Open­ing Up

Southasia - - 15 -

Bhutan is on the fast-track to open up its coun­try and em­brace the outer world. For a small king­dom that re­ceived its first tele­vi­sion only in 1999, the decision to in­crease and out­source its ed­u­ca­tion pro­gram is com­mend­able.

Af­ter ex­ten­sive dis­cus­sions with the King of Bhutan, Jigme Kh­e­sar Nam­gyal Wangchuck and his se­nior gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials, global IT and ed­u­ca­tion com­pany, NIIT has launched a new ini­tia­tive called ‘Play­ground Kiosks.’ The idea in­spired by sim­i­lar im­ple­mented pro­grams in In­dia, will lead the IT lit­er­acy pro­gram in Bhutan.

130 touch­screen Play­ground kiosks will be set up through­out the coun­try. The kiosk (com­puter learn­ing point) will have a satel­lite dish, a so­lar panel and will be run by NIIT. To par­tic­i­pate, a Bhutanese stu­dent or cit­i­zen will sit in the kiosk, log on and will get con­nected to the world, to surf, learn and en­ter­tain.

The Bhutanese Gov­ern­ment aims to cre­ate a new gen­er­a­tion of an ITaware so­ci­ety that sup­ports its sus­tain­able econ­omy. This ini­tia­tive is catered specif­i­cally keep­ing in mind the abil­ity and back­ground of the Bhutanese peo­ple. Though open to all, the pro­gram caters specif­i­cally to the youth and pro­motes the use of com­put­ers, the need for train­ing teach­ers and civil ser­vants.

The NIIT project is ex­pected to reach out to at least one lakh stu­dents, train a few thou­sand IT pro­fes­sion­als, schools and en­ter­prises in a cou­ple of years.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Pakistan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.