RE: eForesee malta-ict: Scenarios for Malta in ICT

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  • Subject: RE: eForesee malta-ict: Scenarios for Malta in ICT
  • From: "Ray Muscat"
  • Date: Mon, 26 Aug 2002 18:32:01 +0200

Brian & Robert,


My earlier contribution referred to ICTgraduates that might be interested for a business career and not for those thatare looking for employment. I agree with Brian that the academic standards ofgraduates is indeed high and compares very well (if not better) than foreigncounterparts. Thus, I agree that this is not a priority.


However, if we want to invest in the localpotential (as other countries are aggressively doing) then we must broadenhorizontally the knowledge of our graduates by the inclusion of or exposure to basicentrepreneurial modules. I fail to see why ICT graduates shouldn’t starttheir own businesses. Foreign ICT graduates do!


With regards University bashing – thisis surely not the intention. Scenario building is essentially the process of definingwhat one needs to achieve, but in the context of what one already has or could realisticallychange. Of course, the latter involves the careful assessment of how the statusquo could be challenged, think out of the box, consider the implications andlimitations and see where we could improve – and yes, all round 360 deg. Surely,a non-entrepreneurial university is not only its problem, but more so of thewhole community. It may be interesting to note that in the EU, the estimatednumber of spin-out programmes (not individual projects) involving universitiesor research institutes amount to 308.


Ray Muscat



-----Original Message-----
From: CSM chair[mailto:[email protected]]
27 August 2002 02:00
To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: eForesee malta-ict:Scenarios for
Malta in ICT




you've made a very important point.


In a previous discussion it has beensaid that perhaps the university is not turning out the required high level ofICT graduates.  I believe that this is incorrect, and that the Universityis turning out graduates to the required academic level.


However, an adequate supply ofsuitably-qualified ICT graduates will not give us what we're after, which isgrowth of the ICT industry in Malta. Perhaps ICT students are not entrepreneurial by nature, perhaps anyentrepreneurial spirit they may have has never been encouraged, or perhaps theywere never taught how to turn ideas into business.


Perhaps we don't even need ICTgraduates who are also entrepreneurs.  Perhaps all we need isentrepreneurs, who can get an ICT business started up and employ ICTprofessionals to develop his ideas.


In any case, there's a lot thatneeds to be done to develop the ICT industry in Malta, butraising the academic level of University graduates is fairly low on that list.





Brian Warrington

Chairman, Computer Society of Malta

----- Original Message -----

From: Ray Muscat

Sent: Monday, August 26, 2002 11:50 AM

Subject: RE:eForesee malta-ict: Scenarios for Malta in ICT




I like your contribution.Indeed, our current education system is failing. Instead of trying to nurturethe innovative and inquisitive elements of our children, the system isfiltering the few academically gifted students from the many practical (andpossibly those that do think out of the box) students. The system is preparingstudents to University, which is itself not entrepreneurial, leading tograduates that are indeed very low on creativity. On the other hand, given theopportunity (such as Young Enterprise), our youngsters prove to all that theycan indeed be creative.


Ray Muscat


-----Original Message-----
From: Juan Borg Manduca[mailto:[email protected]]
22 August 2002 14:17
To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: eForesee malta-ict:Scenarios for
Malta in ICT


I'd like to add to this suggestion(see email from Leonard Bezzina below) because it particularly interests me.


Since I have been involved informative assessments for some time now, an area worth pursuing is how todevelop  a system which will evolve the present system of education (exambased) into one which will take into consideration the special needs of'individual' students.


In fact, the National MinimumCurriculum makes reference to introducing formative assessments as part of aschool's delivery mechanism.


In many cases, exams are actuallydetrimental to our children, and instead of achieving the desired target of'educating' our children, are actually harming them by focusing on getting thestudents 'through' exams.


The major problem with today'ssystem is that it does the exact opposite of what such a system is supposed todo ie instead of the system being made to fit the student, the student is beingforced to fit the system.


I would categorise students intothree main groups, a) bookworm, b) learning by observation, c) learning by'hands-on'.


The present system caters for onlythe bookworm (as we all know), and all other students end up falling throughthe net, and in most cases being branded as failures. This branding of studentsoccurs at as early an age as 5-6 years.


The advent of ICT presents us with aunique opportunity to design a case study, eg take the syllabus of oneparticular subject in one particular year and present the same syallabus inthree different formats to suit all groups of students (ie one format willaddress the bookworm and may not differ considerably from today's presentationmethod, but the other two would of course ensure that the student learns byusing techniques customised to that particular group). The use of computerswill be the fulcrum of delivery of curriculum.


Of course, proper tests are to bedesigned in order to be able to categorise students properly.


In this manner, one could use thiscase study on a group of students from a particular school (willingto participate), and results (statistics) could then be used and compared inorder to gauge success (or failure) of the project.


These are just my thoughts..........



----- Original Message -----

Sent: Thursday, August 22, 2002 1:18 PM

Subject: Re: eForeseemalta-ict: Scenarios for Malta in ICT


Dear Jennifer,

I would like to suggest the following scenario:

Maltawould 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 ofICT in order to enhance teaching and learning in all areas of the curriculumand at all levels of our education system (primary, secondary, post-secondaryand tertiary). This vision includes making most of the communication capabilitiesof current and future technology in order to promote learning at a distance andat all times of the day (e-learning) and at facilitating communication betweenparents/guardians and the school. It also implies a situation where Maltadevelops innovative ways of making use of ICT in our classrooms.  Oncesuch a vision is in place we can become a Mediteranean centre of excellence inteacher education in this area. We can then offer appropriate University levelcourses mainly through distance learning.

Leonard Bezzina

Jennifer Cassingena Harper wrote:

Dear Colleagues, Wewould like to initiate an on-line discussion on alternative futures for Malta in ICT. Wewould like you to send us up to ten different scenario themes for Malta in ICT. Thesecan be scenario themes focused on:

        specific niche areas (e.g. Malta asan e-learning hub)

        or ICT-enabled initiatives (e.g.on-line gambling)

        or telecomms-related initiatives

        or any other ideas in general !!

 Ideally, this exercise should notinvolve too much time - maximum 30 minutes - just jot down what comesimmediately to mind. So send us your feedback if possible by Thursday 22August.Looking forward to hearing from you, Jennifer
___________Dr.Jennifer Cassingena Harper
Head,Policy Unit,
MaltaCouncil for Science and Technology
VillaBighi, Bighi, Kalkara CSP 11, Malta
email:[email protected]    http://www.mcst.org.mt
directdial-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


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