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Italy Grants US$ 1.2 Million for the Expansion of Educational Radio and TV (ERTV) Production and Broadcast Capacities for Distance Education in Afghanistan

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KABUL, 19 March 2013 – The Italian Government grants US$ 1.2 million to support the Educational Radio and Television (ERTV) of the Ministry of Education of Afghanistan.

Following the agreement signed between H.E. Luciano Pezzotti, Ambassador of Italy to Afghanistan, Ms. Yukiko Matsuyoshi, UNESCO Chief of Education and H.E. Mohammad Farooq Wardak, Minister of Education on 19 March 2013 in Kabul, the new project will focus on expanding country wide coverage and capacity building of Education Radio and Television (ERTV) to strengthen distance learning all over Afghanistan.

During the ceremony H.E. Farooq Wardak expressed his gratitude to the Government of Italy for its support to ERTV, Minister Wardak added that this agreement is a good step towards strengthening our partnership and as well as a useful and resentful towards distance education. H.E. Luciano Pezzotti recalled the central role that technology can play in providing access to information and education. With simple and effective interventions in broadcasting, one can expand the reach of information and educational programming, particularly in remote and difficult locations. Ms. Yukiko Matsuyoshi thanked the Government of Italy for its generous support to the Afghan Government enabling distance learning opportunities for Afghans living in remote areas.

The project plans to enhance and strengthen the capacities of Education Radio and Television, in programming, dubbing, broadcast expansion to 10 provinces through local transmission and country wide through satellite.

UNESCO and the Government of Italy have supported the ERTV since 2003. Up to September 2012,
Italian support in this field has led to the creation of a fully operational Educational Radio and TV production house with broadcasting capabilities. The newly renovated ERTV started broadcasting 24 hours radio program and 13 hours television program on daily basis. It has enabled ERTV to produce 240 radio and TV programmes for teachers and as well as expanded radio coverage to six provinces: Mazar-e-Sharif, Herat, Kandahar, Bamyan, Paktia and Nangarhar.

UNESCO has been working in Afghanistan since 2003 to support the education, culture, communication and information sectors. Technical assistance to the line Ministries, Preserving Afghanistan’s cultural heritage and assisting the process of fair and transparent flow of information are among key UNESCO activities in the country.