THE NEW ICT CENTER CONNECTS SREU WITH OTHER EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS IN THE REGION AND WORLD
“The well-equipped ICT center helps SREU to promote and institutionalize the culture of using Information Technology facilities and services at the university level.”
Before June 2017, students, lecturers and Staff members of Shaheed Rabani Education University (SREU) faced a lot of technical problems due to low internet bandwidth, limited network connectivity, absence of computer labs and wireless connections.
For basic tasks like communicating through email, printing & developing slides, and research on internet, students and lecturers were forced to walk into Net Cafes which charged them outrageous prices. In Afghanistan, it’s commonly known that there are lots of problems in higher education sector, such as lack of quality materials and learning resources; however, the need the for IT infrastructure such as Internet Bandwidth, server rooms, workstations and training rooms are the most important and often under-considered, needs.
Under Higher Education Development Program’s second theme (Modernizing & Enhancing the quality of teaching and learning), not only 12 ICT centers have been established, but 24 IT equipment and 6 solar system facility projects were also implemented at public universities which SREU is one of the benefited universities. The ICT centers consist of IT labs, work-spaces for ICT technical staff, well equipped training rooms, standard server rooms, and stock rooms.
“As it is obvious to everyone, today is the age of information technology and the use of ICT services have great importance in accelerating the process of scientific research, Capacity building of professors and students, distance learning or e-learning, communication process and information sharing between the users and institutions. For this purpose, the ICT Center, which was established by the financial and technical support of HEDP for SREU, has helped this educational institution in the field of e-learning, scientific research process, workshops, online conferences, information analysis, and use of online resources by academic staff and students, better management of the local network and better provision of Internet services for professors, staff and students of the University.” Says Omid Seerat, the ICT manager at SREU.
Higher Education Development Project (HEDP), which runs from 2015 – 2021 is a World Bank-funded project aimed supporting the development goals of Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE). The Project’s concept and design have been prepared following painstaking and extensive process of consultation and collaboration with the MoHE; Ministry of Finance; representatives of higher education institutions, both public and private; academic community; and major development partners active in the country’s higher education sector.
Besides implementing 42 ICT and IT projects, HEDP has awarded 473 PhD and Masters Scholarship for public university lectures, trained 2326 academic staff in OBE-SCL, awarded 150 research grants and trained 468 public universities’ technical staff. The program has also contributed the MoHE in improving access to higher education in Afghanistan through establishing lecture blocks and gender-specific interventions such as female dorms, child care centers and counseling centers at the public universities.