I am honored to participate at the opening of today’s conference that discusses critical issues for achieving high quality education and making young generation of Albanians competitive and successful.
Today, globalization and the information revolution have increased the demands for a technologically skilled work force. ICT’s has helped countries to leapfrog in the development process, by moving directly to a globally-connected, information-driven, knowledge-based society. To do so, nations must put a high priority to building the capacity to effectively use these technologies in education.
That is why the World Bank is playing an important role in assisting countries in taking advantage of the opportunities in information and communications technologies to contribute to education goals. the Education Excellence and Equity Project (EEE-P) financed by the Government of Albania in partnership with the World Bank, Council of Europe Development Bank and the European Investment Bank has helped to supply computers and connectivity, build school computer labs, enable instruction in computer literacy, and strengthened transparency and efficiency of the education system and institutions .
By helping to narrow the digital divide in Albania, this investment will help Albanian children to compete in the global labor market of tomorrow.
I am very pleased that Government of Albania implementing a Cross-Sectoral Strategy for Information Society, to build a knowledge based society where everybody benefit from information and communication technology and where public administration is more efficient and transparent.
We encourage the MoES to pursue the agenda of the e-learning by not only putting in the basic infrastructure and software in place, but by continuously improving the capacity of its educators to deliver computer literacy, to apply ICT in their instructional methods, and to promote develop skills in critical thinking, information evaluation, and collaboration in their graduates.
This challenge does not only involve the public administration and its donors, but requires a partnership with the private sector to deliver first rate products and services that the Albanian children deserve. We at the World Bank have noted the growing capabilities in the local private sector in the IT field. We encourage all players - public and private - to ensure fair competition for delivering your children and grandchildren best services and products at affordable price, and to dutifully meet all contractual obligations and commitments.
Finally, I would also like to encourage the Ministry of Education and Science to, itself, make good use of these new technologies such as EMIS, databases of education outcomes, to strengthen the management of the sector.
I wish you success in advancing this ambitious agenda for the digital age and to help Albania children meet the challenges of the future, and for a more efficient and transparent public sector.