The exchange-listed IT consulting company Sigma is helping the e-learning company MiROi with large-scale remote training effort in Chinese in Anshang north of Beijing. Sigma is adapting MiROi’s training platform for the Chinese with support from its office in China.
MiROi i-learning with roots in Luleå, Sweden, is a market leader in e-learning in Sweden. In September, the company will begin large-scale training of Chinese students in English. The project will take place in Anshang, north of Beijing, together with the local Anshang Zhong Hue Foreign Language School and assisted by Nutek (the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth ) and Sida (the Swedish Agency for International Development Cooperation).
“Only 1 percent of the Chinese population is able to speak English, and with some difficulty. At the same time, foreign investment is substantial, and much effort is being devoted to the 2008 Olympic Games. There is thus an insatiable demand for language studies in China. However, because of the lack of teachers, remote education is the optimal solution. We chose Sigma as a partner because we then have the same partner in all locations, including China, through Sigma’s local office in Beijing,” says Jan Aspvik, president of MiROi i-learning.
To make the project possible, Sigma has been commissioned by MiROi to adapt the company’s web-based platform for distance education, Exlearn, for Chinese and the local culture. This contract is based on Sigma’s Swedish assignment for system administration of Exlearn.
“We’re developing the Swedish technology using Microsoft .NET, which supports a multi-lingual environment based on the same software. In addition to the language, we are adapting the platform to Chinese prerequisites and needs. Although the order value for this project is not particularly great, we see potential for substantial growth in China. For MiROi, Sigma with its office in China will be able to develop the application so that it more closely matches Chinese requirements,” says Sune Nilsson, CEO of Sigma.
A first prototype of the Chinese version is expected to be ready after Midsummer. In September, the system will be put into operation with an estimated 1,000 to 3,000 students online, which will be a doubling compared with MiROi’s 3,000 Swedish students each day. After the first year, the number of students in China is expected to amount to 10,000 per day.
MiROi is also considering starting remote education in other countries. The company is currently evaluating training of nurses in Thailand, which would also involve Sigma.
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