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Agreement with the OAS to promote digital education

 

  • Established under the AMERICAS 2030 ICT Alliance Commitments, promoted by CITEL and signed in June 2016 by the OAS, the Telefónica Foundation and principle ICT companies in Latin America.
     
  • The director of ProFuturo, Sofía Fernández de Mesa, encouraged the OAS Education Ministers to include digital education in order to meet the goals of the Inter-American Education Agenda.
     

Jerome Fitzgerald, Oscar León, Kim Osborne and Sofía Fernández de Mesa.
 

Oscar León, Inter-American Telecommunication Commission (CITEL according to the Spanish acronym), Kim Osborne, Organisation of American States (OAS), and Sofía Fernández de Mesa, Managing Director of ProFuturo, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to promote digital education development in the region. The goal is to establish a framework to implement the ProFuturo program in Latin America and the Caribbean and to improve education quality through digital education.

This new agreement for the deployment of ProFuturo deals with the commitments and objectives of the AMERICAS 2030 ICT Alliance Commitments as promoted by CITEL and signed in June 2016 by Luis Almagro, the OAS General Secretary, César Alierta, the President of the Telefónica Foundation, and some of the main ICT companies in Latin America. This Alliance seeks to contribute to fulfilling the United Nation’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development goals by fighting against poverty through the integration of ICTs in national policies of the Member States of the OAS.
 

Towards implementing the Inter-American education agenda
 

Sofía Fernández de Mesa participated in the seventh plenary session of the IX OAS Inter-American Meeting of Ministers of Education titled “Towards Implementing the Inter-American Education Agenda – Building Alliances and Advancing towards the Sustainable Development Goals”. The director of ProFuturo spoke about the important of digital education to fulfil the objectives of the Inter-American Education Agenda. She also emphasised the potential of digitalisation for the general development of countries and societies in terms of innovation, productivity, efficiency and competitiveness, with positive consequences in terms of economic growth.

Fernández de Mesa also highlighted the goal of expanding the program’s geographic scope and bringing it to countries in Latin America where Telefónica operates. She also called upon Caribbean governments to count on their support during the implementation of the program in their countries. These ProFuturo deployment actions are supported by the OAS and are defined within the memorandum signed at the meeting.
 


AMERICAS 2030 ICT Alliance Commitments
 

Telefónica’s commitments within the AMERICAS 2030 ICT Alliance are aimed at contributing to fulfilling the Sustainable Development Goals and are based on 3 open and free educational platforms developed by Telefónica Digital Education:

  1. ScolarTIC: a social space for learning with innovation and educational quality where offerings include free online courses, classroom resources and talks, presentations and workshops. Directed at teachers and future teachers. More than 220 thousand teachers currently participate on the platform.
     
  2. STEMByME: is a learning and entertainment space for Ibero-American youth with the goal of awakening their interests in the STEAM fields (Sciences, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) with the purpose of offering them new experiences in knowledge acquisition. More than 120,000 youth are already participating, learning and tackling new challenges on this platform.
     
  3. MiríadaX: this is the first Ibero-American MOOCs platform (Massive Open Online Courses) that is committed to promoting Higher Education knowledge. MiríadaX already has 3 million users, more than 500 courses and a network of more than 100 universities and institutions with some 1,900 professors, all of which support the open and collaborative transmission of knowledge among students and experts.
     

The activities that are being undertaken through these platforms as a response to the AMERICAS 2030 ICT Alliance commitments are:

•Launch of the STEM4GoodAmericas contest, associated with STEMbyME and Scolartic, for the creation of mobile applications by youth aged 14 to 18. This contest seeks to contribute to improving educational quality and developing ICT talent in the new digital economy. Teachers and students can already participate and register through this link.
 

• Training for teachers on the Inter-American Teacher Education Network (ITEN) through the ScolarTIC platform, with activities that promote pedagogical innovation in the classroom and through technical cooperation with Ministries of Education in the Americas. Thus, all the teachers that receive training on ScolarTIC will certification endorsed by the OAS.
 

•Development of MOOCs on the MiríadaX platform, directed at promoting Digital Education and key content for the development of democratic values. The OAS will have its own space on MiríadaX with online courses (MOOC) with key content about democratic values.
 

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