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Awards and prizes

 

EPSA 2011

The Knowledge Based Economy Project has received a new certification of Good Practice at the 2011 „European Public Sector Awards” (EPSA) within the European Institution of Public Administration.

The Best Practice Certificate has been received upon three evaluation steps made by an experienced jury, comprising a shortlist of 58 nominees from a total of 274 projects from 33 participating countries. The Ministry of Communications and Information Society, through the Project Management Unit, competed  in the EPSA 2011 Awards at the „Smart Public Service in a Cold Economic Climate”category. This Best Practice distinction rewards and certify the outstanding results that KEP Project has had until now.

 

The COMPUTERWORLD Honors Program

The Project Management Unit, within the Ministry of Communications and Information Society, has been named a Laureate in the 2011 ComputerWorld Honors Program.

The „Knowledge based Economy Project” joins 254 others from 23 countries as Laureates in this year’s program, from more than 1000 applicants world wide.

The Awards Ceremony will be held in June, 20th 2011, in Washington D.C., USA.

 

National Agency of Public Servants

1st Prize at the National Competition of Best Practices in Public Administration, , for "Improving public services through quality management and organizational performance" category, organized by the National Agency of Public Servants in 2010.

Knowledge based Economy Project is considered to be an example of good practice in Romania's public administration due to its remarkable results, its proven efficiency and its disseminated practices.

 

THE HIGHEST HONOR IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT

Finalist, at the International Project Excellence Awards 2010, in "Project Excellence in Medium-Sized Projects" category, organized by the International Project Management Association (IPMA).

The solid implementation and success of the IT&C Training Program in school and business and the eCommunity.ro Portal, both part of the KEP Project, have impressed the IPMA jury (Project Management International Association), who recommends them as one of the most important achievements in project management.

 

e-Inclusion 2008

Medal at the e-Inclusion Competitionorganized by the European Commission, at the section “Geographic Inclusion” section, Vienna, 2008. The Knowledge based Economy Project is considered an example of good practice for effective use of IT&C and digital technology to tackle social disadvantage and digital exclusion.

 

Romanian IT&C Awards 2006

Knowledge Based Economy was considered to be the "Project with the best informational content" at the Romanian IT&C Awards – Bucharest, 2006, for contributing to the extensive process of expanding access to information technologies and modern communications to rural communities.

School and library – the most important KEP interventions in 2012

27.02.2013

Education and culture were the major intervention areas of the Knowledge-Based Economy Project (KEP) in 2012. Implemented throughout last year, the programme called “Technical assistance for use of IT&C resources in rural schools and libraries” launched a challenge targeting teachers and pupils from KEP communities in schools: to be part of an innovative exercise of adopting new IT&C technologies in the classroom, as well as to use Open Educational Resources (OER) and IT&C means in the teaching process. All the above were also involved, alongside other local actors in decision-making or execution positions, in community development activities, in order to attract funds in local schools and libraries.

Targeting schools and local libraries in Romania’s eight development regions, the project involved more than 8,000 teachers, as well as their students, under the guidance of e-education counsellors – teachers experienced in class, training and mentorship programmes, acting locally. The Technical Assistance Programme aimed to maximise the effects of KEP educational interventions, capitalising on previous stages which took place from 2008. It is also a result of a good inter-institutional cooperation between the Ministry for Information Society and the Ministry of National Education.

This large-scale programme was based on the idea that innovation in education is an answer to the needs and issues of the learning system (reduced budgets, unequal opportunities in the teaching-learning process), as well as an answer to people’s ideals and aspirations. All those involved in this educational programme were the pioneers of using practices based on digital technologies in the educational and cultural processes, being mentored by educational facilitators throughout the year 2012.

The technical assistance component for education includes three dimensions: curricular (innovation in school curriculums), pedagogical (innovation in the learning process) and organisational (structural innovation, roles and functions fulfilled by people in the field of education).

Several activities were created and implemented, including: professional training for teachers, school and extracurricular competitions, seminars and good practice exchanges, national and international study visits – all aimed at acquiring new information and the skills needed in order to find the best ideas for innovation in education and, then, disseminating and actually turning them into daily practice.

