Interview with Sepehr Dehpour

“E-Learning is best developed in e-content in Iran”

How would you define e-content in Iran?

The definition of e-content in Iran is just emerging. However, use of contents and materials for use by the people through TV, radio, phone, internet can be termed as e-content

In Iran those contents that were normally in print format but nowadays can be found on monitor screen are told to be e-Content.

This meaning now also covers generally websites, web logs, e-newspapers and e-Learning in addition to offline CD materials.

Applications and games are not considered to be e-Content

“The government is supporting sophisticated e-learning systems designed for elementary and high-schools”

What’s the status of e-content in Iran?

Most Iranians are not very familiar with e-content and prefer to do things in a traditional manner. Naturally, they don’t much care for website action. But there are a few online businesses in Iran and efforts are on to introduce the young generations to it. Web logs are popular and there are about 70,000 Iranian web logs on net.

Many companies now use paperless systems and there is one pc per 10 people in Iran. Since there is no copyright law in Iran, many producers feel unsafe to give out their software, so there is no open source software. On the other hand, the government is supporting the development of Farsi-Linux and the number of software companies is rapidly growing.

E-Learning’s best developed in e-content. The government is supporting sophisticated e-learning systems designed for elementary and high-schools. There are online universities as well.

Which sector (business, private sector, government or civil society) in Iran is advanced in developing e-content?

The business and private sectors have taken the lead in developing e-Content. Over 95% of Iran WSA entries came from the private sector. The government is actively supporting many private-sector projects.

How would you describe the gradual progress of development of e-content in Iran?

E-content process in Iran has started of late. It will take time when this process will reach at a higher level of acceptability and applicability.

What major initiatives have influenced the development of e-content in Iran?

The government is taking steps to develop e-content. Actually, the private sector is taking some lead in this.

What are the major bottlenecks in the path of e-content development in your country?

The gradual progress of developing e-Content in Iran is promising but the problem is that it’s focused mainly on quantity not quality. The major bottlenecks in e-Content development in Iran are government monopoly in many aspects of ICT and the lack of a copyright law. The U.S prohibition against Iran has made it difficult to have world-wide e-Business based in Iran and it is difficult to have a world-wide credit card in Iran. Services like Paypal, for instance, do not allow people in Iran to buy and sell online.

In most countries, especially developing, e-content development is significantly dependent on ICT infrastructure and ICT facilities. But, in some, ICT has become pervasive and e-content development is primarily subjected to the initiatives of an individual/organization/government, etc. What is the situation in Iran?
ICT infrastructure in Iran has started picking up. It is the government that is taking care of this.

What’s the future of e-content in Iran?

Hopefully, the future of e-Content development in Iran is promising. Two per cent university students are studying IT. Around 30% youth are familiar with computer. Internet is becoming a part of life for young girls and boys in Tehran. And 49% of Internet users are female.

In my mind the mobile internet (WAP) will be the most preferred platform in the future. In Iran, the most preferred medium for e-Content is CD-ROM.

Which is the most preferred medium for e-content production in Iran?
TV, radio, and Internet.

How do you recognise the best e-content practices in your country?

The first e-solutions festival of Iran was the official national pre-selection for the Iran WSA. It had its own logo and a carefully written business plan. IT experts in Iran were informed about the festival by advertising, articles in newspapers, etc. website as the official website of the festival designed.

Snapshot of the First e-Solutions festival website:

The 1st e-Solutions Festival WSA nominees were decided by the Jury formed mainly of university professors moderated by Mr. Ehssan Riazi

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