Singapore's Communications Minister Mah Bow Tan added his "signature" to those of Canada's Industry Minister John Manley and Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge today in a landmark application of digital signatures to a ...
Singapore, 4 June 1998 | For Immediate Release
Singapore's Communications Minister Mah Bow Tan added his "signature" to those of Canada's Industry Minister John Manley and Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge today in a landmark application of digital signatures to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on international applications of information technology in education.
Minister Mah finalized the MOU digitally before Ministers from member economies at the 3rd APEC Ministerial Meeting on the Telecommunications & Information Industry in Singapore. Minister Manley and Governor Ridge had already used personalized keys to "sign" the MOU from their respective offices in the days preceding the meeting. This event marks the world's first digital signature of an international government document.
Global Learning Consortium
The MOU creates the Global Learning Consortium, which will serve as the hub for an international learning network that will link students, educators and researchers in education.
Under the MOU, students and teachers representing each Consortium member will use telecommunications technologies such as the information highway, teleconferencing and videoconferencing to collaborate on projects. Each partner will showcase four to five of their best practices in education on a common website (http://www.glc-cag.org ) that each will host for eight-to-twelve-month periods on a rotating basis.
Scope of the Consortium
The MOU aims to:
1. Support the goals of the respective member's existing educational and learning technology programmes - Singapore's IT Masterplan for Education, Canada's SchoolNet, and Pennsylvania's Link-to-Learn;
2. Provide opportunities for technology transfers, and support each other's research and development efforts in the area of learning technologies; and
3. Encourage global openness and exchange of information to promote a knowledge-based 21st century global learning community where educators and students can learn at anytime and from anywhere.
"There is tremendous synergy between the Consortium and Singapore's IT Education Masterplan, a blueprint for the integration of IT in education that will ensure that by the end of the 6-year plan, all schools in Singapore will use computers to plan, teach, access, and reach out to one another across the nation and overseas," said Minister Mah. "Participation in the Consortium gives Singapore the opportunity to share our experiences, learn from other members of the Consortium, and undertake collaborative projects in learning technology, to mutual benefit."
"Canada has had great success with programs such as SchoolNet, which facilitates Internet access and stimulates its applications in schools and public libraries," said Minister Manley. "This consortium provides us with an opportunity to share our experience and learn from those of our partners."
"Pennsylvania's Link-to-Learn program has made more computers available in our schools and has provided teachers with the training they need to use those computer resources most effectively," said Governor Ridge, who initiated Link-to-Learn two years ago. "We look to the new Global Learning Consortium as an exciting way to expand the educational benefits provided by Link-to-Learn to all our students."
Other nations have already expressed keen interest in joining Singapore, Canada and Pennsylvania in the Global Learning Consortium, building and maintaining the web site and other resources that will serve students and teachers around the world. In the autumn of 1998, the three partners and other potential members will meet in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to advance the Consortium.
The digital signing of the document is facilitated by GNS Inc. using Entrust technology and Singapore's Netrust Pte Ltd, South East Asia's first Certification Authority.
Issued by the National Computer Board and Telecommunication Authority of Singapore, on behalf of the Global Learning Consortium.
For more information, please contact:
Hee Joh Liang
Director, Education Cluster
National Computer Board
Chief Information Officer
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (USA)
Telephone: (717) 787-5440
Fax: (717) 787-4523