7 Mar 2006

Distance learning in Solomon Islands to get satellite technology access

4:34 pm on 7 March 2006

A new deal to provide satellite technology and internet access to the Solomon Islands Distance Learning Centres project will boost other sectors of society as well.

The European Union and Solomon Telekom last week signed off on funding for the satellite coverage.

The Distance Learning Centres are aimed at building up education and training services throughout the country.

But the project co-ordinator David Leeming says they will eventually be available for other uses such as rural banking and to aid health delivery.

Mr Leeming says the project has grown out of the 25 People First Network's email facilities set up around the country, but this new service will be more sophisticated.

"Initially there will be just one in each province. They will be in a rural community high school. The idea is very much to support all the community in learning, not just the tertiary sector and so on. So, there are 25 email stations at the moment and there will be initially nine of these more sophisticated learning centres."