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Intel and Government of Macedonia Announce Joint Plans to Improve Quality of Education by Accelerating 1:1 e-Learning in Macedonian Schools

Countrywide Initiative Includes Teacher Training, Localized Content and Classroom Computers

 

SKOPJE, Republic of Macedonia, Oct. 6, 2009 Intel Corporation and the government of Macedonia have signed two new documents to help advance the 1:1 e-learning model in the country's schools, raising the bar for educational technology in the Balkan region.

The joint initiative was unveiled today by John E. Davies, Intel vice president and general manager of the Intel World Ahead Program; Nikola Todorov, minister of Education and Science; and Ivo Ivanovski, minister of Information Society. Intel's contribution will include training 1,000 teachers to integrate technology into the curriculum, localizing and licensing teacher training materials, providing teacher guides, and qualifying master trainers for scaling the program throughout Macedonia. Intel will also donate licensing that lets schools use content and software available through Intel® skoool™ Learning and Teaching Technology, an interactive Web-based resource for learning math and science.

The teacher training and content commitments build on the government's earlier announcement of its plans to deploy classroom computers on a broad scale. Now under way, the deployment is anchored by 53,000 Intel-powered classmate PCs that will provide all primary school students in grades 1-3 with computer access. The classmate PC is an affordable, full-featured, compact and rugged student laptop designed to promote interactive and collaborative learning among students and teachers. The deployment also includes 22,000 ASUS Eee PCs* a netbook powered by the Intel® Atom™ processor to be used by primary school teachers in grades 1-8.

"We strongly support Macedonia's far-reaching technological plan for education," said Davies, who is visiting the country on behalf of the Intel World Ahead program. "The government's commitment to a 1:1 e-learning environment for young people should serve as a model to the region. This investment in 21st-century skills will help increase global competitiveness for the next generation."

"We are proud to be the first Balkan country to adopt a technology initiative of this scope for education," Todorov said. "The continued cooperation between Intel and Macedonia is helping us empower our educational system with well-trained teachers, a strong curriculum and state-of-the-art computing technology."

Ivanovski added, "These improvements will have immediate rewards for our students and long-term benefits for our country as we advance toward a knowledge-based economy."

The documents signed today expand on an existing relationship between Intel and Macedonia and reflect a common interest in advancing education. Macedonia's government recognizes the importance of information and communications technology (ICT) in education and considers it a priority for the country's 2 million people. Earlier efforts to improve the quality of education in Macedonia include a successful pilot program in 2007 involving the use of the classmate PC in schools. The pilot program was initiated by Intel in cooperation with the United States Agency for International Development and the Academy for Educational Development.

The 1:1 e-learning solutions are being deployed by IT companies in the Balkans, providing an economic boost to the region. Intel is also supporting the Balkan economy by providing locally relevant reference designs for education through the Intel® Learning Series, a collection of hardware, software and services purpose-built for education.

The deployment of classroom computers is expected to be completed by January, after which they will become an integral part of the everyday curriculum. The government is also moving to begin training teachers to make effective use of hardware and software within the 1:1 e-learning model.