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Communication and Information Sector's news service

Low Cost ICT Literacy Programme in Brazil Sponsored by UNESCO

16-01-2004 (Brasilia)
Eight Brazilian cents. This is the fee for one lesson of the Programme "Computers for the Community" including one hour free access to the Internet and courses in Windows, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Internet browsing that offers the project "Open School" initiated last year by UNESCO in Brazil in partnership with the Government of the State of Pernambuco and with the support of Interdata Microinformática Ltd and the Diário de Pernambuco.
More than five thousand people have already participated in the programme, attending the courses mostly during weekends in school buildings that are put at the disposal of the programme.

The low fee of R$ 6,50 (ca US 2,50) for an 80 hours course is possible thanks to the voluntary work of instructors and monitors, the production of the course books by the Diário de Pernambuco a nd the use of the public schools infrastructure.. The Open School project coordinates the programme and pays the fees of two technicians who are available during weekends for support.

Until the end of 2004, the Open School project plans training programmes in 300 schools for more than 13,000 people. Interviews conducted by the project with the participants of the courses show that 86% of them consider that the knowledge acquired in the courses will be useful on their professional careers.

"An evaluation of first five months of the training programme shows that it is recommendable for other states, as a low cost solution for advancing digital inclusion with a high social impact" says UNESCO project coordinator Julio Jacobo.

The project is intended to foster the digital inclusion the State of Pernambuco that , according to statistics provided by the Pesquisa Nacional Por Amostra de Domicílios (PNAD 2001), is with only 6.6% of the population having access to computer and 4.4% with access to the Internet far below national average (12.5% of the population of the country with access to computer and 8.3% to the Internet ) .
Related themes/countries

      · Training of Media Professionals: News Archives 2004
      · Brazil: News Archive 2004
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