229 resource-persons for local communities, generators of good practices

The “Technical assistance for use of IT&C resources in rural schools and libraries” programme started in December 2011 with training organised by the Ministry of Information Society in Brașov. There, people learned how to write projects in order to attract non-reimbursable funds in KEP communities. A number of 229 teachers participated. Results were well over expectations – 372 projects were written, worth more than 2.3 million Euros, out of which 229 were declared eligible and 64 were accepted for financing through programmes such as: „Partnership for education! Grants for schools in difficulty!”, organised by the Educația 2000+ Centre, Comenius, Grundtvig, SOP HRD and Youth in Action.

The things teachers learned were very diverse; in order to be successful, trainees had to use their IT&C and foreign language skills.

“This entire project is included in the entrepreneurial component, with inserts from the foreign languages and IT&C skills components. During the year, teachers learned totally new topics, like online marketing or how to identify a brand”, says Octavia Costea, key expert in the project «Technical Assistance for IT&C use in schools and libraries».

Furthermore, following the training session, all 229 participants from KEP communities are now accredited as resource-persons for their community, generators of good practices, local consultants for writing and implementing projects; they have become factors of educational synergy and offer mentorship for other community development partners.

This was also the conclusion drawn by most KEP representatives. „My biggest satisfaction is that through KEP such projects are becoming reality. The benefit of the local community is that the institution is growing, with leadership from a person people can trust in a professional capacity, because they know how to write a project benefiting all. In the end, that person may help anyone in the community in writing projects”, said Vlăduţ Andreescu, teacher in Urzicuța (county of Dolj).

„The national competition of curricular and extra-curricular projects”


In regard to the curricular and pedagogic dimensions, the activity was just as intense and stirred just as much the interest of teachers.

At the same time as the initiation in project writing, two competitions for curricular and extra-curricular projects took place (June-July 2012 and September-November 2012) 561 projects were submitted, as well as 250 extra-curricular projects based on use of IT&C and OER Web 2.0 resources in education. The competition targeted teachers in KEP schools and categories were defined for each school subject.

If these actions aimed strictly to help teachers acquire new skills, pupils were also invited to be part of this collective effort through the e-Holidays competition, developed by the Ministry of Communications and Information Society.

The impact has also proven to be positive and significant: eight editions of e-Holidays! were implemented from 2006 to 2012; in 2012, participation was up to 152 schools, 608 teachers and 1,520 students – impressive compared to 2011’s figures of 77 schools, 308 teachers and 770 pupils. The competition aimed to improve good practices in extra-curricular activities, characterised by creative use of computers, communications and development of educational communities, as well as modern teaching methods.

„KEP came up with a series of new ideas which we could use in our lessons – I mean digital resources. We discovered digital applications we didn’t know anything about. With their help we managed to organise our activities as effectively as possible, and students, coming in contact with them, were even more thrilled and active during class. Our results are much better since we have been using them”, said teacher Romeo Iştoc from Belin (Covasna), explaining the programme’s impact.

Another goal was developing ties between participating schools, an essential part in assimilating new IT&C techniques in education, and attracting new users from rural areas (parents, grandparents, entrepreneurs, locals).

Networking programme – an effective partnership model between teachers

Of course, in order to promote best practices and integrate them in the daily activity of teachers in KEP schools (ensuring this way the sustainability of school network after the completion of the KEP), all these results needed to be disseminated accordingly, so it was necessary to create and implemented an efficient partnership model between teachers in KEP schools.

A networking programme has been created, during which there were national good practice exchanges (with 200 participants), creation camps (300 participants), international study visits (50 participants) in 5 countries (Hungary, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Finland, Great Britain), whose schools had great results in education by using innovative methods like OER, IT&C and Web 2.0. “Such a study visit was a great gain, both for me and for my colleagues in the group, but also for my school colleagues, because I will share there what I learned. I think, however, that my pupils will have the most to gain, as they will benefit from modern educational alternatives, refreshed by my participation in this visit”, said Olimpiu-Cristian Purea, from Lăpușnicu Mare, Caraș Severin.

