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Korea-Bangladesh – ICT Training Centre for education

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Organization(s): Bangladesh Bureau of Education Information & Statistics (BANBEIS), Ministry of Education

Country (ies): Bangladesh

Overview:
In pursuance with national ICT policy 2002 to foster knowledge-based society, Bangladesh Bureau of Education Information and Statistics (BANBEIS), in collaboration with Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) initiated a project “Establishment of Bangladesh-Korea ICT Training Center for Education (BKITCE)”to facilitate building appropriate IT infrastructure by setting up and operating a state-of-the-art Training Center in the country with 5 (five) ICT labs in the renovated and remodeled BANBEIS Computer Division as the centre of excellence.

Background:
Realizing the fact that the future of human society is inextricably linked with ICTs, Bangladesh, like most other developing countries, recognizes the potential of ICTs as an unprecedented lever for economic emancipation as well as an enabler for poverty reduction and human development – both of which are of equal importance.

The Bangladesh-Korea ICT Training Center for Education (BKITCE), located at BANBEIS, has been established to (i) improve the capacity of Bangladesh ICT human resources through the application of Korean training system model; (ii) to enhance access to ICT training in Bangladesh through the transfer of Korean IT development knowledge and experience; and (iii) to contribute to narrowing the digital divide and enhance the ICT cooperation between the countries in the region. Although the cooperation initiative incubated in the idea of strengthening the capacity of BANBEIS as the national ICT center for the education sector, the project perspective eventually touched the ground-breaking GOB vision of expanding and diversifying the use of ICTs to facilitate establishment of a transparent, responsive and accountable government through developing skilled human resources up-to grass root level in the country.

The development challenge of this project at the point of commencement was to ensure the adaptation and usage of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) for being increasingly linked to the national economic development and subsequent human development to participate in the international economy, to exploit emerging technologies for the betterment of its citizens, to modernize institutions and markets.

The project concept was operationalised with such expected results as to provide ICT education and training to the central and field level officials/staff as well as teachers of the secondary and higher secondary level, promoting GIS application training, post-graduate diploma in ICT courses, Web mastering course and training on EMIS to the field level official for promoting data flow from district offices as well as establishing and maintaining District EMIS, data base operation and so on.

The exposure of BANBEIS has already made a head way by that time through its own educational management information system, GIS school mapping for the existing location and assessment of institutional necessity, different educational indicators, etc. Further improvement of these systems was felt necessary for embracing the rapid growth of ICT and other tools for assessment and evaluation procedure of the developed countries of the world. The Republic of Korean, already being leader in ICT sector in the region, responded positively to the request of the Government of Bangladesh for assistance in development of this sector because of the fact that it genuinely matched with Korea’s such development cooperation agenda as provision for basic human needs (BHN) and human resources development (HRD) focusing on neighbouring countries in the Asia-Pacific region. The project idea was also coincided with the areas of Korea’s comparative advantage and strengths by which Korea made one of the remarkable success stories of economic development.

Implementation:
Bangladesh embraced ICTs as a matter of policy and set an aggressive strategy to make up for the current lag and leapfrog into the ranks of top ICT-ready countries within a decade through the adoption of its first ICT policy in 2002. Strengthening ICT capacity and enhancing its use in every sector of national life was prioritized. The establishment of BKITCE was the outcome of such national vision to create a centre of excellence in ICT training.

The Government of the Republic of Korea and the Government of Bangladesh were jointly responsible for managing the project activities and achieving the following outputs to demonstrate observable impact:

• Establishment of an state-of-the-art ICT training center in the education sector;
• Enhancement in ICT knowledge for implementing e-governance in the country through demand driven training on e-application in daily official works;
• Transfer of Korean technology regarding ICT training and courseware and institution building capacity; and
• Involvement of women in ICT management through training and participation.

Immediately after signing the minutes of a meeting between two governments on this project, KOICA organized an appraisal mission by Korean International Survey Team. The project was then quickly formulated, including project grant, on the basis of the recommendations of the Team. A result based activity plan was designed on the basis of joint recommendations by the Korean implementation survey team and BANBEIS. As the implementation progressed, project activities and expected results were fine-tuned and eventually materialized with continuing lessons learned at the ground.

The GOB also responded positively and acted responsively by approving the Technical Project Proforma (TPP) almost simultaneously with Korean approval and allowing KOICA to mobilize Korean experts to have access to BANBEIS premises for taking over the overall charge of project implementation. The implementation of physical activities, including all procurements, construction, renovation of BANBEIS building and installation of equipments were done by international experts from Korea. The government provided all logistic support and consultations where necessary. The training courseware and software were made available by Korean experts in due time and the project was completed ahead of schedule.

In an effort to strengthen core training capacity of BANBEIS Computer Division, eleven IT professionals were trained in Korea in Teacher Trainer Course and EMIS and GIS course. Similarly, four Korean experts visited Bangladesh in order to help BANBEIS acquire hands-on expert services to develop training curriculum and training manual of international standard to conduct training of secondary and higher secondary level IT teachers. Additionally four Educational Managers from BANBEIS were trained in Korea for strengthening oversight management. Series of workshop/seminars were arranged in BANBEIS for consolidating statistical capacity of the local and field level officials of MOE and IT related officials of other ministries.

Korean Project Manager was responsible for the implementation of the work plan in consultation with GOB designated Project Director. Although staff selection and nomination for training in Korea was the responsibility of BANBEIS and Ministry of Education, the Project Manager played a very significant role in this process to ensure that only the appropriate person is sent for overseas training. The Project Manager also played a significant role in making sure that the Korea-trained personnel were able to work as full-time staff in connection with ICT training and its application.

