UCA News - Issue 64
ICDL in testing centres launched in Central Asia
UCA is the official testing centre for ICDL in Central Asia
In December 2009, the University of Central Asia (UCA) signed a contract with the International Computer Driving License (ICDL) becoming the first organization in Central Asia to offer internationally recognized certificates in computer proficiency. ICDL registered testing centres in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan are at UCA’s School of Professional and Continuing Education (SPCE).
ICDL/ ECDL stands for International / European Computer Driving License. It was developed under the auspices of the Council of European Professional Informatics Societies (CEPIS), European Commission, the International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP), and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). ICDL is recognized by leading international employers such as the Bank of England, BMW, Ericsson, Guinness, IBM, Motorola, Nokia, and is officially recognized in EU countries. The European Commission endorses ECDL as the basic standard of computer literacy for EU citizens. ICDL, outside of Europe, is unique because it is mandatory in many countries.
In Central Asia UCA is implementing independent ICDL certification in national languages. This is the only IT-user certification programme that has been fully translated into Kyrgyz and Kazakh languages. Tajikistan will join to ICDL initiative in 2011.
The ICDL certificates provide a number of benefits. Certificate holders meet international standards in computer proficiency. Students applying to universities do not have to take computer literacy exams upon entrance, and such credentials often help students to meet the requirements for international exchange or educational grant programmes. The certificates also provide job seekers with recognized qualifications that are required by employers.
There are several types of certificates awarded:
‘ICDL Start’ is awarded for successful completion of any of the seven ICDL modules. This certificate allows its holders to advance their education and pass remaining three of the seven-module ICDL-Core certificate.
‘ICDL Core’ is awarded after successful completion of all seven certification modules. ICDL Programme Modules:
- Concepts of Information and Communication Technology;
- Using the Computer and Managing Files;
- Word Processing;
- Using Databases;
- Web Browsing and Communication.
ICDL exams may be administered only by authorized examination centres such as those at SPCE. Established over ten years ago, more than 10 million learners have taken the ICDL courses. The programmes are offered in 45 languages in 148 countries throughout the world.
The ECDL Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation that benefits from the unique support of experts from national computer societies and international organisations across the globe. The Foundation has offices in Brussels, Dublin, and Singapore. The Foundation works with communities, local and regional authorities, national governments, international bodies such as the United Nations and other development and international non-governmental organisations (NGOs), in the delivery of its certification programmes. The Foundation aims to ensure that its certification programmes are accessible to everyone. ICDL actively works on removing barriers hampering access of citizens to information and communication technologies knowledge and skills.
Visit of ICDL Representative to Kyrgyzstan
From 14-16 September 2010, Mr. Piotr Mrozinski, ICDL Representative, visited UCA Central Administration Office in Bishkek to discuss the programme and further cooperation. Mr. Mrozinski also met Ms. A. Ryskulova, the Minister for Labour and Employment of the Kyrgyz Republic, Mr. G. Sooronkulov, deputy Minister for Education and representatives of international organizations – ADB, EU, GTZ, Helvetas, and USAID.
Memorandum of Understanding signed with the Almaty Oblast Education Department (Kazakhstan) to implement ICDL in the region’s secondary schools
On 13 September 2010, the University of Central Asia signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Almaty Oblast Education Department, Republic of Kazakhstan. The Memorandum aims to improve secondary education by arranging training of trainers on ICDL standards for the region’s secondary school teachers and include ICDL programme modules in the oblast’s secondary school curricula.
SPCE is launching a partnership programme focused on the remote regions and Kazakh-language schools, as these tend to receive less attention from state authorities and from donors. .
Within the scope of this partnership, on 25 September 2010, thirteen secondary school teachers from Tekeli and surrounding areas (villages of Karabulak, Yeskeldy, Zhetysu) participated in a professional development course on Module 2 Using the Computer and Managing Files and took the ICDL exam for the module.
Starting 1 October 2010, SPCE, as part of an agreement with the Tekeli City Department for Education, is offering courses for seventh- and eighth-graders. The contents of these courses have been developed in coordination with the Tekeli City Department for Education and secondary schools themselves. SPCE contributed Kazakh language learning materials that are now used in two schools and will be shortly expanded to others.
ICDL in Kyrgyzstan
The ICDL Programme is being implemented in Kyrgyzstan since May 2010. The work started in SPCE Naryn, where with USAID funding UCA conducted professional development courses in ICDL for secondary school teachers (48 secondary schools) from Naryn Region.
In August 2010 SPCE conducted another professional development course for secondary school teachers, this time the course focused on implementing first two modules into the curricula of public secondary schools. SPCE developed curricula schedules for Grades 7 and 8 for the 2010-2011 academic year for the “Information and Computer Technology” course and prepared textbooks in Kyrgyz and Russian languages for Windows XP, MS Word, MS Excel chapters in the ICT course.
On 18 October 2010, the Ministry of Education of the Kyrgyz Republic designating five schools in Naryn oblast where ICDL will be implemented on a pilot basis in Grades 7 and 8 during academic year 2010-2011.
SPCE provided the schools with Kyrgyz-language learning resources and will monitor quality of the programmes.
ICDL Certification of Vocational School Instructors in Kyrgyzstan
Twelve instructors from technical-vocational schools from Balykchy, Bishkek, and Osh took ICDL exams on 4-8 October 2010 in the SPCE Learning Centre in Bishkek. Three of the exam-takers successfully passed all seven modules and qualified for the ICDL Core certificate, two were awarded the ICDL Start certificate.
This is the first experience of cooperation between SPCE and Kyrgyz Ministry of Labour and Employment and ICDL’s expansion throughout the vocational school system is anticipated.
SPCE attends the ICDL Foundation Forum
On October 20-22, 2010 ICDL Foundation held its annual Forum in Bonn, Germany. This event brings together ICDL representatives from Europe, Asia and Africa. SPCE Director, Gulnara Djunushalieva attended the forum where discussions focused on the development of certification opportunities throughout the world Representatives from other international professional associations – CEPIS, UNESCO and leading global IT companies – IBM, Future Navigator, took part in the Forum and shared their vision of the IT industry future
Expanding virtual resources
UCA continues to expand its academic resources throughout all its campuses. All campus sites now have access to JSTOR and HINARI. JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that provides access to a wide range of academic content in a digital archive. It contains over 1,000 academic journals and other scholarly content. The HINARI Programme was set up by the World Health Organization and major publishers in health research. The programme was developed to allow developing countries to gain access to the largest collection of biomedical and health literature. There are more than 7,000 journal titles now available in 109 countries, areas, and territories.
Access to these libraries can be gained to any interested research or scholar on request. For more information please contact Emanuele Costa, Head of Knowledge Management, at firstname.lastname@example.org.