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Uruguay to expand laptop availability for students with IDB assistance

The Inter-American Development Bank approved a $6 million loan to support the consolidation at primary level and expansion into secondary education of Uruguay's Plan CEIBAL, which has provided students and teachers at all grammar schools with 380,000 portable computers.

 

The program will contribute to better primary education and learning outcomes for schoolchildren who received the mobile computers with Internet connectivity from the international One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) Foundation.

 

Expected results include the development of 600 items of digital content, including projects carried out through collaboration between students and teachers; the development of 100 websites in as many schools; training of 1,200 teachers, 250 administrators, and 400 inspectors; and having at least two research projects published internationally.

 

The program will implement training, systems, and support platforms for teachers and schools, boost institutional capacity to evaluate progress, and make adjustments resulting from this evaluation.

 

The program has three components:

 

  • Promote production of content to help teachers' work; develop integrated systems and platforms that strengthen the information available on the education system and student learning; and provide training for instructors.

 

  • Generate information on Plan CEIBAL´s educational and social impact, including the development of an institutional and technical capacity for monitoring and evaluation, as well as the adoption of an initial research agenda.

 

  • Creation of a grant fund for new social and economic initiatives based on CEIBAL; promotion of social initiatives that help increase its public impact; and a study evaluating such impact.

 

The Bank's loan is for a 25-year term, with a 3-1/2-year grace period, at a LIBOR-based variable interest rate. The Government of Uruguay will provide an additional $2.5 million in local counterpart funds.