Website Designing Competition 2017

Are you interested in creating websites?

If you do not have training, are you interested in learning web design? 

Do you want to engage in teamwork and create a website that will benefit the community?

Software Foundation (Fiji) presents Website Designing Competition. In order to enter the competition, you are required to select a team and pick a humanitarian theme which will help the community. The competition is open to secondary school and tertiary (university) students. You can have a minimum of 1 member and maximum of 4 members in your team.

The competition of open to the  South Pacific region. 

 

Phase 1 Development of the website in a supervised environment (3 hrs)

Participants will have 2 months to prepare their website concepts, however they can only take approved material inside the lab as the website needs to be made in front of the supervisors.

Here are some resources for the CMS options:

Joomla

Word Press

http://top7webhostingservices.blogspot.com/

 

Drupal

 

 

Participants are welcome to host their websites on any free web hosting sites such as these:

http://www.whoishostingthis.com/compare/free/

http://www.techradar.com/news/internet/web/top-free-hosting-for-uk-businesses-1214296

 

Kentico

Phase 2 Presentation of the website to the judges and industry professionals (20 mins)

The panel of judges consists of industry professionals and academics from universities.

Please click here to find out about competition guidelines and criteria

 

Themes
– Participants can choose from one of the following themes: Fire Safety, Road Safety, Water Safety, Health/Disease related (STDs, Cancer, NCDs etc), Safety/Defense Systems/Security, Child Welfare, Domestic Violence, LGBT Support, Environment, and Food Safety
– General theme: Website that will make a difference in an area of your choice.

How to enter

Please fill in this form to register your groups: https://goo.gl/forms/AY5DrkAsKsmNuqGT2

Accepted Content Management Systems (WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Kentico)

Registration fees per team: Free for Secondary Students & Tertiary Students   

 

Key Dates

Finalisation of participating groups/Registration:                 21st August 2017

Competition:                                                                                   25th August 2017

Announcement of Winners:                                                         04th September 2017

Award and Dinner Night:                                                             09th September 2017

Prizes
– First Prize, Second Prize & Third Prize
– All participating members will be given certificate of participation from Software Foundation with an opportunity to do internships with Software Foundation Fiji

 

Organizing Committee

General Chair:     Ms. Swaran Ravindra (SF President)

Technical Chair:  Mr. Salman Raza (SF Vice-President)

Publicity Chair:    Miss. Swastika Chand

Awards Chair:      Dr. Rohitash Chandra

Panel of Judges:  TBA

Volunteers: Waisake Lima, Hannah Mua, Shivam Naidu, Anesh Lal, Atunaisa Muliaceva, Titilia Tavaga

 

Advisors: Dr. Rohitash Chandra (University of Sydney)

Posters:

Poster 1Poster 2

 

For more information, contact: swaran.ravindra@softwarefoundationfiji.org

Fijian Scientist awarded prestigious Sydney Fellowship

Congratulations to Software Foundation Founder and Chairman, Dr. Rohitash Chandra for being awarded Chancellors Fellowship Awards at the University of Sydney. Dr. Chandra will begin within a month at the Centre for Translational Data Science as the University of Sydney Fellow for a period of three years. http://sydney.edu.au/news-opinion/news/2016/11/02/11-outstanding-early-career-researchers-join-the-university.html

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Statement from Dr. Chandra

I will be developing methods to improve existing tools area of artificial intelligence and machine learning. I will be working with methods in deep learning and neural networks. These are models that are motivated from the human brain. Recently, they have gained attention as tools for self-driving cars and automatic face and facial expression recognition used by social networks such as Facebook. I will develop strategies to further improve these models and apply to the area of earthquakes and cyclones. Particularly I will be developing software systems guided by deep learning that can be used to predict future occurrences or earthquakes or behavior of cyclones. Moreover, I will also look at other climate change challenges such as air pollution. I will employ deep learning as predictive models through which warning can be issued for the population at risk. Apart from these, I will also be working in the area of computational neuroscience and machine consciousness. I will try to simulate the learning behavior of the human brain and other aspects of consciousness that include personality and attention.
In the past, I have used some of the related methods to develop predictive models for cyclones using data from the South Pacific. Last year, I have also used machine learning methods in the area of efficient design of jet engines when I was a Research Fellow in Singapore at Rolls Royce @NTU Corp. Lab, Nanyang Technological University. They have well prepared me for the Fellowship.

I will be based at the Centre for Translational Data Science, the University of Sydney for next three years. It was a very competitive process to be awarded the Fellowship as I had to compete with scientists around the world. My research proposal, experience from past projects and publications in leading venues helped me to secure the award. The award is very prestigious and it is a rare opportunity for researchers from Pacific Island countries to secure the award.

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Dr. Chandra’s research and publication can be accessed from here:

https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=pVPvRLoAAAAJ&hl=en

PM Cyclone Appeal

Software Foundation Trustee – Mr. Kush Singh, Secretary – Mrs. Ronika Chandra, Vice President – Mr. Kavitesh Bali and Member – Ms. Swaran Ravindra donate a cheque of 1000 dollars collected by Software Foundation members for PM Cyclone Appeal.

