Role of ICT in Academia – Reaching the unreached

Speech in Detail

The session moderated by Dr Kokula Krishna Hari Kunasekaran (Secretary General, ASDF) focused on the role of ICT in enhancing community outreach, academic and research collaboration, and education and support services in an academic setting. Kunasekaran believes that the education will use more artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics to improve the learning experience in the future. According to him, many students use mobile phones during classes and it is important to deal with that in an educational way. Kunasekaran said that India is launching many satellites with educational purposes. Finally, he talked about the differences between Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and the online courses offered in non-large colleges. Dr Kunasekaran added that most of EDUSAT launched by Republic of India are catering numerous member states of the United Nations in reaching the Educational Programme for rural civil society.

Mr Abdulla Musthaq (Chairman, AVID College, Maldives) started by talking about how the educational system works in Maldives and also about the AVID College and its programs. In his speech, he spoke briefly in his mother tongue, Divehi, and explained the importance of this language for the country’s culture. Musthaq believes that education quality can be enhanced by ICT, but, at the same time, it is difficult to retain good quality in an online course. He explained the system used in the AVID college, where students can study through the Internet, accessing lecture notes and doing the activities. Government and Private Education providers are now establishing Atoll/Island campuses in various regions across Maldives to give fare access to quality higher education. These establishments are costly and Institutions also face the difficulty in accessing to trained human resources. To combat these issues, few private higher education providers are opting to provide higher education through online mediums. This again is a costly investment but are crucial in helping Maldives continue to develop a sustainable education system. In order to reinforce national coordination and implementation mechanisms and to strengthen international cooperation through foreign partnerships, Maldives is keen in learning from other’s experiences and excel through joint initiatives ensuring complementarity and synergy in our efforts to provide and sustain quality higher education across the nation. When asked by the moderator, Musthaq agreed that open universities are an interesting approach, but he stated that Maldives is not investing in this idea yet.

In his participation, Dr Gunasegaran Sengodan (Chairman & Managing Director, Vidyaa Vikas Institutions, Republic of India) talked about the Indian initiative to build rockets and satellites. According to him, satellites produced in India are the cheapest in the world and the country is ‘number one’ in this field. Sengodan believes that the launching of satellites is a good strategy to provide the Internet to the educational system and to the end users in education. Also, he explored the concept of smart classrooms that use ICT to provide a better learning experience. Sengodan said that there are many commercial solutions that can be used to promote different approaches in the educational area.

On delivering the concluding remarks His Excellency Kunasekaran added that the novel methods are now coming up, and Information and communication technology (ICT) has contributed immensely to social and economic improvements, such as higher employment and productivity, increasing access to a higher quality of life. Benefits of ICT can be achieved directly, through improved healthcare provision and disease prevention, or indirectly, through improved social infrastructure, economic growth, or other broader determinants of population health. In the context of public health, ICT, if properly designed and implemented, can generate many positive outcomes: improved access for communities in rural or remote areas; support of healthcare professionals; real-time disease surveillance; data sharing; and data capture, storage, interpretation, and management.

All the Best!


Personal Secretary (Recording In-Charge) : Daniel James

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