Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Gap reduced for rural schools

Gap reduced for rural schools

Intel Microelectronics (Thailand) together with the Ministry of Education, the Association of Thai ICT Industry (ATCI), Microsoft (Thailand), Thailand Post and the Revenue Department have announced the School e-Centre programme to provide complete computer sets to schools in rural areas.

Published on November 20, 2007

Gap reduced for rural schools

The School e-Centre programme aims to provide schools in rural areas with complete computer sets.

Accharas Ouysinprasert, country manager of Intel Microelectronics (Thailand), said the programme aimed to reduce the gap between people in rural areas and those in urban areas when it comes to access to technology.

The programme would increase technology literacy in rural areas so the people there can develop their communities, he said.

It also increases access to technology for schools which are lacking in computer hardware and provides opportunities to students for the development of the country.

The programme will invite the private sector to donate Bt200,000 to purchase complete computer sets which include one sever, a UPS, a 29-inch screen, a printer and six computers for schools in rural areas. The programme will include special tax benefits to companies donating computers to schools. The programme expects to provide 800 computer sets to 800 schools nationwide by September next year.

"We want to bridge the digital divide by increasing access to computers and Internet connections. The programme allows companies in the private sector to donate to schools under the Office of Basic Education Commission," said Accharas.

Varakorn Samakoses, deputy minister for education, said the programme would improve the IT literacy of students and increase opportunities and the potential of students to develop their communities. "The program will help the ministry achieve the goal of providing equal opportunities and quality education for children in rural areas," said Varakorn.

Patama Chantaruck, managing director of Microsoft (Thailand), said that under the programme, the firm would provide copyright licences through the Microsoft Unlimited Potential programme to install software in the computers to promote the use of Microsoft programs and copyright licences.

The firm also planned to provide the Microsoft Student Innovation suite to the education sector for about Bt100. "I believe the project will encourage our youth to discover their potential through the use of IT and technology," said Patama.

Vira Intanete, president of the Thai Computer Manufacturers Chapter at the ATCI, said the project not only provided computers to schools in rural areas but also trained teachers so they can go on and teach others in the community.

Intel and ATCI created the first phase of the Community e-Centre programme in June.

Jirapan Boonnoon

The Nation

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