January 2008

Asia News

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Corporate partnership for ICT education in Philippines
Smart Communications, Cisco and Trends.Net, Inc. have entered into a partnership for ICT education which is helping to reach out to the student population of the Philippines.

After three successful runs, the customised course named Internetworking Fundamentals has benefited  engineering teachers and other instructors are scheduled for training. The training, which was open to teachers from partner schools of Smart Wireless Engineering Education Programme (SWEEP) partner schools, was offered on three consecutive trainings. By familiarising teachers with devices, techniques and methods used in an actual work setting, the course is designed to help them go beyond the textbook and into what happens in the real world. Topics include Data Communications on the engineering level, data networks, switching methods, routing protocols and wide area technologies. The training course was initiated by Smart, the country's premier wireless services provider, and launched under SWEEP. A first of its kind industry-academe partnership, SWEEP seeks to improve the level of technology and engineering education in the country.

Pakistan launches ICT-based literacy kit
The National Commission for Human Development (NCHD) of Pakistan in collaboration with UNESCO launched an information and communication technology-based literacy kit. The literacy kit is aimed at inducting information and communication technology for promoting literacy to equip individuals with skill and knowledge required to cope with global changes.

This process was initiated to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and has entered in its 5th year of successful operations. The ICT-based literacy kit will provide opportunities to the learners to improve their literacy skills by using those tools. It will also provide an interactive learning environment to the adult literacy learners for better and sustained learning because the kit can be used for basic education and skill training activities; 

ADB assistance to improve education in Sri Lanka
The Government of Sri Lanka has entered into an agreement with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to improve quality relevance effectiveness, and equity of access to secondary and tertiary education under the Education for Knowledge Society Project.

These two projects worth over USD 130 million will accelerate the development of Small and Medium Enterprises. The total investment for the Education for Knowledge Society Project is USD 105.3 million and it comprises of USD 65 million loan and USD 15 million grant from the ADB and USD 25.3 million from the Government of Sri Lanka. These funds will be utilised for upgrading 150 provincially administered secondary schools in the poorest administrative divisions under the Isuru schools programme enabling them to offer advanced level science streams. Facilities for teaching in key subjects such as Information and Communication Technology (ICT), English and Technical subjects will be improved. Computers and Internet facilities for 2125 schools and 15000 scholarships for poor students will also be provided.

Azerbaijan to establish  e-Schools
The Azerbaijan Education Ministry works over establishment of electronic schools in the country. It is planned to establish some 10 electronic schools in Azerbaijan by the beginning of next academic year.

Presently, implementation of the project is being researched. The Azerbaijani Government considers ICT should be developed in all fields, including education. In the coming years the Government intends to allot a lot of funds for this purpose. Implementation of 5-year programme on computerisation of general schools in Azerbaijan will be completed this year. Previously, the computer-student ratio in the country was 1 per 1,000. It is now estimated to be 30 per 1,000.

Mobile teachers bridge education gap in remote villages of Philippines

In Philippines, mobile teachers are providing basic education to out-of-school youth and adults, who still want to learn. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the President of Philippines has asked the Department of Education (DepEd) to beef up its “mobile teachers” programme by hiring more teachers to serve under its Alternative Learning System (ALS).

The government has increased the budget for learning from P76-million in 2006 to P230-million in 2007, so that the Bureau of Alternative Learning System (BALS) can hire 300 more mobile teachers. These mobile teachers go from house to house to determine the number of non-readers in every household and select the learning modules that suit the clients' learning needs.

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