June 2008

Asia News

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Microsoft (Malaysia) extends its community programme

Software company Microsoft (Malaysia) is to invest another RM500, 000 in its Unlimited Potential (UP) community out reach programme ICT outreach programme this year. According to the company, UP has provided basic ICT skills to around 1,700 people in the past three years, and is in line with its objectives of education, innovation and opportunities.

Microsoft (Malaysia) said that it has invested RM2.1 million (US$667, 216) in the programme to date, and runs this in partnership with the National Council of Women's Organisations (NCWO). The ICT training leads to a certification that will help the graduates find work or improve  their job prospects.

UNESCO Bangkok releases CD-ROM on ICT resources

A CD-ROM, comprising Directory of ICT Resources for Teaching and Learning of Science, Mathematics and Languages, provides a collection of ICT-based resources for teaching and learning the three subjects  for secondary-level students. It includes simulations, video clips, interactive learning objects like quizzes, animation, and other kinds of multimedia activities. The directory is organised subject-wise and a separate directory has been provided to give
an overall view of the types of resources available.

The CD-ROM has been especially valuable for teachers who don't have fast Internet connections (or no Internet connection at all), and those who have limited funds and lack the time to search for free quality teaching resources. The materials and lesson plans provided on the CD-ROM have been used by teachers worldwide, but are of particular relevance to the secondary school curricula of seven ASEAN countries: Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam.

UNESCO book on Open Access to Knowledge in South Asia

The UNESCO Office in New Delhi has released a book on Open Access to Knowledge and Information.'Scholarly Literature and Digital Library Initiatives – the South Asian Scenario' illustrates South Asian initiatives on open access to information and knowledge. It has its genesis in the recommendations and proceedings of UNESCO-supported international conferences and workshops.

The book describes successful digital library and open access initiatives in the South Asia sub-region that are available in the forms of open courseware, open access journals, metadata harvesting services, national-level open access repositories and institutional repositories. It is a authoritative source-book on open access development in this sub-region.

UN launches new training course to help developing Asian countries use ICT

About 60 experts from around 30 countries in the Asia-Pacific region are taking part in a new initiative aimed at equipping government officials with the knowledge and skills they need to fully utilise the potential of ICTs to achieve national development goals.
The initiative, called the 'Academy of ICT Essentials for Government Leaders – A Modular Training Programme', is undertaken by the United Nations Asian and Pacific Training Centre for Information and Communication Technology for Development (UN-APCICT)

The Academy consists of a core ICT for development (ICT4D) curriculum that begins with ICT basics and progresses to more advanced topics. It is targeted primarily at policy makers in central, provincial and local governments; managers in the public sector; and ICT educators at public training institutes.

IBM to enhance skilled manpower in Asia

IBM has announced a new online programme to allow students at more than 2,100 institutions in India, China, Singapore and Vietnam for enhancing their credentials and better compete for the growing number of technology positions available in the region.Year-to-year demand for IBM software certification has surged because certifications help the industry locate and hire top software developers. 

Under the new programme, students will be offered access to online exams. It will help increase the number of qualified, skilled software developers available to meet a growing opportunity for software innovation worldwide.

For a discounted rate of US $30, students at universities across these four countries now have access to 25 web-based exams covering IBM's rational software delivery portfolio, IBM said.

According to the company, 22 different certifications are available in emerging technology job areas such as architecture management, change and release management, process and portfolio management, and quality management.

The new programme will help students to learn the latest in industry-leading software engineering techniques, tools and the software development process, besides enriching their engineering experiences by promoting their practical skills.

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