The Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE) is showcasing its progress in integrating e-services at an exhibition which began at its premises on Tuesday.
The ministry's e-transformation committee is organising the ICTEx exhibition, which includes stalls as well as workshops. It aims to update the ministry's staff on the progress that has been made in e-transformation.
Each of the seven stalls represents an area within the ministry where services rendered have become electronic or digital. Over a period of two days, every ministry employee has been given a dedicated time slot to visit the event.
H E Abdullah al Sarmi, Undersecretary in MoHE, said the exhibition was an important way of promoting the ministry's cause. “This is a milestone that we are trying to show,” he said. “You need all the stakeholders to buy the change.” He said the ministry is somewhere between 30-40 per cent done with its e-transformation efforts. “I think we've done a good job so far, but we have a long way to go.”
H E Sarmi said the ministry's major upcoming plan is to make all communications with private colleges electronic within a year.
Zaima al Salami, an IT specialist at MoHE, said a specialised ministry committee has worked for two years on facilitating the changes on display at the exhibition. “We want to present the electronic services that we provide for employees,” she said.
Zaima estimated that the committee's work was “50 per cent” complete.
H E Sarmi said the ministry's e-transformation began in earnest in 2006 when it implemented its central admission system.
Senior admissions specialist Bassam al Hassani in MoHE said adopting this system has been beneficial for the ministry and students alike.
He said technology has ensured fairness in the admissions process, as selection based on certain criteria is performed by a computer rather than a person who may have biases. “Before, may be a friend could help you,” he said. Hassani said the system helped the admissions department to process applications of 32,000 students in 2014. “We push all students to use technology,” he said.
The ministry has worked on the changes in collaboration with the Information Technology Authority (ITA). Since 2006, ITA has been facilitating government agencies in adopting e-services, according to Laila al Hadhrami, executive web content writer at the authority.
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