The projects provided a neatly packaged solution for the remote rural community in Bario to take advantage of current ICT provisions as a strategic way to improve and enhance the quality of teaching and learning in Bario. Children also participated as mini-researchers using relevant ICT tools.
In terms of e-health, participants learned how to create a health check database, which records weight, height and blood pressure levels of people in the local community.
APT J2: Bridging the digital divide in remote rural areas: A Universal Playground for Children (2010)
APT J3: Technology enhanced solutions for remote rural communities in Malaysia to Facilitate Development of Learning and Preservation of Local Knowledge and to Create Health Awareness and Practices for Healthy Living (2011)
The project aimed to provide efficient technology-enhanced solutions for remote rural communities in Sarawak, Malaysia. Specifically, the objectives of the project were:
- To establish optical LAN infrastructure for schools and health clinic in Bario
- To develop e-Education solution which would serve as a digital learning repository to complement formal teaching and learning experiences of the school community in Bario, Ba'kelalan, Long Lamai and Larapan Island, Sabah
- To develop an e-Health solution to provide a sustainable health check system for use by community members in these identified remote rural communities in Sabah and Sarawak.
- To document the impact of e-Education and e-Health solutions on educational experiences and health awareness of the community members in these remote, rural locations
The optical LAN infrastructure was an important linkage that enabled the other two solutions (i.e. e-Education and e-Health) to be developed in these remote rural areas. The e-Education solution aimed to design and develop a digital learning repository in five areas of interest: health sciences, ICT, communication, living skills, and indigenous knowledge and culture. The e-Health check system was introduced to children and young adults in the community, to raise awareness about regular health checks which need to be performed periodically to detect and monitor common illnesses.
Bario Optical Fiber Network Configuration Optical LAN System
An optical fiber network was installed from the telecenre (Bario) to primary and secondary schools and from the telecentre to the new hospital and clinic. The optical network system consisted of e GE-PON network lines which was constructed over the optical fibers laid. Line A ran from the telecentre to the primary and secondary school, while Line B ran from the telecentre to the clinic and the new hospital. Both lines were terminated at the local telecentres by the Optical Line Terminal (OLT).
Bario Network System Configuration
At the ONU termination in the two schools, the network connection was further extended to the common student activity areas via WiFi access point. WiFi access point allowed multiple tablets to connect to the GE-PON network concurrently. Four servers were deployed in the e-Bario telecentre for various applications provision over the GE-PON network. The application servers were:
- e-Health Database Server
- Viscuit Application Server
- Education Moodle Server
- Backup Server for e-Health Database
A separate solar power system was designed and deployed as additional electrical power input for the e-Bario telecentre. The main purpose of the system was to provide power specifically for the network equipment such as the GE-PON, switches, routers and servers deployed for the project. This solar power system was separated from the main telecentre solar power system in order to prevent single point power outage in the telecentre that may cause power blackouts to the critical network equipment, hence, improving connectivity reliability.
Outline of the solution
There were several outputs identified for this aspect of the Digital Learning Repository (DLR). These were the features available on the e-Education system:
- Creating an Android application which would be the primary input tool for the children to capture data and content
- Creating a customized access and interface to an open source Learning Management System, which was used to assemble and further develop the data and content captured by the children
- Creating an user-friendly localized version of Viscuit, an open source application for children which teaches them to learn about basic computer programming using drawing tools
e-Health Check System
The e-Health check system for this project was designed to record basic health data (height, weight and blood pressure) of the local population and was introduced to children and young adults in the community to raise awareness about regular health checks which needed to be performed periodically to detect and monitor common illnesses.
Using the fiber optic network, the data collected from users could be transmitted to the local health clinic, and the medical officers could be alerted if there was any anomaly in the data. With a systematic database of information available, dissemination of important health information and interventions can be deployed in a more strategic and sustainable manner.