Asia News: January 2009

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Kuala Lumpur: Mini-laptops do away with textbooks

Under an e-book programme which will start from early next year, Terengganu students throughout the state will eventually discard their textbooks for virtual textbooks stored on Intel-powered Classmate PCs once the Kuala Lumpur state goverment replaces their hefty textbooks with mini-laptop.  Terengganu Menteri Besar Datuk Ahmad Said said the project was aimed at giving ICT exposure to students as well as to lighten their schoolbags. The programme will start with 25,000 laptops which will be given to Year 5 students throughout the state.

Ahmad Said said that in order to supply the laptops, the state government would build a factory to assemble laptops. The factory will be built at a cost of RM8.5 million. It will start operations in February next year. The first batch of laptops is expected to be delivered to the students some time in April or May. The factory will have a capacity of 10,000 laptops per month.

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Sri Lanka: ESOFT patronises EDEX – 2009 as Gold Sponsor

ESOFT, a premier institute in Information Communication Technology (ICT) education in Sri Lanka, recently announced entering into an agreement with the organisers of EDEX – 2009, the country's most reputed exhibition, in order to patronise the event as its Gold Sponsor.

ESOFT sees the importance of guiding and moulding Sri Lanka's youth through education. They should be armed with the necessary skills to be competitive in a global arena as well. EDEX too, believes in a similar ideology, which is empowering Sri Lankan youth to be globally competitive. Dr. Dayan Rajapakse, Head of ESOFT stated that ESOFT and EDEX share many common interests. This was the key reason behind undertaking the EDEX – 2009 Gold Sponsorship.  Chairman of EDEX 2009,  Kamal Abeysinghe acknowledging the sponsorship said that it was gratifying for the organizing committee to observe the significant contribution made by ESOFT during the past several years.

Digital age dawns in Hong Kong classrooms

The hawksbill turtle was one of the hottest attractions at Hong Kong's Asia World Expo Centre (AWE).  Fong Yin Kuan, a teacher at Beacon Primary School in Singapore, was sharing her insights about her project, which involves seven-year-olds in the area of reading and writing. And just behind Kuan, Sarietjie Musgrave, one of four South Africans in the AWE, had set up her home away from home for the next three days.

What Iman, Kuan and Musgrave have in common is, in essence, their ability to adapt. When information and communication tech-nologies began reshaping our world, they opened their classroom doors and invited a new set of learning and teaching tools inside. Moreover, these teachers have been using these technologies in such pioneering ways in their own countries that they were hand-picked to join 260 of their peers from 64 countries to share their groundbreaking methodologies on a global platform.

Philippines: ICT equipment in 20 Schools in ARMM

The Department of Science and Technology in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (DOST-ARMM) in partnership with the Science Education Institute (SEI) handed over Information and Communication Technology (ICT) equipment to 20 elementary schools in the provinces of Maguindanao and Shariff Kabunsuan. DOST-ARMM Secretary, Pendatun Nur said the equipment, which included a laptop, LCD projector and a tripod screen, is intended for instructing science and mathematics in a more comprehensive and interesting manner.

The supply of ICT equipment is part of implementation of the Mindanao opportunities for vitalized education and upgrading of Science (MOVE UPS) project that will be jointly undertaken by the DOST and the Department of Education.

The initiative would benefit a total of 60 schools. The project also intends to increase the number of qualifiers from recipient schools in the Philippine Science High School system.

Training Workshop: An Introductory Course on ICeXCELS for School Principals and Administrators

UNESCO organised a special training workshop, 'An Introductory Course on ICeXCELS for School Principals and Administrators' in collaboration with the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization Regional Centre for Educational Innovation and Technology (SEAMEO INNOTECH) to address the competency requirements of school principals and administrators and to enhance their capacity in carrying out their responsibilities more effectively.

The 2-day workshop was an abridged version of the full length 4-week course developed by SEAMEO INNOTECH based on the Competency Framework for Southeast Asian School Heads and validated by the Ministries of Education for ten SEAMEO Member States.

Asians top achievers in global mathematics, science says study

According to a report by Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), Asian students were top achievers in mathematics and science in both the fourth and eighth grade levels. In mathematics at the fourth grade level, Hong Kong SAR and Singapore were the top performing countries, followed by Chinese Taipei and Japan. At the eighth grade, top achievers were Chinese Taipei, Korea, and Singapore, followed by Hong Kong SAR and Japan.

In science, students from Singapore and Chinese Taipei were top performers at both grade levels. At the fourth grade, Singapore was the top performing country, followed by Chinese Taipei and Hong Kong SAR,  said a TIMSS release.

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