of Latin American countries, Colombia is among the leading leaders in the field of digitizing the education sector. In fact, the country’s public policy recognizes that information and communication technologies (ICT) are an opportunity to transform the digital and educational ecosystem. According to this scenario, the Ministry of National Education (MEN) has focused most of its efforts on the role of technology, which has challenges both in infrastructure and in connectivity in all schools in the national territory.
That’s why we increase and transform the quality of education, promote connectivity in classrooms, digitizing education and involving the main ministries to make these issues a national priority has become the goal of the Latin American Development Bank (CAF) and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean at the United Nations (ECLAC) , in its role as technical secretariat of the process ELac and Cisco.
To this end, CAF, ECLAC and Cisco joined forces with the Ministries of education and ICT for the implementation of the Education Forum for the 21st Century: education and connectivity, which aims to generate recommendations for the development of an initiative in the field of technological infrastructure and connectivity in the educational system based on the experiences of countries such as the United States, Portugal , Uruguay and organizations such as the European Commission and the OECD.
According to UNESCO, approximately 58 million of primary school children around the world do not have access to education, and more than 250 million from fourth to fifth graders are not able to read, write or perform basic mathematical operations. This is how it becomes a necessity to provide quality Internet connectivity in classrooms to digitize education.
The truth is that by combining a high-quality curriculum and training programs to teachers according to the level and complexity of the learning environment, digital education can transform new generations of students into the thinkers of the 21st century. This was said by Andrés Maz, director of public policies for Latin America at Cisco: “Technological innovation in education with the development of advanced learning platforms is a key element in accelerating the transformation of education, improving its quality and expanding its coverage,” he said.
At the same time, documented experiences in the study presented by Maz “School connectivity for the 21st century”, they have shown that bringing the Internet to the classroom, under programs designed to increase the educational environment, improves student outcomes, complements the goals of formal education, and trains students to develop the skills needed to live and be successful in the digital world. In addition, experiences reveal that with a political participation and implementation of programs that facilitate financing, it is possible to connect to all classrooms of a country in a period of five to seven years, or sometimes less.