News Item

Burchell Points To Tech As Way Of Getting Ahead

News 12 Apr 2018

‘The education sector has been the slowest in terms of responding to technology as a whole.’

The Fijian Government is looking to raise the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) competency in the public sector, as a move towards e-governance gains momentum.

The Permanent Secretary for Education Alison Burchell said Fiji, much like Singapore, could reap the benefits of service delivery through ICT.

The e-governance system was adopted by Singapore almost four decades ago, and Ms Burchell says Fiji’s technological aspirations were following a similar path.

Speaking at the opening of the Regional Blockchain Tech Camp on Tuesday (April 9), in Suva, Ms Burchell said: “During Tropical Cyclone Winston, a lot of records were lost, including birth certificates.

“Interestingly, they were found in the Ministry of Education’s database as it had a fairly good database of birth certificates and we had a lot of people asking for copies of their birth certificates.

“E-governance will make that more easily accessible across the ministries.”

Ms Burchell said technology could also be used to modernise teaching and learning and promote greater financial inclusion.

This year’s tech camp has keynote speakers from the United States, Australia and New Zealand talking about current and potential application of block chain technology, a type of advanced digital database.

Experts will contend how blockchain technology can be used in the energy sector, climate action, security and eliminating child trafficking, humanitarian and recovery programmes, telecommunications, fisheries and more.

USP’s representative speaker, Anjeela Jokhan, Dean at the Faculty of Science, Technology and Environment said it was important for the education sector to be responsive to technology.

“The education sector has been the slowest in terms of responding to technology as a whole,” Ms Jokhan said.

“I don’t think it’s a choice these days anymore and we have to be responsive.”

The workshop is facilitated by the U.S Embassy, the University of the South Pacific and tech start-up company TraSeable Solutions.

It has been postponed and will continue once Tropical Cyclone Keni has passed.

Source: Fiji Sun