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Aisa News:August 2009

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Chaudhary Group partners with Manipal to invest in a chain of schools

Nepal's leading business house, Chaudhary Group is planning to strengthen its hold in the education sector. The group has invested around INR 18 billion in several industries in Nepal and made a foray into the education sector two decades ago with the establishment of Chandbag School in Maharajgunj, Kathmandu. The group's investment saw a lull in this sector since a long time, however, CG has finally demonstrated that it has rejuvenated that interest by entering into partnership with Manipal K-12 of India. Manipal K-12 is a part of Manipal Group, which has 60 years of experience in higher education field.

The announcement made explained that the joint venture between Chaudhary Group and Manipal K-12 will acquire the management of a chain of schools and +2 colleges in Nepal. These institutions will be re-branded as CG-Manipal Schools. New educational institutions will be opened that would include pre-primary to higher secondary level will also be opened throughout the country in the coming days. Additionally, CG-Manipal plans to offer ICT-based school learning solutions and tutorials. But the use of technology will be rightly mixed with pedagogy for an effective learning process. The 138-year-old Chaudhary Group is one of the largest corporate houses in Nepal with over 40 businesses to its name.

Intel and Government to increase ICT capability in Sri Lanka

Intel and Sri Lankan government are working together with Intel's aim at making investment in public-private ventures for the advancement and spread of IT knowledge in the country. With substantial investments in the country's education sector in terms of enhancing IT knowledge among students and especially teachers, discussions were held by Intel with the Education Ministry, the private sector and other PC manufacturers in the country in a bid to increase the Intel Teach programme, and to provide low priced PCs in addition to improving WiMax solutions. The WiMax system will be in place this year. Similar models will be carried out by Intel in other countries like the Philippines, Japan and Malaysia, with the aim of reaching out to the rural areas of those countries, increase users and lower the cost of PCs.

Intel stated that most students have not yet fully benefited from the Internet wave. Therefore, Intel is currently in the process of aiming at the education of teachers in the IT sector in order to assist students to have a more interactive method of education through the use of computers. 

NBQSA Awards for Local ICT talent

The 11th Annual National Best Quality Software Awards (NBQSA) 2009 competition was announced recently by the BCS Sri Lanka section, in association with the British Computer Society (UK). Being the only national competition in Sri Lanka, NBQSA recognises and honours exceptional local ICT achievements and significant technological advancements in the country. Since 1998, the NBQSA has given opportunities to individuals and organisations that make outstanding contributions to the ICT development in Sri Lanka, to display and benchmark their products. The event itself has grown in recognition both locally and internationally, over years.

The NBQSA 2009 competition is to cover 16 categories of ICT products and projects ranging from Application and Infrastructure Tools to In House Applications, with Gold, Silver and Bronze awards being presented to winners in each category, this year. Additionally, the BCS Sri Lanka section announced the addition of a new award category this year, which is to recognise the best application developed using Closed Source and Open Source products. The NBQSA events schedule commences with the launch and call for applications on the 17th of July, with the nominees' and judges' briefings to be held on 4th and 6th of August respectively and concluding with the Gala Awards Ceremony on 16th of October 2009.

Key to Country's Success: Education

Education is a key mechanism to bridge gaps between dissimilar cultures and promoting understanding among people, said Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. Addressing nearly 1,400 school principals and teachers from 40 countries at the ninth World Convention of the International Confederation of Principals, he emphasised that education should be given priority if a country needs to progress on road of development. Deeming education the 'most vital investment' societies could make for the future, he told that it was vital for building a society with a sense of cohesion and identity of 'who we are' in a rapidly changing environment. 'It is crucial for developing economies if they are to go beyond being developing economies to become developed economies.'

Talking about Singapore's educational journey, Lee told that the country had 170 primary schools and same number of secondary schools. With 3.5 % of the country's GDP spent on education, good outcomes were achieved. However, it was no easy task for Singapore to achieve progress in education, as only 60 % of the students completed secondary school until 1980. But difference was made by a host of reforms and consistent efforts.

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