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State Library awaiting two cyber mobile vans from KL

By Mary Chin

Daily Express, Saturday, 29th June, 2002

Kota Kinabalu: The Sabah State Library is looking forward to receiving two Des@Net Service cybermobiles from the Federal Government under the 8th Malaysian Plan.

Its Director Ku Joo Bee said an allocation of RM600,000 is channelled through the National Library of Malaysia for the procurement of the facilities.

"Each Des@Net cybermobile van will carry 10 notebooks networked to Internet access and be equipped with basic softwares like word processing and spreadsheet," she told Daily Express.

Des@Net Service is a joint project between the Sabah State Library, Unit Kemajuan IT Negeri  (KIT), Chief Minister's Department, Sabah, State Computer Services Department and Education Department.

Ku said the project aims to bring information and communication technology (ICT) to the rural areas in the hope of bridging the digital divide.

"The main objectives of Des@Net is to promote awareness among the rural students and communities in Sabah on ICT, the wonders of the Internet and how ICT can help improve life, learning, work and recreation," she explained.

Asked when the second cybermobile van will begin servicing schools in Kudat and Kota Belud, Ku said: "We are finalising the arrangements for staff to be posted there."

Five secondary schools in each district have been selected for the ICT programme. Kudat - SMK Sikuati, SMK Abdul Rahim, SM Lok Yuk, SMK Kudat and SM St Peter; Kota Belud - SMK Narinang, SMK Arshad, SMK Usukan, SMK Tambulion and SMK Taun Gusi.

Early this month, Chief Minister Datuk Chong Kah Kiat launched the second Des@Net Service for the benefit of the two districts in conjunction with the INFOSOC 2002 International Conference in Sabah.

Meanwhile, Ku disclosed that the cyber mobile van operating in Papar will be visiting nine schools in the district beginning July 1. She said the visits would take place once every forthnight to SMK Membakut, SM St Patrick, SMK Bongawan, SMK Benoni, SMA Limau-Limauan, SMK Kinarut, SM St Mary, SM St Joseph and SMK Majakir.

"Only students from Forms One, Two and Four attend the ICT programme to avoid disrupting the examination classes," she said, adding that students are taught basic computing skills, Internet skills and how to create homepages.

Each hourly session from morning to afternoon caters to 10 students only and the instructor is from the library department's automation division.

The first Des@Net Service in Sabah was implemented early this year by the State Government. Records show that as of May 2002, some 2,700 students have utilised the free facilities and services provided by the cyber mobile van under the joint project.

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