Information Technology at the service of education: | SIVECO Romania

Information Technology at the service of education:

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Communication brings together people with similar interests. Communication relies on information and information facilitates the success of education. This is the way that information contributes to simplification of communication and education in all francophone worlds.

Francophone represents one of the main vectors of progress and novelty in terms of education in Central and Eastern Europe, the cultural exchange mechanisms being consolidated by the increasing co-operation at university level.

The release of the University francophone portal by Romania, an initiative of The Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, aims to improve the mechanisms and cultural exchange traditions established within the Francophone world, to contribute to the creation of a joint dialogue and activity platform between Universities in OIF (International Organization of the Francophone world) member states, as well as to develop francophone inter-university communication with the help of IT&C solutions, such as facilitation for demarches of joint educational projects.

The initiative to create an inter-university francophone portal on the occasion of the “Francophone Summit” with the theme “Information Technology for Education” reflects the attention of OIF member states towards the involvement in a sustainable economical and social development, by improving the involvement of the IT&C sector in education, thus providing the conditions for evolution towards a Informational Society and an knowledge based economy.

This initiative makes Romania a supplier of educational services at global scale (through partnerships with francophone countries) and contributes to establishing of personal educational identity. 

„This is the first such portal whereby the Romanian universities were integrated with the educational network of francophone universities, with the purpose of information exchange from various areas of university education facilitating access to information about French scholarships, as well as development of joint project,” stated Zsolt Nagy, Minister of Communication and Information Technology.

The project coordinated by The Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, in partnerships with the Francophone University Agency, Ministry of Education and Research, Romanian and Francophone countries Universities, as well as research institutes, was technically designed by SIVECO Romania, the company that won the public tender in this respect.

“Romania’s experience in the sector of digital reform, developed during the implementation of the Educational Information System (SEI), offers a group of best practices to be used for other global educational systems,” says Irina SOCOL, General Manager SIVECO Romania.

Particularly, the development of the inter-university co-operation in the francophone area comes as support for the process of educational reform unrolled at national level, including the stage of digital reform in education, which aims to valorize communications and information technologies for teaching and learning, contributing to the conversion of educational environments into dynamic environment of cultural exchange education.” 

About The Francophone Universities Portal – structure, functions and advantages:

To encourage and develop inter-university co-operation at francophone countries level, the portal provides the following functions of informing, communication and facilitating the partnerships for action:
- Database with electronic documentations for teaching/learning (classes, online classes, theses for doctoral dissertations, university brochures);
- Database with relevant university projects for teaching/learning which promotes the values of francophone world;  
- Virtual library with teaching texts that can be downloaded freely;
- Registry of relevant educational themes links (information, resources for class activity etc.);
- Registry of University’s links, scholarships, online university libraries, university research centers, francophone institutions;
- Forum for teachers’ and students’ messages, university thematic chats (established according to the demands of the users) – this is meant to provide a connection with the pedagogical and university environment;
- Online newsletter and university news column (conference, scholarship announcements, vacancy notice);
- A page dedicated to implication of IT&C in education, with relevant links: teaching/learning methods, teacher’s preparation, un-formal education, measuring and monitoring educational changes, indicators of educational IT&C, continuous education and the relationship with labor market trends etc.

Besides the function of information and communication facilitation, the portal ensures the collection and distribution of examples of good practices in educational methods, access to information regarding significant changes in the sector of higher education, both at organizational and at content value level.

Apart from the existing database of projects, the portal will contribute to identifying of current collaboration offers (among OIF member states), as well as the training needs that should be met.

The portal aims to provide a favorable framework for the tutors’ experience exchange, based on continuous academic improvement and formation of an academic curriculum for thoroughgoing study (DEA), already acknowledged in the participant countries by bilateral and multilateral agreements.

Types of information available to the users:

(Students, researchers, teachers and students in master’s degree):
- Information regarding educational legislation;
- Information regarding practice and pedagogy;
- Support materials for teaching/ learning;
- Support materials for continuous improvement of teachers and students;
- Information regarding university carrier opportunities, for establishments of partnerships for action on education and research university projects;        
- Educational software and specialty literature;
- Materials regarding IT&C applications in education.

The portal provides access to:

- Knowledge transfer (in terms of domain knowledge and dissemination of good practices); this transfer of knowledge represents – at regional level – an instrument of “confidence-building” which cannot be ignored;
- A co-operation model at organizational level (OIF) which identifies through attachment to a certain cultural horizon;
- Dissemination, transfer and consolidation of a cultural model, the francophone model, that proves the universality, modernism and humanist dimensions;
- A dynamic identity for francophone countries, into an English domination horizon;
- Building methods partnerships for action for projects in educational and research areas (from human resources identification and/or study opportunities employment to mobilization of financial resources etc.);
- Web-sites for university projects (organized on 2 directions: by countries and by issues);
- Data and information regarding academic, research and administration institutes participate at projects from francophone countries;
- Statistical information data regarding educational activity unrolled at francophone university level, research centres.

About SEI

The Information Educational System – SEI is a complex program initiated by The Ministry of Education and Research in 2001, aiming to support the teaching/ learning process in high schools with help of the latest technologies. The program supporting the education reform is design accordingly with eEurope 2005 action plan launched by the European Union and with eLearning European initiative and sustains learning reform objectives.

The SEI program is implemented with the help of a public-private partnership between leading companies: SIVECO Romania, HP and IBM.  SEI is internationally recognized and appreciated as a successful program, considering that such results are rare, as all over the world the educational system, is known as having a relatively high level of inertia.

About AeL

The integrated software system (AeL) developed by SIVECO Romania, created to assist teachers, students and other participants to the learning processes, stands as the backbone of software applications developed for the Romanian schools information system.

AeL offers support for teaching and learning, in class and outside it, for testing, evaluating and marking, for creating, organizing and administration of multimedia educational content, for the monitoring the learning process and curriculum outlook.