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 Thursday, February 04, 2010

• International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Telecenters
This is an ITU project that has seen the establishment of 11 fesootai centers in 2006 intended to serve as access points to voice communication and ICT services for communities, businesses, and schools. The aim of this project is to provide local access to basic ICT facilities such as telephony, computers, Internet, and faxes. These centers are all managed by women’s committees in the villages, except for one in Savaii managed by a youth group. Another center is planned to be launched on one of the smaller inhabited islands (Manono Island) off the main island of Upolu, using wireless. One of these centers is piloting a solar-powered setup.

• Government Wide-Area Network (GWAN)
With its hub within the Ministry of Finance, the GWAN provides connectivity across government ministries allowing electronic transmission and sharing of data.

• National University of Samoa (NUS) Videoconferencing

Through a satellite link (PEACESAT), NUS has been able to receive distance learning courses for its science faculty. The Asia Pacific Initiative is a series of courses offered collaboratively by seven universities in the Asia-Pacific region (of which NUS is part) through videoconferencing and virtual classrooms. NUS has also provided courses on teaching mathematics to students in American Samoa. NUS, in collaboration with the Commonwealth of Learning and its associated Virtual University of the Small States of the Commonwealth, is developing online learning through its virtual classrooms and its online course development. The NUS communications link has recently been upgraded through the installation of a 1 megabyte satellite link through New Caledonia.

• Teachers’ Resource Center

In September 2003, a teachers’ resource center opened in Savaii. The center is the initiative of MESC with funding from New Zealand’s International Aid and Development Agency (NZAID) and supports teachers in their teaching preparations. Although the intention was to provide increased opportunities for teachers to use computers and Internet access, issues with hardware replacement have made it difficult for the center to be fully functional. A similar resource center was set up for teachers in Upolu and was the venue for the CMAD training workshops conducted as part of this study.

• USPNet

Its current capacity has made it possible for USP regional students, including those from Samoa, to study at a distance. Learning is mostly through print materials but the university law program is almost wholly online. Video and audio conferencing supplement the learning materials as well as an open source Learning Management Information System, based on Moodle. The Samoa Savaii Center now has Internet connection for its Savaii students to access courses and to enhance access to their tutors at the Fiji, Vanuatu, and Alafua (Samoa) campuses by e-mail. The Savaii Center Internet access is also used occasionally by high school students who visit the public library for research.

More innovative Information and Communication Technology in Education in Samoa is available here.

Source:Technology in Educaion in Samoa