Schools gear up for a wireless new year

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 02 August, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 02 August, 2005, 12:00am

At least 40 per cent of Hong Kong schools will be fitted with the latest wireless computer networks by the start of the new school year next month.

Equipment is being installed after applications for funding from the government and the Quality Education Fund were submitted by 75 per cent of schools.

Successful schools each received $27,700 from the Education and Manpower Bureau and the same amount from the fund to install the networks and buy laptop computers and personal digital assistants.

In all, $400 million is available for installing wireless networks over two years under the programme, which requires principals to explain why they need the technology. Eighty per cent of schools are expected to benefit.

'In the region, Hong Kong is at the forefront of introducing wireless technology in schools,' the bureau's principal inspector, She Mang, said. 'It enables education to break out of the walls of the classroom so that students can learn anywhere on the school campus and even outside. It should make learning much more lively and interactive and enable teachers to become more flexible in the way that they organise teaching and learning activities.'

The bureau also runs a computer replacement project, where schools are issued with the latest laptops in place of outdated computers, and has launched an Electronic Learning Credit System, under which all schools received $10 per student this year to buy digital learning resources.

The credit system is designed to encourage educational publishers and software houses to produce e-learning materials for the Hong Kong curriculum.