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Students to get access to online material

Eights schools in Samoa will have access to online educational material which will minimise disruptions to their students’ studies in times of disasters.

Access to the online educational material will come courtesy of a new project facilitated by the  Samoa Information Technology Association [SITA], in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme [UNDP].

The ‘Digital Transformation through Enhanced E-Governance Platforms and Digital Literacy Project’ is in response to what the project’s proponents described as unprecedented disruptions caused by the COVID-19 global pandemic as well as to prepare for future emergencies.

It is expected that the e-learning platforms, which will be made available to the selected schools, will assist students access educational materials online during any crisis and will also strengthen digital development through enhanced e-learning management systems at the colleges and primary schools.

S.I.T.A. President, Muliagatele Fainuulelei, said in a statement released by the U.N.D.P. that this is another step to realise the vision of the association and that is technology is for everyone, and the continued education of our children at all times is an important part of why they wanted to develop the e-learning platform.

The support provided by the U.N.D.P. comes courtesy of the provision of hardware and software to assist the seven colleges – five in Upolu and two in Savaii – including a primary school in Upolu which the S.I.T.A. is currently servicing.

Avele College was the first to pilot the e-learning platform which was announced by S.I.T.A. in April this year. Seven other schools came on board later and are expected to continue into 2021. 

U.N.D.P. Resident Representative, Jorn Sorensen, added that they welcomed the partnership with S.I.T.A. which has opened opportunities for digital transformation. 

“This project is a pilot initiative under the Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific Digital Transformation Catalytic Fund, to support the digitalisation of governments and local solutions for COVID-19 response in Samoa,” Mr Sorensen said in the statement.

Crucially, the pilot project proponents are of the view that it will cross synergies with and accelerate outcomes under the Samoa Knowledge Society Initiative, which is an ongoing U.N.D.P.-U.N.E.S.C.O. joint programme aimed at establish an accessible and localised Knowledge Society Platform, providing access to full text, bibliographical and institutional information from Samoa and international sources in the public domain.

The U.N.D.P. under the joint programme is responsible for the provision of hardware, software and connectivity infrastructure for the establishment of the Knowledge Platform which consists of the Samoa Digital Library, the Lifelong Learning Lab and the Open Research repository, promoting knowledge-based sustainable development in Samoa.

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