6.1 Albania

The Government of Albania recognizes that the public education system is critical to Albanian society. It has embarked on a path to prepare students to work and excel in an information-based, technologically advanced society. Within this context, the government initiated the e-School Programme in December 2005, assisted by UNDP. The main goal was to introduce ICT skills to Albanian students in both primary and secondary schools. The programme provided modern computer labs equipped with high-speed, reliable Internet connectivity. It also addressed the needs and capacity of teachers to use ICTs through a number of practical training courses and ICT curricula. The emphasis was on Internet connectivity, bridging the digital divide and raising awareness of ICT needs in schools. 207

Assisted by UNDP, the Albanian government created a working group in late 2005 to draft the Master Plan for the e-School Programme, which was adopted and officially launched by the Albanian Prime Minister on 19 December 2005. During the implementation of the project, a set of ICT educational targets was introduced, including the objectives that all public high schools (376 high schools) and 800 elementary schools be equipped with modern computer labs, along with well-defined standards for hardware, networks and applications. The plan also called for teacher training on ICT basics, the use of computers and productivity applications, basic Internet techniques, and basic computer and network troubleshooting. 208

A new, modern ICT curriculum has also been developed and implemented for elementary and high schools. In parallel, an agreement was signed between Microsoft Corporation and the Albanian government that allows all public schools to install free and subsidized software. 209

The Albanian government has continued to give significant importance to the introduction of ICTs in education. In 2010 and 2011, the education budget emphasized the introduction of ICTs, with allocations estimated at between 3.4 and 3.8 per cent of GDP. ICT was added to the curricula for 17 vocational education and training schools. As of January 2011, dedicated Internet service of 1 Mbps downloads and 256 Kbps uploads per school was available in every school with a headmaster, except for those in remote towns where five grades (1 through 5) were consolidated into a single class. The government has negotiated with the incumbent service provider, Albtelecom, to offer affordable connectivity in schools. Albtelecom provides school Internet connectivity throughout the country under its contract with the Ministry of Education. 210

207: UNDP Albania Page, e-schools Programme. Available at: http://www.undp.org.al/index.php?page=projects/project&id=92
208 UNDP Albania Page, e-schools Programme. Available at: http://www.undp.org.al/index.php?page=projects/project&id=92
209 UNDP Albania Page, e-schools Programme. Available at: http://www.undp.org.al/index.php?page=projects/project&id=92
210 Draft Final National Broadband Plan. Available at: http://www.mitik.gov.al/mitik/legjislacioni/Draft_Final_National_Broadband_Plan_3%20May.pdf

0 user comments: