By John Lee.
Thousands of Iraqi schoolchildren are entering classrooms equipped with new Dell technology that will help improve how they access information, and ultimately, work and compete with their peers around the world.
This development is the result of a close collaboration between the Iraqi Ministry of Education (MOE) and Dell, who assessed the complex education system and the local infrastructure prior to agreeing to a multi-phase deployment of 50,000 Dell Optiplex 380 desktop computers and monitors to 4,000 schools benefitting more than 200,000 Iraqi students.
Prior to 1991, Iraq's education system was one of the best in the Middle East. However, in recent years, international sanctions and import challenges due to conflict have precluded access to classroom technology in Iraq. This disparity has resulted in the country's Information & Communication Technology (ICT) facilities becoming weak and most teachers have little or no ICT literacy.
Access to technology is a cornerstone of the Iraqi Ministry of Education's plans to build, restructure and improve the country's education system. The strategy includes rehabilitating schools damaged by conflict and under-investment, building new schools, updating curricula and academic skills, as well as improving educational policy and departmental management. The Ministry is working to enhance the use of classroom technology by providing teachers with ICT training and certifications.