250,000 tablets for schools. Academic apps under development - Lebanon

250,000 tablets for schools
Academic apps under development
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Around 250,000 tablets will be delivered to public and private schools within 18 months, as part of the second phase of the ‘National tablet initiative for youth’, launched by the Ministry of Telecommunications, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education.

The project was launched last February within the ‘Open your tomorrow’ program. Hussam Kayyal, Advisor to the Minister of Telecoms, said: “The national initiative aims at promoting computer-based learning in Lebanon’s schools.”

Intel hardware suppliers had won a tender launched by the Ministry to provide WiFi- and 3G-enabled tablets.

The two local operators Alfa and Touch have bought 15,000 tablets within the first project phase. The cost of each tablet was set at $20 per month over 24 months, through BLOM Bank. The Central Bank has also pledged interest-free loans to facilitate the process. LibanPost is handling the delivery of tablets to students. The program is also supported by the Association of Banks.

The Ministry of Telecommunications said they managed to deliver 1,000 tablets to students in the first phase so far. According to the Ministry, the country was among the first in the region to include the e-learning systems to its curriculums.

Kayyal said that negotiations are being held between local app developers and publishers in order to create more e-learning apps. “Librairie du Liban Publishers has already launched three e-book versions of chemistry, biology, and physics textbooks for grade 10 students.” Students will be able to use the apps this coming academic year. Kayyal said more e-learning apps are expected at a later stage.
Reported by Rana Freifer
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Date Posted: Sep 05, 2013