Schools with computer resources typically establish telecenters
for three reasons:
To improve financial sustainability
To build bridges to their communities
To support community development
These three goals
follow from community involvement.
are increasingly powerful stakeholders in schools.
benefits from the exchange of knowledge, and builds potential support
for schools and telecenters.
telecenters and schools?
Schools in many developing countries are connecting to the Internet. The computers come
may be purchased by parents' groups, provided through initiatives of the Ministry of Education,
or donated by international organizations.
But school computer labs are expensive. Computers break down; Internet costs are often high; school personnel
need to be trained.
same time, a school's computer lab has so much value for the
community adults can use it to communicate via e-mail and
voice, and to access information that can improve their livelihoods.
And they can connect them to services, such as medical care,
that enhance the well-being of their families.
Many schools with computer labs are already opening their doors to the public. Perhaps people have offered to pay. These
fees can help cover the costs of
Internet access or computer maintenance.
Schools and telecenters appear to go together naturally.
But there are also structural reasons why this relationship should be nurtured.
A well-researched study by the Food and Agricultural
Organization, the International Telecommunications Union, and Inter-American Development Bank details the importance
of schools and education systems as key environments for telecenter development.
And that is precisely what School Telecenters is designed to do — by increasing the potential for communication among