United Nations donation supports university's online project
The United Nations Development Programme (U.N.D.P.) has donated computing equipment and software to the National University of Samoa (N.U.S.) to support the university's move towards creating an online repository of knowledge.
The U.N.D.P. donation, made as part of the Samoa Knowledge Society Initiative (S.K.S.I.), includes four laptop computers; two desktop computers; security cameras; software, and a server rack. An incoming server is also expected to arrive by the end of the month.
The United Nations initiative aims to support the creation, access, spread, and preservation of information and knowledge. It forms part of the international body’s commitment to eradicate poverty and achieve worldwide sustainable development by 2030.
The initiative aims to make access to information a fundamental right for all Samoans and give people access to courses, to research materials, training solutions and the best of modern education.
Among its creations are a new digital library and two repositories for online information.
The Vice-Chancellor of the National University of Samoa (N.U.S.), Professor Alec Ekeroma, said that a server donated by the U.N.D.P. will arrive by the end of the month to the benefit of Samoa.
"The server is to store all the various information about Samoa so basically it’s online and that’s what the [Samoa Knowledge Society Initiative] and so this is all part of that work and as you know the Japanese will be building us [a] resource centre which will house the server for the [initiative]," he said.
"But in the meantime, we have a building where we’ll put the server and where we’ll start uploading all the various information."
The university signed an agreement with the U.N.D.P. which Professor Ekeroma believes will enable the United Nations to supply and fund some of the hardware and software required to make the university’s store of knowledge online.
The new server aims to be the routing point through which knowledge becomes accessible not only to students and lecturers but the broader Samoan population.
Professor Ekeroma said that it would be accessible for families with internet connections.
"If the purpose is for the people of Samoa to access this information, it will be good if [the] families of Samoa had access to this information by having a computer, [a] smart device and WiFi," he added.
"So in the end, I think it will be good as more and more people are educated, they will have the ability to access all this information once they have more devices in their homes."
The university bought a server last year when the N.U.S. switched to the Moodle online learning platform for students, who had to stay home due to the state of emergency lockdown.
But with the arrival of the new server, Professor Ekeroma said that the N.U.S. would no longer depend on telecommunications providers such as Vodafone or Digicel but instead use them as failsafe solutions.
"All the servers on the campus can actually house all the information and all the needs of the university and we can also save some money," the Vice-Chancellor said.