Adopting and connecting schools online
Millicom's commercial brand TIGO directly addresses the wider impacts that our business has on local communities and national economies. It remains a priority of ours to address the development gaps in societies as they undergo digital transformation, and to grow responsibly and with purpose. In many of our markets, a series of Social Investment programmes have evolved that focus on applying technology expertise to improving learning and education for pupils, teachers and communities. In El Salvador, TIGO's Adopt A School initiative has just completed its third year. Karla Rivas, head of Corporate Responsibility, reports.
San Salvador - August 2017
TIGO EL Salvador has invested more than US$700,000 in the past three years on adopting, connecting and better resourcing classrooms online for schools in need around the country.
Our aim has been to broaden the education in digital technology made available to local students and communities that have been troubled by violence, by improving teaching facilities onsite as well as learning support.
Already TIGO El Salvador provides Internet connectivity to 350 education centers. This initiative - Adopt a School - goes further.
The programme builds digital classroom environments for schools in need, and provides additional teacher and IT support, so pupils are better taught. We have seen the benefits. Children feel more encouraged to attend school and to learn.
On 27 July, TIGO’s VP of Corporate Responsibility Alvaro Mayora said Adopt a School not only opened doors to new horizons, but also helped to reduce absenteeism and violence.
We have now reached eighteen new digital classrooms, providing more than 12,000 students and 450 teachers with access to modern technology that they never had before.
The most recent involved a US$37,500 investment from TIGO, with similar support from the non-government organisation USAID, to install new facilities at the Centro Escolar
Caserio El Coyolito, in Tujutla, Chalatenango. More than 580 pupils attend the school.
The funds help to cover the cost of equipment and technical support, as well as two years of connectivity online, learning materials and teacher training.
Some of these resources come voluntarily from TIGO colleagues who offer their own expertise and time.
TIGO encourages every member of staff to participate in corporate volunteering activities that support the communities where TIGO is present.
Each Adopt a School project has been coordinated by FEPADE, working in close partnership with the Education Ministry.
TIGO adopted its first four schools in 2014. In 2015, TIGO signed an agreement with USAID and FEPADE to support a further 14 schools – one for each department in the country - up until July 2017.
TIGO is now looking for new schools to adopt, principally in the Zaragoza municipality south of the capital San Salvador, where TIGO’s new campus is located.
TIGO is also working on the renewal of connectivity of the 2014 – 2017 adopted schools.