RE: Re(2): eForesee malta-ict: Scenarios for Malta i n ICT

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  • Subject: RE: Re(2): eForesee malta-ict: Scenarios for Malta i n ICT
  • From: "Mark Pizzuto"
  • Date: Fri, 30 Aug 2002 13:08:30 +0200

What are you all talking about ??!!
I hope that after the Scenario meetings (which unfortunately i could not attend) some objectives will be identified and we can all move forward.
Have a nice weekend.
-----Original Message-----
From: owne[email protected] [mailto:[email protected]]On Behalf Of Joe Woods
Sent: 29 August 2002 08:52
To: [email protected]
Cc: [email protected]; [email protected]
Subject: Re: Re(2): eForesee malta-ict: Scenarios for Malta i n ICT

Good morning,
I totally agree with what Dr.Neil Falzon is saying.
Foresight is not a trouble shooting exercise and an extension
of the present development processes. Foresight is about
taking a leap forward and trying to project scenarios 5,10,15 years down
the road then one needs to propose  ideas, projects, initiatives products
and services to optimise these scenarios.
Another aspect I would like to point out and which was highlighted
by the expert from PREST is the concept of context..Let us not
just think of Malta in a sort of in situ environment but part of the evolving
global and regional environments.
This global and regional perspective is not easy for us to relate to
as our island culture has been to work in the limited space we inhabit.
It is crucial that we develop a global perspective and we start thinking
in this new spatial dimension. What this island community needs is more space
to develop and expand the enormous talents which are available.
Finally to be innovative we cannot just use logic or vertical thinking...we are lucky
that this island gave birth to the discoverer of lateral thinking...please let us
use these skills and use them efficiently and effectively to create a better future
for all.
" The larger the world economy the more powerful its smaller players. "
John Naisbit ......Megatrends
Mario Grixti..i would appreciate if you can circulate the Value 2000
document to all panel participants..
See you this afternoon ..
Joe Woods
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, August 28, 2002 11:25 AM
Subject: Re: Re(2): eForesee malta-ict: Scenarios for Malta i n ICT

I've been following the recent contributions and noticed that the main points revolve around education, IT, and the various facets of these 2 points.  Yes, it's good to focus on education and on youth.  There are too many valid reasons for such an interest.  Afraid of being misunderstood, I think we should shift our focus to problems and issues will emerge in the future and which we are not too aware of now.  We are carrying out a foresight exercise, and from what I seem to have learnt we should focus on the future.  The problems mentioned, without underestimating their import, are problems which, somehow we all know will be solved eventually, or at least attempted to be solved.  They are problems which are known and felt by all, particularly the Central Government.  Why not try to shift attention to 'unknown' issues, like what would happen when our current will start being tackled seriously in the future?  For example, what will be the effect on the market/society of measures taken to tackle the IT problems you all mentioned.
What I mean is that I think we should be a bit more alternative in our thinking and explore futures more intensely with a conscious effort to use today's problems and issues as a source of ideas and not as a path to walk on.
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----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, August 28, 2002 11:10 AM
Subject: Re(2): eForesee malta-ict: Scenarios for Malta i n ICT

I do not agree with the statement

"In the past, with regards to ICT, citizens wishing to pursue a career in IT
had one option, University".

MSU/MITTS Ltd. has been running NCC courses at the swatar training centre for a
number of years now, and altough I never lectured these students, I have
mentored a number of them when they come and work during the summer at
MSU/MITTS ltd.  Some of these have turned into some of the best programmers we
have on the island.
Also, MSU/MITTS Ltd. was always instrumental in taking in and training young
individuals (not necessarily university graduates) and then loosing them to the
local and international industry.

I think other companies in Malta should do the same thing instead of whining
about not enough IT resources being available. One af Malta's success stories
in this area is Crimson WIng, who every one had said would not survive it's
first year of operation as in Malta "we do not have enough skills" in the IT
sector. Look at them now with over 100 highly qualified IT personnel. What is
sad about crimson wing was that no Maltese Enterpraneur was able to come up
with such a venture, it had to be left to a foreigner to  show us that it can
be done.

It is about time that companies stop expecting to find students/employees
tailor made for their requirements (at a cheap price) and invest in training
and "TAILORING" the people after they employ them and not expecting government
institutions to do so.



