Sister School Network

SEAMEO Sister School Network Project / SEAMEO Regional Schools Internet Project



The adoption of Ban Prue Wai Primary School, a SEAMEO Community Involvement Project, was presented before the 32nd SEAMEO Council Conference in Manila, Philippines. The Conference recommended that school linkages between the Member Countries, especially through the Internet, be explored to promote cooperation and develop people-to-people relationships in the SEAMEO context.

The Minister of Education, Singapore, further proposed a project to be hosted by Singapore which would link schools in the SEAMEO countries via the Internet as well as provide opportunities for exchange of information in English. SEAMEO RELC was asked to initiate action on this project.

When H E Dr Ricardo T Gloria, Secretary of Education, Culture and Sports, Republic of the Philippines assumed office as SEAMEO Council President during the 32nd SEAMEO Council Conference 1997, he announced that he would work to promote the SEAMEO Sister School Network Project. A working paper on this was presented during the 1997 Centre Directors and Strategic Planning Group Meeting and the following agreements were made:

1. The SEAMEO Sister School Network Project should be established but it be initiated on a small scale;

2. The SEAMEO Sister Schools Internet Project was endorsed to be implemented by SEAMEO RELC as a pilot project, linking schools in the region. The linkage will serve as venue for discussion on the topic of 'transportation' in the region;

3. SEAMEO Centres were encouraged to pursue further activities in adopting or assisting schools through their relevant areas of concern. From this initial phase, a possible networking could be further developed.


Activities of the Project

A meeting, chaired by the SEAMEO RELC Director, was convened on 15 March 1997. One of the outcomes of the meeting was an agreement to produce an Internet homepage for SEAMEO with the possibility of each SEAMEO Member Country to have a homepage created by the students themselves. The assistance of the Information Technology Institute, Singapore, which has since been renamed Kent Ridge Digital Laboratories (KRDL), was solicited to improve the project. Designed to be interactive, Project "Space ALIVE" provides "rooms" for students to share, discuss and post their ideas with participants from other countries.

A SEAMEO RELC survey questionnaire, which sought answers on questions of hardware and software facilities and the teachers' familiarity with the use of computers, determined the feasibility of school participation in the project. On 28 August 1997, while on other business in Manila, the SEAMEO RELC Assistant Director took the opportunity to visit the Olongapo City Regional Science High School, one of the participating schools in the Philippines.

SEAMEO RELC has invited the Ministers of Education of SEAMEO Member Countries to participate in this project. Six SEAMEO countries, namely Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand, agreed to participate in the project and forwarded the names of schools to be involved in the project.

The progress of the activities was reported to the SEAMEO RELC Governing Board Meeting from 10 to 12 September 1997 in Singapore, during which a visit to the Educational Technology Division was organized. The Board agreed to the project's implementation and renamed it SEAMEO Regional Schools Internet Project.

From 19 to 21 November 1997, the project coordinators of all participating countries attended a meeting at SEAMEO RELC. This was to ensure that all involved would understand the rationale for the project and plan active roles for themselves in achieving its goals and objectives. From December 1997 to March 1998, the selected schools were provided with in-country training with Ms Ivy Lo Wing Ching and Mr Cheng Soo Yin from KRDL.

In-country training
The following chronology provides a brief account of the in-country training:
Singapore : In December 1997, training was provided for 14 students and four teachers from Anglo-Chinese (Independent) School and Anderson Secondary School.

Indonesia : From 20 to 22 January 1998, training was provided for nine students from Sekolah Lanjutan Tingkat Pertama Kristen II, Badan Pendidikan Kristen Penabur, Jakarta.

Thailand : From 2 to 4 February 1998, training was provided for 12 students from Suankularbwittayalai Nonthaburi School and Satree Sri Suriyothai School. A number of teachers and the Principal of Suankularbwittayalai Nonthaburi School were also in attendance.

Philippines : From 10 to 12 February 1998, training was provided for five students from Olongapo City Regional Science High School. From 3 to 5 March 1998, training was provided for nine students from Victorino Mapa High School. Upon DECS' request, SEAMEO RELC agreed to monitor this project.

Malaysia : From 24 to 26 February 1998, training was provided for 12 students from Tunku Kurshiah College and Victoria Institute.

Brunei : From 10 to 12 March 1998, training was provided for 11 students from Maktab Sains Paduka Darussalam Seri Begawan Sultan (MSPSBS) and Sekolah Menengah Pengiran Anak Puteri Hajah Masna (SMPAPHM).

Following the in-country training, MOE Singapore and KRDL held a series of meetings on Internet. Discussions ranged from training to follow up to full project implementation.

The progress of the activities was reported during the SEAMEO RELC Governing Board Meeting from 10 to 12 September 1997 in Singapore. The Board agreed to the implementation of the project and renamed it SEAMEO Regional Schools Internet Project.




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