The FINANCIAL — Cisco has been selected as a technology partner in the government of Portugal's Technological Plan for Education, which aims to bring information and communication technology (ICT) literacy to students and promote the use of new technologies in the educational system.
Cisco technologies will be used to provide high-density local-area network and wireless access in every classroom in every secondary school in Portugal.
Following a public international tender process with the Ministry of Education, Cisco will work with Portugal Telecom, the prime contractor of the 'Internet in the Classroom' project, to equip 1,220 schools with 215,000 Ethernet ports and 15,000 wireless access points. The Portuguese Ministry of Education launched the Internet in the Classroom project as a foundation for the Portuguese government's Technological Plan to bring high-speed fibre broadband access to every school and put fixed and wireless networks in the classrooms to connect all students and staff.
The minister of education, Maria de Lurdes Rodrigues, said: "The Internet in the Classroom projects are a key component of the Technological Plan for Education launched by the Portuguese government. It will provide our nationwide school system with a world-class communication infrastructure that will modernize the teaching and learning processes, improve students' educational performance, and ensure full inclusion of our future generations in the knowledge society."
The Technological Plan for Education will also see a number of secondary schools establish Cisco Networking Academy® programs to teach key ICT skills to a diverse student population. Five academies are being set up with further plans to increase the number to 200.
"Cisco and the government of Portugal share a common belief that the use of ICT is vital to prosperity and economic growth," said Chris Dedicoat, president of Cisco European Markets. "Education and ICT need to go hand in hand to build a strong framework so that Portugal can gain the maximum benefit from technology. We are very proud to be involved in the transformation of Portugal's school system."
The aim of Portugal's Technological Plan is to establish the nation as a leader in ICT to drive economic growth and global competitiveness. The action plan for education includes a wide range of integrated initiatives:
equipping classrooms with state-of-the-art, IP-connected multimedia e-learning tools.
developing a digital platform and content for education.
enhancing ICT skills certification and training for teachers and staff.
creating ICT academies and internship programmes.
enhancing safety at school through video surveillance and electronic ID cards for students and staff.
expanding the availability of low-cost laptop PCs and broadband access to more than one million students and teachers.