Romania IT-Based Educational System (SEI)

Published on: 13/06/2005
The IT-based Educational System SEI (Sistem Educational Informatizat) implements the Romanian government’s strategy in the field of ITC. It supports the education reform objectives and conforms to the eEurope 2005 and i2010 action plans developed by the European Union, also being part of the eLearning European initiative. The project has as objective introducing IT as a teaching/learning tool in 11-18 year-old children formal education. Schools are provided with computerized laboratories in order to support process. Besides the availability of technology in the school, the project aims to establish a high level of interactivity and direct, personal experimentation of phenomena and scientific theories by students.

Policy Context

SEI represents a pre-requisite of the transition period toward a knowledge society. The economic capital of a country is directly proportional with the education level of the human capital. SEI represents primarily an answer to the social demand. The computer operating skills represent a basic condition for the individual integration within the labor market and society.

Description of target users and groups

11-18 year old Romanian children

Description of the way to implement the initiative

Since his start in 2001, SEI has completed 4 phases in a unified manner, following a coherent strategy towards establishing ITC as standard learning tools. As part of the AeL platform implementation, over 85,000 teachers were trained along the entire project. Change management is an essential component in the implementation of the SEI project. A very strong emphasis is put on: integration of the IT solutions in the educational system and the acceptance of interactive resources as powerful tools which can co-exist in a classroom with the traditional blackboard and piece of chalk. Tens of training sessions for expert’s teachers and school inspectors were held. All high schools were included in information campaigns, which included direct mailing, visual, audio and printed media. Training courses were introduced in life-long learning curricula for teachers. Technical support, monitoring and coordination were provided for the entire program. After a three-month period, the implementation procedure was followed by an audit and a monitoring activity, done by a team of specialists other then those who performed the implementation. SEI is implemented by a public-private partnership. The main companies involved in SEI implementation are SIVECO Romania, HP Romania and IBM Romania.

Main results, benefits and impacts

Each high school in Romania and 3,228 medium schools currently have at least one IT educational platform for its use as a teaching and learning tool. The level of access to information technology, computers and Internet has increased dramatically. Mixing the most powerful psycho-pedagogical methods with modern principles of didactic design, the AeL lessons succeeded in transforming the duty of going to school into motivation for 89% of the pupils whose teachers use in school these complementary educational means. The most important achievement is the revolution in the school’s mentality in particular, and of the society in general. The school has proven receptivity, will to change and align to the European standards. The assimilation of eLearning has reached a mass level - an important asset for the medium and long-term educational strategies. The solution also assured support for the schools’ management and for the structures subordinated to the Ministry of Education (at county and central level) for the aggregation of statistical data and decision-making.

Return on investment

Return on investment: Not applicable / Not available

Lessons learnt

Lesson 1 - The focus should be set on the teaching/learning process, not on ITC. Pedagogical value should be added by educational software, high levels of multimedia and interactive content. Standardization should be applied to all components. Lesson 2 - Each student should have direct access to ICT resources. The Internet should be used as a source of information, indispensable in the process of converting the student into a person prepared to face and succeed the challenges of the contemporary world. Lesson 3 – Be teacher-centric. Teachers have the strongest impact to determine the use of IT, to promote or block the project. Make the project manageable and measurable, and ease the transfer of knowledge/training.