Communications provider Ericsson has joined forces with mobile operator Airtel to expand the Connect to Learn Information and Communication Technology (ICT) solution to two schools in the Malawi Millennium Village of Mwandama, located in the southern region of Malawi’s Zomba district.
Building on the launch of 50 scholarships awarded to students in Malawi last year, the Connect to Learn education initiative now enables more than 600 students and their peers and teachers at St. Anthony and Maera Secondary Schools to enjoy the benefits of ICT using the power of cloud-based technology.
The Connect to Learn program includes delivery of 55 laptop computers, broadband internet access, online educational resources, and relevant training. The technology deployed will give students and teachers access to 21st century educational tools and resources, and the ability to connect to other schools around the world to foster collaborative learning, cross-cultural understanding and global awareness.
Matthews Mtumbuka, IT director of Airtel Malawi, said: “An investment in the education of our young people is an investment in our future. We recognize the transformational impact our industry can have on education, and are proud to collaborate with Ericsson on this initiative.”
While several published reports have documented the transformational potential of ICT in general, a recent Broadband Commission report specifically addresses the impact of ICT on education and learning. It explores the impact of ICT on the way in which schools are organized and run, and shows how students and progressive teachers, empowered by technology are unlocking the full potential of learning and education.
Mathews Mwewa, Managing Director, Ericsson Malawi, said: “We are living through an exciting revolution. Mobile technology has fundamentally changed the ways in which we live, learn, work and relate, and has been empirically shown to have a positive impact on economic growth. This project benefits not only students but also their families and our community, and demonstrates our commitment to advancing the socio-economic development of the markets in which we do business.”
Kara Nichols, Executive Director of Connect To Learn, said, “Because of investments and work by our partners, Ericsson and Airtel, the students and teachers are able to benefit from access to global news, information and the latest educational content. They can also collaborate with fellow students and teachers around the world through our School-To-School Connections program, even from their remote locations.”
Connect To Learn is a collaborative effort between the Earth Institute at Columbia University, Ericsson, and Millennium Promise that harnesses the transformational power of ICT to deliver high-quality education to students everywhere. The global initiative invites a range of partners to advance secondary-school education in three key ways: raising funds to provide complete secondary school scholarships; implementing mobile broadband and cloud solutions in schools so that both students and teachers have access to global education resources; and supporting the establishment of global support for education to raise awareness about the importance of secondary education, especially for girls.