Sunday, January 31, 2010

Two Million Students Return to School, Educational Technology Revolution

More than two million Bolivian youths head back to classes this Monday in all nine of Bolivia’s states.
The students begin classes amid talk of the “Educational Technology Revolution,” a national push to provide computers to students and teachers with the goal of strengthening the quality of education and improving students’ technological literacy.

The Bolivian Minister of Education, Roberto Aguilar, explained that the “technological revolution” has three phases. The first phase focuses on getting the computers into schools. These computers will include virtual libraries and educational software. The second phase, the provision of computers for teachers, will begin before next February and will include assigning nearly 130,000 machines to staff across the nation. The final phase includes the connection of the nearly 5,000 Bolivian school districts to the internet. This “wiring” of Bolivian classrooms will be achieved through an agreement with the National Telecommunications Company (ENTEL). “This agreement with ENTEL allows us to have an educational channel that will be managed by the Ministry of Education to produce educational programs that will be very beneficial for distance education and will provide us satellite connection with schools.”

Aguilar also explained that the Educational Technology Revolution will permit students immediate access to information and will support the ability of teachers and students to improve the quality of education. “We think that continuing to educate and build capacity regarding the use of technology over the course of two years will allow us to improve educational quality in a way that has never occurred before.”

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