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January 5, 2015 - A STEEP E-LEARNING CURVE

An innovative project is revolutionising the learning environment in schools across Papuan New Guinea, providing information to students at the touch of a button.

In order to trial this enterprising program, PNG’s leading telecommunications provider, Digicel, distributed 500 free tablet devices to participating schools across the nation. The tablets give students and their teachers’ instant access to a virtual library containing over 4 million books, video clips and magazine and newspaper articles – a resource that is enhancing classroom-based education.

While Digicel remains committed to extending and upgrading their network coverage in PNG, the real beauty of this project is that it is not internet dependent. The virtual library is “housed” in Digicel’s Port Moresby Data Centre and is fully accessible offline – the tablet devices have been fitted with a unique, secure SIM card, allowing the tablet to use a dedicated network pathway to connect to the library.

Digicel’s vision is to see this project implemented in urban and rural areas across the country, supporting student learning and enhancing the learning environment. And this vision is fast becoming a reality with several Members of Parliament already partnering with Digicel to rollout the program in schools within their districts and provinces.

Schools participating in the pilot phase include: Sevese Morea Primary and Gordons Secondary in Port Moresby, Sir Tei Abal Secondary in Wabag, Mendi Primary in Mendi, SDA Primary in Kavieng, Kubalia High School in East Sepik and Hagita and Cameron Secondary schools in Alotau. These schools’ principals collectively praised the program and expressed their appreciation to Digicel for spear-heading the initiative.

Gary Seddon, Digicel’s Government Relations Director said, “At Digicel, we applaud the Government’s mandate to provide quality education to all of Papua New Guinea’s children. We know that this is a significant challenge. Our program can contribute toward the enhancement of standards of education afforded to students. We believe that it is imperative that our students are given the same opportunities as those across the region.

“Digicel’s cost effective, accessible program will quickly create innovative learning environments that will benefit students over the course of their academic career.”