Dawn of a New Digital Age for the Solomon Islands

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A SINU student scrolling through the machine at Distance Fexible leaning office.

AN innovative new interactive learning hub, which features educational, training, and employment information for students, will be launched this Friday 13th of November at the Solomon Islands National University, Centre for Distance and Flexible Learning. 

The hub will be the first of its kind in the Solomon Islands and features an interactive touchscreen, locally made videos on SINU DFL’s program offerings, and other educational and training information. The hub can link with appliances that have wifi through a wifi hotspot. It is the final culmination of a pilot project called ‘An on-ramp to the digital economy in the Solomon Islands’ which is being delivered by Australian technology for a development organization, Hitnet, in partnership with SINU. It aims to provide an opportunity for students and youths to become a part of the digital economy and benefit from greater connectivity that has become available through the Coral Sea Cable. 

The Hitnet hubs have been rolled out in over 50 sites in remote Indigenous communities in Australia. The launch is the first outside of Australia. The aim is to roll out the technology throughout the country and across the Pacific. 

The launch will unveil the Mobile Technology into its new name “TEKELEA”, a local name for Conch Shell in the Temotu Province which symbolizes the dissemination of information and knowledge. And this what Hitnet would like to see, people throughout the country giving a unique name to it that makes sense to the people. 

“This is a huge opportunity for youth, students, and in particular women to be engaged and participate in the digital economy world safely. As the world is going ahead in terms of digitizing, we need to walk with our global friends in the direction of the digital world. Therefore, it is time we prepare and learn to grasp the opportunity as it comes. This new digital project is timely now that we have the undersea cable, so let us harness with creativity and innovativeness at the same time learning to use them safely, said the Project Officer and Community Engagement Specialist Ender Rence. 

The second of the technology is currently installed at the Barana Community Nature and Heritage Park beyond the Mount Austin area. The Barana hub, which has been named Tutuqu meaning storyteller, will feature local content from Barana in the form of a community cultural map that will have stories about cultural preservation and environmental conservation in the Park. Tekelea will feature stories from alumni of the University Preparatory Certificate programs (Second Chance program) informing prospective students about the course offerings. 

 This is an Australian Aid initiative, funded through the Cyber Cooperation Program and delivered by Hitnet, Earth Water People, and Field Ready as part of the Australia Solomon Islands Technology for Development Challenge.

For further details of the launch please contact Ender Hitnet Solomon Islands rep on phone at 7831230 or email-ender.rence@gmail.com

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