To'abaita Authority for Research & Development (TARD)

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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Central Province closing in on accessing distance learning courses through satellite

School students, teachers, technical and vocational training students in rural areas in Central Province of the Solomon Islands will soon take online courses, thanks to the establishment of the Vuranimala Distance Learning Centre.

The distance learning centre was further equipped over the weekend with the installation of a VSAT satellite coomunications system by professionals from the People First Network.

Vuranimala is the second of nine such rural tele-centres built by the EU-funded Distance Learning Centres Project to be connected to broadband Internet services. The equipment was supplied by the project's solution partner Solomon Telekom. VSAT is a modern wide-area networking technology that is ideal for remote rural locations in countries such as the Solomon Islands.

It is understood the Vuranimala Distance Learning Centre will become fully operational following the installation of solar power and networking equipment next month. It will then provide access to distance learning and remote training opportunities including a full range of USP courses, made possible by the broadband Internet facility with a range of Internet-based tuition tools and resources. The centre will also be open for public use as a multi-purpose communications and information centre.

The Distance Learning Centres Project is a component of the Education Sector Investment and Reform Program under the Solomon Islands Ministry of Education.

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