Two EDC projects are working to help the nation of Macedonia effectively use information and communication technologies (ICTs) to expand and improve burgeoning educational and business initiatives. The e-BIZ and e-Schools projects, funded by the US Agency for International for International Development (USAID), are part of the country’s efforts to rebuild communities and infrastructures in the wake of the region’s civil and political upheavals during the 1990s.
The e-BIZ project assists Macedonia’s small and medium enterprises (SME) in competing globally and domestically by giving them access to ICTs. These technologies enable the businesses to attract and communicate with customers, employ efficient supply and distribution channels, and modernize their processes. The strengthening and expansion of business that results from ICT-integration leads to the creation of new jobs.
A combined effort between two EDC divisions (International Education Systems, and Education, Employment, and Community Programs), the e-Schools project prepares Macedonian youth for employment through ICT-informed education programs and improves the quality and relevance of instruction at the primary and secondary school levels. “If ICTs are appropriately integrated into the curriculum and used to support student-centered learning, youth will indeed be able to think more critically and analytically,” says Project Director Sonia Arias. “A modern workforce needs these skills and ICTs act as their catalyst.”
Originally published on September 1, 2005