<<May 8, 2000>>

Shahab Khan <Afroz@khi.compol.com>

Dr. Don Zarlengo <zarlengo@ricochet.net>

Dear Shahab:

(1)  Many thanks for your msg (ATTACHMENT I).

     I visited <http://www.itcomm.gov.pk/> with great interest.

(2)  You may suggest your government the urgent need of global education in
     collaboration with fellow global citizens in other countries with the
     use of advanced broadband Internet.  This is to meet with the 21st
     century trend of globalization of the world economy.

          The write-up lacks such a global view.

(3)  You may emphasize the need of your Pakistan to leapfrog to the use of
     the advanced wireless and satellite broadband Internet to provide
     learners of all ages with multimedia distance learning courses and
     telemedicine services.

          Because of rapid advancement of Information Technology (IT) field,
          this future-looking approach would be vital necessity for your
          national policy settings.  Since the deployment of broadband
          Internet requires huge investment, you also need to concern with
          the development of multimedia courses and telemedicine services.

(4)  You may also suggest the establishment of national virtual university as
     similar to (a) Finnish Virtual University and (b) Tennessee Virtual
     University which link all universities in their regions with broadband Internet.

     Their networks may be the Virtual Private Network (VPN), as similar to
     vBNS or Albine broadband Internet networks which connect higher
     educational institutions in the US.  Other examples are PEACESAT and the
     University of the South Pacific network (USPNet).

     Their networks may then be extended to nearby K-12 schools with the use
     of wireless broadband Internet.

          For these, you may also need to have the involvement of the
          Ministries of Education and of Health, in addition to the Ministry
          of Science and Technology

     You may suggest your government to set up deeply discounted (or free of
     charge) e-rates for those K-12 schools accessing the broadband Internet.

          Once such provision is made, Pakistan would be eligible for
          applying GSTF when it will be established, since its first mission
          will be to provide similar discounted rate for the international
          broadband Internet connection across national, continental and
          oceanic boundaries and barriers.

(5)  You may urge your government to pay their close attention to privacy
     issue along with the proliferation of the use of Internet.

(6)  Pls feel free to utilize any phrases appeared in the materials in our
     webs mentioned in my previous distributions.

Dear Electronic Colleagues:

(7)  Pls feel free to provide your suggestions/comments to Shahab.

Dear Don:

(8)  Pls visit the aforementioned web site to find their consultancy position
     -- referring to your previous msg, this may be an interesting job for you.

Thanks in advance.

Best, Tak
                          ATTACHMENT I

From: "shahab  khan" <afroz@khi.compol.com>
To: "Tak" <utsumi@columbia.edu>
Date: Mon, 8 May 2000 09:04:38 +0500

Dear Prof Tak

We have been deliberating the upcoming IT policy being drafted by the
govermnet and have been successful in including distance learning as one
of the areas for concentration.

I have below extracted from the web site of the IT policy some text on
Human Resorece and Telecommunications (For complete deatils, you can
view at http://www.itcomm.gov.pk/.

The govermnet has invited suggstions and we are also working on it. I
would be very much obliged and thankful, if you could kndly go through
this and suggest recommendations, specially on GSTF, Telemedicine, VPN
and wireless technology and any other areas you feel appropiate. We
shall try to include these recommendations in the Officail documnet.
Once this is adopted, it would give a tremendous boost to GUS project
in Pakistan, as we could then get things done from the Goverment.

I do look forward to hearing form you.


2.1 Human Resource Development

A major human resource issue in Pakistan is the training, nurturing, and
retention of technically skilled manpower. This problem is more severe
in the IT field where technology changes are rapid and there is a large
loss of trained manpower due to emigration.

Manpower development is imperative for the local IT industry to take
root on a large scale in Pakistan, and for the country to achieve and
maintain the position of an important player in the international IT
market. A large pool of skilled manpower is required for all components
of the IT industry, and it has to be geared to meet both local and
export needs.

Whereas, a brief working document has been prepared by the IT Steering
committee on Education, HRD and Training, a more comprehensive plan for
education and human resource development in IT shall be drawn up to meet
the present and future needs of manpower. Also, a working group on the
same lines shall be established to advise on current and emerging
education and training needs.

This following section briefly covers IT education and IT training. IT
awareness, a related issue, is addressed separately.

IT education includes degree programmes, while IT training comprises
short courses that provide focused hands-on skills in specific IT areas
where manpower is needed urgently. Such training could be provided to
fresh graduates as well as underemployed youth.

