The activity of the Bulgarian Association of Information Technologies (BAIT) during the recent five years has always been a part of the constant efforts for the implementation of the Program Home PC.
With the public state financial support, Home PC Program is targeted at providing Bulgarian pupils and students a home based access to a modern PC ware, which will most effectively back up the aims of their training and raise their level of education. The modern system of education increasingly relies on the new methods and forms of education, including the remote one, based on PC ware and Internet potentialities. Mastering PC operations is only the first step to bring up young people who know and who can do things thus training them into experts, for whom our home country experiences an increasingly growing need of.
However, the existing organized forms of education do not facilitate this to happen. Possessing a personal computer at home is a must for the effective process of self education. This is the reason why state authorities should assist this process by allowing a reasonable investment that will create prerequisites for every Bulgarian home bringing up school students to possess a computer, some educating software and an Internet connection. This is a compulsory prerequisite for the implementation of the reform in education.
A lot of work has been done during many years aiming to popularize the targets of this program in order to attract adherents among deputies and high position state leaders who are to incorporate this program into governmental programs and provide the necessary financial funds from the state budget.
For this reason BAIT has organized a number of meetings and contacts with ministers and deputy ministers and has summoned several press conferences, the initiative being publicly supported by president Parvanov. A thorough investigation of the world experience was carried out; a number of meetings with leading hardware and software manufacturers were organized in order to acquire their cooperation in implementing the program.
Home PC is part of the action plan of the State Agency of Information Technologies (SAIT). Chairman Plamen Vachkov is personally bound up in carrying through the implementation of the program to a successful end. “A considerable progress was achieved last year in this direction. SAIT and BAIT have jointly developed in detail two updated versions for the implementation of the program, including a mechanism for a fair and expedient submitting the PC ware to school students, responding to specific conditions, certain offers for financing it from the state and a control system to monitor the reasonability of spending the financial resources. In view of time specific opportunities, emerging from the expected distribution of budget 2008 surplus, Mr. Vachkov sent a letter defining the motivated offer to finance the first stage of the program from these funds which provides a three-year financing of approximately 100,000 PC systems and software for Bulgarian students.
Unfortunately, this strategic for our nation offer did not lead to taking the expected decision, although taking it was closer than ever. Nevertheless, the obtained results provide solid grounds for SAIT and BAIT to step on in order to proceed with their task further up to a final success, something that dozens of other countries have already achieved.
The implementation of Home PC Program has yet another strong social element. On the one hand it will stimulate the development of talented children. On the other hand it will help to overcome the existing economic status segregation into social groups thus providing for more children from lower solvency families an access to the opportunities and knowledge which the information technologies provide.
A PC available at home will also stipulate society into using more and more e-services – starting from those provided in the “E-Government” program and further – to all the others such as e-trade, e-banking, etc. And last but not least, it will also give a positive impact on the re-qualification of part of the population for finding a more qualified job.
Realization of Home PC will give a powerful stimulus to the development of the software industry in the field of educational software.
These are goals of national importance and BAIT will definitely insist on obtaining support from all major political parties at its traditional meetings preceding the elections, some of which already took place, others are planned in the next few months.
BAIT has always been looking for a maximally wide placed cooperation in this direction. Young people in Bulgaria are not politically associated and represent the future of the nation.
The Association certainly makes sure that these as well as any other similar initiatives shall not be used for whatever business goals by any legal entity. Unfortunately we have been recently witnessing such an attempt.
Such actions can only vitiate the ideal goals of Bait’s Program “Home PC” and put back in time implementing it in Bulgaria.