The cheque was received by PS PM Mr. Yogesh Karan. Software Foundation thanks all the members for their support and contributions.

 

 

 

Winners for South Pacific Writing Competition

Software Foundation finalized the winners for the South Pacific Writing Competition  through review process that looked at originality, creativity and content in the submissions that ranged from a wide range of groups that included primary schools to university.

 

The competition winners are given as follows:

  1. First Prize for Personal Essay on Impact of Technology: Maxim Shipitsyn, Year 1 at American Private Christian School, Year One, Tablet by Vodafone and 50 Dollars by Software Foundation
  2. Second Prize for Research Note on Artificial Intelligence: Nicholla Chan, Year 13 at Yat Sen Secondary School, Tablet by Digicel and T-Shirt
  3. Third Prize for Short Story on Future of Technology: Yash Parmar, Year 13 at Penang Sangam High School, Tablet by Digicel

Dr. Rohitash Chandra, the President of Software Foundation congratulated the winners and presented the prize with Acting Secretary Mrs. Ronika Chandra. Mr. Kush Singh, Trustee of Software Foundation briefed the participants about history of the foundation and about the plans to feature SPWC 2016 and Cyber-security Workshop 2016 with Software Foundation.

 

Maxim

First Prize for Personal Essay on Impact of Technology: Maxim Shipitsyn, Year 1 at American Private Christian School, Year One, Tablet by Vodafone and 50 Dollars by Software Foundation

 

Nicholla Chan

Second Prize for Research Note on Artificial Intelligence: Nicholla Chan, Year 13 at Yat Sen Secondary School, Tablet by Digicel and T-Shirt

 

Yash Parmar

Third Prize for Short Story on Future of Technology: Yash Parmar, Year 13 at Penang Sangam High School, Tablet by Digicel

 

 

 

 

Software Foundation thanks the major Sponsers for the event which are Standss and Skyward Industries. The event will again take place from July to October 2016.

 

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Press Release: Book Launch by Dr. Rohitash Chandra

“Being at Home: Poetry, Philosophy and Expressions” by Dr. Rohitash Chandra was launched  on 22nd August at Vineyard Palace Suva through Software Foundation Press.  The book was launched by Hon. Jone Usamate, the Minister for Health.

“The theme and subject of the book is in general about sprituality. It highlights some of the areas in humanism, sprituality  and meditation with poetry, notes and essays. This book has been inspired by mystical traditions such as Yoga, Vedanta, Zen, Taoism, and Sufism which have meditation as the common ground. “ Hon. Usamate  highlighted during his speech.

Speech by Hon. Jone Usamate for launch of "Being at Home"

Speech by Hon. Jone Usamate about “Being at Home”

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South Pacific Writing Competition: Advancement of Software and Technology

The Software Foundation Fiji presents  South Pacific Writing  Competition on the theme  of“Advancement  of Software and Technology”. The competition is open to everyone in the following categories:

  1. Primary Schools
  2. Secondary Schools
  3. Tertiary Education Institutes
  4. Open Category

Theme: “Advancement of Software and Technology”

Topics:

  1. Free and Open Source Software
  2. Software for Education
  3. Computer and Information Literacy for Schools
  4. Software for Business and E-commerce
  5. Software in Science and Engineering
  6. Mobile Computing, Smart Phones– Impact and Social Issues
  7. The Effects of Social Networks
  8. Online learning
  9. Software and Information System for Hospitals
  10. Software for the elderly, special needs and disabled community
  11. Software Security, Virus and Spam-ware
  12. The Future of Software and Technology
  13. Artificial Intelligence and Robotics
  14. Health and Medical Informatics
  15. Environmental Informatics and Climate Change
  16. Wearable Computing
  17. Big Data and Cloud Computing
  18. GPS Location Based Services and Society –  Friend or Foe
  19. Open topic (Any topic relating to the theme)

 

 

More Details 

 

 

 

Long Queues in Fijian Public Service Delivery

The lack of proper information system design has resulted in long queues at most of the service providers in a number of public service departments in the government and companies.

The only way ahead is for the government to step in with policies that ensure that customers are given the best service at low waiting times. This has to be mandatory in order to renew business licences of companies and also to allow service delivery to continue by government departments.

A few days ago, I had a terrible experience of waiting in the Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF) queue for more than two hours with about 200 people and noticed that only 4 customer service representatives were at the counter. In an hour, 20 people were served. I had no choice but to leave but when I went to get another ticket, I was told by the security officer that I was supposed to see another section. My waiting time was basically a waste due to improper advice by the security personal. I then thought why is the security personal giving advice to the general public about tickets at the counter? This is an example of a poor information system design by the FNFP and they must ensure that their customers are given proper services – not by security officers but by trained professionals who know customer service.

