World News
June 2008

World News

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amaica library service making use of ICT

The Jamaica Library Service (JLS), opened its doors to the Ministry  of Energy, Mining, and Telecommunications, which is seeking to establish community points for computer and internet access, so that persons can use these facilities free of cost at public libraries islandwide.

There are approximately 131 libraries, which make up the public library network, with some 100 libraries outfitted with computers. Of this number, 83 libraries, along with one mobile library, have internet access.

The UAE continues to lead Middle East’s ICT readiness

The UAE continues to lead the Middle East’s information and communication technology (ICT) readiness index at 29th place, even as other countries in the region moved up, according to
the Global Information Technology Report (GITR).

The big movers in the rankings were Qatar and Kuwait both of which jumped up four places to occupy 32nd and 52nd place respectively, while Bahrain moved into the top 50 for the first time coming in at 45th.

The report states that Jordan showed the most marked improvement with a massive 11 step rise to 47th place. Saudi Arabia and Oman entered the ranking for the first time at 48th and 53rd place respectively. In terms of internet penetration and network readiness the region saw a massive 600% improvement.

UN pact for rights of disabled comes into force

A UN convention aimed at ensuring equal rights for the world’s 650 million disabled people in work, education and social life recently came into force. The pact, the first of its kind and billed by the United Nations as the first new human rights treaty of the 21st Century, took effect 30 days after being ratified by 20 countries that have signed it. That figure has since risen to 25, but does not include the United States
and Russia.

The pact stipulates that the disabled may not be excluded from mainstream education systems. It demands that governments provide them with physical access to transportation, schools, housing, medical facilities and workplaces.

Mauritania modernises its technology

Recently, the ministry of technology in Mauritania inaugurated a video  conferencing system in its Naoakchhott offices. The Prime Minister explained the benefits of the technology and outlined the roll-out of the technology throughout the government. The government also decided to computerise all the ministries.

The Minister of Education Nangolo Mbumba  officially opened the IST-Africa conference in the capital and said that it will be a significant opportunity to jump start the EU-Africa Strategic Partnership on Science, Information Society and Space, which was agreed to at the EU-Africa Summit, held in Lisbon in December last year. Approximately 400 delegates from around the world are attending the three-day conference.

Currently, Namibia is in the process of starting the implementation of the Third National Development Plan (NDP3), which emphasises the importance of technology and innovation in achieving the goals set out in it. The Ministry of Education has embarked on a comprehensive ICT initiative popularly known as Tech/Na! aimed at integrating ICT in the education system.

IGNOU expands courses in Qatar

The Indira Gandhi National Open University’s (IGNOU) off campus centre, MES Indian School, will soon be providing undergraduate courses in science and doctorate programmes.

The MES off campus centre, which  started in 2000, offers many courses, including the much sought after bachelor’s degree programmes in education, commerce and business administration.

Bachelors Preparatory Programme (BPP), a six-month course, is a special feature of the university. The course enables anyone educated up to seventh grade gain entry into undergraduate courses.

Sheffield home to world’s largest e-Llibrary

Sheffield, the e-Learning capital of the UK, is now home to the world’s largest and most sophisticated library of e-Learning materials. It is being marketed worldwide by Learning Light, the Sheffield-based non-profit centre for the use of learning technologies within the workplace.

The library consists of over 750 hours worth of UK-developed e-Learning content with a value of £15 million. It is being marketed by
Learning Light in partnership with Cambridge University Press to jointly promote the learning materials in international markets

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