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Nepal develops Master Plan for ICT in Education

19.07.2010

I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life. – Tenzing Norgay

The general perception is that developing an ICT in Education Master Plan is comparable to climbing Mt. Everest, in that it is a massive and daunting undertaking. However, this was bound to change for Nepali MOE officials after they attended a “National Seminar on Developing ICT in Education Master Plan”.

The Seminar has two basic objectives. The first objective is to “raise awareness on the importance of developing a National ICT in Education Master Plan”. As the ultimate owner and user of the plan document, the government needs to appreciate the purpose and importance of this activity. Interestingly, high ranking government officials in Nepal were receptive to the seminar. Their presence during the key moments of the seminar sent a powerful message to all participants that this is high in Ministry of Education’s agenda.

The second objective is to “guide the participants to consider the different elements needed in the ICT in Education Master Plan and put those in the national context”. The participants considered relevant national issues and priorities to ensure consistency with existing government plans. They formulated the country’s short to long-term vision for ICT in Education. They identified priorities which the government can implement in the next five years including policies and strategies needed to realize them. They also discussed implementation and coordination mechanisms including budget requirements and fund raising strategies. The 39 participants, divided into three groups, were given the rare opportunity to present their ICT in Education Master Plan ideas to ministry officials on the last day of the seminar. Most ideas put forward by the participants were well-received by their high-profile audience. Awareness raising and capacity building elements were noted as important foundation for future developments. The ministry official in charge of planning vowed to consolidate the outputs of the three groups. A technical committee will be formed to produce the first draft within six months.

By the end of the four-day seminar, there was excitement and optimism to produce the ICT in Education Master Plan. However, everyone was reminded that “developing” the master plan is just the first step. “Implementing” is just as important to reach the envisioned destination.

The National Seminar on Developing ICT in Education Master Plan was held at The Shanker Hotel in Kathmandu, Nepal last 22-25 June 2010. This event was a joint collaboration between UNESCO Bangkok and Kathmandu offices. For more information and updates, e-mail Benjamin Vergel de Dios, b.vergeldedios@unesco.org