As part of an ongoing initiative to provide students around the world with equal access to a quality digital education, Samsung Electronics recently opened a Smart School in Peru that has taken the community-enriching initiative to new heights.
Samsung’s newest Smart School is located high in the Andes Mountains, some 3,399 meters above sea level, at the National College of Sciences and Arts (Colegio Nacional de Ciencias) in Cusco – a city that was once the capital of the Incan Empire and is home to Machu Picchu, a UNESCO World Heritage Site also known as the “Lost City of the Incas.”
The goal for the Smart School is to use technology to help students in the region obtain a deeper understanding of their rich heritage, so that the legacy of the Incan Empire, and the Quechuan language and culture that descended from it, may be preserved for future generations.
Improving Education with Technology
Established in 2013, Samsung’s Smart School program equips classrooms in underserved communities with cutting-edge educational tools – such as PCs, tablets and electronic blackboards – to create interactive learning environments that allow students to truly thrive. As of this writing, a total of over 3,000 Smart Schools are up and running in over 90 countries around the globe.
As Fabian Im, Vice President of Samsung Electronics Peru, explained, Cusco’s Smart School will not only provide students with a more interactive and nurturing learning environment, but will also create exciting opportunities for them to explore the world around them and learn more about their unique heritage.
“We designed the Smart School in Cusco to allow kids to experience modern technology, which is something they have not had the chance to do until now, while learning how to maintain their beautiful heritage,” said Im. “We want to use our technology to improve education, support social development in this region, and contribute to preserving the rich Quechuan language and culture.”
Connecting to a Rich Heritage
Like the region itself, the Smart School’s host institution, the National College of Sciences and Arts, carries great cultural and historical value.
Founded by Simón Bolivar in 1825, the school is the region’s first and oldest public institution. As part of the program, the 2,300 students who currently attend the school will receive an immersive digital education covering subjects including computer literacy as well as Incan history, the Quechuan language, and other aspects of their cultural heritage.
To create fun and interactive learning environment, Samsung outfitted the school with electronic blackboards, tablets, all-in-one printers, PCs and monitors, as well as brand new desks and chairs. Classrooms were also decorated with traditional Incan motifs to create a unique blend of past and present.
In addition, on the eve of the Smart School’s launch, Samsung organized a field trip to Machu Picchu that allowed students to immerse themselves in history through another blend of past and present. Once there, the students took part in an interactive lesson that allowed them to explore the historic site in person, and learn more about the Incan Empire using Samsung tablets.
It was an exciting experience for all involved. Afterward, the enthusiastic students described the trip as both fun and enlightening. “Thanks to Smart School, I’m now more familiar with our ancestors’ culture and way of life,” said one student.
The Cusco Smart School is just one of 144 Smart Schools that Samsung is currently operating in Latin America. Peru is home to a total of 12, which are located across the country and have together offered over 20,000 students an opportunity to learn without limitations.