Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Paraguay and the New ICT in Education Policy

"Paraguay has decided to be serious and responsible. We have taken almost two years to prepare the policy for the incorporation of ICTs in the Paraguayan educational system now being put forward and represents our commitment to improving the quality of education of children in Paraguay. "

With these words, the Education Minister, Luis Alberto Rhiart inaugurated on 21 September an international seminar on New Directions for Learning: Technology and Education, organized by the Ministry of Education, the Inter-American Development Bank, Korean KERIS and OEI.

The minister was referring to a policy patiently but strongly built, with support from the IDB itself, which defines the way that the government of Paraguay wants to go in this area.

For now, this new policy is not just about buying computers. The mission of the Policy Information and Communication Technologies in Education is: To contribute to the improvement of educational processess through the use of ICT and development in all students of the digital skills needed to participate and actively contribute to society.

Given this mission, the strategic objectives of the policy are as follows:
1. Provide digital infrastructure for schools and colleges, leading to a national average of 2 students per computer.
2. Ensure that high school students acquire basic ICT skills.
3. Ensure that teachers, trainers and officials of the MEC to achieve a standard of ICT skills.
4. Contribute to improving the teaching and learning through the use of ICT.
5. Contribute to improve school management processes through the use of ICT as a tool for planning, monitoring and management in educational institutions.
6. Support initial teacher training through the use of ICT in various educational processes.
7. Develop capacity of anticipation in the use of ICT in education through the development of national capacities and infrastructure for research and development in this field.

In Paraguay, educational institutions that have computers does not exceed 7% and those connected to the Internet are less than 4%, so the challenge offered is higher.

Therefore was also very timely the dialogue that took place in the Seminar and Workshop in those days. Learn about the testimony and experience of Edith Moraes (Ceibal, Uruguay), Leda Muñoz (Fundación Omar Dengo, Costa Rica), Kela Odicino (San Luis Digital, Argentina), Myung-Sook Pang (KERIS, Korea), Jeff Mao (Maine, USA) and other guests, was a way to learn also of the path already traveled by others.

Paraguay inaugurates a new era and, from the IDB we are very pleased to be part of this effort serious, responsible and long term, that the government of Paraguay has developed

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