Juan Borg Manduca  (27/08/02  10:28):
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Antoine Gambin" <[email protected]>
>To: <[email protected]>
>Sent: Tuesday, August 27, 2002 5:28 AM
>Subject: Re: eForesee malta-ict: Scenarios for Malta in ICT
>> On Mon, 26 Aug 2002 11:50:35 +0200 "Ray Muscat" wrote:
>> > Juan,
>> >
>> > I like your contribution. Indeed, our current education system is
>> > failing. Instead of trying to nurture the innovative and inquisitive
>> > elements of our children, the system is filtering the few
>> > academically gifted students from the many practical (and possibly
>> > those that do think out of the box) students. The system is preparing
>> > students to University, which is itself not entrepreneurial, leading
>> > to graduates that are indeed very low on creativity. On the other
>> > hand, given the opportunity (such as Young Enterprise), our
>> > youngsters prove to all that they can indeed be creative.
>> >
>> > Ray Muscat
>> > KBIC
>> >
>> > -----Original Message-----
>> > From: Juan Borg Manduca [mailto:[email protected]]
>> > Sent: 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 in formative assessments for some time
>> > now, an area worth pursuing is how to develop  a system which will
>> > evolve the present system of education (exam based) into one which
>> > will take into consideration the special needs of 'individual' students.
>> >
>> > In fact, the National Minimum Curriculum makes reference to
>> > introducing formative assessments as part of a school's delivery
>> > mechanism.
>> >
>> > In many cases, exams are actually detrimental to our children, and
>> > instead of achieving the desired target of 'educating' our children,
>> > are actually harming them by focusing on getting the students
>> > 'through' exams.
>> >
>> > The major problem with today's system is that it does the exact
>> > opposite of what such a system is supposed to do ie instead of the
>> > system being made to fit the student, the student is being forced to
>> > fit the system.
>> >
>> > I would categorise students into three main groups, a) bookworm, b)
>> > learning by observation, c) learning by 'hands-on'.
>> >
>> > The present system caters for only the bookworm (as we all know), and
>> > all other students end up falling through the net, and in most cases
>> > being branded as failures. This branding of students occurs at as
>> > early an age as 5-6 years.
>> >
>> > The advent of ICT presents us with a unique opportunity to design a
>> > case study, eg take the syllabus of one particular subject in one
>> > particular year and present the same syallabus in three different
>> > formats to suit all groups of students (ie one format will address
>> > the bookworm and may not differ considerably from today's
>> > presentation method, but the other two would of course ensure that
>> > the student learns by using techniques customised to that particular
>> > group). The use of computers will be the fulcrum of delivery of
>> > curriculum.
>> >
>> > Of course, proper tests are to be designed in order to be able to
>> > categorise students properly.
>> >
>> > In this manner, one could use this case study on a group of students
>> > from a particular school (willing to participate), and results
>> > (statistics) could then be used and compared in order to gauge
>> > success (or failure) of the project.
>> >
>> > These are just my thoughts..........
>> >
>> > Juan
>> > ----- Original Message -----
>> > From: Leonard Bezzina <mailto:[email protected]>
>> > 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 focused on:
>> > *   specific niche areas (e.g. Malta as an 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 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, Jennifer
>> > ___________Dr. Jennifer
>> > Cassingena Harper
>> > 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
>> > Malta
>> > E-mail address: [email protected]
>> > Telephone number: 3290 2404
>> > +++++++++++++++
>> >
>> I agree with what Ray is saying about the fact that the system works at
>> preparing students for University but isn't the role of institutions like
>> ITS and MCAST that of creating alternative avenues towards a rewarding
>> career ? I am under the impression that the ITS is doing a good job in
>> preparing students with hands on experience. MCAST maybe has not been
>> around enough for us to start watching the benefits of its existence.
>> Maybe Mr Borg Manduca can illuminate us as to what kind of reaction the
>> students and maybe the industries are having to this important role MCAST
>> will be playing in the future.
>> If I remember correctly, in the expert panel meeting of the 23rd of
>> August it was said the industry should have a say in what the University
>> should be producing so that we do not end up with a massive surplus in
>> the traditional professions and a shortage in what the industry of the
>> future really needs. There is a delicate balance that has to be struck
>> here. I am sure we all remember that a couple of decades ago the numerus
>> clausus for entry into University was justified by this very reason and
>> other factions were saying it was not just that people who want to follow
>> various disciplines are refused the opportunity to do so.
>> Private industry has a new responsibility to create opportunities for
>> students who would like to follow a career which the industry requires.
>> University will obviously not be the sole provider of opportunities to
>> become a professional. The University population will not be as massive
>> as it is today and there will be a shift to institutes like MCAST and
>> other training institutions. These institutions will provide
>> qualifications which encourage follow up by other qualifications or other
>> follow-up-modules to keep the graduate up to date with the fast
>> development in the field of ICT which is the focus of this panel. This
