Education ministry's IT department investing to improve communication

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Chilean education ministry's (Mineduc) IT department is investing in implementing new technology to improve communication flow and reduce the time for document generation, national IT coordinator Ramón Rodríguez said at a conference of local system integrator In Motion.

According to Rodríguez, since November last year, the IT department has invested more than US$60,000 to pay for licenses to use PDF files and the implementation of conference rooms.

The investment will help Mineduc programs like "Liceos Bicentenarios," an initiative that seeks to increase the number of high quality national-schools in commemoration of Chile's bicentennial celebrations last year.

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"We're still working with paper - that's the main problem. To change this, we invested more than US$50,000 to buy the licenses for the dynamic generation of PDFs and more than US$2,000 for each of the five conference rooms we need to connect the entire ministry in Chile. This is a four-year plan," Rodríguez told BNamericas.

According to the official, his department's priority will be focusing on improving the communication between all entities involved, from schools to the minister himself, by implementing IT to speed up processes.

"We are trying to unite the ministry, and the only way to do this is by improving communication between the entire sector, so that better decisions can be made. Times have changed and we can no longer wait three months to create a website or to get test results for the schools," Rodríguez added.


Another priority for Mineduc's IT department, Rodríguez said, is implementing digital signatures for all documents, so time and money can be saved. For this, the IT department is working toward designing a system to combine computers and mobile phones so the signature of all documents can be done by any device.

"At the moment, most school certificates are signed electronically, but the rest of the documents still require a signature on paper, which means we have to wait for the minister to sign them. This task sometimes can take weeks," he said. "We want the technology to help [users] by allowing them to sign from their mobile phone or computer, so time can be saved and so we can keep moving forward."