e_society_2008The topic of this year’s conference was Information and Communications
Technology (ICT) in education, and the following subjects were
discussed during the five working sessions:

•    Currently implemented projects in Macedonia and related challenges,
•    e-contents and open access,
•    accessibility, privacy and security,
•    the future of academic and research networks
•    e-learning platforms


About 200 participants from the country and abroad attended the
conference, including representatives of all the societal sectors,
managers and ICT experts from the relevant government bodies and all
the levels of the educational sector, professors and students, as well
as representatives of the civil and business sector.

The Minister of Information Society Ivo Ivanovski and the State secretary of the Ministry of Education, Mr. Darko Mitevski delivered the keynote speeches, reaffirming the efforts for continuation of the already initiated activities. The director of USAID’s Mission to Macedonia, Mr. Michael Fritz expressed his satisfaction from the cooperation with the Government in this field, initiated by the mutual engagement with the late president Boris Trajkovski for instigating the process of applying informatics in the schools.

Due to the actuality and opportunity for a direct and open public discussion used by a great number of the participants during the working sessions, the presentations of the Ministry of Information Society, the Ministry of Education and Science, USAID’s Primary Education Project, as well as the presentation of the Bureau for Education Development attracted a great deal of attention.

Ms. Biljana Kosanovik from the National Library of Serbia shared the experiences from Serbia, where the state regularly allocates budget funds for supporting access to and publishing open access scientific publications, as a result of the inclusion in the eIFL project. This contributes to the visibility of the results of the Serbian scientists throughout the world, especially the relevant quoting indexes. Mirko Spirovski, PhD, from the Institute of Immunobiology and Human Genetics at the Faculty of Medicine from Skopje, presented the first successful example of an open access scientific magazine from Macedonia – the Macedonian Journal of Medical Sciences.

During the conference, the audience and the presenters, such as Lidija Krstevska-Dojchinovska from the NGO Open the windows, emphasized the need for taking into account the needs of disabled persons, especially blind persons, during the implementation of all the education projects and initiatives.

Mr. Valentino Kavali, outlined that he, as a representative of the pan-European network TERENA was glad to see that people in Macedonia are working on information society development, since this is an important segment of the overall European integration process. Margita Kon Popovska PhD, the president of MARNet, highlighted the current need to legally define the status of this institution, especially due to its responsibility in maintaining the complete .MK domain.

During the session for e-learning platforms, the solution created in the last two years by the personnel of the SEE University from Tetovo attracted a great deal of attention, as well as the experiences from the application of the Municipal educational portal, which is applied in the Municipality of Veles according to the principles of public-private partnership.

The conference served as a platform for raising issues in order to resolve part of the challenges that the various stakeholders have faced, such as the Government and the international donor agencies, schools and all the other stakeholders. This is particularly important since the ICT projects in education are particularly complex projects and the consequences from their unsuccessful implementation could be very serious – stated Bardhyl Jashari , director of the Metamorphosis Foundation..

The complete video documentation from all the working sessions will soon be available on the official conference website, along with the copies of all the presentations.