CAIRO: Intel Corporation announced Saturday that as part of its global commitment to spur economic development in emerging markets, the company, in collaboration with the Egyptian government, will lend its support to the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) launch of the Egypt Education Initiative by training 80 percent of Egyptian teachers in the effective use of technology, in addition to donating 8,000 PCs in 350 model schools where teachers will be receiving training.
The government will provide the necessary connectivity and technology infrastructure to ensure effective and sustainable use of the technology.
The WEF’s Global Education Initiative, which is recognized as one of the largest and most successful working models in this field, was conceived during the 2003 World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting, where business leaders of the Forum’s Information Technology and Telecommunications Community decided to create new and sustainable models for education reform in the developing world through public-private partnership.
According to leaders at the forum, a more effective education system would not only benefit youth in third world countries, but would also be of benefit to the private sector, as education reform is critical to economic growth and development in building a skilled labor force, increasing the purchasing power of citizens and improving overall productivity.
The Egypt Education Initiative (EEI) is a result of the WEF’s public-private partnership educational initiative. Since the 2005 Annual Meeting, the WEF has been working with the Egyptian government to identify areas of priority and potential opportunities for private-public sector collaboration.
In the private sector, IT companies in particular have been strategic to the success of such an initiative. The government has relied heavily on this industry, utilizing the services and know-how of IT companies to improve education through the use of Information and Communication Technology.
One of the IT companies that are working with the government on the EEI is Intel Corporation, the world s largest chipmaker and a manufacturer of computer, networking and communications products. Intel is also on the steering board for the WEF Global Education Initiative.
“Intel aims to improve teaching and learning through the effective use of technology. In many cases, governments and educators realize the value of technology in education but do not always have the resources to engage students in the use of technology. By donating the PC’s and providing teacher training, we hope to showcase the use of technology in education. In working with local governments and educators, our goal is to cultivate the local capacity to broaden and sustain the effective use of ICT in education, said Martina Roth, Intel education director EMEA at the World Economic Forum on the Middle East in Sharm El-Sheikh.
Intel Teach to the Future program is a professional development program where participants learn how, when and where to incorporate technology tools and resources into their curriculum. Through it, the company will train an additional 650,000 Egyptian teachers and student teachers in university within the next five years in the use of technology.
The company will also implement an online version of the core Intel Teach to the Future curriculum early in the 2006-2007 school year, making Egypt the first developing nation to begin training teachers online through the program.
“The Intel Teach to the Future program has been providing classroom teachers with high-quality training on how to integrate technology into their curricula to promote student-centered learning since 1999, reaching over 3 million teachers worldwide. As part of its program expansion goals in Egypt, Intel plans to use the online environment to provide teachers increased flexibility in when and how they take professional training. It will also give them access to online support resources and communities of like minded teachers to help them implement training into their classrooms, said Roth.
According to Roth, it is also important to provide training to teachers before they complete their education courses at university.
The Global Education Initiative, which was initially launched in Jordan, has since spread to the Palestinian Territories as well the Indian State of Rajasthan.