National University Launches New Technology Learning Hub

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The milestone launch of the wireless Technology Hub to enhance learning for local University students in Solomon Islands.

BY JOY OFASIA

SOLOMON Islands National University, Centre for Distance and Flexible Learning program today witnessed the milestone launch of the wireless Technology Hub to enhance learning for students as a forefront of technological advancements in education.

The launch event was held at the Solomon Islands National University, Centre for Distance and Flexible Learning program at the Panatina Campus in Honiara.

Technology is often seen as a challenge. However, the new innovative learning Hub will create an interactive virtual space where students can have access to learning resources to change this narrative.

The new innovative and interactive learning hub aims to provide educational, training, and employment information for students. It will be the first of its kind in the Solomon Islands and features an interactive touchscreen, locally made videos on Solomon Islands National University, Centre for Distance and Flexible Learning program’s offerings and other educational and training information.

The hub can link with appliances that have Wi-Fi through a Wi-Fi 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.

“While the world is working to digitize the way they do business, Solomon Islands cannot just watch and do nothing and ponders as we know that in this era technology has and is becoming the way efficiency is acquired.

“In particular it is more relevant in education institutions like SINU, nevertheless as we go into making our lives easier in doing what we do, for instance, using the internet and social media, intelligence continues to revolve and bad intentions forces us to re-invent ourselves so we operate in a safe and sound environment,” SINU Pro-Vice-Chancellor Cooperate Ms. Verzilyn Isom told participants at the launch event.

Ms. Verzilyn later acknowledged the support of the Australian Department for Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and Hitnet group for their help in including the students to join everyone in the digital community.

“As we know we now have an undersea cable that will be in use in the next couple of years and so our national University needs to tap in such initiative to serve the people better.

“This launch of the TEKELEA shows the commitment the Government and the good people of Australia to help the Solomon Islands and its people in the road to digitizing how we deal with our daily business in this era and into the future,” she added.

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 also unveiled 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.

According to DFL Manager Martin Otto, ‘TEKELEA’ clearly resonates with what the technology will do to help students disseminate information and promote its program to the public from urban to rural communities.

“We are very happy that we have finally launched the TEKELEA and have seen that it is working and that the students are looking forward and are ready to join the digital community,” Otto said.

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