On 4 March, 2022, a closing ceremony of the “Project for Improving Teaching and Learning Math by Utilizing Tablets in Palau” by Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications of Japan (MIC) was held in Ministry of Education. The ceremony was attended by Vice President J. Uduch Sengebau-Senior, Minister of Education Dale Jenkins and Ambassador of Japan KARASAWA Akira. State Minister for International Affairs and Communications of Japan Mr. NAKANISHI Yusuke sent a congratulatory video message to the ceremony.
The objective of the project is to provide 1,250 tablets and digital contents of math to schools in Palau, maintain learning opportunities and enhance teachers’ skills and math abilities of students. A Japanese company PADECO Co. Ltd, SuRaLa Net Co., Ltd and Osaka Kyoiku University have jointly managed the project in cooperation with Ministry of Education of Palau. The tablets and learning materials distributed through this project play a vital role to maintain the learning environment for students in Palau, which is appreciated by Ministry of Education and schools.
At the ceremony, Vice President Sengebau Senior stated, “This project came just in time. On behalf of the Republic of Palau, I am grateful to Japan for this precious support for us”. Minister Jenkins stated, “I am pleased to see this project immediately in the school and opened up a new horizon for education”. In his video message, Senior Vice-Minister Nakagawa stated, “Japan will contribute to developing ICT in the Pacific Island Countries and fostering our historical friendship with Palau furthermore”. Ambassador Karasawa stated, “This project has become another showcase of Japan’s assistances in education. I hope that teachers and students will use the tablets and teaching materials for a long time.”
The communication environment has significantly improved since Palau was connected with the first submarine cable in 2017. In addition, the second submarine cable will be constructed in Palau by the end of 2022, which is jointly funded by Japan, US and Australia. Palau has intensively invested communication infrastructure and utilized its high-speed internet in educational, medical and financial areas to benefit our daily lives.
Since the COVID-19 outbreak at the end of 2021, education in Palau has faced unprecedented challenges, such as temporary closure of the schools and introduction of remote learning. Although public schools resumed classroom instruction on 14 February, some schools have maintained online schooling. The project which was launched in August 2021 has demonstrated since its significant benefits to maintain the educational environment with new normal by utilizing Palau’s communication infrastructure.