(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) was 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 comprised 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 Programme (English)

Concept Note and 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 examined 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.


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)

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)

Webinar 1 Recordings: (Eng),(Rus)

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 focused 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 looked 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.



1. Addressing digital competence challenges through DigComp and related European digital competence frameworks and tools (Mr Alessandro Brolpito, Senior Specialist in Digital Skills and Learning, European Training Foundation) (Eng), (Rus)

2. Digital education to enable young potential in Kazakhstan (Ms Ji-Hyun Yoon, Samsung Electronics) (Eng), (Rus)

3. Skills development programme for rural populations in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan (Ms Dr. Thekla Kelbert, DVV International Regional Director for Central Asia) (Eng), (Rus)

Webinar 2 Recordings: (Eng), (Rus


Webinar 3: Quality OER contents for skills development (UNESCO Almaty)

23 October 2020; 11:00 am-12:30 pm Almaty time

Webinar 3 looked 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.


1. Open, Easy, Resourceful (OER) Distance Learning Ecosystem for Korea’s Higher Education in light of COVID-19 (Ms. Hyojae Choi, Senior Researcher, KERIS and Mr. Hwansun Yoon, Assistant Program Specialist, KERIS) (Eng), (Rus)

2. The application Of OER and OEP to ensure inclusive education: Achievements and visions of INRULED (Dr. Ahmed Tlili, Co-Director of the OER Lab, Smart Learning Institute, Beijing Normal University, UNESCO International Research and Training Centre for Rural Education (UNESCO INRULED), China) (Eng), (Rus)

3. Digital solutions and e-resources for rural schools in Kazakhstan (Mr. Sanzhar Kenzhekhanuly, Executive Director, Bilim Media Group, Kazakhstan) (Eng), (Rus)

4.e-Education in Estonia (Mr. Florian Marcus, Digital Transformation Adviser, e-Estonia Briefing Centre) (Eng), (Rus)

Webinar 3 Recordings: (Eng),(Rus)