Ericsson has expanded the Connect to Learn initiative in India. The company’s mobile broadband solutions now provide internet connectivity and access to a digital education program at 34 centers run by its partner, Smile Foundation. The centers make it possible for underprivileged youth to develop skills such as English proficiency and computer literacy through the Smile Twin E-learning Programme, with the objective of helping them find jobs in the retail and service sectors.
Connect to Learn is a global education initiative launched in 2010. The purpose of the initiative is to increase access to quality education, especially for girls, through the integration of technology tools and digital learning resources in schools across the globe. To date the initiative has been launched for more than 120,000 students in 25 countries.
Smile Foundation is a national level development organization benefitting over 600,000 underprivileged children, their families and the community directly through more than 250 welfare projects on subjects such as education, healthcare, livelihood, and women empowerment across 25 states of India. The education centers associated with the Connect to Learn initiative are located in Delhi National Capital Region, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, West Bengal, and Telangana.
Santanu Mishra, Co-Founder and Executive Trustee, Smile Foundation, says, “Skills and knowledge are the driving forces of economic growth and social development for any country, and India is progressively moving towards a digital society.Thanks to Ericsson,more than 70 percent of the educational material is now digital and the Connect to Learn initiative has made these training modulesinteractive and engaging, which promote student interest and participation.”
Ericsson has assisted with the development of the new web-based training modules and donated computers to the centers. Furthermore, the teachers are trained how to use the tools and how to integrate them with traditional teaching methods. The students have been excited to learn more about the subjects and get instant feedback on their progress. As a result, the student attendance and retention have improved.
Helena Norrman, Head of Marketing and Corporate Relations, Ericsson, says, “The Connect to Learn initiative is an example of how public-private partnerships can facilitate socio-economic development. Our partnership with Smile Foundation helps young people develop new skills to support themselves and their families.”