|A Solar-Powered Internet School. (Samsung)|
The Ministry of Education and Samsung Electronics signed a memorandum of understanding on Friday to set up solar-powered classrooms in Africa as a part of an assistance program for children in rural communities there.
Samsung Electronics will help the ministry to establish the solar-paneled schools that can generate their own electricity to power ICT infrastructure, such as electronic whiteboards and tablet PCs.
Samsung has developed the portable classroom ― in a renovated shipping container ― that has solar panels installed on the roof.
The Solar Powered Internet School can fit up to 21 students at a time. The 12-meter classroom can also be moved by truck, enabling students in even the most remote areas with a lack of electricity and Internet connectivity to continue their education, the company said.
Three solar-powered schools each will be set up as a pilot project in Kenya, Ethiopia and Ghana by the end of 2014.
The ministry will also provide professional assistance with content development and school administration to enhance learning and teaching in the classroom.
The ministry said it would look into whether to set up the solar-powered schools in other African countries after the initial project.
The assistant program is a part of the Seoul government’s effort to enhance its official development assistance. The ministry has been promoting the development of education in developing countries since 2006 through knowledge-sharing programs and coordination with local universities and companies.
By Oh Kyu-wook (firstname.lastname@example.org)