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BTís Inspiring Young Minds China programme yields encouraging results


One year benchmark sees benefits to 6,600 students and more than 1,700 teachers at 40 schools

Since the official start of Inspiring Young Minds in China in May 2009, the programme has seen encouraging results by providing basic network infrastructure for forty schools in Qinghai, Ningxia, Yunnan and Jiangxi provinces in south-western China. The programme distributes computers and multimedia equipment as well as providing training programs for local teachers. So far, over 6,600 students and 1,700 teachers have benefited from this programme.

The Inspiring Young Minds programme is a joint initiative between BT and UNICEF. The programme has invested £1.5 million (RMB 15 million) globally with the goal of bringing education, technology and communication skills to children from disadvantaged backgrounds in South Africa, Brazil and China. In China, Inspiring Young Minds is jointly led by UNICEF and the Chinese National Center for Educational Technology, Ministry of Education.

The Chinese programme team began by surveying over 2,000 headmasters, teachers and students in poor regions, which served as a basis for developing a scientific and reasonable program of education. Currently, the programme has provided schools with a range of equipment, including laptop computers, netbooks, modems and multimedia projectors, ensuring that first and second year primary school students have access to 40 hours of computer class time and third and fourth year students will have 80 hours of computer class time.

Kevin Taylor, managing director, BT Asia Pacific, said: ďWe are very happy to be able to bring advanced communication and information technology to children in poorer parts of China, giving them the opportunity to experience the world from their own classroom. Strengthening the exchange of information among young people can help them become more confident, better preparing them to cope with future challenges. We will continue to work with more organizations to push the development of education for children in the rural areas of China.Ē

The efforts by BT Hong Kong and the Chinese National Center for Educational Technology, Ministry of Education, have been strengthened with additional programme support from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. In 2010, Inspiring Young Minds will use the Universityís SMILE Electronic Education System to bridge geographic and cultural gaps between students and teachers from Hong Kong and Mainland China. This will in turn facilitate communication and learning on both sides of the border, and can even be used to send educational materials, increasing understanding and spreading the values of the Inspiring Young Minds programme.


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