Asia News
August 2008

Asia News

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Open University Malaysia goes international

With a delivery system based primarily on Information and Communications Technology, the Open University Malaysia (OUM) has ventured into the international arena. The first open and distance learning University in Malaysia is now providing consultancy and training services on e-learning to countries like Saudi Arabia and Bangladesh.

For this purpose, it recently

launched OUM International as its brand name and focus point for its international endeavours. OUM International will be the reference point for all international contacts with OUM as well as the unit responsible for conceptualisation of projects to meet the needs of international clients.

Indonesia expands Global Development Learning Network

Indonesia’s Ministry of National Education has opened up its ever expanding Global Development Learning Network (GDLN) to the world, in an ambitious effort to bridge the knowledge gap and bring Indonesia closer to the world through video-conferencing technology. GDLN Indonesia began as a modest network of four universities in 2002 with support from the World Bank. Through a strategic merger with the Indonesia Higher Education Network (INHERENT), the network now covers over 220 public and private universities and can also tap into distance learning opportunities from anywhere in Southeast Asia.

The first incarnation of GDLN Indonesia was the linkage between University of Indonesia to three regional university centers – University of Riau, Udayana University and Hasanuddin University.

Malaysia allocates RM 3 million for visually impaired students

Malaysian government is allocating RM3 million for providing visually impaired students access to Information and Communication and Technology (ICT) facilities. Education Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said although the allocation is meagre the government would consider reviewing the amount if needed. The grant will be used to close the digital divide between those with visual impairment and others by using the latest technologies available and improving teacher training and infrastructure.

Speaking at the 12th World Conference of the International Council for Education of People with Visual Impairments, the minister also launched the Education for All Students with Visual Impairment Global Campaign.

US pledges $2.5M for classrooms in Mindanao

The United States has pledged a $2.5-million bilateral aid package to build more classrooms and rehabilitate old school buildings in Mindanao in Philippines as part of USAID funded project Education Quality Access to Learning and Livelihood Skills (EQuALLs). The aid agreement was signed by US Ambassador Kristie Kenney and Petron Development Foundation chair Nicasio Alcantara.

Under the package, 120 classrooms would be built and 480 more would be rehabilitated over four years. During the current school year, 20 classrooms in the regions will be built and 54 will be renovated. Funds will also be allocated for improving infrastructure in schools.

Quality science education a must for prosperity in Bangladesh

Bangladesh has no alternative to using science education as a tool for improving the living standards of the people and for dealing with economic and environmental challenges it faces, experts at a roundtable on ‘State of Science Education in Bangladesh’
have said.

Science textbooks need to be simplified, teachers’ salaries need to be raised, and science graduates need to be motivated to become teachers, said speakers. They also suggested introducing a terrestrial television channel broadcasting educa-tional programmes, to reduce students’ dependence on private coaching centres.

Intel launches skoool.ph in Thailand

Intel Technology Philippines, along with the country’s Education department have announced the availability of the Philippines’ version of the skoool educational website (http://www.skoool.ph). skoool is a free online platform to help teachers and students learn key concepts in Mathematics and Science.

The Philippines version of the skoool.ph contains locally relevant educational content, which was finalised by the Bureau of Secondary Education (BSE) after evaluating the contents of skoool.com, originally developed by Intel Ireland. Only those lessons were selected that aligned with Education department’s curricula for high school levels.

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