Best European Telecentre Network Manager: Cornelia Popescu, Romania

Telecentre-Europe and its partner Microsoft are pleased to announce that Cornelia Popescu from Romania is the winner of the Telecentre-Europe Award 2011 in the category of "Best European Telecentre Network Manager" and wins the prize of an Xbox 360/Kinect Bundle donated by Microsoft.

 

Congratulations to Cornelia for her outstanding digital inclusion efforts, achievements and best practices!

 

Cornelia Popescu's Award application:

Demonstrated attitude, performance level and innovative approach towards the digital inclusion:

Cornelia Popescu is the manager of the Romanian telecentre network since 2009. The Romanian telecentre network is a national alliance of community technological centres united by the desire to offer access to technology and educational opportunities to the members of the community in which they operate.

The network is opened to any nongovernmental organization, the business sector and to the state institutions that wish to contribute to the decrease of digital division and to the Romanian Society development based on knowledge.

For three consecutive years she led the Get on line week at the national level because this event was conducted through the e-centres network. She was very involved in preparing and coordinating all the activities during the campaign. She developed all the necessary materials for the campaign such as press releases, media guide, the guide with the activities that telecentres can run during the campaign and advertising materials like posters and flyers.

In Romania the campaign called “Hai pe net” was realised with the participation of the e-centres, public access points to information, public libraries and non-profit organisations. In this respect were established several partnerships with public authorities and private corporations and organisations. The manager informed the partners about all the steps and activities developed from the campaign. 

Due to her involvement and to a proper coordination, the campaign reached very good results. The campaign involved activities in 500 telecentres (31 – e-centres, 248 - libraries, 127 - Public Information Access Points, 94 - NGOs) and over 1000 schools. The counter which tracked the participation of people in the campaign was stopped at 16.961 people who have taken part in the campaign. Out of the total number of people involved, 4871 – which represents almost 30% - were online for the first time and were supported by telecentres and schools across Romania to start to learn about technology and the benefits it brings to their personal and professional lives.

The activities undertaken by telecentres during the event were very diversified: First Click - short Internet taster courses for first time users, online social networking – mostly involved women who are unemployed or on maternal leave, employability one day courses for those unemployed or wanting to change their jobs, online education opportunities, online activities for seniors, Cloud technology – to present the advantages of the live platform.

Contribution to the development of the managed telecentre network:

When she took over the coordination of this project, the network had a number of 22 e-centres. Since then the network manager has been actively involved in attracting a larger number of centres in this network, in order to ensure the best possible coverage at national level. Therefore, following the efforts and lobby that she made among educational centres community and non-profit organizations, the network increased from 22 e-centres to 40 as it has in the present.

Also, the activities within the e-centres network became more diversified during this period due to new activities introduced by the manager. Some of these activities were based on the introduction of new IT courses for all categories of beneficiaries. In order to conduct a wide range of courses as including accredited courses, the e-centre network manager organized a trainer course for the e-centres staff, so that they obtain certification from the National Council for Adult training. So, in the present almost all the e-centres has qualified staff and can develop ICT courses for adults, courses that finalise with a certificate recognised by the Ministry of Labour and Ministry of Education.

Because the members of the communities where are e-centres expressed their wish to attend courses of entrepreneurship the manager worked together with the partners in this project in order to accredit more modules of entrepreneurship as:  How to be entrepreneur, IT for business, Communication in business, marketing basis, establishing a business plan, Accountancy basis and how to begin a business. For all this courses was set up and an IT component because is well known that the IT skills are a priority on the labour market in the present.

So that the e-centres network to be more visible was created a special web sites where were posted information about all the e-centres. The manager had a big contribution in creating this web site page, because she collected all necessary information in order to achieve the page and also contributed to perform the design.

Currently, the page is constantly updated by the e-centres network manager with information related to the e-centres activity and with the latest news about common activities in the future.

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