About CEENetprof. dr. Jacek Gajewski
The Central and Eastern European Networking Association (CEENet) have been created in order to represent the CEE region against the international bodies like eg. EC, NATO, TERENA. In a series of meetings those countries have created a coherent picture of the networking situation in their countries, which helped the international funding bodies to correlate their projects in CEEC with actual needs of those countries. The good examples of such correlation, mediated by CEENet, are the PHARE and INSIGHT projects funded by EC or secondary school projects supported by OSI.
In a short time, it turned out that not all the needs of the CEE regions are covered by the existing international projects. In particular, in this region there is a constant need for training of the technical staff in a recent developments of the networking technology. CEENet started to organize the workshops, where young people from our countries could listen to lectures given by top experts and, what is even more valuable, they got the opprtunity to master their skills in a numerous hands-on excercises. These workshops were sponsored by OSI and/or NATO and the academic networking organization of the host country. They are organized on a yearly basis, each time in a different country and a slightly different programme to take into account best technical achievments of a host country. The actual, 3rd CEENet Networking Technology Workshop organized with a superb technical, organizatorial and infrastructure help of CARNet will give the attendees the possibility to learn apart from the wide range of the networking basics, also about one of the most modern technology, namely ATM.
There is a second type of the workshops organized by CEENet - these are so called CEENet Network Policy Workshops, where top experts meet with politicians, representatives of the funding agencies and people responsible for the development of the networks. The idea is to produce a clear picture of the current situation and projects running in the CEE region, to analyze the existing trends and to sketch some general guidelines and recomendations for the future development. A recent workshop of this type, held in May 1997 in Tartu Estonia adopted the document ("CEENet Tartu Declaration), which describes clearly the expected and desirable development of the networks in CEE region. One of the main new trends would be to put more effort into the training and education, which seems now the biggest challange in the transformation process to Global Information Society.
Following this recomendation, CEENet will intensify its workshop programme and from next year on we plan to organize at least two workshops yearly. One is our traditional Network Technology workshop (the next one is expected to happen in August '98 in Bratislava, Slovakia with extra emphasis on training the trainees) and the second one, planned for May '98 in Yaroslavl, Russia will concentrate on network menagerial methods both on national and campus level.
Our region is very diverse in the level of the network development. We have several countries, where networking is at good european level but we also have many countries, which only start to build their national network infrastructure. Those countries have enormous needs to educate their staff. It became the CEENet tradition that better developed countries like Austria, Poland, Slovenia have partly resigned from sending their attendees in order to make more room for attendees coming from eg. Albania, Georgia or Bosnia and Hercegovina. On the other hand, in well developed countries Internet starts to be used actievely at secondary school level, which meens that there is an enormous need to train thousends of school teachers. All participants of our workshops are teachers in some sence - they have a moral duty to disseminate the knowledge, which they have mastered, to the collegues from their mother institution and to the society they come from. These was also a spirit of the Internet and we are doing our best that this good tradition is kept.