Final goal: to recalibrate teaching by using the specific potential of information technology

In clearly measurable terms, the technical assistance programme in education included 229 schools, with more than 8,000 teachers and students, more than 680 projects, out of which 270 projects were submitted and eligible, with total worth over 2.1 million Euros, to the benefit of 10,000 countryside students; also, over 300 curricular projects with IT&C components, OER and Web 2.0 were developed for each learning unit (30% in each of the areas: Language and Communication, Mathematics and Sciences, Man and Society, Arts), 300 extracurricular projects using virtual means, 132 interdisciplinary projects, 475 teachers participating in school networking activities; also, an increase in teachers’ skills was achieved, with 60% of participating teachers recording medium and above medium progress.

After going through all these stages, a natural question arises: “What was the purpose of all these complex efforts”?

The answer came from the head of KEP’s Project Management Unit, Diana Voicu, during the National Conference titled “Champions of Digital Education – unlimited learning solutions”, organised in Bucharest on November 19th-20th, 2012, marking the end of the technical assistance programme in the 229 Romanian communities: “The common conclusion from recent research on the consequences of using IT&C resources is that equipping schools with IT&C equipment and software applications does not automatically lead to increased efficiency in the learning process. At the same time, just digital initiation of teaching staff is not sufficient. In order to get better results than in traditional teaching, a recalibration of this learning process is needed, using the power specific to information technology”.

This recalibration ensues from all actions that took place in 2009 through the “Technical assistance for use of IT&C resources in rural schools and libraries”. In 2011, a research conducted through the Knowledge-Based Economy Project showed that 42% of teachers from KEP schools were not using computers for assessing students’ activity, 35% of teachers were using the computer only three times a semester, and 90% of them did not participate in networking and cooperation activities.

„Now the situation is different. This school year, in 229 schools from communities previously under-privileged in terms of access to digital information and knowledge, there is a new model of curriculum design, a new model of institutional development and a new mindset, geared towards getting funding mainly from European sources. Also, there is a new perspective on learning: one of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary. Innovation and learning focused on the student are being developed in those schools which implemented his approach proposed by the Knowledge-Based Economy Project”, Diana Voicu added.

Disseminating best IT&C practices in schools

Following the experiences accumulated during project implementation in 229 schools, two guides were written about the use of IT&C technologies in education, targeting all schools in pre-university learning and other Romanian educational partners.

The two guides will present the vision of MCSI and MECTS about innovation in the educational system, by capitalising of IT&C tools and resources, and will include the good practice examples shown during the project, regarding the integration of OER and Web 2.0 technologies, both in school and in extra-curricular activities:
     • „Using New Technologies in Education. Guide for schools”. It presents practical instruments for institutional management, which can guide principals and boards of directors in their decision-making process. The guide also recommends ways in which to use new technologies for institutional marketing and ensuring school visibility online, as well as using them for developing an institutional strategy resonating with the real needs of the community and the main social and economic actors.
     • “The use of IT&C in educational activities. Teachers’ guide”. Designed as a “manual” based on good practices which have evolved during KEP, this guide aims to promote among teachers IT&C, OER and Web 2.0 tools and resources, which will allow educators to adopt an innovative approach in their teaching, and to identify new professional development opportunities.

eCULTURA or creating the library of the future

The operational dimension of this technical assistance programme also included community development activities, by attracting funds for local libraries.

This was the reason of the eCULTURA competition, a programme of non-reimbursable grants for local and school libraries from the KEP communities.

The competition included 64 projects, out of which 33 got financing for implementation. Each project could receive a maximum amount of 16,000 Lei and targeted local development by implementing cultural activities by the libraries in KEP communities. The actual utility of this programme is best described by Văleni RECL manager Maria Gripcă, from Neamț County: „We want to consolidate the local capacity of participating in cultural activities, to improve IT&C skills and abilities for librarians. It will help us diversify and create new services which can take place in the library, and provide modern cultural services for our beneficiaries and all members of the local community”.

