(Virtual) South Asia Regional Symposium on ICT for Education (vSARSIE)

(Virtual) South Asia Regional Symposium on ICT for Education (vSARSIE)

“Rebuilding towards ICT-enabled resilient education in the COVID-19 era”

COVID-19 has disrupted education for almost 430 million students in South Asia, with concern that some may never return to class, according to recent findings from UNICEF. At the most risk of being left behind are students from resource-poor remote and rural areas, as well as those from low-income households. Meanwhile, the region is challenged to continue improving the quality of education, learning outcomes and skills development to empower students to lead fuller lives.

ICT has the potential to improve the teaching-learning process, education management efficiency and learning outcomes to achieve quality education and skills development goals. However, appropriate policies, ICT infrastructure, teacher-capacity building and content development are all needed to support students in continuing their learning trajectories.

In this context, the second South Asia Regional Symposium on ICT for Education 2020 (SARSIE) on 15-16 October, was under the theme of “Rebuilding Towards ICT-Enabled Resilient Education in the COVID-19 Era”.

The symposium presented applications of ICT that improve the quality of education and skills training, bridging learning disruption while working towards equity. It provided a platform for policy-makers, field experts and practitioners to share knowledge and experiences, and reflect on actions to build more resilient national education systems to cope with disasters and emergencies.

When: 15 and 16 October, 12.30 pm to 2.30 pm New Delhi time

Type of event: Webinar (open to public)
Who: Government officials, education practitioners, edtech agencies/companies and private sector, researchers, development partners, civil society from around the world and interested participants
Languages: English


Day 1: 15 October 2020; 12.30 pm to 2.30 pm New Delhi time

As governments rebuild, appropriate policy support, ICT infrastructure investment, teacher-capacity building, and relevant curricula and contents development are needed to meet the enormous potential. A holistic approach towards ICT in Education is needed to improve quality education and assist students in meeting learning trajectories. The topics covered included:

  • Examining how education systems are using ICT to bridge the digital divide, overcome learning disruptions and promote innovation

Day 2: 16 October 2020; 12.30 pm to 2.30 pm New Delhi time

In response to COVID-19, countries have taken emergency measures and made efforts to provide continuous and quality education through ICT-enabled distance and online learning. How can governments overcome the digital divide and ensure equal education opportunities to vulnerable student populations? Sessions included:

  • ICT for enhancing inclusion of marginalized student populations
  • Leveraging ICT for skills anticipation and bridging the gap between education/TVET systems and the labour market
  • ICT for development of teaching and training resources and aides, and preparing teachers and trainers in recovery from COVID-19

Key Documents & Presentations:

For questions, contact: ict.bgk@unesco.orgm.joshi@unesco.org  


This two-day virtual symposium included:

                                                             DAY 1: 15-10-2020
Venue: Online (Zoom/Teams)




12:30 – 12:35 (New Delhi time)

Welcome Remarks


Shigeru Aoyagi, Director
Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education, UNESCO Bangkok

12.35 – 12.40

Opening Remark

Mr Yoshiaki Ishida,
Director for International Strategic Planning, Office of the Director-General for International Affairs, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT)/Deputy Secretary-General, Japanese National Commission for UNESCO

12:40 – 12:55

ICT Keynote Presentation


Anantha Kumar Duraiappah, Director
UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP)

12:55 – 13:00

Overview of Project & vSARSIE 2020

UNESCO Bangkok

13:00 – 13:45


Session 1: Setting the Stage
Q&A (10 min)

Presenting countries:

13:45 – 14:30


Session 2: Using ICT to bridge the digital divide, overcoming learning disruptions and promoting innovation

Q&A (10 min)

14:30 – 14:35

Wrap up of the sessions


                                                             DAY 2: 16-10-2020
Venue: Online (Zoom/Teams)




12:30 – 12:35


UNESCO Bangkok

12:35 – 13:15


Session 3: Using ICT for development of teaching/training resources and aides and preparing teachers/trainers post COVID-19

Q&A (5 min)


13:15 – 13.45


Session 4: Use of ICT for enhancing inclusion of the marginalized

Q&A (5 min)

13:45 – 14:15


Session 5: Leveraging ICT for skills anticipation and bridging the gap between education/TVET systems and the labor market

Q&A (5 min)

14:15 – 14:25


Closing Remarks and Way Forward

Summary: Nyi Nyi Thaung, Programme Specialist, UNESCO BKK

Closing: Omar Diop, Head of Education, UNESCO NDL