The Solomon Islands Permanent Secretary for Education Dr Franco Rodie (second from right) and the team of consultants with the Tablet Learning Kits.
An Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for Better Education project headed by The University of the South Pacific (USP) achieved a milestone in the Solomon Islands with the hand-over of five Tablet Learning Kits to the Solomon Islands Ministry of Education on 2 June 2016.
USP was contracted by Development Strategies International Consulting (DSIC), an international consulting company based in Manila to head consultancy for the two-year project which began in September 2015.
The project is aimed at helping the Solomon Islands Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development (MEHRD) understand and trial the use of ICTs to help improve the management of the education system and to improve teaching and learning.
The kits will be sent to five schools where teachers, parents and students will receive training in using the tablets and the new digital teaching and learning resources. Selected schools are Nguvia, Tamboko, Kalaka, Gwounaoa and Kilusakwalo.
The Project team funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Republic of Korea E-Asia Knowledge and Partnership Fund, trained MEHRD officials, who will in turn train and support the schools.
The kits contain thousands of teaching videos in subjects like Maths, Science and Health, an encyclopaedia and dictionary, educational games and exercises and other learning material.
Teachers will guide the students to the resources using the tablets, allowing the students to learn at their pace, replay parts of the videos they find difficult to understand and to move on to the next level when ready. This is the start of student centred learning.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) Pacific Department Education Specialist Chimi Thonden said that it is exciting to see the commitment of MEHRD to modernise education in the Solomon Islands and will keenly follow the progress in the pilot schools.
The Permanent Secretary of Education, Dr Franco Rodie noted that“Our position to utilise ICT for educational purposes has not changed – as a Ministry and educators, we value ICT as a tool for learning and teaching and will do what is possible to assist schools and students access this important tool.”
The challenge, Dr Rodie said, is making these tools available to every school in the Solomon Islands.
He thanked ADB for their support in this important initiative and added that the project is just the first phase in an extended programme to introduce ICTs in the school system.
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