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Washington Symphony Orchestra to Award Countries of Canada, China, Mexico and Singapore and United Parcel Service for Distance Education Efforts.

WASHINGTON, D.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 25, 1999--

The Washington Symphony Orchestra Board of Directors and the High Notes in Education Awards Host Committee will honor Canada, the People's Republic of China, Mexico and Singapore, as well as the United Parcel Service (UPS), for their worldwide commitment to distance education at the first annual High Notes in Education Awards event on Tuesday, Sept. 28, 1999.

The exclusive event will be held at the National Geographic Society's Grosvenor Auditorium in Washington, D.C.

The ambassadors of Canada, China, Mexico and Singapore will accept the awards on behalf of their countries. Arnold F. Wellman, vice president of corporate public affairs domestic/international for UPS, will accept for UPS.

"The countries we are honoring not only recognize the importance of online learning in emerging markets, but have made strides to enrich the experience of educators and students in industrialized and developing countries," said Lucy M. Duncan, vice president for development, Washington Symphony Orchestra and executive vice president, ColumbusNewport Inc.

Awards are based upon the planning and successful implementation of a nation's master plan for distance education. Each country has achieved significant results in their efforts to connect children, classrooms and the community through access to their nation's educational institutions. Canada and Singapore were selected for the greatest amount of work done, China for its ambitious plans for implementation of new nationwide programs, and Mexico for the work it has achieved over the past 30 years and the new programs which will enhance national reach.

Canada is the first nation to have completed its plan, "Connecting Canadians." Now, every Canadian public school and public library is connected by Industry Canada's SchoolNet and its partners in the provinces, private sector and education communities. This landmark achievement was a giant step forward for the Connecting Canadians strategy, which aims to make Canada the world's most connected nation.

Currently, China is establishing the China Education and Research Network (CERNET) with feedback capability for interactive learning and is setting up a clearinghouse to provide links for courses by different providers. CERNET links 450 universities and receives 500,000 hits per day. The Chinese Ministry of Education (MOE) plans to build 100 distance learning centers in 100 of China's poorest counties over the next five years. In addition, MOE plans to set up a special databank for primary and middle schools within CERNET to provide further access to educational materials.

Mexico is implementing its Distance Education Program which includes strengthening the Educational Television Satellite Network (EDUSAT) and the School Network of Educational Information Technology. The "TV-secondary" (Telesecundaria) project has been in existence for more than 30 years with programs reaching more than 12,000 schools. The School Educational Computing Network (RedEscolar) is one of the central initiatives of the Mexican Distance Education program. The Latin American Institute of Educational Communication works with the Mexican Ministry of Public Education to implement the Distance Education Program.

Singapore is a global front-runner in information technology and telecommunications, having launched a multi-agency program in 1991 called IT 2000: Singapore, an Intelligent Island. Launched in June 1998, Singapore ONE or "one network for everyone" is the world's first nation-wide, broadband, info-communication network which plans to link together, via the Internet, every home, school, office and factory in Singapore within one year.

UPS is recognized as a corporate leader in distance education for its constant effort to connect the world through global programs. The company has provided financial support, training and school-to-work programs throughout their network of 330,000 employees.

Corporate sponsors for the event include America Online, Bell South, Booz Allen, Cambridge Technology Partners, Cisco, Compaq, Ernst and Young, Lucent, National Geographic Society, Netscape and Oracle.

Founded in 1934, the Washington Symphony Orchestra aims to perform and promote symphonic music to build bridges among the culturally diverse communities of Washington, D.C., and the world. It distinguishes itself from others by the quality and innovation of its service, education and performance to both new and seasoned music lovers. For more information, contact the Washington Symphony Orchestra at 1000 16th St. NW, Suite 504, Washington, D.C., 20036; phone: 202/857-0970; fax: 202/857-7682; or on the Internet at http://www.wsodc.org.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Sep 27, 1999
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