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May 2007

world

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South Africa launches first e-School

The first of South Africa's six new Nepad e-Schools has been launched. The first school to be equipped with an HP computer lab, complete with servers, personal computers, printers, faxes, scanners, copiers and wireless connectivity, was the Maripe Secondary School at Bushbuckridge in Limpopo.

The launch was part of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (Nepad) e-Schools project, which aims to increase the use of technology in education and to increase information technology (IT) skills. Less than 20 percent of the global population has access to IT, while in Africa, only one in every 130 people has a computer. The first African e-School was opened in Uganda in June 2005. Egypt's first e-School was launched earlier this year.

Technology education lags student interest: survey

Canadian students are facing a gap between what they desire and need for technology education and what they are being taught in schools, according to a new survey released by Microsoft Canada.

Although 92 per cent of students surveyed said it is important to have technology experience for career success, 91 per cent thought working in the sector would be rewarding and 72 per cent viewed technology as a positive factor in their lives, relatively few felt their education adequately serves their interests.

Fewer than half of those who participated in the survey thought they were getting the education they need to prepare them for an information technology-related career, and just 28 per cent thought their school kept them abreast of technological advances.

FEC endorses training of 20,000 Nigerian graduates by Cisco on ICT

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved an agreement between the Federal Ministry of Education in Nigeria and a worldwide software company, CISCO to train 20,000 Nigerian graduates with a view to making them employable in modern Information and Communication Technology- based economy.

This arrangement would entail CISCO spending N3.7 billion (or 84 per cent of the total cost of N4.3 billion) while the Federal Government will take the remaining N684 million (or 16 per cent). The participants for the training were selected through an online survey of Nigerian graduates from tertiary institutions over a 10-year period. 29,000 graduates responded in the exercise. The ministry hopes that a good number of the graduates would be transformed at the end of the exercise which will span 6 months, 12 months and 15 months certification.

ETS renames its ICT Literacy Assessment

ETS, the nonprofit institution that customises solutions to meet the need for teacher professional development products and services, classroom and end-of-course assessments, and research-based teaching and learning tools has changed the name of its ICT Literacy Assessment to the iSkills(TM) assessment and is also introducing new, customisable score reports for institutions.

The iSkills(TM) assessment is a simulation-based test designed to measure information and communication technology (ICT) literacy, that is, a student's ability to navigate, critically evaluate and communicate information using digital technology, communication tools and networks. During the 75-minute assessment, college and high school students are asked to perform 15 information problem-solving tasks – such as researching a topic from a database, identifying authoritative and unbiased web sites, or composing an e-mail summary of research findings.

Irish Department of Education purchases 25,000 licenses of education software

The Irish Department of Education and Science has purchased 25,000 licenses of SolidWorks Education Edition software, made by SolidWorks Corporation that develops and markets software for design, analysis, and product data management, to expand technology education in second level schools and grow the pool of skilled local engineers. Students between 12 and 18 years old in 550 schools will learn SolidWorks in four technology subjects.

SolidWorks Education Edition is the standard for teaching students CAD fundamentals in Norway, Northern Ireland, and France, and has been deployed in major school districts in Germany and Spain. t4 – Technology Subjects Support Service, Ireland's teacher support and training division for technology education in the Irish Department of Education, chose SolidWorks because its intuitive interface will allow students to quickly grasp design and engineering principles so they spend more time creating 3D models than learning software.  

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