03/08/2007, 00.00
SOUTH KOREA
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Coming soon “digital schools”

by Theresa Kim Hwa-young
The South Korean Minister for Education confirms that starting from next year text books and other didactic resources will be digitalized. By 2013, it will be extended to schools across the country.

Seoul (AsiaNews) – the South Korean government has defined the old scholastic method of “pen and paper” as “obsolete” and has launched a programme to “digitalize” education, beginning next year and becoming “100%” effective by 2013.

 

The Ministry for Education yesterday confirmed that starting from next year it twill provide schools with technological material, above all digital text books, which amalgamate books, dictionaries and other didactic resources.  

 

According to ministerial sources, the aim is to activate this method in all national schools including primary and junior high schools.  In order to achieve this aim the ministry has created a task force including its own technicians and those of other ministries such as the Ministry of Science and Technology, and the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy.

 

In a press briefing, Education Minister Kim Shin-il said “the programme is founded on the desire to meet the rapidly changing face of education.  The textbooks will likely have to be amended more often as society is changing more rapidly, the digital content is more convenient than materials in such cases”.

 

To facilitate consultation of the digital texts, the ministry plans to develop a portable terminal for students to easily connect to their digital textbooks at home as well as at school free of charge. Thanks to this system, texts and notes will be made available from each computer on line.

 

The plan foresees a gradual introduction of the new didactic devices.  Next year they will be put on trial in some experimental institutes, while between 2008 and 2011 they will be supplied to 100 other schools.  From 2013 they will be adopted nationwide.

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