17 April, 2009

Pacific ready for OLPC's "quantum leap forward"

In a key acknowledgment of its growing acceptance in the Pacific, OLPC has been referenced in the region's new strategic education blueprint as contributing to a potential "quantum leap forward" in education standards in the region.

With a vision aspiring to "quality education for all", the Pacific Education Development Framework 2009-2015 (PEDF), cites the OLPC deployments around the region -- now in five countries with eight more in the queue -- as evidence that "Pacific education systems are making increasing use of the advantages [ICT] affords".
The PEDF, launched in March at the 7th Forum Education Ministers' Meeting in Tonga, will guide education policy in Pacific countries in the run up to the 2015 deadline on the Millennium Development Goals.

Citing "encouraging results" from initiatives such as OLPC's programs in Niue, Nauru and the Solomon Islands, the framework (p.19) says students were:
"...more interested and motivated, absenteeism reduced, learning as measured on test scores improved, collaboration and teamwork enhanced, and communication and computational skills improved."
"There is now a potential for Pacific countries to move beyond incrementalism and with assistance of ICTs make a quantum leap forward in realising goals of access, quality and equity in education."
OLPC Oceania is now working with operational and donor partners to turn this vision into reality.

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