Just picking on a one of Mr. Galea's comments (re. Malta not producing enough Software developers), a scenario I foresee revolves around a problem only sparingly mentioned at the eForesee workshop a few weeks ago - brain drain.
I am not an IT expert, so I will not venture to deep into that aspect, yet the brain drain issue is certainly not limited to the IT sector. There is hardly any point (selfishly speaking) in strengthening an educational system if the products of that system, effective and productive as it may be, do not contribute to the country's entire advancement and well-being. Hence a scenario I foresee is rather dark with increased mobility with EU membership cutting down on intellectuals (I use the word intellectuals in the widest of senses) residing in Malta.
To tackle this, ICT could by-pass the brain-drain problem by attacking its very definition, which can be seen as geographic in nature. Is there really a brain drain if Maltese intellectuals residing overseas are enabled to perform & contribute locally at various level of civic inclusion? Can ICT help with this? We cannot deny the attraction 'overseas' holds for ambitious intellectuals. I don't this balance will ever be tipped, our size will never change.
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----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, August 22, 2002 4:44 PM
Subject: Replacement:Re(2): eForesee malta-ict: Scenarios for Malta in ICT
I think that considering that Malta was a late entry in the Global IT secto,
our achievements in the last decade by far exceeds our expectations.
Keeping this in mind, I think that we could use the experience gained in this
"FRESH START" approach that Malta had in the 1990's and offer our help to those
countries (especially in the north african region) who are still struggling to
set up their IT infrastructure ans IS capabilities.
Also, this could also lead to Malta being a hub in the provision of services
(ISP, ASP, NSP, and so on), especially providing Software as a service or
Application Service Provision (ASP).
Another area which we could benefit from is the provision of remote
All this can only happend if Malta's Internet bandwith problem is solved.
A lot of people in Malta are speaking about on-line services being made
available but unless our international bandwith is adequately "beefed-up", none
of these services will materialise at an international level.
One of the worlds' greates deficiencies nowadays is the non-availibility of
SOFTWARE DEVELOPERS. The educational systems around the world (and in
particular those of small countries like ourselves) seem to lack the ability to
produce people with very good software skills. I see this from 11 years
experience at MSU/ MITTS Ltd. where I have mentored a number of students from a
number of academic backgrounds (University, Technical Institute, Junior
Collegge, ..). The biggest problem (Juan hit the nail on the head with his
coments on this) is that not enough emphasis is place on the teaching of soft
skills. (and these include softWARE skills)
The current educational system ( I am sure that most of you have gone through
University, passing exams and not remembering what the subjects were about
after a couple of days) only deems people as being successfull, if they pass
exams and in the particular area of software, this is a great fallacy. Another
problem with software is that it is very difficult to teach software if you are
not a software developer yourself. As such, I feel that the we need more of the
Hand-on approach that juan mentioned.
I feel that there is a high concentration of software developers in Malta
already, but with a bit of investment and foresight, we could have more of
these on the island and start exporting our software skills and services more.
Strategy and Architecture Department
Central Information Management Unit
Jennifer Cassingena Harper (22/08/02 12:21):
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Leonard Bezzina
> To: [email protected]
> Sent: Thursday, August 22, 2002 1:18 PM
> Subject: Re: eForesee malta-ict: Scenarios for Malta in ICT
> Dear Jennifer,
> I would like to suggest the following scenario:
> Malta would become a centre of excellence in ICT in education (practice and
theory). This implies a situation where all teachers are making the best
possible use of ICT in order to enhance teaching and learning in all areas of
the curriculum and at all levels of our education system (primary, secondary,
post-secondary and tertiary). This vision includes making most of the
communication capabilities of current and future technology in order to promote
learning at a distance and at all times of the day (e-learning) and at
facilitating communication between parents/guardians and the school. It also
implies a situation where Malta develops innovative ways of making use of ICT
in our classrooms. Once such a vision is in place we can become a Mediteranean
centre of excellence in teacher education in this area. We can then offer
appropriate University level courses mainly through distance learning.
> Leonard Bezzina
> Jennifer Cassingena Harper wrote:
> Dear Colleagues, We would like to initiate an on-line discussion on
alternative futures for Malta in ICT. We would like you to send us up to ten
different scenario themes for Malta in ICT. These can be scenario themes
> a.. specific niche areas (e.g. Malta as an e-learning hub)
> b.. or ICT-enabled initiatives (e.g. on-line gambling)
> c.. or telecomms-related initiatives
> d.. or any other ideas in general !!
> Ideally, this exercise should not involve too much time - maximum 30
minutes - just jot down what comes immediately to mind. So send us your
feedback if possible by Thursday 22 August.Looking forward to hearing from you,
> ___________Dr. Jennifer Cassingena
> Head, Policy Unit,
> Malta Council for Science and Technology
> Villa Bighi, Bighi, Kalkara CSP 11, Malta
> email: [email protected] http://www.mcst.org.mt
> direct dial-in: +356 23602125
> tel. +356 21 660340 (fax) +356 21 660341
> Dr Leonard Bezzina
> Department of Mathematics, Science and Technical Education
> Faculty of Education
> University of Malta
> Msida MSD 06
> E-mail address: [email protected]
> Telephone number: 3290 2404
sender : "Galea Paul at MITTS" <[email protected]>
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