Ericsson Launches iSchool with Bhutan Telecom and Bhutan’s Education Ministry

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Sweden based global telecom equipment manufacturer, EricssonĀ has partnered with the Ministry of Education, Government of Bhutan and Bhutan Telecom to roll out the country’s pilot eLearning project ‘iSchool’ across six schools in Bhutan.

Through this project, the Government of Bhutan aims to bring world-class education to 250 students studying in grade nine across Bhutan. Leading faculty from the designated master school ‘Pelkhil’ will provide education in scientific subjects such as Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology and English, as well as help students in humanities subjects such as Mindfulness, Environment or Social Studies. Interactive lessons will be given via live video conferencing and will allow for real-time engagement between students and the faculty.

Karma Yeshey, Director, Department of School Education, Ministry of Education, Royal Government of Bhutan, said: “Building a young educated workforce is a priority for the Government. By working with Ericsson and Bhutan Telecom, we believe we can enhance the quality of education for young students across the remotest of areas of Bhutan. Upon successful implementation of this project we endeavor to extend this initiative to approximately 200 remote schools of Bhutan across grades.”

As part of the project, Ericsson has deployed video conferencing solutions and technology across one master school and five participating schools. Bhutan Telecom is providing high speed broadband connectivity (8Mbps bandwidth) to connect all these schools. The Ministry of Education, Government of Bhutan will strive to deliver relevant content and world-class faculty to deliver education through this eLearning project.

Nidup Dorji, CEO, Bhutan Telecom said: “Broadband is the cornerstone of delivering high quality services and enabling economic opportunities for citizens. Providing last-mile connectivity to the schools is a key delivery and we look forward to bringing this opportunity for a 21st century education to students in Bhutan.”

iSchool Project is based on the global education initiative, Connect To Learn. Connect To Learn is a collaborative effort between Ericsson, the Earth Institute at Columbia University and Millennium Promise that leverages the power of ICT to enable access to high-quality education to students everywhere. The initiative is based on the use of connectivity to implement low-cost and user-friendly ICT for schools through mobile broadband and cloud computing. This gives students and teachers access to world-class information and educational resources, and the ability to connect schools to other schools around the world to foster collaborative learning, cross-cultural understanding and global awareness.

Chris Houghton, Head of Region India, Ericsson, said: “Education is a great leveler in the emerging global knowledge economy and ICT is the enabler to create a more modern and flexible eLearning environment. The iSchool project serves to realize the benefits of ICT for these students and we expect to bring these benefits to more students in Bhutan and other parts of the world. Going forward, technologies such as 3G and LTE can enable good quality broadband reach remote rural areas, thereby enabling the mass population to reap benefits of technological enhancements without the need to travel to big cities.”

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