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Tablets: Chinese company wins contract

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A Chinese company will supply 900,000 tablets for Prathom 1 students at US$81 (2,482 baht) each. Mathayom 1 students next in line. 

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China firm wins tablet PCs contract

Cost to govt is B2,482 for each Prathom 1 kid
6/03/2012
Lamphai Intathep & Suchit Leesa-Nguansuk

Shenzhen Scope Scientific Development Co has beaten three other Chinese companies to win a contract to supply 900,000 tablet computers for first graders in government schools.

The selection of Scope, which will supply the tablets at a cost of US$81 (2,482 baht) apiece will be put before the cabinet for approval today.

The 900,000 tablets will be distributed to all Prathom 1 (Grade 1) primary students this year under the Pheu Thai-led government's One Tablet PC Per Child scheme, aimed at promoting a knowledge-based and network-connected society.

The Education Ministry also plans to seek approval to purchase higher specification tablets for nearly 700,000 Mathayom 1 (Grade 7) students.

Information and Communication Technology Minister Anudith Nakornthap said the project committee had chosen "the company that proposed the lowest price of $81, excluding transportation costs.

The selection of Scope to supply tablets for the project was based not only on price, but also on other criteria, the minister said. They included tablet specifications, insurance conditions, and delivery time among others.

The other companies in the bid had offered to supply the tablets at higher prices. TCL Cooperation offered $89, Haier Information Technology (Shenzhen) Co offered $105 and Huawei Technologies Co proposed $135.

A government committee set a starting price of 3,100 baht per unit plus 300 baht for uploading e-content. The cost excludes shipping costs to Thailand.

The decision was made after a committee visited the production lines of all four companies in China.

Of the 900,000 tablets the government will purchase, 860,000 will be distributed to all of the country's Prathom 1 students and the rest will be earmarked for teachers and kept as reserve inventory.

Gp Capt Anudith said the current budget of 1.9 billion baht was only enough for 750,000 tablets.

"We will have to use money from the fiscal 2013 budget to support the project," he said.

Scope's tablets will come with a two-year warranty and they will be handed out to the students without returns.

Scope has a manufacturing capacity of 24,000 units a day, the minister said.

"As soon as the contract is signed, tablet delivery is expected to be completed within 90 days, in time for the next semester," Gp Capt Anudith said.

Asked if the project would be expanded to other grades, Gp Capt Anudith said: "At present, the committee is responsible only for Prathom 1 students."

Ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra earlier told the Bangkok Post that as the cost for tablets was lower than expected, the project would be expanded to Mathayom 1 students.

The tablet's specifications are a seven-inch touch screen, a main storage unit of 16GB, 1GHz dual core CPU or higher, 512MB RAM or higher and an Android 3.2 operating system compatible with Android 4.0

A government source, who asked not to be named, said the Education Ministry had also submitted a 7.6-billion-baht plan to the government to buy higher specifications of tablets for the country's 638,000 Mathayom 1 students. Those tablets are likely to cost about 12,000 baht apiece.

The ministry also plans to purchase an additional 540,000 tablets for Prathom 1 next year.

A source at the Office of the Basic Education Commission said that 10 days after signing the contract, Scope must deliver 2,000 units for testing, and all of the tablets must be delivered 90 days after the signing.

Digital curriculum content will be preloaded on the tablets, he said.

Meanwhile, a member of the National Human Rights Commission yesterday criticised the government's plan to buy the tablet PCs.

Parinya Sirisarakan, a commissioner, said the project was good, but he disagreed with buying tablets from China.

"Can the government guarantee that the tablets will be good quality and will not cause any danger to students?" he said.

(Source: Bangkok Post, China firm wins tablet PCs contract, Cost to govt is B2,482 for each Prathom 1 kid, 6/03/2012, Lamphai Intathep & Suchit Leesa-Nguansuk, link

Tablet Computer Vocabulary

tablet computers - a small light-weight computer device shaped like a book; the iPad was the first and most famous (See Wikipedia)

bid - an offer to buy something at a specific price ยื่นเสนอราคา
contract - a written (or oral) agreement that is legally binding สัญญา

firm - a company บริษัท
approval - official permission การอนุมัต

China firm wins tablet PCs contract
Cost to govt is B2,482 for each Prathom 1 kid

Shenzhen Scope Scientific Development Co has beaten three other Chinese companies to win a contract to supply 900,000 tablet computers for first graders in government schools. The selection of Scope, which will supply the tablets at a cost of US$81 (2,482 baht) apiece will be put before the cabinet for approval today.

distributed - made available to people (example: making products available to customers through stores and middlemen)
scheme - a plan that is developed by a government or large organisation in order to provide a particular service for people แผนการ โครงการ
One Tablet PC Per Child scheme - the official name of the government program that is giving tablets to students
network - a large system of connected parts, organisations, people, etc. เครือข่าย
society - people living together in a large organized community or country with laws and traditions that control they behave with each other สังคม
knowledge - the things you know  ความรู้    
based - built with, using
knowledge-based - built with knowledge, using knowledge 
knowledge-based and network-connected society
purchase - buy

The 900,000 tablets will be distributed to all Prathom 1 (Grade 1) primary students this year under the Pheu Thai-led government's One Tablet PC Per Child scheme, aimed at promoting a knowledge-based and network-connected society.  The Education Ministry also plans to seek approval to purchase higher specification tablets for nearly 700,000 Mathayom 1 (Grade 7) students.

