Asia News: April 2009

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Not all education targets met on time, says UNESCO

Even though some countries have made significant progress in educating its population, the goals have not been met within the deadline, a recent report from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) said. Though there has been good progress, if countries stick to the current trajectory, key targets for 2015 will not be met, the report mentioned.The EFA report pointed out that member countries needed to improve their efficiency, increase financial resources if the goals are to be achieved and also put equity at the centre of their financing strategies. Thailand had the highest allocation of funds for education, at 25% of the national budget, in 2005, and Malaysia in 2004, compared to the mere 15% allocated by the Philippines in 2005 and 14% in Laos in 2006. Other findings show that East Asia and the Pacific continues to suffer from the problem of illiteracy, with an estimated 113 million adults being illiterate, 3 million of whom are in Thailand alone.

Taiwan Education Ministry endorses Certiport IC programme for students
Taiwan Ministry of Education has endorsed Certiport Internet and Computing Core Certification (IC³) as the national standard for information and communication  technologies (ICT). The globally recognised digital literacy  certification programme is   included as part  of a five-year plan in which the Education ministry will require all technical  nd vocational  students—more than 1 million—to achieve at least one  internationally accepted credential  by graduation.  ‘Strengthening the educational backbone  of  a country through the adoption of rigorous  standards is the cornerstone of               producing  future generations of high academic achievers. With the adoption of the     global IC³ standard, Taiwan has ensured that  teachers and students are equipped with     the most current and relevant knowledge and  skills, especially related to information    nd  communication technologies,’ said David Saedi, President and CEO of        Certiport.
Japan allocates Rs  360 mn for scholarships to  students in Pakistan
Japan has           allocated a sum of Rs 360 million   r the higher education scholarships for the  students in Pakistan.This was stated by the Consul General of Japan in Karachi, Akinori Wada while        awarding Japanese scholarships  to 19 students of the Mohammad Ali Jinnah
University. The allocations have been made in
the for students in the field of research, agriculture, business communication, social sciences and information technology, he said.

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WB  approves US$ 81 mn to improve Bangladesh’s higher education
The World Bank has  approved an US$ 81 million interest-free credit to Bangladesh to improve the quality of  teaching and research in the country’s higher education institutions. The credit from the     International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s concessionary arm, will support Bangladesh’s Higher Education Quality Enhancement Project. World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh Zhu Xian said higher education is vitally important to energise Bangladesh’s economy and to boost its investment climate. He said the project will fund activities which can bring rapid and visible benefits to the academic community, and help more Bangladesh youth enroll in universities. Under the project a Bangladesh Research and Education  Network, a high performance ICT network, will be set up.

Teachers now using Text2Teach technology in Philippines
While students are banned from using mobile phones during school hours, many public school teachers in Philippines are using the ubiquitous gadgets in class to serve the  ‘higher purpose’ of ‘bringing to life’ math,science and English subjects, according to Education Secretary Jesli Lapus. Elementary teachers in selected areas are using the mobile phones under the Department of Education’s ‘Text2Teach’ project, which aims to present ‘interactive, multimedia educational videos’ that enhance the learning experience of students inside the classroom, Lapus said. The project is part of the department’s ICT4Eprogramme which uses the latest technology, like the Internet and laptop computers, to help improve education in the country. It seeks to improve the quality of teaching in Grades 5 and 6 in public schools by providing ‘highly interactive, easy-to-use multimedia packages designed to help make learning more exciting and meaningful among students,’ he said.

ESOFT launches the world recognised Edexcel HND
ESOFT has launched Edexcel’s much coveted HND in Computing Programme at four of its centers in Sri Lanka. ESOFT Computer Studies Private Limited leads the market in for the BCS Professional Examinations in IT as well as the BIT Degree of the University of Colombo School of Computing. Its HND Programmes are recognised by 100+ Universities in the UK and Australia as an entry qualification for direct entry into the final year of many degree programmes, including IT, business and management, and many other disciplines. During the inauguration ceremony, Dr Dayan Rajapakse, CEO / MD of ESOFT, said, ‘ESOFT is truly proud to offer this course to our students. The HND is truly value for money as it is equivalent to the first two years of a British B.Sc Hons Degree and can be completed for a fraction of the cost. Students then have the ability of completing their final year either in the UK or with local partners.’

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