3.6.4 Private sector

Some private-sector companies, mainly in the high-tech arena, provide support for educational connectivity.

Through its EducaRed program, Fundacion Telefonica promotes the use of ICTs in classrooms.  It aims to improve the quality of education and encourage opportunity equality through the use of ICTs in teaching and learning procedures.  In the Americas region, the EducaRed program operates in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, and Venezuela.  Fundacion Telefonica is a social-development effort of the Spanish operator Telefonica.

The Aulas initiative within the EducaRed program specifically focuses on providing connectivity and technological resources for classrooms, as well as capacity training for teachers and students.  The Aulas initiative has helped to set up ICT-enabled classrooms in schools and hospitals, so children can continue to have access to education.94

Qualcomm, a U.S. wireless technology and services firm, supports educational connectivity through its Wireless Reach initiative.  This effort works with local and international partners to support the use of wireless technologies in developing countries, particularly in the areas of education, entrepreneurship, healthcare, and safety. 

In Guatemala, Qualcomm has partnered with the Ministry of Education (MINEDUC), the Fundacion Sergio Paiz, USAID, and the telecommunication operator TELGUA to assist MINEDUC in  implementing its Schools of the Future project.  Started in 2006, the initial stage of the project is focusing on introducing advanced wireless technology in 400 Guatemalan schools.  The project will conduct a review every 18 months to make improvements and to determine the effects technology can have on education.  The goal is to use this group of schools as a model that can be replicated at other schools throughout Guatemala.95

In Indonesia, Wireless Reach has helped to establish computer laboratories that provide Internet access to more than 1,000 students in five high schools.96

The U.S. semiconductor company Intel supports school connectivity through various projects, primarily through partnerships that have allowed Intel to provide computers and assistance to obtain broadband wireless Internet access.  Intel is working with NEPAD to provide connectivity and access in countries across Africa, such as Intel-powered computer labs in Lesotho, assistance with WiMAX broadband connectivity in Ghana, and programs in Nigeria to encourage purchase of PCs for home use and to train teachers to incorporate technology into instruction.

0 user comments: