Spanish telco, Telefonica and Spanish bank, la Caixa said they plan to set up the ProFuture Foundation to teach children and young people digital education in sub-Saharan Africa.
Both companies said in a joint statement that an initial pilot project has already been introduced in Angola, and the ProFuture Foundation will build on this experience by launching similar operations in other countries on three continents: Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and Asia.
[quote font=”georgia” font_size=”22″ font_style=”italic” align=”left” arrow=”yes”]The objective that the newly-established ProFuture Foundation pursues according to the initiators is to promote quality, equitable education for children and young people from the most disadvantaged groups, providing digital tools that will enable them to acquire skills through the new technologies and thereby contributing to the advance of their societies.[/quote]For each separate initiative, agreements will be signed with the main local stakeholders in the field of international cooperation in the private, public and third sectors, according to the two Spanish organisations.
The objective that the newly-established ProFuture Foundation pursues according to the initiators is to promote quality, equitable education for children and young people from the most disadvantaged groups, providing digital tools that will enable them to acquire skills through the new technologies and thereby contributing to the advance of their societies.
Projects prepared by Telefonica and la Caixa to achieve these goals include: the introduction of a mobile digital classroom, equipped with both hardware (a case containing a laptop-server, a varying number of tablets and a projector) and software (educational platform and content) at schools located in vulnerable areas.
Teachers will be trained in the use of information technology, the educational platform and its content and in innovative teaching methods.
The ProFuture Foundation will also promote training activities in the particularly vulnerable environment of refugee camps, and will provide accessible content for students with disabilities.
According to César Alierta, Telefonica’s president, “education is the most effective way to reduce social inequalities and improve prospects in the emerging countries. The main priority will be digital education, which is the key.
“Without education there is no progress, and the development of digital education will help to foster equal opportunities and training, wherever people are, in remote villages in the Andes, the Amazon or Sub-Saharan Africa”.
In his own view, Isidro Fainé, la Caixa’s president described the cooperation between the two organisations as “ambitious and inspiring”.
He also noted that: “helping to eliminate the digital divide in the areas where we will launch ProFuture may mark a turning-point in the lives of many children and young people. We want to open the door to new opportunities for them, and the convergence of technology and education is, undoubtedly, the best way of achieving just that.
“In order to help build a better future for these people, the Telefónica Foundation and”la Caixa” Banking Foundation will channel all our resources and experience into the ProFuture Project”.
The companies said that the establishment of this new foundation, whose president will be Julio Rimoldi, is inspired by the vision shared by both the two presidents and Pope Francis with regard to the role that education can play in reducing poverty and promoting social transformation.
In this way, then, the two institutions say they will unite their efforts and combine their resources to develop and deliver digital education and a model for local implementation, as well as contributing their recognized experience in the field of education to the initiative.