proposed - suggested (but not yet chosen or decided upon)
criteria - rules and standards used for making decisions and judgements (See glossary) บรรทัดฐาน
specifications - detailed descriptions of how something should be made or done, made, etc (includeds requirements, design, details, features)
insurance - a system of protection against loss, a person pays money every month (premiums) for a guarantee that the company will pay them money if they or their property is damaged or lost (See Wikipedia) การประกันภัย
content - the subject, ideas, or story that a piece of writing or a radio or television programme deals with เนื้อหา,สาระ
shipping - the transport of goods especially on ships

Information and Communication Technology Minister Anudith Nakornthap said the project committee had chosen "the company that proposed the lowest price of $81, excluding transportation costs. The selection of Scope to supply tablets for the project was based not only on price, but also on other criteria, the minister said. They included tablet specifications, insurance conditions, and delivery time among others. The other companies in the bid had offered to supply the tablets at higher prices. TCL Cooperation offered $89, Haier Information Technology (Shenzhen) Co offered $105 and Huawei Technologies Co proposed $135. A government committee set a starting price of 3,100 baht per unit plus 300 baht for uploading e-content. The cost excludes shipping costs to Thailand. The decision was made after a committee visited the production lines of all four companies in China.

earmarked - use for a special purpose or programme
reserve - kept for future use; something currently not being used but that can be used when needed สำรองไว้ ที่จัดสรรไว้ สำรอง
inventory - the products kept in a shop, warehouse, etc.for future use or sale  สินค้าที่จัดเก็บในสต๊อก (See Wikipedia)
reserve inventory - extra goods kept for future use if needed
current - of the present time ปัจจุบัน
budget - the amounts of money that an organisation has available to spend on different things during a period งบประมาณ (See Wikipedia)
fiscal - related to government spending; connected with the government budget, i.e., public money เกี่ยวกับงบประมาณ
support - help, by giving money, for example สนับสนุน

Of the 900,000 tablets the government will purchase, 860,000 will be distributed to all of the country's Prathom 1 students and the rest will be earmarked for teachers and kept as reserve inventory. Gp Capt Anudith said the current budget of 1.9 billion baht was only enough for 750,000 tablets. "We will have to use money from the fiscal 2013 budget to support the project," he said.

warranty - a company's written promise to repair or replace a product you buy from them if it does not work (See Wikipedia)  การรับประกัน,  การรับรอง,
hand out - give to people 
returns - when a person brings some product or device back to the store or supplier because it does not work or they are not satisfied
manufacturing capacity - the amount of something that can be produced ความสามารถในการ (ผลิต)
expected - believe will happen คาดว่า (จะเกิดขึ้น)
ousted - removed from a position or political office (by force) 

Scope's tablets will come with a two-year warranty and they will be handed out to the students without returns. Scope has a manufacturing capacity of 24,000 units a day, the minister said. "As soon as the contract is signed, tablet delivery is expected to be completed within 90 days, in time for the next semester," Gp Capt Anudith said. Asked if the project would be expanded to other grades, Gp Capt Anudith said: "At present, the committee is responsible only for Prathom 1 students."  Ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra earlier told the Bangkok Post that as the cost for tablets was lower than expected, the project would be expanded to Mathayom 1 students.

touch screen - the screen of tablets and mobile phones that allow control and selections with fingers (See Wikipedia)
storage - the putting and keeping of things in a special place for use in the future การเก็บ
storage unit - hardware in a computer used to keep and store data and info for future use (such as a hard drive)
Android OS -
an  OS for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers developed by Google on top of Linux (See Wikipedia)
Android 3.2 - the version of Android OS released in early 2011 (See Wikipedia)
Android 4.0 -
the most recent version of Android OS (See Wikipedia)
OS - operating system, the main software that controls a computer, that manage computer hardware resources and provide common services for application software (See Wikipedia)
compatible - works with

The tablet's specifications are a seven-inch touch screen, a main storage unit of 16GB, 1GHz dual core CPU or higher, 512MB RAM or higher and an Android 3.2 operating system compatible with Android 4.0

source - someone who gives information to the media แหล่งข่าว
submitted - formally given to someone so they can make a decision about it ยื่น ยื่นเอกสารเพื่อการพิจารณา
ministry - a government department dealing with an area of activity กระทรวง
curriculum - the group of subjects studied in a school, college, etc หลักสูตร
digital curriculum  - curriculum on computers, networks and the internet
digital curriculum content - the actual lessons (texts, videos, audio) in the courses  
preloaded
digital curriculum content - the courses will already be on the tablet when the students receive them

The ministry also plans to purchase an additional 540,000 tablets for Prathom 1 next year. A government source, who asked not to be named, said the Education Ministry had also submitted a 7.6-billion-baht plan to the government to buy higher specifications of tablets for the country's 638,000 Mathayom 1 students. Those tablets are likely to cost about 12,000 baht apiece. A source at the Office of the Basic Education Commission said that 10 days after signing the contract, Scope must deliver 2,000 units for testing, and all of the tablets must be delivered 90 days after the signing. Digital curriculum content will be preloaded on the tablets, he said.

commissioner - a member of a commission, a group of people who have been formally chosen to discover information about a problem or examine the reasons why the problem exists
guarantee - a promise that something will be done or will happen คำรับรอง, การประกัน  (See glossary)

Meanwhile, a member of the National Human Rights Commission yesterday criticised the government's plan to buy the tablet PCs. Parinya Sirisarakan, a commissioner, said the project was good, but he disagreed with buying tablets from China. "Can the government guarantee that the tablets will be good quality and will not cause any danger to students?" he said.

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