Eight secondary schools in Africa have been selected to receive PC as a Service solution, a cloud-computing solution that will provide the institutions with a low-maintenance, easy-to-use model that is optimized for mobile broadband networks.
The PCs, donated as part of Ericsson-sponsored “Connect To Learn” initiative, will be available to schools forming the Millennium Village clusters in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Ghana.
In addition, more than 500 scholarships will be distributed in 2012 as part of the initiative whose other partners include the Sanchez-Palm Girls Scholarship Fund, SpinMaster, JM Eagle and a number of individual contributors, with the scholarships covering tuition, boarding and other school-related expenses.
“Mobile and broadband technology is a key enabler for access to a quality education in all communities, even the poorest and most rural. Delivering cloud-based computers and connecting them in the eight schools is a major step in our mission to bring a quality secondary education to more students,” said Elaine Weidman, Ericsson’s VP for sustainability and CSR.
PC as a Service uses laptops on a mobile broadband connection, allows students to have access to the news, information and the latest educational content, and also enables them to interact well with fellow students globally. For teachers, it allows greater focus on students, as maintenance of the solution is done remotely.
The eight selected secondary schools are located where Ericsson has been active in providing the network infrastructure and services to bring voice and data communications as part of the broader Millennium Villages Project.
During 2011 “Connect To Learn” was deployed in Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. In total, some 5,000 African students now have access to quality learning resources for a 21st century education. In addition to these activities, ICT deployments have begun in Chile and Jamaica where hundreds more students will benefit from the support of Connect To Learn.
Connect To Learn is a public-private partnership between Ericsson, the Earth Institute at Columbia University, and Millennium Promise along with operator and other corporate and individual partners.
A global education initiative, Connect To Learn is designed to ensure a 21st century secondary education for everyone – even those in the most remote villages of the world – by providing secondary school scholarships for girls, and making ICT investments in their schools to improve access to quality educational resources.