ASIA | digitalLEARNING Magazine
November 2006

ASIA

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Wireless Internet set to launch
in remote Viet Na Viet Nam’s first-ever trial WiMAX  (Wo ld Interoperability      icrowave Access) equipment will be  fully installed in the northern mountainous province of Lao Cai to bring wireless Internet to previously offline areas soon. Users will include schools, health care  centres, the Post Office, an internet  cafe, a farm family, a hotel, a business project, and selected Lao Cai public and commune service locations.  WiMAX is a new advanced wireless  broadband technology that can provide high quality wireless broadband Internet to rural areas in radii between 2 to 10 kilometres per base station. The pilot project is  being implemented by Intel in cooperation with the Viet Nam  Datacommunications company (VDC), the US Agency for International  Development (USAID) and the Lao Cai People’s Committee leadership. 

Regional centre helps develop
distance education in Viet Nam The Regional Open Learning Centre under the Organisation of Southeast Asian Ministers for Education is willing to provide professional expertise, consultancy and personnel training to Viet Nam for developing its distance education system.  Since 2003, the centre had implemented many programmes to  assist the Ha Noi Open University. These programmes focused on personnel training, providing  curriculums and school materials, and  applying information technology in distance education. In recent years, Viet Nam has invested in developing  open and distance  ducation. The  Government assigned the Ministry of Education and Training to implement  a US$100 million project on distance education with the participation of the Ha Noi Open University. The  university, with around 300 officials  and lecturers, had so far trained around 45,000 students in different majors through distance education.  ‘Internet-ready Access Centres’ in schools in Malaysia Internet-ready Access Centres costing more than RM70mil in total are being set up in 1,500 schools around Malaysia.  Access Centres would be  similar in concept to cybercafes, although its  usage would focus on learning and to  allow students to work on their

Bringing impact to rural education in Malaysia
The Education Ministry in Malaysia being aware of the education divide between the schools in the rural areas and towns is now embarking on high  impact projects to bridge the divide. The ministry is giving priority to improve  ducation outside  towns under the Ninth Malaysia Plan (9MP) in a comprehensive manner from preschool to higher education.  Under the 9MP, the ministry is hoping to supply higher voltage generator cap ble   of supplying 30-35KVa and also the solar power equipment and set up mini dam   to ensure the implementation of ICT initiatives. Plan is also to assist in implementing the  pre-school education in rural areas by setting up 2,400 preschool classes  complete with computer facilities that could benefit 61,000 children in the 5-6  years age group. Apart from that, the ministry would also enhance the rehabilitation classes in rural areas with the setting up of 5,000 classes to enhance the 3M capabilities, namely read, write and count. The ministry is also  idening the vocational subjects in 480 schools in the rural areas to help  the students who are not keen in the academic subjects. Through the high impact projects, the number of students who need rehabilitation that can be reduced from 7.7 percent to less than 5 percent and the need for the Tuition Voucher Scheme (SBT) can be reduced from 100 percent to 80 percent after the 9MP. The dropout rates in rural schools could be reduced from 1.2 percent to less than 1.0 percent at the primary level and from 16.7 percent to less than 1.0 percent at the secondary level. assignments. It is different from the existing computer labs, which are  used to teach certain subjects.Under the first phase, 1,500 schools would be provided with 15,000  personal computers and 1,500 printers as well as the necessary  furniture and infrastructure. Another 12,900 computers would be  provided to 1,290 schools next year. With the Access Centres, the ratio of  computers to students in schools would be decreased allowing students to be more exposed to  information and communication  technologies (ICT). To date 84 primary and secondary schools in  the rural areas of Sabah and Johor have been equipped with Access Centres. Free info-enrichment in Bengali  Wikipedia The project for Bangla  nline based  ncyclopaedia has taken off recently. But its entries have been expanding with almost binary pace.  Bengali Wikipedia  in March 2006 to 0,000 as of now. 20/  5 active voluntary editors areinvolved in editing Bengali Wikipedia on a regular basis. About 220-250  million Bangla speaking people are supposed to read Bangla encyclopaedia  more than English. Info bank of the seventh largest language is poor in many ways. So there is an actual expectation of Bangla info bank. Non-formal schooling boosts access to basic education in Nepal  Children who were out of school in 15  districts of Nepal now have the opportunity to learn how to read and  write, thanks to the     ICEF-supported Out-of-School Programme (OSP).  Designed to provide basic education through a non-formal approach, the  new strategy has helped approximately 15,700 children complete a 10-month course.

The  After BPO, it is the turn of ESO now For thousands of teachers here,
tuitions have become   dollar spinner, thanks to the growing demand for online tutorials from USA,  K and Europe. According to an online tutorial site, nearly 100,000 teachers  from India and Pakistan were expected to set up their own Internet businesses  during September-October, the time when the new academic session begins in  merica, to teach students there.  Though the main demand is from USA, newer markets of Netherlands and Europe too are fast opening up for Indian teachers.  Low cost of tuitions and  very good teaching skills of Indian teachers is what attracts American students and parents to them. The online tutorial interaction uses both voice and data. Exercises are done on electronic otebooks, which are available at both ends. A number of online sites have come up where teachers can register, stating their expertise in a particular subject. The sites sub-contract work from SES (Supplemental Education Services) in the US. Schools unable to improve student performance are falling back on tuitions for help. There are over 75 such tuition centres across the US. Called SES providers, they charge students up to $40 an hour to take classes. Wire the work to India over broadband links and it can be done for half the cost. programme’s main aim is to fulfill children’s rights to basic education, especially for girls and low-caste children. In 2005, nearly 40 per cent of  OSP graduates – more than half of them girls – made the successful  transition into primary schools. Singapore institutes to take in  more Indian students Singapore Education is looking at hosting an international student population of 1,50,000 by 2015, up  from the current level of 70,000-plus. India is one of its key source markets along with Indonesia, Vietnam,  Malaysia and China. The number of  Indian students pursuing their  education in Singapore has seen a 21% growth in 2005 over 2004.  Students from India tend to go in for their MBAs as well as courses in engineering, IT, sciences and  business. There’s also an emerging interest in hospitality and design.   Japan Agency gives computers to 12 high schools in Philippines  The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Sultan Kudarat Provincial Office, a lead agency   asked by the Philippines vernment  in promoting Information Communication Technology (ICT), had secured  a grant from the Japan International Cooperating Agency (JICA) under the  Non-Project Grant Assistance Program. The grant shall fund  projects for the promotion of ICT in the  province. The program also aimed to make ICT access available to all  students of selected public high schools in the province under the project “Personal Computers for Public Schools” Project – Phase 3 (PCPS -3).  New Web 2.0 Chinese distance  learning site launched Onsales Global Services Inc. launched  China-8.com, a distance learning website that is based on emerging  Web 2 technologies. The site uses Asynchronous JavaScript and XML  (Ajax) to deliver a new way for students of Chinese and China enthusiasts vising China for travel or  business to study Chinese,  communicate, and share their knowledge of Mandarin and of China. China-8.com aims to cater to the  Chinese learning and community needs of the estimated 30 million people currently studying Chinese around the world with tools that encourage the learning process not hinder it. China-8.com’s lessons are based on the Hanyu Shuiping Koushi  (HSK) curriculum – China’s international Chinese proficiency test currently being promoted by  Confucius Institutes around the world, but with a difference. China-  8.com tracks students’ progress, giving them a snapshot of how they   are progressing with the language.  

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