Kabul University in Afghanistan Develops IT Studies with Estonian Support
Teachers from the Faculty of Computer Science at Kabul University in Afghanistan visited Estonia from 28 January to 4 February to develop their curricula with the support from Estonians. The Development Cooperation Project of the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs provided support in the organization of the visit.
Several workshops were organized during the week and these resulted in an updated Information Technology Bachelor curriculum in Kabul University as well as in the development of 3 new Master level curricula – Software Technology, Development of Information Systems and Information Technology. "When developing the new curricula, the visiting teachers realized it was important to keep in mind the fact that Kabul University would only be able to provide a basic coverage in IT and that there would need to be adequate competence in the Kabul University staff to teach these students,” explained Professor Peeter Normak, Director of Tallinn University Institute of Informatics.
M. Salim Saay, Director of IT in Kabul University said, “The first students to study the new curricula are to commence their studies in the autumn of 2013”.
The Kabul delegation considered the visit to Estonia to be successful. In addition to the development of curricula, the exchange of teachers and students as well as the commencement of doctoral studies in IT, are also planned.
Teachers from the Tallinn University Institute of Informatics, who hosted the Kabul delegation, will visit Kabul University in August 2013. The aim of this visit is to discuss the content of the programmes created in Tallinn and then to plan the studies. The second phase of the project will include the introduction of Master curricula in Kabul University.
The government of the Republic of Estonia has confirmed that the Development Cooperation Implementation Plan identifies Afghanistan as a priority partner for development cooperation. Pursuant to this plan, Marina Kaljurand, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, asked all larger Estonian universities in 2011 to initiate development cooperation with Kabul University. In February 2012, Tallinn University and Kabul University signed a Memorandum of Cooperation agreement that included the main priorities of development cooperation.
Currently there are no Master or Doctoral studies at Kabul University. The faculties do not have sufficient competence – there is a shortage of people with adequate preparation for developing curricula; there is also not enough highly qualified academic staff. Therefore, there is a considerable need for qualified personnel for the development of curricula and teaching.
The task of the Estonian experts in developing the Master level curricula at Kabul University is to provide insight and give feedback. In addition to an explicit result, namely the new Master level curricula, the project also aims to help colleagues from Kabul University to develop the skills necessary to create new curricula that meet international requirements and to be able to continue this independently in the future.