>> will create a generation of individuals who work in private industry and
>> who are in constant update. At the same time, although it might be slower
>> in Malta's case due to geographical reasons, one must not omit the
>> mobility factor wherein qualifications must be aimed at creating that
>> additional opportunity for individuals. Today, a qualification in the
>> field of ICT is not just a ticket to a job but to a career. There have
>> been other contributions in this panel wherein one spoke of brain drain
>> etc. In a field which has nothing to do with ICT, TEFL (Teaching English
>> as a Foreign Language), up till some months ago teachers went for a short
>> course prescribed by the Department of Education and one could obtain a
>> temporary warrant and the story stopped there. Down the line there was
>> one qualification in the field which enabled teachers to follow up this
>> course outside University and that enabled teachers to practice the
>> profession abroad. This new qualification (CELTA) was held once a year
>> and was expensive. Now, different schools are running courses under the
>> supervision of foreign boards for cheaper fees and with more frequency
>> throughout the year.
>> This is the way forward and new opportunities in ICT will involve
>> lifelong update for professionals in the field and new opportunities at
>> seeking opportunities elsewhere. These individuals who go are replaced by
>> others who come into our industry with other backgrounds and ideas and
>> Malta can benefit from this exchange.
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>> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
>> sender : Antoine Gambin  <[email protected]>
>> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
>> This is the malta-ict mailing list of the EU financed eFORESEE
>> project on regional foresight. Please go to the project website
>> at http://eforesee.info to subscribe, unsubscribe or update
>> your profile. Feel free to forward this message to colleagues or
>> friends interested in any foresight related activities.
>> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
>We are talking about two separate issues here.
>The issue that I mentioned in my earlier contribution dealt with the system
>of education irrespective of discipline, and commencing from ages as young
>as 5 or 6.
>Your point (para 1) relates to "alternative avenues" to University.
>You are correct. MCAST is an alternative route (vocational) to University
>One is not 'better' than the other. They are simply different.
>If I focus on the ICT Institute at MCAST (MCAST currently is made up of 6
>Institutes), I can put forward a few sentences with regards to the work
>currently being undertaken at ICT.
>In the past, with regards to ICT, citizens wishing to pursue a career in IT
>had one option, University. My view has always been that you do not always
>require a Degree to take up programming, pc support, network adminstration,
>web development etc etc. For a number of IT related jobs, a University
>education is useful, and in some cases essential. However, in others, it is
>not. The ICT Institute gives the students the skills required to be able to
>take up a number of meaningful jobs within the ICT sector (and also IT
>related jobs in IT departments within other Industries) by teaching them the
>skills required in each case.
>Therefore, simply put, what we are doing is trying to focus on those skills
>that are required by Industry and we must be prepared to change/evolve our
>syllabii to cater for continuous changes within the sector.
>What we do NOT have at this point in time is a FORMAL mechanism for
>analysing the requirements of Industry but there are a number of factors
>that all together make up for the lack of formality (this lack of formality
>is mainly due to the fact that we are still in our initial phase and have
>just completed our first year of operation).
>These factors include:
>- my twenty years experience working in industry which has given me the
>flexibility to simply call up major players to find out re skills etc
>- our lecturers who have a very good mix of Education and Industry
>- my continual involvement in the Chamber of Commerce
>- my proposal for my Board of Studies to have a strong private sector
>Being skills based, ALL lectures are held in fully equipped classrooms with
>all students having a pc to work on. All students are given an email
>address, web server space, space on our server for projects etc, as well as
>full use of an ADSL connection and a fully equipped study room with 40
>computers open all day every day.
>To answer your question about student and Industry feedback, student
>feedback has been extremely positive. However, it is too early to gauge
>Industry feedback since none of our students have as yet graduated.However,
>it shall be Industry feedback which shall determine the success/failuire of
>the Institute, as well as contribute significantly to any changes that we
>must undertake.
>I would be more than happy to furnish further information with regards to
>qualifications (recognition), method of study (continuous assessment}etc.
>sender : "Juan Borg Manduca" <[email protected]>
>This is the malta-ict mailing list of the EU financed eFORESEE
>project on regional foresight. Please go to the project website
>at http://eforesee.info to subscribe, unsubscribe or update
>your profile. Feel free to forward this message to colleagues or
>friends interested in any foresight related activities.

sender : "Galea Paul at MITTS" <[email protected]>
This is the malta-ict mailing list of the EU financed eFORESEE
project on regional foresight. Please go to the project website
at http://eforesee.info to subscribe, unsubscribe or update
your profile. Feel free to forward this message to colleagues or
friends interested in any foresight related activities.

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