Government officials from Central Asia are meeting to discuss how to increase effectiveness of programs and projects in information and communications technology (ICT) in the region, as well as share experiences and lessons learned. They are taking part in a first regional meeting of Government Focal Points and Project Coordinators from Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Mongolia, and Uzbekistan, starting today in Tashkent. The meeting is being held under a US$700,000 grant from ADB and the Tokyo-based ADB Institute to improve effectiveness of ICT in basic education of Central Asian member-countries.
ADB approved the technical assistance project last December following consultations with government agencies in the participating countries. It will be carried out over about 18 months to November 2007. During the two-day meeting, participants will analyse the status of ICT development in education in the region, discuss ways to implement the TA in their respective countries in line with national governments' education strategies, and identify key challenges and issues. The TA will help achieve investments in ICT to improve education opportunities and align it closer with labour market needs in the six participating countries, allowing them to better analyze, plan and undertake projects and programs for ICT in basic education. It will achieve this by providing a forum, through workshops at national and subregional level for sharing experiences and lessons learned on key issues relating to effective and sustainable ICT investment in basic education.