FNFP should invest in internet based ticketing system so that people can book online (get their tickets online) and on their website the current ticket should be displayed so that people can take timely leave from their work and wait in the queue. Moreover, it is also the responsibility of the organisation to ensure that more customer service representatives are at their booth to serve the large number of customers. FNPF can provide a number of services for their customers using web (Internet) based services. These services include account statement and application lodgement for housing, education and other areas. Official or certified documents can be dropped in by customers once a reference number is given by the web based system. A trip to our neighbours in Australia and New Zealand can help FNPF officials study information systems in areas of service delivery that are related and adopt where possible.

The same can be said about the services in Land Transport Authority (LTA) who are responsible to ensure road safety. LTA does not support online payment of fines and there is no online system for drivers and vehicle owners to check their accounts. Online payment is relatively simpole and supported by Fiji Electricity Authority and Water Authority which helps in avoiding long queues by customers.

Banks in Fiji also have very poor information system design and web based services. It is common to find long queue lines at banks and most of applications procedures waste time of customers in filling form of information that the bank already has in their files. There is a lot of replication of the data entry process which is costly both for the bank and also for the customer in terms of time.

Currently, smart phones and access to quality and affordable internet is on the rise and organisations such as FNPF, LTA and Banks should show examples of systems in use so that smaller businesses can also adopt in the future.

Long queue lines are hard to tackle in government hospitals and health centres who operate with lack of information systems as patients do not have timely access to their own health medical records. Patients have a health information card which is not useful in most centres as they use paper based medical records. Moreover, the waiting time of patients can range to several hours without any feedback if their problem was actually solved by the medical practitioner. An internet – web system online medical record system can help patients view their medical records and also book appointments. Hospitals websites can display the current ticket being served and hence patients can wait and go to the hospital when their ticket number is approaching. Online electronic systems can be used to check if medical practitioners are giving the best services to patients. This can encourage transparency and help in medical practitioners improve their service delivery. Similar systems can also be used by the private medical practitioners.
One of the reasons long queues are created is when the customer service representative is absent from their desk in during working hours. There can be cases where the FNPF representative is in a long waiting queue at the LTA office paying fines. The long queue in LTA is due the representative waiting with a ticket at the bank and then filling a form in the bank that could have been done online.

The funding required to implement such types of advanced information systems is something for the government and donor agencies to look into in the future. There will be a time in future when public service delivery will be required to have special information systems compliance similar to that of OHS and Fire Authority. Only then, the public will be given the best service with transparency and accountability. Information systems to reduce long waiting lines can help in raising the productivity of the organisation and also benefit the growth of the economy of the nation.

 

Dr. Rohitash Chandra

President, Software Foundation

Medical Informatics Survey

Survey for Medical Practioners in Fiji

This survey is being conducted to find out the current state of Health Information Systems in Fiji. The results will be utilised to ascertain if there is a need to upgrade/change the current Health Information Systems used in Fijian Government Hospitals. The results will be used to establish if the people of Fiji are ready to have a web based/online Electronic MedicalRecords System that can be accessed online through computers or smartphones in any government hospital or any location in Fiji
The sogo link for medical practitioners in Fiji:

http://www.sogosurvey.com/k/SsQWYWRsVsPsPsP

Contact: Ms. Swaran Ravindra, MSc Student, School of Computing, Information and Mathematical Sciences, University of the South Pacific.

Email: swaran_ravindra@yahoo.com

 

All information gathered will be treated as highly confidential. Participants do not need to reveal their names. Ministry of Health Ethics Approval/FNRERC# 2014.31.FNRERC.24.NW

 

Moodle Elearning should aid teachers

Ministry of Education in Fiji should have a Moodle elearning site that enrolls all teachers according to their subject areas. Each subject portal or course in Moodle should have state  of art content that includes animation, video tutorials, notes, assignments, projects, quiz, open source software and other related open educational resources (OER)  materials. In this way, subjects that are difficult to teach, such as mathematics,  can become more interesting for students whether in primary or secondary school.
Teachers do not need to create the content from scratch and more time will be used in delivering the content. Experts in each subject area who have knowledge and experience of OER should develop the Moodle course. Technical courses can greatly benefit from these. Teachers can then use these materials in their classes and share with students as Tablets and Mobile Phones are becoming more affordable and can be useful in e-learning.
In this way, the same electronic  content can be distributed by teachers in all schools in the country.  USBs can be used to distribute the content in remote areas.
The same approach can be used throughout the South Pacific.

Dr. Rohitash Chandra

President, Software Foundation

ISPs to Compensate Customers

Software Foundation Fiji is requesting Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in Fiji to compensate for poor quality of internet and downtime.

In the information age, Internet quality determines the productivity at workforce and also contributes to the economy. A productive workforce and quality of Internet attract investment at international level in areas of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT)

Poor internet quality is dangerous for the reputation of any company in the industry as service is not delivered on time due to poor communication.
Software Foundation Fiji is making an appeal to the government to enforce policies so that ISPs in Fiji can compensate their customers for poor quality of Internet. ISPs are currently charging high amounts and not delivering their customers the service they promise.
http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/internet-service-providers-to-compensate-customers