Lebanese Government and Intel overhaul education by putting tablets in the hands of students
Intel and the Lebanese Ministries of
Telecom and Education are hoping to make students' backpacks
lighter this year, by offering them new customized
“Open Your Tomorrow” is the first initiative of its kind in the region, and the first of its kind to be launched by Intel on a national scale. Demonstrating a forward-thinking approach despite the country's history of poor internet infrastructure, the program will provide free and subsidized tablets to Lebanon's students between the ages of six and 18, replacing heavy textbooks with accessible eBooks, educational games, and note-taking programs for students.
At the kick-off event in Beirut last Friday, parents and kids of all ages hurried to claim and show off their brand new tablets provided by Lebanon’s mobile providers Alfa, which they call the AlfaTab, and Touch, called Tabby.
In the pilot phase, 15,000 Alfatabs and Tabbies will be released at a 70% discount. Over the next year, 400,000 more will be rolled out, also offering a 30% discount on 3G service. Each tablet will be equipped with 2 years of 3G internet, security features and Intel’s Education Software suite.
1500 tablets have also been given to the Ministry of Education to support new curriculum development, said Telecoms Minister Nicolas Sehnaoui. "We’ve come together to make this program. They [the Ministry of Education] focus on educational curriculum, while our focus is on delivering tablets to the younger generation.”
“The Ministry of Education and Higher Education is laying down a new ICT strategy in the educational field, introducing an e-content unit in the Center for Educational Research and Development, and reconsidering our curriculum for the first time in 15 years,” explained Education Minister Hassan Diab. “This project is the beginning of drastic changes in terms of general education in Lebanon; we’re now transforming books to digital formats and creating online content for curriculum.”
“The program introduces this generation to modernity, which should start at schools, not at universities,” said Sehnaoui.
Check out the video below to learn more about the program: