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IDB, SK Telecom join efforts to spark an early passion for math

Smartphone-powered education robot to be tried in classrooms in Costa Rica

Through a partnership between the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and Korea-based SK Telecom, Costa Rican preschoolers will have a chance to develop basic skills for algebra, arithmetic and geometry with help from a smartphone-powered education robot.

Under the agreement, signed today at IDB headquarters, SK Telecom will supply 900 units of its Albert education robot and provide technical assistance for the pilot project, which will be carried out in 300 schools selected by Costa Rica’s Ministry of Education. The IDB will support the development of a play-based preschool mathematics curriculum.

“At the IDB, we believe in the power of innovation to address Latin America and the Caribbean’s most pressing development challenges. By bringing this cutting-edge technology to Costa Rica, SK Telecom is helping us to inspire an early passion for math in our children,” said Bernardo Guillamon, Manager of the IDB’s Office of Outreach and Partnerships.

The pilot project will build on the IDB’s ongoing efforts to improve the quality of education in Latin America, where students have long tested lower than their Asian counterparts in international education tests, particularly for math and science.

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