|Feasibility Study for Facilitating Access to Databases and Documentation in Technical and Vocational Education in UNEVOC Centres and Associate Centres (NCHRD - ROEAS, 1995, 102 p.)|
8.1. The establishment of Regional, Sub-Regional and National TVE Databases and Documentation Network Linkage and Communications:
The activities involved in facilitating access to databases and documentation in TVE are:
For each individual UNEVOC Centre (Focal Point) and Associate Centre:
1. On site requirement analyses study:
· For each individual UNEVOC Centre (Focal Point) and Associate Centre for:
· The establishment (for the first time) of full computer and information technology, network facilities, and software;
· Improving, upgrading, or expanding presently existing full computer and information technology, network facilities, and software;
· The establishment of communications links between national UNEVOC Centre (Focal Point) and its UNEVOC Associate Centres, and also the National Network of specialized TVE institutions; and
· For The establishment of regional and sub-regional communication links between UNEVOC Centres (Focal Points).
2. The actual establishment of new basic Infrastructure or the upgrading, and expanding the in-house existing Infrastructure. Along with the use of wordprocessing, spreadsheet, and statistical packages (office environment computer applications), may be performed
3. The recruitment and appointment of specialized technical workforce.
4. Establishing, developing, or upgrading application systems, databases are documentation.
5. Establishing WIDE AREA NETWORK (WAN) links with General International databases through information providers such as ORBIT and INTERNET, (facilitating access to International TVE databases and documentation) it is recommended to authorize UNEVOC national centre (Focal Point) only.
6. Establishing or maintaining WAN links and starting E-Mail between UNEVOC national centre (Focal Point), Associate Centers, and National Network of specialized TVE institutions that utilizes individual information networks. This is to avoid information duplication and redundancy, and to exchange viable information and expertise among individual national institutions.
7. When viable information is available for access and the users are trained to interact with the computer facilities, the number of users will increase, this means increasing the number of personal computer units, i.e. expansion.
8. Introducing Multimedia Authoring System for local use, providing assistance, training, and expertise, on national basis, in courseware development, and Introducing other required information technology applications to national UNEVOC centre and associate centres.
9. Establishing WAN links and starting E-Mail between the following five UNEVOC focal points (These five UNEVOC Focal Points will be the Regional and Sub-Regional Focal Points) (facilitating access to Regional and Sub-Regional TVE databases and documentation).
10. Establishing WAN links and starting E-Mail between UNEVOC focal points (UNEVOC Centres) within the Sub-Regional and Member States. Cooperating with UNESCO for the use of its established regional networks, and linking between UNEVOC Centres to exchange viable information and expertise among regional institutions via E-Mail, Databases and Documentation and other relevant information media. This step will conclude facilitating access to TVE databases and documentation in UNEVOC Network (internationally, regionally, sub-regionally and nationally).
In the final analyses, we can emphasize that UNEVOC Centres (Focal Points) and Associate Centres in the Arab States can facilitate access to TVE databases and documentation through the establishment of Regional, Sub-Regional and National TVE Databases and Documentation Networks and their proper infrastructures. Through these Networks, the Member State could participate effectively in International Networks.
Information technology infrastructures of UNEVOC Centres (Focal Points) are to be catered for, so as to actively access pertinent information and elevate the standards of TVE.
Before establishing communication links with other UNEVOC international networks, UNEVOC centre (Focal Points) in-house infrastructures should be built and should be fully active in realizing viable regional, sub-regional and national computer networks, and Utilizing E-Mail.
8.2. Benefits and rewards
The benefits and rewards are numerous, few of them are:
8.2.1. Benefits for Member States:
Facilitating access to TVE databases and documentation will give double fold benefits to Member States. It will provide access through communication links, in addition to databases and documentation, to the following:
· Access and utilize the new advancements in information technology such as valuable TVE information packages, information databank, and video-conferencing, which is readily available through the use of the international information databases via networks and information providers;
· Access and utilize multimedia applications, courseware, and others to develop workable, easy to use and comprehensible computer aided education and self instructed courses;
· Access and utilize document management system and other automation facilities to easily archive and access documents, research papers, theses, and other documents and library material;
· Access and support in providing the needed information for the establishment and the development of national TVE discipline planning strategies, policies, legislation, regulations, management and administration;
· Access and facilitate the provision of the needed information on curricula development methodologies, new technologies, modernization. Curricula adaptation, design, prototyping, implementation procedures, and the involved diversities in the national environment and plans; and
· Access and facilitate the provision of the needed information to improve in course (teaching materials) Development, monitoring and continuos upgrading according to curriculum changes and technology changes.
It will provide Member States with the viable information exchange and the availability of timely, organized, easy to access, reliable, accurate, systematic and timely, information.
It will save time and funds by the reducing the duplicated efforts of selecting and gathering information from different sources, storing, processing, manipulating, locating, accessing, and retrieving required information.
8.2.2. Benefits for UNEVOC Centres and Associate Centres:
The benefits and rewards for UNEVOC Centres and Associate Centres are numerous, few of them are:
· They can establish WAN links with General International databases through information providers such as ORBIT and INTERNET,
· They can utilizes, through communication links, Multimedia Authoring Systems for local use, and provide assistance, training, and expertise, on national basis, in courseware development
· They can utilize, through communication links, computer and information technology facilities that are found in many general organizations and specialized institutions in both public and private sectors, through employing TVE information provided by their databases and documentation (complementary TVE databanks).
· They can be provided, through communication links, with information covering regional and national rosters in TVE areas of development.
· They can be furnished, through communication links, with UNEVOC International, Regional and National inventory of activities and functions.
· They can be capable, through communication links, of obtaining information pertaining to general education.
· They can assist, through communication links, in selecting and commissioning TVE databases and documentation work-force.
They will be enriched with the information databanks of Sister Regional, Sub-Regional and National UNEVOC Centres And Associate Centres through:
· Interconnecting national and Sub-Regional databases.
· Accessing and efficiently using available National, Sub-Regional. Regional, and International TVE databases.
8.3. Risks and Difficulties:
It is imperative to recognized that if each Member States performs the facilitating activities on an individual bases, without full coordination between each other, and without instituting and following unified standards, the main risk is the none compatibility of hardware and/or software. This will lead to failure in communications and in the linking of the overall network, and eventually to useless networking environment Which will result in the inability of facilitating the access to required databases and documentation available at their sources, i.e. defeating the main purpose of these activities. Another risk is the high cost or the facilities which means expensive maintenance.
It should be emphasized that difficulties will be encountered in executing the facilitating activities if funds are not earmarked and financial support is not available.
Difficulties will also be encountered in executing the facilitating activities without the patronage, active involvement, cooperation, participation, and the investment of resourceful effort and time, by all levels of the member states political leadership, policy makers, planners, decision makers, administrators, and others with UNEVOC Centres and Associate Centres, which are the backbone of UNEVOC activities on national, regional and international level.
Fifth Conference of Ministers of Education and Those Responsible for Economic Planning in the Arab States, First Report, UNESCO, Cairo, 11 - 14 June 1994.