The objectives of the policies proposed for this area are to attract the
most able students and faculty to IT, and to ensure quality, quantity,
affordability, and market relevance of all IT education and training.
Some key proposals for this are creation of a Human Resource Development
(HRD) fund, provision of incentives, and encouragement to financial
institutions to support IT education.

2.1.1 IT Education

The government and the private sector shall jointly make efforts to meet
the growing IT education needs. Specific policy recommendations are:

  Include a compulsory Computer Literacy module in the matriculation
curriculum for high schools. Make training in the use of IT applications
compulsory for all degree courses within the next 3 years.

  Develop world class bachelors, masters, and PhD programmes in computer
science (CS) and related areas of IT. Develop standardised curricula and
teaching materials in co-operation with public and private educational
institutions, using international benchmarks for reference.

  To address the critical shortage of qualified IT faculty, establish
Faculty Chairs by attracting foreign and expatriate faculty and
arranging faculty refresher courses.

  Establish a national educational intranet to enable sharing, among
educational institutions, of electronic libraries of teaching and
research materials and faculty (through distance learning and video

  Attract the best students by establishing a scholarship fund for IT
education and training.

  Establish an Accreditation Council to ensure quality IT education and
training. The council will be responsible for collecting data on
educational institutions, rating the institutions, and disseminating
information on the institutions. The council will also establish
curricula, testing guidelines and services for IT education and
training. The council will consist of leading academics and IT experts
and will be linked to provincial IT Boards through representation on the

  Establish an HRD fund (HRDF) to be managed by an Institutional
Development Cell within the IT Division. This fund will be utilised to
expand and improve the quality of IT education, strengthen existing IT
educational institutions, upgrade IT infrastructure (including
laboratories, connectivity, and teaching resources), develop faculty,
attract visiting faculty of international repute, provide student
scholarships, share pooled resources through distance learning programs,
and develop linkages with foreign universities and global IT firms.
Apart from the government, the Cell will mobilise financing through
expatriate Pakistani community, international agencies such as UNIDO,
Islamic Development Bank, World Bank, CIDA, and global IT firms such as
Microsoft, IBM, and Oracle.

  Assign provincial IT Boards the task of working closely with the
Accreditation Council and Institutional Development Cell to ensure
quality IT education, strengthen IT educational institutions, develop
databases, and establish linkages with industry for jobs and

  Allow administrative autonomy to IT departments in public universities
to enable them to attract and retain qualified faculty and respond
quickly to changing requirements of the IT industry.

  Promote the setting up of IT universities and institutes of
international standards. Encourage collaboration between the government
and the private sector, and elicit the assistance of foundations such as
the Army Welfare Trust and Shaheen and Bahria Foundation, multinational
companies in Pakistan, foreign universities, and other social and
welfare organisations. Strengthen existing institutions and establish a
number of centres of excellence.

  Provide foreign universities incentives to set up distance learning or
resident programmes in Pakistan.

2.1.2 IT Training

Investments in IT training are expected to yield quick results. Policy
recommendations include:

  Ensure high-quality training by assigning the Accreditation Council
for IT Education the task of collecting data on training institutions,
rating the institutions, and disseminating information on the institutions.

  Through the Institutional Development Cell, take steps to strengthen
existing IT training institutions and encourage the setting up of new IT
training institutes, update curricula, introduce new technologies
through linkages with global IT firms, develop strong local faculties,
and provide student scholarships. Organise teacher training on a
top-priority basis to meet the growing demand for qualified teachers in
IT and for upgrading their skills regularly. To rapidly increase the
annual production of IT manpower, launch crash training programmes. Use
the HRDF to support IT training activities.

  To ensure maximum utilisation of existing facilities, encourage public
universities to collaborate with the private sector in conducting
training programs during vacations and at other times when the
facilities are not in use.

  Introduce Computer Literacy as a compulsory module in the
matriculation curriculum for high schools. Make training in the use of
IT applications compulsory for all degree courses within the next 3 years.

  Introduce mandatory IT Literacy courses for all levels of civil and
military personnel. Make IT literacy a prerequisite for induction into
gazetted positions.

  Make a special effort to train women and the disabled for IT careers.

2.2 Infrastructure Development

In order to grow, the local IT industry will need a suitable support
infrastructure, i.e., telecommunications and information data banks.
Required development of the telecommunications sector will entail, for
instance, deregulation, liberalisation, privatisation, and the creation
of a competitive market. Interest in IT infrastructure now extends
beyond telecommunications and human resources to government officials,
economists, lawyers, banks, users and the press. National databases are
vital for economic wellbeing as they provide quick and easy access to
information. Around the world, hi-tech 'IT Parks', equipped with the
most modern facilities and matchless incentives, are being established
to provide a one-stop shop for prospective investors in the IT industry.
IT incubators will be encouraged to enable genius to be able to
concentrate on development where his/her needs of funding, marketing and
managing are taken care of.

