News World
Asia and Middle East's First & Only Monthly Magazine, Web Portal on Innovation in Education
September 2006

News World

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Free laptops for GCSE students
Free laptops are helping a group of students with their General Ceertificate of Secondary Education (GCSEs). Eighteen teenagers at Newhaven Pupil Referral Unit in Eltham were given computers, funded by Mercers’ E-Learning  oundation in London.  The Learn Anywhere project is aimed at helping Year 9 children finish homework and coursework  assignments. Another 12 students at
the unit are due to receive a laptop. They will also pay £3 a week to cover  insurance costs for the machines and  own the computers by the time they finish their GCSEs.

Becta to save cash for schools
The British Educational Communications and Technology Agency (Becta) has launched a new ICT  Infrastructure Services Procurement Framework. The  framework is expected to save millions of pounds for education  institutions. Around 16 suppliers will handle the  framework, which covers system design, hardware and software
acquisition, training, implementation, and ongoing support. The EU  approved framework is expected to reduce the risk and burden on schools  and colleges.

Nepad launches e-School in
Uganda
New Partnership for African Development’s (Nepad) electronic  school initiative is officially launched at Kyambogo College School near  Kampala, Uganda. The objective of Nepad’s e-Schools  initiative is to equip all African
schools with ICT tools, to ensure that African youth graduate with the skills  necessary to fully participate in the information society and knowledge  economy. The three schools that are  already benefiting from the Nepad’s Advanced Micro Devices are Kyambogo College School, St Andrew  Kaggwa Senior Secondary School in Luwero and Bukuya Secondary  School in Mityana.

AMD ’s 50×15 initiative
expands educational
opportunities in Uganda A consortium led by AMD launched three digital  nclusion programmes in schools in and around Kampala, the capital city of Uganda. As part of the 50×15 Initiative, AMD is collaborating  with the Ugandan Government, the New Partnership for Africa’s  Development (NEPAD) and 13 additional organisations as part of the  company’s commitment to connect 5percent of the world’s population to the Internet by the year 2015.  The AMD-led consortium is responsible for three of more than 100  secondary schools playing host to NEPAD’s e-Schools Demonstration  Project – a critical initial step in the continental implementation of the  NEPAD e-Schools Initiative. Through these deployments and the overall  NEPAD Initiative, teaching, learning and administration at these schools  are all enhanced. Students and teachers are empowered with ICT  skills and knowledge and digital
resources enable an overall increase in health literacy. The added  technology also facilitates increased efficiency in the schools’ management  and administration systems.

Google joins hand with  California varsity to digitise books
The University of California (UC) system has inked a pact with search giant Google to digitise millions of books in its libraries as part of the  California-based firm- Mountain View’s Google Books Library Project, an initiative that aims to digitise volumes from the world’s vast array  of libraries and make content available online.  Other parties that have joined Google
in its digitisation efforts include the  University of Michigan, Stanford University, Harvard University and  the New York Public Library, among others. The UC network includes 10  campuses across the state that are   home to some 34 million library books, and though UC has not specified which books will be digitised, it has said millions of  volumes will be scanned under
the initiative.
Zimbabwe Army schools adopt ICT
Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) schools have embraced Information and Communication Technology (ICT).  The training programme will enable all ZNA schools to put the computers t  good use. The introduction of the ICT training in army formal schools offers greater opportunities for products of  this system to participate in development as their human  capacities are improved, thereby
enabling them to cope with  demands of an economic environment characterised by  extensive use of information technology.

Egyptian students take IT route with mobile IT clubs
Egyptian Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, in association with the Cisco Networking Academy Programme, is  giving basic computer training to the masses of remote areas of  Egypt through a series of mobile  IT clubs. The Mobile Information Technology Club initiative is  supported by the United Nations Development  Programme (UNDP) and the Italian  Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Cooperazione Italiana programme and currently features two caravans and  two buses outfitted with PCs. Each vehicle has a satellite link giving  users access to e-mail and the Internet, originally intended to provide people in remote communities  with training and awareness on the  basics of computer, Internet and multimedia use. Each mobile IT club  has been made a local academy, with two instructors per vehicle operating  under the auspices of the Egyptian Ministry of Communications and  Information Technology’s e-Learning Competency Centre, which is one of  six regional Networking Academies in Cairo. The caravans have 20  computers each and capacity for around 20 students, while the buses  have 10 PCs apiece, with space for a student at each.
‘Plagiarism’ online threatening  quality of British degrees
The practice of online sites selling essays and completed assignments to students has reached a 200-millionpound business in UK which is  threatening quality of British education.  The issue has reached such  proportions that the House of Commons education select  committee has decided to hold a  special session later this year to investigate it. New online sites are  appearing almost every week and  many sites report incomes in millions as students prefer to buy their  assignments. According to an investigation made by University of Central England, Internet cheating  and selling tailored essays has  assumed the dimensions of  international trade, the trend has been termed by them as ‘contract cheating’.  Such sites claim that their work is mainly intended as a ‘guide’ to  students, but they actually encourage plagiarism. ‘E-learning Ghana’ launched  ‘E-learning Ghana (www.elearningghana.com)’ to offer a wide variety of high quality affordable e-learning courses has been launched in Ghana by 2Ti Solutions and BusyInternet.
‘E-learning Ghana’ will cover a wide range of technical IT and business
Skills topics. Over 1200 courses and an additional forty to fifty new courses will be added every quarter. The primary objective is to provide  customers with extremely affordable pricing combined with world-class  quality, resulting in outstanding  value. ‘E-learning Ghana’ will be available from BusyInternet throughout the day and all the days.  It will ensure that its users are able to maximise benefits that online learning  materials offer. New Zealand spearheads to  give boost to students ICT knowledge  In a bid to modernise education using ICT, another USD200 million is to be ploughed into the

New Zealand’s schools, over  four years.
The aim is to ensure young people have confidence in using ICT tools.  The project will also provide remote schools with satellite broadband at a  subsidised rate including schools in  the Chatham Islands and on Pitt  Island at a cost of USD700,000 over two years. Laptops for all  teachers account for the biggest  item in this year’s action plan budget at a cost of USD17.58 million.  The programme was announced last week, at Wellington’s Brooklyn  School. It allowed the ministry to demonstrate the country’s first  tablet classroom

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