Microsoft Exchange Server is an email and personal information management software that will provide a collaborative environment for secure messaging inside and outside the Ministry, including scheduling capabilities, discussion groups, team folders, mobile and web access.
At a ceremony held on 6 February 2017, Ms Clemency Oliphant, First Secretary at the Australian Embassy presented certificates to twenty-one IT administrators from MoES at central (13) and provincial (8) levels who completed a 22-day extensive training on server administration, network management and security.
“Australia and the European Union are pleased to support a new unified email system to encourage more efficient and secure communication and information management across the Ministry” said Ms Oliphant.
Associate Professor Dr Somkiat Phasy, Director General of the Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) Centre for Education and Sports said MoES would be able to improve the quality of education management and administration by using this new platform for communication, reporting and data transmission. “All documentation will become digitalised and we will be able to reduce paper-based communication which is costly and time consuming. Among the different government entities, MoES has the most advanced ICT for e-teaching, learning and management. These developments have been achieved in a very short period of time and different stakeholders and other sectors are interested in sharing lessons and information with MoES.”
The new email system is being supported through Basic Education Quality and Access in Lao PDR (BEQUAL), a ten-year program led by the Governments of Lao PDR and Australia, with additional funding support from the European Union. One of BEQUAL’s objectives is to strengthen the capacity of central, provincial and district levels of the Ministry of Education and Sports to better manage administrative and financial resources for education delivery.
This training is just the first step of a huge undertaking. The twenty-one IT administrators will now create the first batch of 1,500 user accounts with the new address mail @moes.edu.la and start the deployment of the new platform.
“I will now train the technical staff in the other provinces and then they will train their own users. Then, we will extend the number of accounts and cover all provinces. This is something very new for Lao PDR and I am proud to be part of that adventure” said Mrs Sengphet Sylattanakoun, one of the trainees, working at the Management Information System Division.
Dr Somkiat has an ambitious goal for the ICT center of MoES: “Step by step, we will install Microsoft Exchange in all Education and Sports offices and model schools to reach country coverage. In the near future students and the teachers will be able to download textbooks from their mobile phones. “By cooperating with Microsoft, we plan to develop innovative schools that will share their experience with other ASEAN schools on how to use ICT for learning and teaching and school management to improve the quality of learning and education service gradually” said Dr Somkiat.