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New digital library project of UNESCO launched

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the United States Library of Congress have signed a pact paving the way for the creation of a World Digital Library which will digitise rare materials from libraries and other cultural institutions globally and make them available free on the Internet.

Manuscripts, maps, books, musical scores, sound recordings, films, prints and photographs will all be available online. The prototype for the initiative was developed by the Library of Congress and UNESCO with five other partner institutions: Bibliotheca Alexandrina, the National Library of Egypt, the National Library of Brazil, the National Library of Russia, and the Russian State Library. The prototype functions in the UN’s six official languages – Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish – as well as in Portuguese. It features search and browse by place, time, topic, and contributing institution.

Uganda to start e-Learning programme
The Open Distance and e-Learning (OdeL), a new education system in Uganda will assist students, who are willing to study at home.

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The African Visual University of Nairobi-Kenya has designed the system with the sponsorship from the African Development Bank (ADB). Kyambogo University, Uganda will unveil the programme, which will run in 10 universities across Africa. These universities include Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Madagascar, Senegal, Ethiopia, Uganda and Somalia. The first subjects to be taught under the programme are Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Information Communication Technology. The ODeL centre is setting up a satellite station at Kyambogo for the programme.

Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for 2.4% of global public education resources
The UNESCO in its recent report  has disclosed that the governments in sub-Saharan Africa spend only 2.4 percent of the world’s public education resources, where about 15 percent of the world’s school-age population lives.

In contrast, the United States of America, which is home to just four per cent of the world’s children and young people, spends 28 percent of the global education budget. This makes the USA  the single greatest investor in education, with its public education budget close to that of all governments in the world’s six regions combined. The regions are Arab states, Central and Eastern Europe, Central Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, South and West Asia, as well as sub-Saharan Africa. The report presents the latest education statistics from primary to tertiary levels in more than 200 countries and focuses on the financing of education and provides series of indicators to compare spending patterns across countries and levels of education.

Nigeria, Uganda join Linux Professional Institute (LPI)
Nigeria and Uganda join Linux Professional Institute (LPI), the worldwide promoters of skills on Linux and Open Source technologies.

LPI will be represented in Nigeria by Lifeforte, a member of the Association of International Schools in Africa based in Ibadan, Nigeria. While the East African Centre for Open Source Software (EACOSS) will be located in Uganda to cater for Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and the Great Lakes region. Since the programme’s inception, LPI has delivered over 155,000 exams and over 47 000 graduates.

Exemplar network to boost technology for learning
The UK government unveiled a £3.9 million initiative to accelerate learner-focused use of technology in further education.

The Technology Exemplar Network programme, jointly led by government technology partner Becta and  the Learning and Skills Council (LSC), is a key element of the two organisations’ complementary strategies for encouraging further integration of technology for learning into the further education and skills sector. The programme will lead to the development of a national support network by encouraging providers with a track record of successfully embedding technology into their learning and teaching to create a forum to share best practice with other providers.

Education in Northern Ireland transforms by ICT investment
Northern Ireland has unveiled the results of a £46 million investment in the latest education technologies. The project ICT for primary schools was awarded to Northgate Information Solutions, is part of the largest ICT education managed service project to be implemented in Europe.

Over five years Northgate will deliver and support the latest media rich education technologies to each of the 883 primary schools in Northern Ireland. Under the project over 25,000 laptops are being distributed to schools. The primary school sector will be fitted out with the very latest computing equipment including LCD monitors, workstations, video conferencing facilities and colour printers, enabling schools to work collaboratively online and more effectively share and enhance the teaching/learning experience and benefit from a more secure teaching and learning environment.

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