Thus, a key enabling factor for the rapid growth of information
technology in Pakistan would be a world class IT infrastructure that
includes telecommunications facilities, national databases and IT parks.
The recommendations presented below will facilitate the establishment of
such an infrastructure.

2.2.1 Telecommunications

A close relationship between the government and the private sector is
critical for the development of the telecommunications sector. The
following telecom policy strategies are based on government-private
sector synergy: the two sectors will need to work together to create a
modern, sophisticated, efficient, and productive telecommunications
sector that provides services to every segment of society at a
reasonable cost.

  Increase telephone line penetration rate by expanding the existing
telecommunications network and providing new ones employing modern
technologies-this will minimise the capital cost of expansion. The
government will license private telecom operators for supply of basic
infrastructure and services.

  Develop an integrated, flexible, robust, and reliable transmission
network that covers the entire nation and is capable of voice, video,
and data transmittal.

  Revise rates and tariffs for all telecommunications services down from
time to time, so that the cost is reasonable and consistent with the
economic realities of the country. Establish the tariff at par with or
below charges prevalent in the regional and international markets to
remain competitive.

  Make all telecommunication companies and carrier network service
providers responsive and upgrade rural telecommunications facilities.

  Phase in competitiveness in the telecommunications sector. Ensure that
full competitiveness is achieved in all telecommunications services and
infrastructure provision and these companies are operational by 31
December 2002.

  Invite private sector participation on very attractive terms in joint
telecommunications development work of the PTCL. This will ensure that
the PTCL is adequately equipped for the post deregulation competition phase.

  Encourage national concerns to enter the telecommunications fields
that are closely associated with the infrastructure needed for an
information rich society. Encourage local entrepreneurs to participate
actively in the telecommunications sector.

  Create an environment in which the government, telecom operators, and
regulators work together to ensure that access to advanced
telecommunications services is available to all citizens-including
commercial consumers, educational institutions, hospitals, libraries,
and government functionaries-regardless of their location and at a
reasonable cost.

  Work and expand connectivity with other countries, using existing
regional and global satellite and Fibre links.

  Take appropriate actions to launch Pakistan's own satellite at the earliest.

2.2.2 Databases

Databases provide quick and easy access to national information, which
greatly facilitates the work and increases the productivity of
businesses and institutions. Access to such databases is essential for
co-ordinated and informed decision-making and for efficient planning.
National databases are thus an important part of the IT sector

Both the government and the private sector should be encouraged to
participate in the development of national databases. The main
recommendations for policy for this area are:

  Encourage and accelerate government-private partnership in
establishment of comprehensive databases.

  Through the Computer Society of Pakistan and PCB, set standards to
ensure that databases are developed on non-propriety platforms,
especially in the government sector.

  Ensure open and equitable access to databases.
                      List of Distribution

Shahab Khan
Planwel University
Planwel Institute of Science and Technology (PLANWEL)
A-1, L.C.H.S
Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Block-20
Karachi. 75290, Pakistan
Tel: 011-92-21-811-5851
Fax: 011-92-21-811-6178

Dr. Don Zarlengo
Vice President of Information Technology and Telecommunications
Edmonds Community College
20000 68th Ave West
Lynnwood, WA 98036-5999
Mobile: 206-919-0277
Fax: 425-640-1008
zarlengo@netcom.com -- use this.

* Takeshi Utsumi, Ph.D., P.E., Chairman, GLOSAS/USA                  *
* (GLObal Systems Analysis and Simulation Association in the U.S.A.) *
* Laureate of Lord Perry Award for Excellence in Distance Education  *
* Founder of CAADE                                                   *
* (Consortium for Affordable and Accessible Distance Education)      *
* President Emeritus and V.P. for Technology and Coordination of     *
*   Global University System (GUS)                                   *
* 43-23 Colden Street, Flushing, NY 11355-3998, U.S.A.               *
* Tel: 718-939-0928; Fax: 718-939-0656 (day time only--prefer email) *
* Email: utsumi@columbia.edu;  Tax Exempt ID: 11-2999676             *
* http://www.friends-partners.org/GLOSAS/                            *

Return to: Global University System Early 2000 Correspondence
Web page by Steve McCarty, World Association for Online Education President