Promotion of Information and Communication Technology in Turkmenistan (PICTT)
The PICTT program supports the development of Turkmenistan’s education system through a comprehensive and cutting-edge approach to teacher and administrator training.
Building upon an earlier IREX partnership with the country’s National Academy of Science, PICTT activities are conducted at the ICT-equipped Internet Center for Interactive and Multimedia Learning (ICIML) in Ashgabat. At the center, IREX provides educators and government representatives with ICT access and training, professional networking opportunities, pedagogical support and direction, and technical assistance. Funded by USAID, PICTT introduces its target populations to the educational applications of ICT, promotes the development of curricula that furthers student ICT skills, and empowers Turkmenistan’s teachers to access and share best practices with their colleagues from around the world.
• Encourage the adoption of ICT in higher education through advocacy, policy support, and research.
• Equip teachers, school administrators, and students with technological tools and skills that enhance classroom learning and contribute to institutional effectiveness.
• Promote student-centered, participatory educational methodologies over formulaic approaches that demand rote memorization and discourage creativity.
• Develop a virtual network that links higher education faculty, administrators, and students with other institutions with regional and international partners and resources. These online resources will sustain IREX efforts to train teachers, expand support for classroom ICT, and create more dynamic school environments after PICTT programming ends.
• Help endow students in Turkmenistan with the vital professional skills necessary to obtain quality jobs and contribute to their nation’s economic development.
Though its importance as a natural gas exporter has grown in recent years, Turkmenistan seeks to further expand and diversify its economy. Some public entities, such as the National Academy of Science, have taken promising initial steps in embracing ICT as a tool for greater economic development. PICTT builds on these encouraging developments by helping teachers integrate these new tools into their classroom activities and lesson plans. In addition the obvious efficiency gains offered by such technology, IREX uses ICT to promote curricula conducive to creativity and critical thinking—skills far more essential to economic and human development than comparatively simple hardware. By integrating high-quality teaching with modern technology, PICTT empowers teachers and their students to contribute to Turkmenistan’s future in new and innovative ways.
• Basic ICT skills training: PICTT offers free consultation to any higher education institute or related organization, equipping them to use the ICIML’s technological resources.
• Information access and local-language content development: PICTT helps participants find, use, and contribute to local-language resources available online.
• Virtual networking: Center users will soon join online discussions on a variety of professional development issues and gain access to relevant listservs and forums.
• Distance learning: IREX uses its technological expertise and wide array of regional connections to link educators and other professionals from across Eurasia, facilitating the dissemination of best practices.
• E-platform: PICTT works with NAS in order to continue building online resource for educators and students. PICTT has been contributing resources and materials that are hosted on NAS website and are accessible to educators throughout Turkmenistan.
• In its first year of program activity, PICTT trained 312 educational professionals and public officials representing institutions such as the Turkmen Geology Institute, the National Conservatory, the Institute of Physics and Mathematics, and several secondary schools.
• Through its internet center, PICTT provided 471 individuals with internet access.
• PICTT introduced Skype video conferencing as a tool for distance learning, equipping students and faculty members from the National Conservatory with ICT skills.