ST introduces the program Korea International Cooperation Agency is operating with SSU Graduate School of Information Sciences. ...................................................................................Ed
In 2014, the SSU Graduate School of Information Sciences (GSIT) established the Master’s Degree Program in Global ICT Convergence with the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) in order to educate the ICT specialists of government offices for economic development. KOICA is an important program and investment of SSU, so ST decided to find out how the participants feel about this program by interviewing two students who are currently enrolled in the program: Lasmi Hanane from Algeria, an ICT Engineer, and Okpata Chika Anthony from Nigeria, a Senior System Analyst.
ST: What made you participate in KOICA?
Lasmi: I am here to learn about sharing information with developing countries. I also want to broaden my knowledge on culture and technology.
Chika: I wanted learn more. I have learned a lot within one year of studying about IC convergence at Soongsil University, and I am going to use what I have learned here back to my home country to implement it for my people there.
ST: What do you have to say about IT environment in your home country?
Lasmi: It is not good enough compared with that of South Korea. Algeria is a developing country, and we invest more on IT infrastructure. The problem is that few Algerians are aware of importance of ICT. That’s why we lag behind. However, we forget about the importance of services, and I believe this is the reason why we are less developed in ICT. Here in Korean, I am happy to learn. When I came here, I learned about internet e-service, e-commerce, and so forth. My country needs to encourage students to cultivate creativity and help its citizens to get what they want through good education.
Chika: Korea is a well-developed country. The internet speed here is one of the best in the world. Unfortunately, the ICT service in my country is not good enough. I find the school environment, the ICT facilities of Soongsil, and the effects of the ICT delivery truly remarkable. These are the things that I will definitely be taking back home in order to ensure the improvement of ICT and education there.
ST: Please briefly explain what ICT can do for the people who are unfamiliar with it.
Chika ICT is the abbreviation for Information Communication Technology.
Lasmi: It is about utilizing methods, such as ICT, the internet, iPhone, etc. In developing countries, people are doing things manually. For example, if people want something done, they must go to the administration office to fill out the forms, but here you can do it at home using Internet. This is what we do not have, and I think we have to introduce ICT to the developing countries.
ST: Could you explain about the education system of KOICA?
Lasmi: You know, I feel like we are VIP students and everything is customized for us. Soongsil University knows about our needs because they know why we are here. We are truly motivated to cooperate with Korea because we are given classes that matched our needs.
Chika: The education system is exceptional. After finishing this program, I will have an advantage of having acquired knowledge that I will bring what I have learned here back to my country so that everyone there will be benefited from it. I can implement upon returning to my home country.
ST: What do you plan to do after finishing the program?
Lasmi: We are all government officials. We already have a job. My country men keep asking me “When are you coming back?” They are waiting for me to give them solutions to their problems. I bring all of their problems to Korea, and I will resolve them here. In developed countries, you can find everything you want, but you will need new ideas. This is why we are here, and our citizens want more projects from us when we go back, so it is a win-win situation.
Chika: The education through the KOICA program has improved my views on life and ICT. With this knowledge about ICT, we are confident in developing top-level policies. I believe that good policies will enable things to work better in my country.
ST: Lastly, do you have anything to add?
Lasmi: I hope that the people in developing countries will be given the opportunity to visit Korea. They will be able to broaden their knowledge and perspectives and experience the Korean culture.
Chika: I am grateful that I had a chance to study in Korea and this is a precious experience for me. KOICA provides us with the opportunity to develop.