(PRWEB) September 7, 2004
The information revolution of the late twentieth century has introduced significant changes in the nature of human interactions and relations between peoples and nations. One word that symbolizes the nature of the change shaped by the new order is globalization. Globalization is a current global pre-occupation and its main driver is information and communication technologies.
Globalization is resulting in integrated world markets as never before and we are reminded frequently that those nations which remain un-integrated will fail to gain the benefits of large scale and international trade or the other benefits of the new information and communication technologies. While most developed countries are well on their way to fully integrating the new technologies, developing countries, and Africa in particular, are much further behind in adopting their use.
There are presently a multitude of efforts and projects currently under way to bring information and communication technologies to the developing world because of the belief in their transformative potential. It is important to understand that this information and communication technology offers enormous opportunities for Africa to hurdle stages of development. The George Haligua Foundation has started a program called Education without Borders, whose primary goal is to educate the developing world by means of global communication technologies.
In Africa in particular, the main predicament is the generally low level of education and literacy, especially scientific and technical literacy among the population, which has created a great scarcity of technical skills and expertise at all levels. George HaliguaÂs Education Without Borders, although still in its development phase, is looking to expand and improve upon the concept of the telecentre in Africa.
A telecentre is an integrated information and communication facility that houses a combination of both new and not-so new information communication technologies (e.g., television, video, facsimile, telephone, computers with Internet connectivity, and sometimes books). Telecentres provide public access to communication and information for economic, social and cultural development. The George Haligua Foundation aims to have a teacher in North America teach a subject on a global scale, from one student to thousands, simultaneously. By harnessing the power of the Internet, it is possible to give children all over the globe an equal opportunity to education.
The notion of universal access, which is based on Article 19 of the ÂUniversal Declaration of Human RightsÂ, has provided an opportunity for the expansion of information and communication services to all without discrimination. Telecentres are seen as potent instruments in the struggle for universal access especially in poor countries and environments. The George Haligua FoundationÂs goal is to have a large network of volunteer teachers give educative classes that will be broadcasted in these telecentres, forming what is called a Schoolnet. School networking is the electronic connection of schools and students for purposes of enhancing teaching and learning. The physical facility and organizational entity that builds and maintains this connection is what is referred to as a Schoolnet. Possible partners such as Sony, Panasonic, and Samsung have been asked to help by providing some of the equipment necessary for the project.
Overall, The George Haligua Foundation and Education Without Borders seek to democratize access to information and reduce the information gap and knowledge divide between the information haves and have-nots.
For more information concerning The George Haligua Foundation, please visit their website at http://www.georgehaliguafoundation.com
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