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Intel Pakistan keeps building solid educational foundation

Published on 24th Feb, Edition 8, 2014

 

The company is firm in improving the it skills of Pakistani students and teachers

Intel continues to play a critical role in establishing a solid educational foundation within Pakistan by preparing students with the skills required to succeed in today’s knowledge based economy.

The Intel Education Initiative in Pakistan is playing a key role in strengthening education through ICT in the remote areas of Pakistan by helping schools and colleges integrate ICT in education. Intel is improving the IT skills of Pakistani students and teachers, who were once completely unfamiliar with technology. The Intel Teach Program thus reaches out to remote areas, where Intel is working in close collaboration with the Ministries of Education, and local and private organizations, to optimize the use of technology in the teaching/learning process.

In this regard, the Intel Teach Program was introduced by Intel Pakistan Corporation to enable school teachers to ensure effective utilization of technology in classroom teaching. This program can be regarded as one of the most successful programs to be ever launched by any multinational corporation in Pakistan. Launched in the year 2002, as a small pilot project in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Education, the program in its initial year successfully imparted training to 271 teachers, after which there was no looking back. Specifically focused upon enhancing learning by training teachers on how to integrate technology in the classroom by using it as a tool to develop children’s 21st century skills, Intel Teach has evolved into a laudable venture today that has achieved many a milestones so much so that in the year 2003, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by the Federal Government of Pakistan to support the Intel Education and the teacher training program.

Since then over 330,000 teachers have been trained in Pakistan, which includes both government and private schools and colleges all across the country via alliances that ensures the program’s presence in over 60 districts, be it the nation,s urban or rural areas.

Intel works extremely closely with the government and the provincial ministries of education, to help develop the correct policies with respect to ICT in education. Additionally, Intel has provided inputs to the government through various taskforces and policy discussion forums. Intel also signed MoUs with key partners, to ensure effective integration of ICT, which is a common goal for Intel and its partners, is actualized in the schools. Another milestone in this regard has been the MoU with the School Education Department, Government of Punjab (GoP).

“Intel has made concrete, consistent efforts for recognizing the teachers and schools taking part in this initiative and rewarding them for their considerable efforts in highlighting ICT in their classrooms and in turn, facilitating a conducive environment to experience technology first-hand,” says Naveed Siraj, Country Manager, Intel Pakistan. “Intel Pakistan is working hand in hand with the government to make the dissemination of and access to technology easily and beneficial for students and teachers alike.”
The program has expanded manifolds within the past 10 years and currently offers a suite of courses and workshops to teachers, principals and administrators to suit varying levels of needs and readiness in terms of ICT in education. All activities have the end goal of bringing about a positive eco-system change to equip students with the knowledge, skills and technical knowhow required in the digital economy of tomorrow. Most of the courses are offered in the K-12 space, but the program is also implemented with the government and private M.Ed and B.Ed universities and colleges.

With a goal to dramatically accelerate the pace and scale of entrepreneurship in the country, Intel Pakistan signed an MoU with Higher Education Department (HED), Government of Punjab (GoP) for conducting trainings and implementing the Entrepreneurship Basics Course for the students in the province of Punjab. Under this pilot project, Intel Pakistan aspired to train 2,000 students till December 2013, of the institutions under HED, GoP.

 

In March 2013, Intel Pakistan signed a MoU with Pakistan Science Foundation (PSF – Federal Ministry of Science & Technology) to support Intel Pakistan in holding Science Fairs all over the country. The MoU brought Intel Pakistan and PSF together to work for accelerating the pace and scale of education in Pakistan and create awareness and promote research in Sciences.

Intel Corporation recently also announced, She Will Connect, a new program that commits to expanding digital literacy skills to young women in developing countries.

Intel will also begin the initiative in Africa, where the gender gap is the greatest, by aiming to reach 5 million women and reduce the gender gap by 50 percent. To achieve this, Intel will work with a diverse set of partners including global and local NGOs and governments.

In October 2013, Intel Pakistan and UNESCO Islamabad signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to enable social change and build human capital in underserved communities in Pakistan. Under the scope of this LOI, UNESCO Islamabad utilized Intel education content for pilot e-learning material used in schools; conducted pilot professional development courses based on Intel Teach Program, linked Intel Easy Steps and Intel Entrepreneurship Basics course content to local UNESCO website. Intel & UNESCO explored advocacy of these initiatives for the benefit of public sector education and relevant government departments.

Country Manager, Intel Pakistan, Naveed Siraj appreciated the collaborative approach agreed upon between the two organizations. “We are delighted to join hands with UNESCO to address the most critical need of the country; to improve access to education and raise literacy levels through the innovative use of technology. Intel’s engagement with UNESCO will ensure broader digital inclusion of rural communities and greater economic opportunities for our youth who can utilize newly acquired IT skills to transform their lives”, he said.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Dr. Kozue Kay Nagata, Country Director, UNESCO, said that UNESCO and Intel have joined hands by signing a global framework agreement for carrying out common projects to achieve their common strategic objectives. She appreciated that areas identified for joint cooperation will help bridging the digital divide and promote the effective use of ICTs to support universal access to education, the delivery of quality learning and teaching, equity in education, the professional development of teachers and more efficient education management and governance.

Within each provincial ministry, contact persons have been assigned by the secretaries and ministers to help the Intel team with the operational aspects of the program. The resounding success of the In-service program is due to the undying support that the government and Ministry of Education has shown for the program.

Intel’s efforts aimed at professional development do not stop at training teachers. Intel works closely with the network of trained teachers to ensure implementation in the classrooms of the techniques learnt during the trainings. Intel also holds a contest and Intel Education Awards annually.

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