|Distance Education in Engineering for Developing Countries - Education Research Paper No. 13 (DFID, 1995, 102 p.)|
|Section 11: Summary|
The Czech Republic is very different from the other two nations in that it is not a developing country and economically and educationally has a very different background. It does not need any help with technical engineering matters except those to which it has had little if any exposure over the last 40 years: IT, software engineering, environmental engineering etc.
It does however have greater needs with regard to retraining and updating in order to bring its engineers up to date with modern technology.
Environmental issues are important for all three countries, but especially so in the Czech Republic as it is literally a question of the health of the nation - and its wealth, in view of the importance which these issues have acquired in the privatisation process. Training in environmental matters is therefore much higher up the agenda than in the other two countries.
The Republic is also different in that the whole of Czech society is undergoing an attitudinal change. The effects of the transition to a market economy and a consumer society are likely to be far-reaching in the Czech Republic, since for decades it has had no exposure to Western concepts such as customer service. Management skills are therefore crucial. It is likely that these would be applied quicker and more effectively than in the other two countries as the Czechs are keen to catch up quickly with their European neighbours and have set themselves the goal of entry into the KU.
It would not be easy to introduce distance learning into the country because of the inherent suspicion of anything that might vaguely resemble the Soviet correspondence system of education. Considerable work would be needed to raise the profile and image of modern distance learning. There is, however, a strong interest in modern educational technology which would help.
Whilst the interest in distance learning may not be very high at the moment, it may well increase dramatically in the Czech Republic in the relatively near future, implying that programmes should be set in train sooner rather than later. Other European nations (notably France and Germany) are presently working to develop distance learning in the Czech Republic.
It is beyond the scope of the current study to speculate upon the potential transferability and applicability of the training which the Republic seems to require most. However, there are strong indications that the conclusions of this report would apply to many other Central and Eastern European nations.