Education Minister George K. Werner has emphasized the significance of Mobile Learning as an innovative way to provide quality learning opportunities for a huge segment of the population.
Serving as one of the panelists at the UNESCO Mobile Learning Forum in Paris, France, Minister Werner said Mobile Learning provides the means for a life-long learning that enhances peace and stability. It creates social development for boys and girls, a potential for research purposes for universities and creates avenues for the promotion of the quality of studies for working class people and others.
Minister Werner also said Mobile Learning is a unique opportunity for female students who might get pregnant and cannot attend classes, but could use the technology to remain in school through Mobile Education and that it can be used to outline some major policy issues through public-private partnership.
Other panelists at the UNESCO Forum included Noomane Fehri, Minister of Communication Technologies and Digital Economy of Tunisia, Quiteria Hemenegildo Mabote, Inspector General for the Ministry of Education, Mozambique, and Luvsanjamts Lkam, Director of Innovation for the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science of Mongolia.
Others included Pastor Ngoua Nneme, Minister of the Economy of Gabon, Anusha Rahman Khan, Minister of State for Information Technology, Pakistan and Joseph Mucheru, Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology, Kenya.
The forum was organized to derive strategies and practices to maximize the potential of mobile technologies in education.
The five-day event brought together technology experts, government representatives, education specialists, project managers, researchers and industry partners from around the world.
The United Nations report says there are six billion mobile phone subscriptions in the world today, used by a population of seven billion and access to the internet is growing fast. The UN says this combined with the technical improvement of mobile devices and the development of dynamic learning content, has led to a great increase in the educational potential of information and communication technologies, notably in communities where books and schools are scarce.
Speaking at the opening of the gathering, UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova asked “How can technology ensure all young people, and not just a privileged few, have access to quality learning opportunities?
Director Bokova said this year’s event gathered together world technology experts, government representatives, education specialists, project managers, researchers and industry partners to share experiences on how best to forge access and quality to ensure all students receive the education and training they need to fully participate in knowledge economies.
She said worldwide access to and use of inexpensive smart-phones and tablet computers has grown enormously. Ms Bokova identified four key areas in which mobile technology could and should promote quality education: to support the influx of new students entering education systems in the next decade; to better connect learning to work; to ensure genuine lifelong learning; and to transform the lives of girls and women.
Meanwhile, Pakistani Minister for Information Technology, Mrs. Anusha Rahman on Thursday said that Pakistan has been marked as the leading investment destination of the Telecom and IT sector in South Asia, and she wants to offer assistance to Liberia in that sector.
A report in the Business Recorder of Pakistan on March 11 said she made the offer to Education Minister Werner in Paris at the Mobile Learning Conference.
The agenda of the conference is to work out the innovative ways of harnessing the potential of mobile learning for socio-economic development.
During the meeting, the Minister said that Pakistan’s freelancers in the field of IT have been ranked No. 4 in the world.
She informed the Liberian Minister that Pakistan was aggressively pursuing an accelerated digitalization program to spur socioeconomic growth in the country.
She said the recently launched ICT for Girls Program in Pakistan was aimed at passing on the benefits of ICT to this less privileged section of society.
Under this program girls from marginalized sections would be trained on coding and computing with the partnership of Microsoft to increase their employability potential.
Besides, under Universal Service Fund, the government in Pakistan was spending billions of rupees to provide telecom and broadband facilities to un-served and underserved areas of the country.
“Alongside and in partnership with CISCO and Microsoft we are aiming to impart a comprehensive IT education program for ICT schools,” she added.
The Minister said the recently approved telecom policy in Pakistan has been appreciated across the industry and other stakeholders as a landmark document.
Mr. Werner highly appreciated the endeavors of the government of Pakistan towards socioeconomic development through effective utilization of ICT.
He sought the expertise of Pakistan in the field of ICT. In this regard, Ministry of ICT has consented to provide all out support in the fields of ICT and education to work out the modalities to sign an MOU between the two countries.