STUDENTS in remote areas and the outer islands will benefit from the recent signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the Ministry of Education and China-based Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd.
Through the MOU, Huawei is involved in electronic education projects in Turkey and Sudan and will set up the infrastructure in Fiji for its software to be used in the development of distance learning.
The MOU envisages two phases ù a trial phase that will see the upgrading of the central teaching and broadcast studio in Suva and the setting up of a suitably equipped receiving station in the remote or island location.
The second phase is the commercial one that will begin after the calling of tenders in accordance with Fiji laws governing the procurement of goods, services, or work above a certain value.
Already, Queen Victoria School, Namosi Secondary School, Kadavu Provincial High School, Koro High School, Rotuma High School and Adi Moape Secondary School have been taking part in distance learning.
Huawei's managing director Wang Chendong said technology played a significant role in the dissemination of information and it could be used in educating Fijian students in remote areas.
He said in regards to electronic and distance learning, Huawei's software was used in many countries and would be a cost effective way of expanding the reach of education into rural and remote areas.
Minister for Education Filipe Bole said: "Distance learning has been part of our education system for a long time.
"Now with this development, we reintroduce face-to-face teaching through television."
He said some of the initiative's objectives were the supplementing of teaching resource materials and the bridging of the gap between remote and urban schools.