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[school-discuss] [Fwd: FW: Microsoft - SchoolNet partnership???]

I'm forwarding a message I just received from Joris Komen of SchoolNet

Joris Komen wrote:

> Greetings Doug,
> Some great news to follow on our recent push for Open Source
> solutions in education!  The open letter to Microsoft has now been
> referenced on over 470 sites, world-wide, in a huge range of
> languages.  Do a google search for "schoolnet namibia microsoft"  and
> watch the URLs unfURL <grin>.
> Also check our home page  www.schoolnet.na  for our own news release.
> Kind regards
> Joris
> ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA, November 7 2002 - SchoolNet Namibia, a
> volunteer-driven
> organisation that is working to see all Namibian schoolchildren get
> access to a computer and the internet, was awarded the APC Africa Hafkin
> Communications Prize for people-centred information and communications
> technology (ICT) policy at a ceremony attended by the prize finalists
> and other champions of the ICT and development sector in Addis Ababa
> this evening. Second place went to the policy programme of Bridges.org,
> a research and advocacy non-profit from South Africa that promotes
> access to ICT by researching, testing, and promoting best practices for
> sustainable technology use.
> "Network architecture. Sector liberalisation. Infrastructure. Regulatory
> frameworks. Universal access. Universal service obligations. Radio
> frequency spectrum. Software and applications. They're all areas of ICT
> policy. You can see why civil society organisations and others are often
> intimidated by the technicalities from taking on the challenge of
> working for positive change in national ICT policy!" said Nancy Hafkin,
> networking pioneer for whom the prize is named. This is why APC - a
> non-profit association which has worked to promote Internet and ICTs for
> development since 1990 - chose to focus this year's Hafkin Prize on
> inspirational African ICT policy initiatives.
> "ICT policy decisions impact any citizen who wants to take advantage of
> the opportunities that can come with new technologies," Hafkin pointed
> out in her congratulatory message. "Will the national policy favour
> technology that is state-of-the art but not affordable to the rural
> areas? Will government provide service subsidies to the poorest or to
> the disabled? Will government encourage the development of software that
> the illiterate can use? All of these are the very real and non-technical
> questions that are determined by national ICT policy choices. Both
> SchoolNet Namibia and Bridges.org have been leaders in demystifying ICT
> policy and bringing its realities to people in Africa."
> SchoolNet Namibia's objective is to provide appropriate computer
> technology and Internet access to ALL schools in Namibia. Primarily a
> hands-on training and support organization, their successful
> introduction of computers and internet into over 200 schools since 2000
> led SchoolNet to become actively involved in policy-making at the
> national level in Namibia.
> SchoolNet Namibia is an exemplary role model for the sustainable
> introduction of ICT across the education sector. The SchoolNet model
> which includes the adoption of appropriate school computer technology,
> the use of open source and free software solutions, free Internet
> Service provision in partnership with local government-owned
> telecommunication agencies, and solar-powered school computer
> laboratories can be replicated by education systems across Africa. The
> Namibian government has recognised SchoolNet Namibia in its National
> Development Plan for 2000-2005 as a key actor in the roll-out of ICT in
> education and job creation.
> Awarded with a very honourable mention was the policy programme of
> Bridges.org, which is committed to raising awareness of the impact of
> policy decisions at both the policy level and at the grass-roots level.
> The policy team drafts issue-based reports and briefs, gets information
> into the hands of government officials who can use it, informs
> policy-making, involves people at ground-level in policy debate, and
> acts as a bridge between international views and best practices and
> local circumstances. Bridges.org has worked closely with South African
> government officials to provide practical input to their ICT legislation
> and planning.
> Bridges.org also catalyses public support for ICT policies by explaining
> the issues in laymen's terms, helping citizens understand the potential
> benefits of ICT for their daily lives. The policy team publishes
> community articles that detail the implications of policy issues in a
> meaningful way, and covers topical issues such as digital public records
> and citizen rights to privacy.
> "Since APC first started awarding the Hafkin Prize and its international
> equivalent, the APC Betinho Communications Prize in 2000, we have become
> more and more convinced that it is essential to publicise and promote
> the types of ICT initiatives that embody APC's core development values
> such as community-initiated, -driven and -managed ICT projects,
> especially those that contribute to empowering and supporting
> organisations, social movements and individuals to make meaningful
> contributions to human development," explained APC's acting Executive
> Director, Maureen James regarding the motivation for the prize. "The
> Hafkin Prize plays a small but important role by recognising and
> rewarding real life examples of how the Internet can be, and is being,
> used as a powerful tool for development and social justice."
> The Hafkin Prize winner and finalists were all present at the award
> ceremony which was held during a workshop on civil society and ICT
> policy co-organised by APC.
> The $7,500 USD APC Hafkin Prize - a biannual award - recognises
> outstanding examples of African initiatives in information and
> communications technology (ICTs) for development.
> The Theme in 2001:  People-Centred Information and Communications
> Technology (ICT) Policy in Africa
> More about the prize finalists and winner:
> http://www.apc.org/english/hafkin/2002.shtml
> Prize Winner - SchoolNet Namibia: http://www.schoolnet.na
> Honourable mention - Bridges.org: http://www.bridges.org
> The Hafkin Prize is supported in part by the International Development
> Research Centre (IDRC).
> Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC) is one of the
> world's leading institutions in the generation and application of new
> knowledge to meet the challenges of international development. For more
> than 30 years, IDRC has worked in close collaboration with researchers
> from the developing world in their search for the means to build a
> healthier, more equitable, and more prosperous society.
> The Association for Progressive Communications (APC) is an international
> network of civil society organisations dedicated to empowering and
> supporting groups and individuals through the strategic use of
> information and communication technologies (ICTs), especially
> Internet-related technologies. APC and its members pioneer practical and
> relevant uses of ICTs for civil society, especially in developing
> countries. APC is an international facilitator of civil society's
> engagement with ICTs and related concerns, in both policy and practice.
> APC: http://www.apc.org
> Our policy work in Africa: http://africa.rights.apc.org
> Contact:
> Karen Higgs
> APC Communications
> Cassinoni 1085
> 11200 Montevideo
> Uruguay
> Tel: +598 2 400-6460
> Email: khiggs@apc.org
> Photos available: contact khiggs@apc.org
> _______________________________________________
> APCNews mailing list
> APCNews@lists.apc.org
> http://lists.apc.org/mailman/listinfo/apcnews

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Doug Loss                 All I want is a warm bed
Data Network Coordinator  and a kind word and
Bloomsburg University     unlimited power.
dloss@bloomu.edu                Ashleigh Brilliant