, Senior Advisor, ITU Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific)
- CODE@SG - Developing Computational .Thinking and Making as a National Capability (Mr. Adrian Lim, Director, Digital Participation and Foresight Division, Infocomm and Media Development Authority of Singapore)
Session 6: Online, Offline and Open Educational Resources
- Use of ICT in Math Education: Case Studies of MathCloud in Sri Lanka and Bhutan (Mr. Seunghoon Ji, General Manager, MPDA, Inc, Korea; Dr. Bilesha Weeraratne, Research Fellow, IPS, Sri Lanka; and Mr. Yeshey Lhendup, Deputy Chief Programme Officer, MOE, Bhutan)
- Transforming Education with the use of ICT in Korean Case (Mr. Jaewon Cho, Programme Officer, KERIS, Korea)
- Teacher-led Content Development (Mr. Md. Afzal Hossain Sarwar, Policy Specialist, Access to Information (a2i) Programme, Prime Minister’s Office, Bangladesh)
- Distance Learning for Both Online and Offline Environment in Nepal (Dr. Purusottam Kharel, Assistant Professor, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Kathmandu University, Nepal)
Session 7: Partnership