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Singapore invests 610US$ million in ICT infrastructure for schools

The Singaporean Ministry of Education (MOE) has committed approximately 610US$ million to supplying ICT for its schools over the next 8 years. The MOE has awarded the tender for Standard ICT Operating Environment (SOE) for Schools to National Computer Systems Pte Ltd (NSC) with a subscription of around 120 000 seats. Each seat will comprise a computing device, network connectivity and support services for all Government and Government-Aided schools. The seats will cater to 40 000 teachers and administrative staff and 500 000 students.

The SOE for Schools programme supports the third Masterplan for ICT in Education to further enhance learning and teaching. It constitutes the second phase of the overall Government-wide SOE initiative, focusing on the unique ICT needs of schools. Over the next two years, the programme aims to establish a common ICT infrastructure environment for schools, standardising the management of devices and the work environment. Schools will be able to subscribe to the services on a per user per month basis. With school-wide wireless connectivity, students will be able to use portable computing devices and access media-rich and interactive digital resources for learning opportunities beyond their classrooms.

The implementation of SOE for Schools programme in pilot schools will begin in early 2011, following the setup of the central infrastructure, processes, and governance of the programme. The rest of the schools will be transited in phases by the end of 2012. The standardisation of the ICT operating environment and aggregation of demand will lead to greater operational efficiency and cost savings for the schools as a whole.