12,000 tablet PCs to be distributed to students, teachers

February 05, 2012, Sunday/ 16:14:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN

The first phase of a Turkish education project that envisages upgrading standards and quality in education via the use of smart classrooms, smart boards and computers in schools across the country will kick off with the distribution of some 12,000 tablet PCs in 52 schools across 17 provinces at the beginning of the second semester on Monday.

Within the scope of the Movement to Increase Opportunities and Technology (FATİH) project, the Ministry of Education will distribute free tablet PCs to students and teachers in 52 schools located in İstanbul, Ankara, İzmir, Balıkesir, Bingöl, Diyarbakır, Erzincan, Erzurum, Hatay, Karaman, Kayseri, Kocaeli, Mersin, Rize, Samsun, Uşak and Yozgat, including the private Esayan Armenian High School in İstanbul. While the project mainly involves high school students, three elementary schools have been included in the first phase of the project.

The tablet PCs have been produced by General Mobile and Samsung for the project. A team of 100 qualified technicians will be available to address any problems that teachers and students may experience. The tablet PCs come with a guarantee and have a specially designed frame to protect them when they happen to be dropped. The software will also be protected against unapproved downloads from outside sources.

All the ninth grade textbooks have been uploaded onto tablet PCs within the scope of the project. They include visual elements and animations for related course subjects. The students will also be able to connect to the Internet with their tablet PCs.

The project, often referred to as revolutionary, was first introduced at an inauguration ceremony attended by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in November 2010. Undertaken by the Ministry of Education and supported by the Ministry of Transportation and Communication, the massive project is expected to encompass 570,000 classrooms in 40,000 schools around Turkey once completed.

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