Intel helps promote e-learning in South Africa
Dubai, August 21, 2007
Intel has announced the implementation of an innovative mobile e-learning programme, as part of a holistic corporate social responsibility initiative in South Africa.
Following the launch of the Intel-powered classmate PC, developed at the Platform Definition Center in Cairo, the technology firm, jointly with South Africa’s deputy president Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka and Gauteng Department of Education’s Angie Motshekga, has taken this initiative.
A township school in Mabopane, Gauteng, South Africa will take the first tentative steps into this programme.
The Abel T Motshoane High School in Mabopane is the site of a pilot project for the Intel-powered classmate PC mobile e-learning solution, a collaborative initiative between the Gauteng Department of Education and key industry players.
This will be the first deployment of a mobile e-learning environment in South Africa using the classmate PC as well as the first school in the country to make use of the new WiMAX wireless broadband access technology.
The Intel-powered classmate PC, designed by Intel Egypt’s Platform Definition Centre in Cairo, offers a complete solution with integrated software and hardware, delivering an end-to-end solution for education involving students, parents, teachers and schools in a student-friendly form. The product is set to enhance students’ learning experience at an affordable price with minimal IT infrastructure.
“We are thrilled to see Egyptian innovations implemented across different nations. Last year we launched similar initiatives at a girl’s school in Nigeria and have started to see the benefits that have transpired to students,” said Khaled Al Elamrawi, General Manager, Intel Egypt, Levant and North Africa. Elamrawi added that the Intel-powered classmate PC was part of the company’s bid to provide technology to the next billion users as part of the Intel World Ahead program. A team of ethnographers had conducted extensive research on the needs of the underdeveloped markets and concluded that in order to provide connectivity to the next billion citizens, affordable tailored IT solution had to be made available to remote communities.
Two Grade 8 classes of the Abel T Motshoane High School, which serves a total of about 1000 students, will receive specially designed classmate PCs, providing students and teachers with access to technology in an effort to improve the education process and enhance the skills of learners. The classmate PCs are completely mobile units that that are capable of networking wirelessly both with the school’s network infrastructure as well as with the Internet via WiMAX, providing students and teachers with access to a rich set of tools for enhanced learning.
WiMAX is expected to enable true broadband speeds over wireless networks at a cost point to enable mass market adoption. It is the only wireless standard today that has the ability to deliver true broadband speeds and help make the vision of pervasive connectivity a reality.
Intel and Telkom signed a WiMAX Carrier Trial Agreement in 2005 and have since collaborated on the WiMAX trial and evaluation. Telkom is providing a 802.16d WiMAX link to the school which offers a speed of 512 Kbit/s Downlink and 256 Kbit/s uplink.
The Gauteng Department of Education will appoint and place up to 1,000 learners and interns over a three year period. Fifty young IT people across the province have been given an opportunity to be part of this ground breaking programme by being offered internships up to now. These young people will provide IT support to Abel T Motshoane High School, already seven of them have been allocated to the school.
The key to a collaborative Corporate Social Responsibility programme is to take a holistic approach. Instead of a single company trying to shoulder the responsibility alone, the collaborative approach sees a group of companies, each able to<