World News
Febuary 2009

World News

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Core Projects acquire Princeton Review K-12 division

CORE Projects, an education management systems company in the US, has acquired the K-12 division of Princeton Review for US$ 20 million. The acquisition is expected to be funded out of debt being raised by CECS and will add approximately US$ 24 million to CORE global revenues. The acquisition will be completed through its wholly owned subsidiary CORE Education & Consulting Solutions Inc, USA (CECS).

The Princeton Review, a leading provider of test preparation and educational support services announced in November that it planned to divest the K-12 services business because it is not directly aligned with its college and graduate school admissions test preparations and supplemental education opportunities. Shares of Core Projects and Technologies were up 5% after it announced the acquisition.

UNESCO-King Hamad ICT Awards ceremony in Paris

Under His Majesty's patronage, the UNESCO-King Hamad Award for the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in education, were presented at a glittering ceremony at the world body's headquarters in Paris on January 14, 2009. Education Minister Dr Majid Al Nuaimi attended the ceremony on behalf of the King. UNESCO Director-General Koichiro Matsuura praised the Royal initiative and hailed Bahrain's efforts to upgrade education in line with the Millennium Development Goals.

The Shanghai TV University won the first place for building a digital lifelong learning system in Shanghai. Dr Hoda Baraka, of the Egyptian Communications and IT Ministry, received the award for her leadership in the implementation of several educational projects. Honourable mentions were given to the Schools Online Curriculum Services of Western Australia's department of education and training and the 'one laptop per child programme' of the Education Ministry of Peru.

Czechs look to private sector to fund education

Current EU presidency holder the Czech Republic wants to establish a 'strategic framework' for European cooperation on education and training issues to help boost the Union's competitiveness, sustainable growth and employment strategies, according to the country's Education minister, Ondrej Liska. Keeping in mind the recession and stretching of 'national resources' by the ongoing hardship, Liska said 'the presidency will need to seek new and diversified funding sources,' particularly by looking to the private sector.

Further cooperation on education will be achieved by promoting partnerships between educational institutions and business, the minister said. He stressed that his government wants to improve both the quality of and access to universities, particularly in the context of the Bologna process to establish a European Area of Higher Education by 2010. Greek Socialist Katerina Batzeli, who chairs the European Parliament's culture committee, said the economic crisis had highlighted the need for 'good education systems'.

New Mexico State University-Carlsbad offers new courses

New Mexico State University-Carlsbad is set to launch three new associate degree programmes in science, technology, engineering and math. The degrees are designed for an easier transition into New Mexico four-year universities and into local employment, said Rhonda Austin, director of the Title V programme at NMSU-C. 'With these degrees, people will be able to seamlessly move to a four year degree school so they can finish their bachelors,' Austin said.

The new degree programmes are made available by a two-year US$1.6 million grant awarded in October 2008 to help develop STEM programmes. The launch ceremony will also include a preview of Project Lead the Way, a programme designed to allow high school students to dual-enroll in college pre-engineering courses.

Rwanda releases draft ICT policy on education

Rawanda's Ministry of Education has released the first draft of the Information and Communication Technology policy that will govern the use of ICT in the country's education sector. The draft was developed with assistance from the Jordanian Education Initiative (JEI) and was funded by the Global Education Alliance (GEA).

'The major aim for this draft is to guide ICT implementation in the education sector which will be promoted in schools from primary level up to institutions of higher learning,' said Claver Yisa, the acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education. The draft whose design was launched last November outlines the ministry's ICT strategy from 2008-2020.

HMIE out with report on Scottish education

A major review of education in Scotland has praised the quality of early years provision while highlighting a number of areas for improvement. The report, published by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Education, is an analysis of education in Scotland over the past three years, across all the sectors the HMIE covers. The pre-school sector won praise from the report's authors for delivering a consistently good and enjoyable curriculum and for providing welcoming and inclusive learning environments. They say there is an improved emphasis on the use of ICT to support learning.

However, the report says that the quality of provision in the partnership private and voluntary centres is generally worse than that by the local authority sector. Although leadership in the pre-school sector had improved overall since 2005, it says more needs to be done to ensure that all centres have well qualified leaders who provide high-quality guidance.

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