UNESCO Bangkok partners with Lenovo and Equitable Education Fund (EEF) to deliver tablets to marginalized students
On 18 August 2021, UNESCO Bangkok in collaboration with Lenovo Thailand and Equitable Education Fund (EEF) announced the donation of 50 Lenovo tablets to the Learning Coin project, which promotes equitable access to quality education by cultivating good reading habits among children in Thailand since 2019. The announcement ceremony, via Zoom conferencing, was attended by 35 distinguished participants, including Ms Munthana Kadsanook, Director of Mueang Mae Hong Son District Office of Non-Formal and Informal Education (ONIE) and Lenovo officials.
Lenovo-donated tablets will be integrated into UNESCO Bangkok’s Learning Coin project, funded by EEF since 2020, as essential reading devices for children and youth to access apps that support their learning and calculate their progress under ‘scholarships’ that turn their studies into financial support for their families. This phase of the project will be focusing on supporting the learning of marginalized children in the provinces of Bangkok, Mae Hong Son, Nakhon Nayok and Yala.
Mr Thaneth Angkasirisan, General Manager from Lenovo Indochina stated, ‘Students are the future. One of our company main goals is to promote educational opportunities for children. We want students to learn, to be able to develop their potentials and to become good citizens in order to drive Thailand forward. Truly appreciate UNESCO Bangkok and Equitable Education Fund for connecting this meaningful opportunity.”
Ms Pratima Harite, Head, Asia Pacific CSR & Philanthropy, Lenovo Foundation remarked in her statement, ‘At Lenovo, we believe technology paves the way to a brighter tomorrow, supporting our mission of smarter technology for all. We are able to use technology to support the population in the remote parts of a community. There is a need to support literacy among those students and children who have difficulty accessing education and are not in mainstream schooling. For this, Lenovo Foundation is proud to partner with UNESCO Bangkok and EEF to support these young students through the Learning Coin program. We strongly believe that this program will enhance not just literacy skills but also the reading ability of participants’.
Mr Ichiro Miyazawa, Programme Specialist in Literacy and Lifelong Learning from UNESCO Bangkok noted in his speech, ‘I would like to sincerely thank Lenovo Foundation for the generous donation of 50 tablets for children who have suffered the most in the current pandemic. Through this project focusing on reading and learning, we are creating the leaders of the future, and we are helping people stand up and change their own lives for the better. I am happy to see a great company like Lenovo assisting in that mission by donating high-quality tablets to ensure our success’.
Through the Learning Coin initiative, the private sector plays an important role in raising awareness of prevailing inequities in education and the need for the enhancement of children’s learning capacities with information and communications technologies. The objective of providing youth with these learning devices is to reduce their risk of falling out of the education system permanently, to promote their reading skills and to support the overall learning of children in need in Thailand.
Ms Thantida Wongprasong, Director, Office of Partnership, Innovation and Scholarships, EEF stated, ‘This educational technology cooperation is in line with our mission of supporting more than one million underprivileged youth in the bottom 20% of the country, who are likely to fall out of the education system’.
UNESCO Bangkok, Lenovo Thailand and EEF, together with the Thailand Ministry of Education have pledged to jointly support the dissemination of innovative ideas in education, in hopes that such ideas will be applied in a wider context and that they will be able to advance literacy potential and promote reading one day not only in Thailand, but eventually throughout the region and to the benefit of all children in the Asia-Pacific.