asia
October 2007

asia

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Microsoft Corporation to help train 10,000 teachers in Sri Lanka

The Microsoft Corporation is to upgrade the Information Technology and computer related sector in Sri Lanka. Under this programme, Microsoft will train around 10, 000 school teachers.

Apart from providing training programme, Microsoft will also launch the e-Village programme of the Ministry of Education and assist the Teachers Computer Training Scholarship Programme to provide funds and technical assistance to establish a Software Development and Research Institute in Sri Lanka. The firm is already assisting Sri Lanka’s education sector through its partners in learning and unlimited potential grant Programmes for improvement of Information Technology Education, Content Development and Research activities for teacher training.

Asia Foundation launches Mobile Library in Sri-Lanka

The San Francisco-based, Asia Foundation has launched Mobile library Sri Lanka with support from the AIG Disaster Relief Fund and Give2Asia.

The new mobile library is designed to serve an estimated eighty thousand families and children living in southern and eastern Sri Lanka. The mobile libraries will be stationed in the communities of Hambantota, Hikkaduwa, Kattankudy, and Thirukkovil, all of which were affected by the Indian Ocean tsunami of December, 2004. The Foundation has retrofitted buses as mobile libraries stocked with books selected by local authorities and available in Sinhala, Tamil, and English, as well as a laptop computer, multimedia projector, and educational DVDs.

UK and China sign e-Learning deal

An online educational initiative between the UK and China has been launched, with plans to provide e-Learning for 20 million Chinese students.

The deal, which is a partnership between the UK group and the Chinese media company Sun Media, will provide online teaching materials to pupils in 20 major Chinese cities. The content, across a range of subjects, will be provided by the Chinese partners – with the first students using the materials in spring 2008. British Universities are already offering UK degree courses to Chinese students – including the University of Nottingham setting up a campus in Ningbo. And this latest project will see the UK’s experience of educational technology being introduced to Chinese secondary school pupils.

Mindanao school in Philippines awaiting cyber education

The teachers from Minando schools of Philippines are waiting for the implementation of the Cyber Education Project (CEP) of the Department of Education to improve the quality of education, especially in remote areas.

The school has already started to venture into ICT through the Project Alert without the help of Cyber-Education. But CEP will really help in addressing the problem of the lack of education facilities in the country. Schools are already launching the e-Library project. Cyber education would be the best alternative to the perennial shortage of books and classrooms in the poverty-stricken region.

Human capital impact of CSR in China

In a recent survey, 41% of American Chamber of Commerce in China member companies and 48% of the Chamber’s manufacturers indicate they are negatively affected by increased salary expenses. A major impediment to corporate effectiveness in China is retaining top talent in a market of scarcity. A significant reason for this obstacle to effectiveness is the systemic problems within the Chinese educational system.

Understanding the impact of labor scarcity on corporate effectiveness, IBM launched their Reinventing Education programme in China in March of 2004 with a USD700,000 grant. The significant impact of the programme is its impact on students and teachers outlined in an independent report released in 2006. At the time of the report, not only had over 700 teachers fully adopted the programme’s innovative instructional methods and an additional 500 teachers were in the training process, but staff at the 12 pilot schools also developed opportunities to train teachers in other schools, bringing the total number of teachers trained to 4,000 – more than three times the initial project goal. In addition, more than 13,000 teachers participated in various training and outreach activities for further replication and expansion. This programme addresses the long-term aspect of the same problem through working with local educational institutions to change the broader environment within which its future employees will be educated.

Whether it is contributing to the ecosystem of “learning organisations” or bridging the employee engagement gap, IBM’s reinventing education initiative addresses fundamental issues in the Chinese IT labor market. What is critical in the long-term, however, is these issues are addressed through improving the underlying education system that has created the talent shortage in the first place.

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