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Arriving at the Electronic Frontier
Achieving universal primary education in countries jumpstarts secondary education. However, many regions find themselves without the resources needed to meet this demand. A UNESCO program using Open and Distance Learning (ODL) systems is giving secondary school students access to the world of learning.

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Arriving at the Electronic Frontier

23-06-2006 (Paris)
Arriving at the Electronic Frontier
Achieving universal primary education in countries jumpstarts secondary education. However, many regions find themselves without the resources needed to meet this demand. A UNESCO program using Open and Distance Learning (ODL) systems is giving secondary school students access to the world of learning.
“This situation urgently calls for the development of innovative new educational services and an expansion of existing educational methods,” says Sonia Bahri of UNESCO Paris. “Reaching geographically remote and impoverished urban areas is a particular challenge,” she adds. Pilot sites in Asia, Africa and Latin America are demonstrating the effectiveness of ODL via e-Learning as an important educational tool for meeting this challenge.

In Ecuador, a partnership between UNESCO Quito, the United Virtual IberoAmerican Foundation and the Program of the Working Boy resulted in the IberoAmerican Online High School.

After a year, the school already boasts 132 students aged 15-45, including 61 women. Enrollment will expand to 400 by the end of 2006, thanks in part to scholarships provided by UNESCO and the Ministry of Social welfare. Students pursue high school degrees at a network of “Infocenters” in one of four areas: science, computer science, cultural and social promotion and, beginning in October 2006, cultural tourism and sustainable development.

In Kazakhstan and Namibia, UNESCO ODL projects are building productive partnerships between governments, educational resources and NGOs. Specifically, the projects strive to overhaul the existing inefficient paper routing system by
establishing a system that will disseminate educational materials electronically at local learning centers. Proof of the success of the programmes? The Namibian project has just secured a large portion of a $26 million grant given by the African Development Bank.

Source: Education today. The Newsletter of UNESCO's Education Sector (N17 - June-September 2006)

Related themes/countries

  • This item can be found in the following topics:
          · Ecuador
          · ICT in Education: News Archives 2006
          · Kazakhstan: News Archives 2006
          · Namibia: News Archive
          · Asia and the Pacific: News Archive 2006
          · Africa: News Archive 2006
          · Latin America/Caribbean: News Archive 2006


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