Dates: 14.08.2000 - 31.10.2007
Web Site: http://ascp.ph-int.org
From 2000-2007, PH International implemented three interrelated school connectivity programs in Armenia, all funded by the U.S. State Department, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). The first program, Armenia Connectivity – 2000 (AC2K), laid the groundwork for expanded internet access through an assessment of the country’s ICT needs in the educational system followed by launching of phase 1 of a school connectivity master plan. Within the framework of this program, PH International brought together many organizations and private donors already engaged or motivated to invest in ICT projects for Armenia and built a demonstration network of 24 Internet-connected secondary schools from the capital city of Yerevan and few closely neighboring regions. This demonstration project let to two subsequent grants in support of the Armenia School Connectivity Program (ASCP), which reached out across the country to create a vibrant network of 330 secondary schools with an Internet Computer Center (ICC). The program recruited over 600 ICC staff and trained them in computer literacy essentials, Web Design and Network Administration. The ICC supervisors then conducted outreach activities and arranged information literacy programs for the local community. Additionally, in order to expand Internet accessibility to traditionally under-served and isolated communities, PH initiated the Mobile Internet Lab project. The first project of its kind in the former Soviet Union, the Mobile Internet Lab was a modified flatbed truck equipped with 5 workstations, a printer, a scanner, a digital camera and satellite connection, the primary purpose of which was to ride to rural regions of Armenia, offering cycles of basic computer and Internet literacy to the schools and community members of remote villages. ASCP empowered thousands of Armenian students, educators, administrators and community members with Internet access, modern information communication technologies, online tools management skills, leadership capacity and cross-cultural experiences. It also supported the partner U.S. schools in globalization of their classrooms through technology-enhanced cultural US-Armenia reciprocal exchanges embracing numerous educational projects, training activities, seminars, workshops, and community initiatives.
In the program’s final years its emphasis was on ensuring sustainability of the new ICCs. PH worked with Armenia’s government, schools and communities to introduce new policies and appropriate practices to ensure a successful transition of the program infrastructure and resources from an externally funded and administered program to being wholly supported and administered in Armenia by Armenians. In addition, PH help establish the “Harmony" Information Technologies and Education Development Foundation, an independent Armenian NGO comprised of the ASCP Technical Department staff. This organization continues to work with the Armenian government to ensure ongoing technical support for schools and other projects. In July of 2007, PH International successfully transferred the program infrastructure to the National Center for Educational Technologies (NaCET), the entity that the Armenian Ministry of Education and Science officially authorized to coordinate all ICT related major activities. The network, expanded with more schools and educational resources, effectively continues to serve Armenia’s education system.