Tuesday, April 6, 2010

1.5 million computers this year for Latin American students

At the end of 2009, it was possible to count almost 600 thousand computers in the hands of Latin American students. Most of that number contributed Uruguay (380 thousand) and Peru (150 thousand). The rest was distributed in smaller-scale projects in Argentina (San Luis), Chile, Brazil (Piraí), Paraguay, Colombia, Costa Rica, Haiti and Jamaica.

In September 2009, the IDB organized a Seminar in Washington DC on the theme of ICTs in education in which projected that, given the behavior of the past three years in this type of initiative, it was possible to postulate that the adoption of models 1 to 1 in education in the region was acting as a disruptive innovation, ie as an innovative and attractive strategy, which filled a void with respect to the previous situation and allowing access to technology at an affordable cost, many students and families for which prior to this access was impossible.

In this seminar, we predicted that, if true disruptive behavior detected, in 2015 was likely to tell 30 million students with a mobile support them in their school and home work.

For such a prognosis can be sustained, given the implementation of the model proposed by Christiansen and others, would require that at the end of 2010, we reached a million and half computer distributed, or should be distributed just this year, 900 thousand machines.

Purchasing processes and the announcements made so far by the governments of the region by 2010 include Argentina (250 thousand for technical schools and 350 thousand for schools announced by President Fernandez for this year, plus another three million for the following two years. To this we must add the 180 thousand who announced the federal government of Buenos Aires and 60 thousand in the province of La Rioja) For its part, Peru purchased 250 thousand computers to continue the expansion of its urban areas and now Uruguay another 180 thousand for the expansion of a secondary Ceibal. Also, Venezuela has started this year its plan to distribute 250 thousand computers to their students and Brazil bought 150 thousand computers.

Not to mention other smaller-scale programs, these initiatives involve the distribution in 2010 of 1 million 570 thousand new computers to students from Latin America. Consequently, and considering possible further administrative and logistical difficulties that could delay some of these deliveries, it can be said that very likely will be achieved and perhaps exceed the prognosis proposed by the IDB for this year and that we thought too bold just few months ago.

The challenge remains educational. At the IDB are working hard with the countries of the region, several of which are among those mentioned above, for these investments in equipment and connectivity are accompanied by strong support in the training of teachers, the generation of new educational resources and new teaching strategies, developing policies to support long-term and integrated to set educational policy, the inclusion of families and other measures designed to provide a proper context, focusing on improving student learning and sustainable time.

The International Conference on Models 1 to 1 on Education, which organized in February in Vienna recently passed, by the OECD and the World Bank, we again confirm that the experiences that exhibit greater progress in this line, are precisely those that have chosen for holistic approaches and bold.


  1. Hello Eugenio, I was surprised by the almost 900K computers in Argentina, which makes it undoubtedly the most ambitious plan in the continent. Is this just for 2010 ?

    Joao Carreira

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