- Published: 24 July 2019
The digital divide between urban and rural schools in Brazil, captured in different studies throughout the years, has not changed. In fact, this gap might have even increased.
According to the latest ICT Education study, carried out by the research arm of Brazil’s internet steering committee CGI, just 34% of the schools in rural areas had a computer connected to the internet at the end of 2018.
This compares to 36% in the previous survey in 2017.
The study, in collaboration with the communication technologies studies center, Cetic, surveyed thousands of students, teachers, coordinators and headmasters between August and December 2018. In rural schools, 1,433 principals or heads of school were interviewed.
The lack of rural connectivity affects predominantly public schools, of federal, state or municipal administration, as 94% of private rural schools were already online last year.
Also, 45% of rural schools did not have computers, the study shows.
More details can be accessed here.
Putting rural and remote schools online with a decent connection is on the government’s agenda.
When announcing education plans, education minister Abraham Weintraub said the government aims to connect 6,500 rural schools with satellite broadband by 2023. He did not provide further details, though.
Through the Brazilian e-government initiative GESAC, the ministry of science, tech, innovations and communications (MCTIC) aims to expand schools’ access to high-speed internet through the country’s geostationary satellite of defense and strategic communications (SGDC-1).
The program is operated by Brazilian state-controlled telco Telebras, which is responsible for SGDC, in partnership with US firm Viasat, which provides terrestrial network equipment and satellite services to connect to the satellite.
Telebras and Viasat hope to have connected more than 8,000 schools by the end of the year.
To date, Viasat’s installations have connected over 5,000 schools and reached 1mn students.
Quelle/Source: BNamericas, 17.07.2019