In the second of three phases of Sheikh Mohammed's IT education project, Cisco Systems, the world-wide leader in networking for the Internet, will establish 24 new "E-schools" in the Emirate of Dubai.
Cisco, working with Sheikhmohammed.co.ae and IBM Corp., will create facilities dressed with state-of-the-art networking, computing and educational technology. The project will fall under Sheikh Mohammed's visions to transform the UAE into a regional e-business hub and to enlighten a new generation of young people to lead Dubai into the new digital economy.
The strategic IBM-Cisco-Sheikhmohammed.co.ae alliance will allow the new "Internet-schools" to offer the most cutting-edge technology, which will enable students to receive hands-on learning experience with networked systems.
High-tech classrooms will be created in 24 Dubai-based secondary schools in the Emirate over a two-month period. Thirty-five workstations will be created in each school. IBM PCs connected to a main IBM server using Cisco networking technology will be used. In addition, workstations will be equipped with multimedia capabilities (cameras, video, audio) and a terminal to allow students to interact with instructors. The technology will allow for tests and quizzes to be conducted electronically, Cisco Middle East announced. To the delight or dismay of the new generation of "e-students", parents will be able to access their children's academic achievements from anywhere in the world. Furthermore, an IT training centre was recently established to help educators get accustomed to the new way of teaching.
The Cisco Networking Academies Program is expected to supply the schools with hardware, and nearly 300 hours of coursework (developed by Cisco at a cost of over $50 million). Regionally head-quartered in Dubai, with offices also in Saudi Arabia and Egypt, Cisco Systems has taken an active role in the Mid-East business scene, particularly in Sheikh Mohammed's IT Education project. Craig Taylor, regional manager Cisco Systems Middle East for the Gulf and Pakistan, told albawaba.com, "Cisco Systems is honored to be a part of an ambitious plan, which will help to underpin a flourishing technology industry and in the process create career opportunities for the UAE's youth."
The first phase of Sheikhmohammed.co.ae achieved great success in Imam Malik Secondary's Boy's School in Dubai, Khaleej Times reported. "The second phase, scheduled to be completed by the end of June, will see all secondary schools for girls and boys in Dubai fully equipped with IT laboratories," said Fouad Berjaoui, marketing manager for Sheikhmohammed.co.ae. Berjaoui added that the project's third phase, which would be launched later this year, would extend the efforts to all secondary schools in the UAE.
Taylor added, "By investing in the youth, His Highness is sowing the seed of a generation of e-entrepreneurs. These e-schools are ideal models of what all classrooms will one day be like." (albawaba.com news agency)
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )