Brazil to bring internet access to all urban schools

The goal is expected to be met as soon as 2020

Published in 20/11/2019 - 20:21 By Pedro Rafael Vilela - Brasília

Students in urban public schools across over 5.2 thousand municipalities in Brazil are expected to be benefited from internet access. During a ceremony attended by President Jair Bolsonaro at the Planalto presidential palace yesterday (Nov. 19), the government announced the expansion of the Educação Conectada (“Connected Education”) program of the Education Ministry, which includes investments adding up to $5.35 million by the end of 2020.

In all, some 70 thousand schools will be served, reaching a total of 27.7 million students.

Early this month, the ministry had unveiled the expansion of the plan coverage to 24.5 thousand urban schools, in addition to ensuring that another 9.9 thousand schools covered in 2018 may remain connected thanks to the funding earmarked for maintenance.

Satellite

“For urban schools, we’re heading towards over 80 percent [of internet coverage]. For rural schools, where there was satellite connection and zero [coverage], we’re heading towards 40 percent. We can speed up the process from there,” Education Minister Abraham Weintraub told reporters.

As for rural schools, the initiative is conducted in partnership with the Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovation, and Communications, which received a total of $14.3 million to implement access to the web via satellite from the Education Ministry. By the end of this year, the government estimates that 8 thousand schools will be able to go online in country areas.

Internet speed is said to depend on the speed offered in each region, but the Education Ministry pledged to offer the best option available. The program aims to support universal high-speed internet connection and foster the pedagogic use of technology in basic education.

To benefit from the initiative, public institutions must have a minimum of 14 students enrolled, at least three computers for students and one for the staff, and at least one class room in use.

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira -  Edition: Bruna Saniele / Augusto Queiroz

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