(Virtual) Central Asia Symposium on ICT in Education (vCASIE) 2020

(Virtual) Central Asia Symposium on ICT in Education (vCASIE) 2020

ICT-enabled skills development in rural and remote areas impacted by COVID-19 in Central Asia and beyond

When: Webinar #1 on 25 September; Webinar #2 on 7 October; Webinar #3 on 23 October 2020
Type of event: Webinar (open to public)
Who: Government officials, development partners, ICT experts from Central Asia and beyond, other education stakeholders or interested participants  
Languages: English and Russian (with simultaneous translation)

Since 2011, UNESCO has organized the Central Asia Symposium on ICT in Education (CASIE) for Central Asian Member States to deliberate on key issues, come up with solutions and develop partnerships with a focus on integrating technologies into national education systems. Past symposiums have covered such themes as ICT for learning and education management, ICT practices for lifelong learning, empowering teachers and teacher innovation, skills development and Technical and Vocational Education and Training, as well as data collection and Education Management Information System in Central Asian countries.

This year’s CASIE (2020) is organized virtually in light of COVID-19, with the theme “ICT-enabled Skills Development in Rural and Remote Areas Impacted by COVID-19 in Central Asia and Beyond”. This is a particularly pertinent issue in Central Asia, as more than half of the region’s population (57.5%) resides in rural areas, according to the World Bank. The pandemic has dramatically affected the continuity of education, delivery, quality and skills development, and more so for learners and teachers in rural and remote areas.

In response to such challenges, vCASIE will comprise a series of three webinars:

  • Webinar 1 (25 September 2020): ICT-enabled distance education opportunities for students and teachers in the context of COVID-19;
  • Webinar 2 (7 October 2020): Open and distance education to promote learning and skills development throughout life;
  • Webinar 3 (23 October 2020): Relevant educational content and OER for skills development.  

Contact: ict.bgk@unesco.org; m.alpysbayeva@unesco.org; uil-lbs@unesco.org

Key Documents & Presentations:
Concept Note and Tentative Programme (English)

Concept Note and Tentative Programme (Russian)

Webinar 1: ICT-enabled Distance Education Opportunities for Students and Teachers in light of COVID-19 (UNESCO Bangkok), 25 September 2020; 11:00 am-12:30 pm Almaty time

The first webinar of vCASIE will examine the impact of COVID-19 on rural and remote areas in Central Asian and other countries, which have taken emergency measures and moved towards providing education through distance and online models.



Moderator: Ms Auken Tungatarova, Programme Officer, ICT in Education, UNESCO Bangkok  

11:00-11:10 (Almaty time) 

Welcome remarks: 

  • Mr Shigeru Aoyagi, Director, UNESCO Bangkok 
  • Ms Krista Pikkat, Director, UNESCO Almaty  
  • Dr Sanghyun Jang, Director, Higher Education, Academic Research, International Cooperation Department, KERIS


Introduction to the webinar   


1.     Overview of Central Asian countries’ experiences and responses to COVID-19, particularly in supporting teachers and students in rural/remote areas 

  • Republic of Kazakhstan (Eng), (Rus)
  • Kyrgyz Republic  (Eng), (Rus)
  • Republic of Tajikistan  (Eng), (Rus)
  • Republic of Uzbekistan   (Eng), (Rus)

11:45 – 11:55 


11:55 – 12:15 

2.     Inter-government partnership to support national ICT in Education development in Central Asia (Mr Jaewon Cho, Programme Officer, KERIS) (Eng), (Rus)
3.     Systematic teacher support & public-private partnerships for underprivileged students in Republic of Korea (Dr Sanghyun Jang, Director, Higher Education, Academic Research, International Cooperation Department, KERIS to present on behalf of the Korean Ministry of Education) (Eng), (Rus)




Summary, Key Messages & Closing  

  • Mr Nyi Nyi Thaung, Programme Specialist, Policy and Planning, UNESCO Bangkok 

Webinar 2: Open and Distance Education to Promote Learning and Skills Development throughout Life (UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning), 7 October 2020; 15:00 pm -16:45 pm Almaty time

Webinar 2 focuses on promoting lifelong learning and skills development through innovative approaches such as ICT-supported open and distance learning, in particular in response to the COVID-19 situation. It will look at promising policies and practices within the sub-region and beyond in harnessing the potential of open and distance learning to promote inclusive lifelong learning for all.






Moderator: Ms. Jonghwi Park, Programme Specialist, UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning

15:00-15:10 (Almaty time)

Welcoming remarks:

  • Ms Krista Pikkat, Director, UNESCO Almaty
  • Mr David Atchoarena, Director, UIL 




Panel presentations (15 min each)

  • Digital skills and entrepreneurship education for adults (Mr Alessandro Brolpito, Senior Specialist in Digital Skills and Learning, European Training Foundation)
  • Digital solutions to promoting intergenerational learning and safeguarding intangible cultural heritage (Ms Ji-Hyun Yoon, Samsung Electronics)
  • Skills development programme for rural populations in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan (Mr Ravshan Baratov, Regional Programme Manager for Central Asia)


Q&A and Discussion


Closing remarks

Webinar 3: Quality OER contents for skills development (UNESCO Almaty), 23 October 2020; 11:00 am-12:30 pm Almaty time

Webinar 3 will look into the use, relevance and importance of open educational resources (OER) and teaching and learning content in rural and remote areas. With proper support mechanisms in place, teachers can adapt various OER or digital content to suit the teaching and learning needs in line with the curricular requirements, especially in light of COVID-19.