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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

HP restates commitment to e-learning

Newly appointed Managing Director, Hewlett Packard (HP) West Africa, Mr. Ime Umo has reiterated the firm’s commitment to electronic learning (e-learning) projects.

Mr. Umo who spoke at the recently held e-Learning forum at the Accra International Conference Centre, Ghana, described HP’s efforts in achieving this unique goal as ‘e-inclusion’, noting that e-inclusion is not just about technology but about people, relationships and personal commitment.

He pointed out that HP is determined to empower local communities with necessary Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) tools capable of changing their lifestyles for good.

“One of our goals in communities where we work is to recognize the business value of diversity and to build digital connections to address the gaps in the availability and use of technology” he said.

Umo emphasized that as much as the company continued to invest on the continent, the need for e-inclusion would continue to re-echo.

“As the largest IT company in the world, we come with the experience of disseminating information to a diverse group of people over wide geographical locations. From our immense customer base, we also understand that ‘one size does not fit all’” he said.

He added that HP believes its task is straightforward – to find the local need and match it to an IT solution from our portfolio.

“The real challenge is to provide innovative content that will challenge and create enthusiasm in individuals to leverage the opportunities we provide and impact their lives. Not just their lives – the lives of their families and their communities”, he said.

In taking ICT to Kindergatten level (K12), Umoh, who was represented by the Enterprise Server and Storage (ESS) manager at HP, Mr. Chuks Okpaka, said his firm had worked first with Intel and the Nigerian government on the Teacher-Assisted Purchase Plan (TAPP).

According to him, 5,000 notebooks were given to teachers who were trained on Intel-provided portal and curriculum, just as 30-pc classrooms were provided for students to learn using this updated content.

“Within three months, in comparison with classes without access to technology, the difference was significant – it was easier for students to grasp concepts, retention of studies was also significantly improved in these classes. For the teachers, access to these tools made teaching a much more fulfilling and rewarding experience,” he said.

Outlining HP’s contributions to e-learning initiatives, he said the firm had just concluded the NEPAD implementation project with three secondary schools across Nigeria, noting that this year, HP will develop curriculum and additional learning portals, to see technology changing the lives of children.

Equally, he stressed the essence of Small- and Medium-sized Enterprise (SMEs) in developing economies, noting that they are predominantly unstructured and according to statistics, about eight out of 10 SMEs fail within five year.

“Our MicroEnterprise Accelerated Program (MAP) seeks to address this ‘statistic’. With MAP, we set up digital classrooms and offer curriculum to SMBs in PC appreciation basic business skills development – basic accounting, business planning, presentation skills that will give them confidence to approach formal funding institutions for their business, etc. The beauty of the MAP is the introduction of courses directly related to ‘handiwork’ – for instance, in running a curriculum targeted at a farming community, the curriculum is looking to integrated curriculum on modernized farming technology giving more incentive to the local community to engage”, he said.



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