Singapore's Ministry of Education (MOE) has completed the implementation of its desktop standardisation project called Schools Standard ICT Operating Environment (SSOE), according to its integrator NCS.
All 351 schools under MOE are involved in the SSOE initiative, where over 120,000 devices were rolled out to more than 40,000 principals, teachers and administrative staff.
Launched in June 2010, the SSOE programme consolidates the provisioning and management of desktops, network and ICT support for all MOE schools in Singapore. It recently won the IT Excellence Awards organised by Fairfax Business Media and IDC Asia Pacific, for the category of Best Bottom-line IT.
The SSOE programme enables an enhanced wired and wireless network environment in each school to improve network performance and accessibility to school applications, as well as provide centralised network & security monitoring. The project also provides computing devices to all staff and school computing labs to facilitate effective and efficient use of the ICT infrastructure.
"With SSOE, schools can now look forward to faster speed, enhanced security and full on-site support for their computing needs to enhance teaching and learning. A strong focus on users' needs and the close partnership between MOE and NCS had enabled the entire programme to be implemented successfully," said Lim Teck Soon, SSOE programme director, Ministry of Education.
To ensure effective adoption of new technologies available to teachers and administrative staff, a comprehensive change management programme consisting of training workshops and regular communications were organised during the transition phase. Activities included conducting of surveys, focus group discussions, regular newsletters and setting up of an SSOE Service Portal as a point of engagement for school staff.
"We managed to roll out the project five months ahead of schedule. We are appreciative of the strong feedback from schools during the rollout, as well as MOE's full support and commitment, which had contributed towards the successful implementation of this project," said Chia Wee Boon, chief executive officer, NCS.
For the next phase of the SSOE programme, NCS will manage the operations and provide maintenance support and technology refresh of the desktops and infrastructure as part of the eight-year contract.
Under the SSOE Programme, desktop support through remote assistance technology is provided to teachers. With this, service desk engineers can take over the school staffs' notebook and guide them along in the actions on the spot. Mobile carts are also available in schools for students to use computing devices anywhere, thus encouraging ICT-based learning.
"As part of the curriculum, the teachers will bring students down to our eco-pond and herb garden. With the use of the mobile carts, students can now access the information online. They will do their research, before collaborating and presenting to their classmates in the classroom," said Jane Wong, head of department, ICT, Guangyang Primary School.
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