Kiribati

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Overview

Kiribati (pronounced Kiribas), officially the Republic of Kiribati, is an island nation located in the Oceania region in the central tropical Pacific Ocean. The name Kiribati is the local pronunciation of Gilberts, derived from the main island chain, the Gilbert Islands. Kiribati also consists of the Phoenix Islands and the Line Islands. It is composed of 32 low lying flat and one raised coral island dispersed over 3,500,000 square kilometres (1,351,000 square miles) straddling the equator and bordering the International Date Line to the east. This makes Kiribati the most scattered archipelago in the world with an east-west diameter equivalent to the Los Angeles-New York distance. The population is 100,743 (a July 2011 estimate according to CIA's World Factbook). The capital city is South Tarawa. Kiribati gained political independence in 1979 from the British who had ruled for 87 years. It has a 42-member unicameral law making body or legislature called the Maneaba Maungatabu, an independent judiciary and an executive headed by the Beretitenti (local word for President) and his 12 cabinet ministers including the Attorney General. Kiribati’s economy is based mainly on its large fishery resources from which Government derives substantial revenues from fishing access fees paid by distant water fishing nations, its earnings on its Revenue Equalisation Reserve Fund (RERF), remittances of over a thousand sailors working on foreign merchant and fishing vessels and to a lesser extent, on its copra and seaweed exports.

Further information

For further general information see Wikipedia:Kiribati.

Education in Kiribati

For a general description of education in Kiribati see Education:Kiribati.


Geographical constraints mean that approximately 30% of the primary school age children do not attend school and only 20% of those who do are able to attend secondary school. (1)

e-learning

For a description more focussed to e-learning see E-learning:Kiribati.


As in many other Pacific states, the history of DE in Kiribati is almost from the history of the activities of the University of the South Pacific in the country. A USP Extension Centre was opened in 1976. The Centre moved to its current location on Tarawa two years later. In 2006, the Centre became a USP Campus. The USP Campus allows students in Kiribati to choose from hundreds of USP courses available by distance and flexible learning. Students with access to the Kiribati Campus can listen to lectures broadcast from Fiji, make use of audio and video-conferencing facilities and use the USPNet system for communication with lecturers and other students. (3)

Further growth and change in the provision of distance education is very much in the hands of the external groups that in a de facto manner define adult education for Kiribati through the provision of aid funding and the operation of the USP. There is no evidence that the Government of Kiribati is currently in any position to define processes or regulate development of distance education outside of the services defined and provided by those groups. (1)

Kiribati joined the OLPC Oceania project in 2010. In 2011, 2,000 XO laptops will be distributed to pupils in Kiribati primary schools. The Kiribati Government has undertaken to measure the impact of these laptops on basic literacy and numeracy. (3)

Quality procedures

Internet in Kiribati

Internet hosts (2010) - 31

Internet users (2008) - 2,000

Internet users per 100 inhabitants (2009) - 8

Computers per 100 inhabitants (2005) - 2.5 (3)

The cost of internet connectivity in Kiribati is still relatively high and poor in quality. (2)

Telecommunications in Kiribati are provided by Kiribati Services Kiribati Ltd (TSKL), a fully government-owned company. TSKL provides a GSM mobile telephone network as well as traditional fixed line services. TSKL also offers Internet access to homes and businesses, as well as running two Internet cafes. TSKL is currently a monopoly provider and Digicel was refused a license to operate a mobile service in Kiribati in 2009 calling into question whether external parties could readily provide distance education effectively using technology. (1) The future progress of ICT in Kiribati is uncertain given the TSKL monopoly position and the financial situation of the Kiribati Government. (3)

Internet in Education

Most schools have no access to the internet. (2)

Copyright law in Kiribati

Copyright law in Education

OER Initiatives in Kiribati

Kiribati is a member of the VUSSC initiative, which is developing a range of OER for use across the Commonwealth. (3)

WikiEducator includes a series of pages on education in Kiribati established as part of the Kiribati Wiki Content Free Initiative. (3)

The Commonwealth of Learning (COL) has assisted staff at the Kiribati Institute of Technology to establish video production and DVD duplication facilities at Kiribati Video, an NGO that functions as the Institute's video resource unit. In recent years, Kiribati Video has released more than 100 DVD titles on topics such as health, disability, the environment, civil society, good government, Kiribati history and culture, family and social issues. These titles are distributed to islands across Kiribati and provide an essential resource for community education. (3)

National OER initiatives

Regional OER initiatives

Institutional OER initiatives

For a number of years, the Pacific Open Learning Health Network (POLHN) computer lab in Tungaru National Hospital on the island of Tarawa has used for the delivery a wide range of self-paced courses in nursing, health and medical technology in Kiribati using the Moodle platform. These courses are accessible to all. Registration is necessary only when the student intends to sit for the final exam. Passing the final exam allows the student to save or print a Certificate of Achievement. In addition to its own courses, POHLN has selected a range of short online courses from other providers. POHLN’s selection includes 90 courses from Lippincott’s Nursingcenter.com range and 50 radiology courses from the Philips Online Learning Center.POLHN also provided a short one-week online introductory course in POLHN eLearning, which is provided at regular intervals for new participants. (3)

References

2. ReVica/VISCED page for Kiribati (http://virtualcampuses.eu/index.php/Kiribati)

3. ICDE Country Profile for Kiribati (http://www.icde.org/projects/regulatory_frameworks_for_distance_education/country_profiles/kiribati/)

Reports

1. ICDE Report: 'Regulatory frameworks for distance education: A pilot study in the Southwest Pacific/South East Asia region - Final report'. December 2011. Prepared by the Project Team (Team leader, Dr. Rosalind James) (accessed at http://www.icde.org/filestore/Regulatory_Framework/RegulatoryFrameworksforDEfinalreport2.pdf on Tuesday 10th July 2012)


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