Italy’s Education Minister Stefania Giannini stressed the importance of innovation and digital technology in the education system, and suggested a communications network between Iranian and Italian students “so that they can be in contact with one another.”
In a meeting with Education Minister Ali Asghar Fani on Monday to discuss areas of cooperation between the two sides, the visiting Italian minister expressed hope for future collaboration and said, “Similar backgrounds in cultural, educational, and research areas as well as the apropos atmosphere created by the historic nuclear accord between Iran and major world powers provide for further interaction between the two countries,” Borna News Agency reported.
The two ministers signed a memorandum of understanding to expand bilateral cooperation in vocational training and use of digital technologies in education.
“I hope the MoU will pave the way for cooperation in all areas focused by the two sides,” Giannini said.
Raising education quality and eliminating illiteracy among adults are the main objectives of her ministry, she said.
There are nine million students in 8,000 educational facilities in Italy where foreign students make up 8% of the total.
Unemployment and lack of job opportunities for graduates is the country’s major problem, and Italy should follow Iran’s experience in establishing two universities for training teachers, namely the Kharazmi University (or Tarbiat Moallem University of Tehran), and the Shahid Rajaee Teacher training University, she noted.
“I have followed both Iran and Italy’s history. We share a lot in common and the only difference right now is that Iran has two separate ministries for education and science!,” Mehr News Agency quoted Giannini as saying.
Fani said Iran is ready to share its experiences with Italy and the meeting will bolster academic and technological cooperation.
Noting that the National Education Reform Document is the roadmap for the ministry in the upcoming five-year economic development plan (2016-2021), he said promoting quality education would spearhead the strategic policies set by the administration.
The document developed in 2003 and approved by the Supreme Council of Cultural Revolution in 2012, includes reforms in areas of: scientific and technological; moral and religious; artistic and aesthetic; economic, professional, political and social spheres, and physical education.
“It addresses educational justice, vocational training, and educating students according to up-to-the-minute technologies.”
In a recent meeting with President Hassan Rouhani, Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni said his country is keen to invest in Iranian projects and also prepared to help invest in and transfer technology to Iran in all fields.
Iran has a key role in establishment of peace and stability in the region and the international community needs Iran’s involvement, he added.