world | digitalLEARNING Magazine
July 2007

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Call to equip African teachers with ICT skills

Fifteen million teachers need to be retrained if Africa is to achieve universal primary education by 2015. Education ministers from the continent resolved that another hundreds of thousands of teachers require Information and Communication Technology (ICT) skills to help achieve this goal.

The first African ministerial round table on ICT for education, training and development also identified the need to involve corporate organisations.

Africa fifth region to open Microsoft Technology Innovation Centre

Africa has become the fifth region to open a Microsoft Schools Technology Innovation Centre (STIC) after Europe, the European Union, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East, which provides teachers with information, training and equipment to encourage the use of ICT in teaching and learning.

The Africa STIC will enable teachers to meet with the latest educational innovations and help schools to adopt learning technologies. The STIC will support skills transfer and teacher training for a 21st century education system. It will expose teachers and learners to innovative technology to move towards greater employability and active citizenship.

ICT course developed for Ireland primary teachers

Educational software company Flúirse has developed a series of online summer courses aimed at improving the ICT skills of primary school teachers around Ireland.

In light of a recent survey carried out by Flúirse, where it was found that 32pc of primary school teachers did not feel comfortable with technology in the classroom, the company decided to develop this series of course aimed at helping teachers get to grips with
ICT basics.

The content of these modules, such as using broadband, Open Office, computer security and Web 2.0, is fairly basic but is a good place to start. So far 100 schools have signed up for this “summer school for teachers”.

NIIT offers scholarship in ICT to 50 Ghanaian students

NIIT Ghana has offered a 100 percent scholarship valued $50,000 to 50 needy and meritorious Ghanaian students under its 50@50 initiative. The scholarship was awarded in association with the Ministry of Education, Science and Sports as part of NIIT’s corporate social responsibility.

NIIT’s annual scholarship programme, “NIIT Ghana Scholarship 2007,” was also launched to boost the Information Communication Technology sector as many students and working professionals have benefited from the programme in the past. NIIT (Ghana) was set up in 2000 and now has four centres in Accra, Kumasi, Takoradi and Tema. NIIT trains 5,000 students in Ghana every year.

Jamaica’s e-Learning project on thrust

The Government of Jamaica is planning to set up the necessary equipment and network infrastructure for its e-Learning project to enhance the teaching/learning environment in the country.

The Ministry of Industry, Technology, Energy and Commerce has commenced the implementation of four of five components targeted in the first year of the pilot phase in 31 educational institutions of the country. These include the provision of necessary technology to the Ministry of Education and Youth (MOEY) and to the schools, the development of instructional materials, providing teacher training, and performance measurement.

The Ministry has identified a site for the Central Repository for Education Materials (CREM) and is procuring computers for the schools, equipment for CREM, and supporting technologies. CREM will support the electronic access by the school system to educational materials. The Union Cabinet and the National Contracts Commissions have approved a $670 million contract for the installation of networks, air-conditioning units, as well as uninterrupted power supply systems in schools.

MSU initiates communication programme for students

The Mississippi State University (MSU) of US has initiated a new communication programme, named Maroon Alert for the students of the university.

The university is implementing a variety of methods to notify students, faculty, and staff of emergency situations. Soon the university will launch a text message notification, which gives students and employees the option of receiving emergency messages on their cell phones. They also may choose to utilise instant messaging options to receive emergency pop-up messages on their personal computers. It has an emergency web page, which provides continuous updates about the situation with email messages sent to official campus addresses. The new alert system offers announcements on the campus radio station and through other public media outlets

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