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$1m for education innovation
By Tuo Yannan ( China Daily )

 $1m for education innovation

Hewlett-Packard Co products for sale in Shanghai. The US company will partner with Zhejiang University and UNESCO to set up a fund for teacher training through technology methods in Zhejiang and Sichuan provinces. Qilai Shen / Bloomberg

Hewlett-Packard Co, the world's largest PC maker, set up a $1 million fund to support education innovation in China. The fund will be used in teacher training through technology methods.

The project is jointly held with Zhejiang University and China's National Commission of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to increase the adoption of information technology in education.

The fund will be used within two years for Sichuan and Zhejiang provinces to train thousands of teachers on combining modern technology with teaching, said Steve Gill, managing director of HP China. "This donation and the cooperation with our local partners show our confidence for long-term growth to this market."

As one of the first high-tech companies to enter this burgeoning market, HP donated much equipment and hardware to Sichuan after the May 12 earthquake in 2008.

"HP has always believed that the success of businesses and the overall well-being of society are interdependent," said Gabi Zedlmayer, vice-president, sustainability and social innovation, HP. "Through our partnership with local universities and organizations, HP's scale, network and technological strengths will contribute to China's education innovation and reform."

The US company will partner with Zhejiang University and UNESCO to manage the Education Innovation Fund for China. Over two years, more than 5,000 teachers from 500 rural and urban schools in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, and Chengdu, Sichuan province, will be trained.

Through the training program, teachers will learn how to use technology effectively and innovatively in classrooms with a personalized learning approach in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields. These educators will be invited to enter a competition to demonstrate how they applied their training toward innovating teaching later, according to HP.

We will use the previous experience we had in Africa and India in the Chinese market, said Zedlmayer. "About 300 teachers were trained online and offline in Africa because the Internet is widely used there."

The project will contribute directly to the implementation of China's National Medium Strategy for Education Planning and Development (2010-2020), supporting the Chinese government's determination to improve education through the innovative use of technology in teaching, according to the company.

"China's Medium and Long-term National Educational Reform and Development Plan defines information technology as a revolutionary tool for education development," said Du Yue, secretary-general of the National Commission for UNESCO in China.

"When applied to academics, informatization can improve our country's education advancement. We are pleased to work with HP in this field and hope this partnership will provide valuable knowledge for future activities that promote education modernization."

Du said Hangzhou has a big floating population. Those people's children need to improve the quality of their education via modern technology.


(China Daily 05/28/2012 page22)


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