By Nicoletta Metri
Colegio Técnico Nacional (CTN), a secondary school located in Asunción, is one of the top schools in Paraguay offering the technical baccalaureate. Founded in 1980, more than 1500 students attend CTN, but its equipment, donated more than 25 years ago by charitable institutions, had become obsolete. Classrooms lacked an Internet connection, equipped laboratories, and modern computers – and students were deprived of opportunities to learn and develop skills for their future careers.
In January 2018, the Internet Society Paraguay Chapter started the CTN-ISOCpy project, supported by the Internet Society Foundation and its Beyond the Net Large Grants program. The project was designed to provide the school with Internet access and set up a high-tech electronics lab to ensure a quality environment for the development of innovative solutions based on robotics, e-learning systems, and the Internet of Things.
The project’s biggest challenge was inadequate infrastructure. However, the installation of a network based on IPv6 facilitated the adoption of new protocols, and the school was equipped with 10 computers, 6 laptops, 1 projector, 1 3D printer, and 10 Arduino kits.
During an interview with the Gente de Prensa Paraguay journal, the engineer and project manager Martha Monjolli explains, “In our school, we have students of different social levels. Many of them didn’t have access to the Internet without using a smartphone. Teachers were reporting activities manually, and now they have a school management system online. This project has provided everything the school needed to strengthen the use of technology in education.”
30 teachers have been trained on the new technological resources and 450 students in electronics have been able to participate in national and international competitions, like ExpoTécnica.
Since the project completion in March 2019, the Internet has become a primary educational tool and fosters a quality environment for the students. Thanks to projects like this, the Paraguay Chapter has contributed to greater access to learning, higher quality teaching, and fairer educational outcomes in their country. In collaboration with educational authorities, the project has been shared via workshops as a successful example of cooperation between civil society and the public sector.
In this video, Ricardo Aveiro, president of the Paraguay Chapter, provides more information.