Next session of UN information technology forum to focus on education

Next session of UN information technology forum to focus on education

Hundreds of leading educators, scientists, development experts and programme analysts are set to gather in Dublin, Ireland, for a United Nations-organized forum on harnessing the potential of new information technologies for education.

The UN Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Task Force has organized the two-day Global Forum – from 13 to 14 April – to bring the experts together with UN officials to explore ways ICTs can provide a practical, cost-effective and enabling solution for improving the quality and quantity of education.

The Forum, meeting in Dublin for the first time, will be co-hosted by the Irish Government and the Global e-Schools and Communities Initiative (GeSCI). Launched by Nane Annan, wife of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, at the first phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in December 2003, GeSCI works at local, national and international levels, convening and supporting groups as they deliver effective ICT-in-education strategies.

At the Forum's start tomorrow afternoon, Ireland’s Minister of Communications, Noel Dempsey, and ICT Task Force Chair José Antonio Ocampo are scheduled to make remarks, followed by a keynote address by Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University, Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General.  The meeting will then focus on the contribution of ICT to education initiatives.

At Thursday morning's "break-out" sessions, the Forum is scheduled to examine how partnerships can maximize complementary strengths, ways to increase and make more affordable access to ICT in education, learning strategies and content development; and capacity-building for leaders, managers, teachers and administrators. In the afternoon, the Forum will discuss the outcomes of those sessions and devise next steps.