BANBEIS, on the other hand, provided sufficient number of ICT instructors, experts, administrative and auxiliary personnel for curriculum and course material development and consultation of EMIS and GIS. All necessary data, statistics and documents that were necessary for bringing outputs from this project were provided to the project personnel.

The project attained 99.52% achievement in terms of component-wise physical and economic progress in accordance with Project Completion report submitted to the IMED of the Ministry of Planning by the MOE.

Outcomes:
Bangladesh-Korea ICT Training centre for Education (BKITCE) became a modern ICT Training center fully equipped with State-of-the-Art Technology for industry standard Human Resource Development in ICT to meet the national and international demand. Evidently, BANBEIS was strengthened as the center of excellence in ICT training with 5 (five) computer labs, modernize EMIS and Training Division with interior and exterior refurbishment and necessary equipments. The IT Professionals of BANBEIS were trained in Korea in the field of IT related master training course, EMIS and GIS. In an effort to transfer knowledge and technology, specialized services from Korean experts acquired to develop demand driven standard course modules, materials and improvement of GIS and EMIS system.
Practical knowledge in ICT education and training acquired through study visit in Korea as part of expansion in the horizon of e-vision. Monitoring and evaluation indicators developed and knowledge of practical application of those indicators acquired through broad based interaction with Korean experts at home and abroad. After being fully equipped with courseware and labware, quality training on ICT applications has been provided to the teachers of secondary and higher secondary level with existing need based curriculum and modern techniques of ICT. More than 2,200 teachers, officials and staff have already received training. It was followed by refresher courses for the ICT subject based teachers at the secondary and higher secondary level. Every effort has been made to promote ICT related training programmes across the government for ensuring effective use of created facilities within BANBEIS.

Operational training courses on GIS to the teachers of Technical Institutions and Education Database Management System has been provided to the national and field level officials. The project was quite successful in attracting large number of mid-to-senior level government officials from other ministries for ICT training.

The project achievements facilitated consolidation of the theme of mainstreaming ICT education and training across the government and opened up the door for anchoring the theme into GOB’s vision of “Digital Bangladesh by 2021”.

The sustainability of the project after its completion is ensured by the government by accommodating the activities into GOB’s revenue budget for training and maintenance. IT related trainings for the staff of other ministries are now being conducted in BANBEIS which is contributing to an indirect impact on enhanced ICT knowledge for implementing e-Governance in the country.

Aid Effectiveness:
The establishment of Bangladesh-Korea ICT Training Center for Education (BKITCE) most appropriately embraced the government’s fundamental objective of harnessing the power of ICTs as the important tool for achieving economic prosperity through improving the management of nation’s scarce resources and enhancing quality of life. A well articulated synergy of aid effectiveness emanated in this project.

The participation of the Government of the Republic of Korea in GOB’s effort to expand and diversify the use of ICTs to establish a transparent, responsive and accountable government; develop skilled human resources; ensure cost-effective delivery of citizen services and facilitate the national goal of becoming a middle-income country by 2021 demonstrated the true spirit of South-South cooperation. The project design with such objectives of improving the capacity of Bangladesh ICT human resources amplified the principle of alignment with GOB priorities. The anchoring of the project input within the existing BANBEIS ICT domain and remodeling of operation and management arrangement of project input reflected the basics of well perceived harmonization. The project concepts and inputs were quickly absorbed into the expanded BANBEIS vision of enhancing ICT knowledge base for the teachers of secondary and higher secondary level. The principle of ownership is truly reflected in GOB ownership of the project and outcomes. Joint supervision of the project activities refers to the adoption of the principle of mutual accountability while the outcome statement demonstrated the criteria of managing for results. The success of this project ensured complentarity in this sector and encouraged both the host government/institution and Donor Agency to expand their ICT horizon and to undertake another project for the establishment of Upazila ICT Training and Resource Centre for Education (UITRCE). The project is expected to facilitate ICT training of grass-root level education office staff in 128 Upazila by using the expertise of master trainer already trained in BANBEIS.

The wider horizon of predictability of fund requirement and sources of fund for ICT mainstreaming across the country is being now well conceived.

Capacity Development:
The project outline at the formulation level and the statement of outcomes after implementation demonstrate broad based capacity development in ICT use in the country. The current ICT landscape bears the mark of significant contribution of BKITCE project that provided state-of-the-art training centre with modern lab-equipments, customized courseware, TOT and management support. Moreover, it facilitated government efforts in mentoring toward building an ICT-driven nation comprising of knowledge-based society by developing country-wide ICT-infrastructure and ICT human resources. It sensitized the orientation for e-governance and e-application for efficient management of resources by promoting access to information through all sorts of on-line ICT-enabled services that eventually facilitated empowerment of people and enhance democratic values and norms for sustainable economic development.

Duration: July 2006 – June 2009

Budget (Optional): Total: US$ 1.78 million (Project Aid : US$1.6 million, Govt.: US$ 0.18 million)

Name of Primary Contact Person: (1) Mr. Monowar Ahmed (if not available, please contact) (2) Mr. Rafique Ahmed Siddique

Title of Primary Contact Person: JCS Coordination Officer, Aid Effectiveness Unit, Economic Relations Division (ERD)

City: Dhaka, Bangladesh

Download this Case Story: Korea-Bangladesh - ICT Training Centre for education.pdf



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