E-skills, the key component in the context of the life-long learning process

It must be said promoting a learning process assisted by modern technology is one of the European Union’s main requests. The Knowledge-Based Economy Project (KEP) tried to answer, throughout its eight years, to this request, formulated in the i2010 Initiative – “An information society for all Europeans”.

It was launched by the European Commission in 2005, in order to support the goals of the Lisbon Strategy – aiming to fight the institutional digital divide and promote digital inclusion at a personal level. „A society of learning is the most valid proof against exclusion. Knowledge, skills and abilities are the main capital European citizens have, and the e-skills are the key component in the lifelong learning process. IT&C has the potential to allow innovative, lifelong learning for all. We must make sure these become a reality”, former European Commissioner for Education and Culture Ján Figel said.

“The request for IT-skilled employees is bigger than the offer. This is why it has a significant impact. In a difficult economic context, the digital environment is the main driving force behind growth and creation of jobs. If we will focus on this issue, and if member states will implement the digital agenda, we will also see a significant increase in Gross Domestic Product, compared to the current situation”, said Neelie Kroes, vicepresident of the European Commission, responsible for the Digital Agenda portfolio.

These are also the aims of the Knowledge-Based Economy Project (KEP). The “Technical assistance for use of IT&C resources in rural schools and libraries” programme is one of the examples which prove the effort KEP personnel has put in, in order to accomplish those goals.

Online resources:

15 KEP school win funds in the «Educaţia 2000 +» project

229 KEP schools become champions in writing educational projects

10 teachers and RECL managers become “Champions of digital education”

Votes: 0

Awards and prizes

 

EPSA 2011

The Knowledge Based Economy Project has received a new certification of Good Practice at the 2011 „European Public Sector Awards” (EPSA) within the European Institution of Public Administration.

The Best Practice Certificate has been received upon three evaluation steps made by an experienced jury, comprising a shortlist of 58 nominees from a total of 274 projects from 33 participating countries. The Ministry of Communications and Information Society, through the Project Management Unit, competed  in the EPSA 2011 Awards at the „Smart Public Service in a Cold Economic Climate”category. This Best Practice distinction rewards and certify the outstanding results that KEP Project has had until now.

 

The COMPUTERWORLD Honors Program

The Project Management Unit, within the Ministry of Communications and Information Society, has been named a Laureate in the 2011 ComputerWorld Honors Program.

The „Knowledge based Economy Project” joins 254 others from 23 countries as Laureates in this year’s program, from more than 1000 applicants world wide.

The Awards Ceremony will be held in June, 20th 2011, in Washington D.C., USA.

 

National Agency of Public Servants

1st Prize at the National Competition of Best Practices in Public Administration, , for "Improving public services through quality management and organizational performance" category, organized by the National Agency of Public Servants in 2010.

Knowledge based Economy Project is considered to be an example of good practice in Romania's public administration due to its remarkable results, its proven efficiency and its disseminated practices.

 

THE HIGHEST HONOR IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT

Finalist, at the International Project Excellence Awards 2010, in "Project Excellence in Medium-Sized Projects" category, organized by the International Project Management Association (IPMA).

The solid implementation and success of the IT&C Training Program in school and business and the eCommunity.ro Portal, both part of the KEP Project, have impressed the IPMA jury (Project Management International Association), who recommends them as one of the most important achievements in project management.

 

e-Inclusion 2008

Medal at the e-Inclusion Competitionorganized by the European Commission, at the section “Geographic Inclusion” section, Vienna, 2008. The Knowledge based Economy Project is considered an example of good practice for effective use of IT&C and digital technology to tackle social disadvantage and digital exclusion.

 

Romanian IT&C Awards 2006

Knowledge Based Economy was considered to be the "Project with the best informational content" at the Romanian IT&C Awards – Bucharest, 2006, for contributing to the extensive process of expanding access to information technologies and modern communications to rural communities.

Cristineşti21

Cristineşti village is placed at Sucevei Plateau's contact point with Jijiei Plain (Hudeşti – Suharău – Cristineşti – Ibăneşti – Pomârla village alignment), with a relief characterized by hilly forms with altitudes of 250-300 m.read entire text

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