El Salvador is leading the advances in educational innovation in the region. According to the Minister of Education, Mauricio Pineda, El Salvador is the Central American country that invests the most in reducing the digital divide in education. The Salvadoran Government has earmarked $600 million for this objective, which includes important strategies such as the provision of computers for students from fourth grade to high school, the distribution of tablets to children from first to third grade; as well as connectivity packages, and teacher training.
“In Central America, there is not a single country that has made such an important investment in closing the digital gap and social gaps, because now we no longer have students who do not have opportunities, but everyone will have one,” recently informed the Minister of Education.
Currently, the Ministry of Education (Mined) is making a massive delivery of 300,000 tablets and 90,000 computers for students who were enrolled in fourth grade this 2022. They have invested $120 million in equipment for these educational levels.
International organizations support this commitment to innovation and educational quality. The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has accompanied the Mined with content development, teacher training, and the strengthening of flexible education modalities.
“UNICEF believes that these computers and devices will be a key tool for students to have greater and better access to information so that they are fully integrated into the educational process, helping them to reach their full potential and improve their quality of life now and future”, reported the international organization.
In addition, according to a study by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) published in June 2021, Latin America and the Caribbean could increase employment and boost sustainable economic growth if they manage to close their digital connectivity gap.
State-of-the-art equipment with internet
The tablets are Lenovo brand, 10-inch, have an Android 10 operating system, in addition to 4 GB memory, 64 GB storage, and micro SD card. Similarly, they have security software that will allow tracking the location in case of theft or loss. In addition, they have 15 educational applications that can be used with and without internet connectivity. They include their respective cases and screen protectors. In addition, each device has a 4G chip that guarantees connectivity.
Digital training for 100% of teachers
Teachers from the public and private education sectors have been trained and trained in digital tools, the use and innovation of platforms and virtual classrooms, as well as the means to promote online learning. These training processes have been developed by the National Institute for Teacher Training (INFOD) to strengthen the capacities of teachers so that they can promote the connectivity strategy and close the digital gap in education.