Looking forward to total on-line

All schools are to be connected into a unified educational network
All schools are to be connected into a unified educational network.

Study and Internet have never been so close before. The network contains vast amounts of useful information a schoolchild or a student can’t do without. And if implementation of new technologies in our higher educational establishments is ok, than our schools, especially those situated in the country, do have problems. The other day Alexander Radkov, the Minister of Education, claimed that all secondary schools would be provided with Internet connections before the end of the year. Of course, it is good news though it could hardly be called a sensational breakthrough.

“Practically every school has access to the world-wide web. Another thing is the quality of the Internet connection provider which differs greatly”, — argues Nikolay Listopad, Head of the Main Information and Analysis center of the Ministry of Education. “Some schools have dedicated lines while some still use the old type of ordinary modem connection. So it is quite obvious that in the second case connection speed will be low — about 19–30 Kbit/s. And it is in our plans for the near future to provide high-speed Internet connection for 85 percents of schools and to increase an average connection speed up to 512 Kbit/s!”

According to specialists, money for such a large-scale modification of school equipment is available. So are the funds for purchasing new computer classrooms. This year children from a dozen schools all over the republic will be able to enjoy the advantages a modern computer could offer.

There is one more interesting project which involves the creation of a unified educational network within our country integrating secondary schools, higher educational establishments as well as colleges and vocational schools. What are the benefits of such an integrated system for students and teachers? This is believed to make the process of studying easier, especially for those who live in the country. They will be given an opportunity to communicate on-line with their peers in Minsk and regional centers. Teachers will be able to share their experience with colleagues and held seminars and conferences. Every school is to be provided with its own web site.

Nikolay Kirillov
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