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Armenia School Connectivity Program
Country: Armenia
Dates: 14.08.2000 - 31.10.2007
Web Site: http://ascp.ph-int.org

Throughout 2000-2007 PH International implemented in Armenia 3 school connectivity interrelated grants, all funded by the U.S. State Department, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). The first grant program, called the Armenia Connectivity – 2000 (AC2K), laid groundwork for the country’s ICT needs assessment in the educational system and launched the first efforts 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. This resulted in a mini network of Internet connected 24 secondary schools from the capital city of Yerevan and few closely neighboring regions.

The subsequent 2 grants of the Armenia School Connectivity Program (ASCP) built on the AC2K pilot program results and created a vibrant network of 330 secondary schools across all Armenia, setting up an Internet Computer Center (ICC) in each of the beneficiary schools. The program recruited over 600 ICC staff and, training them in computer literacy essentials, Web Design and Network Administration delegated the ICC supervisors to arrange information literacy programs for the local community. The 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.

Additionally, in order to expand Internet accessibility to traditionally under-served Armenian communities, in 2003 PH International initiated the Internet Mobile Lab project. The first in its sort in Armenia and in the former Soviet Union, it 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.

The primary goal of the program’s final years was to work with Armenia’s government, schools and communities for introducing new policies and appropriate practices to ensure a successful transition of the program infrastructure and resources from being ECA-supported and U.S. NGO-administered to being wholly supported and administered in Armenia by Armenians. For that purpose in June 2005 PH International established the “Harmony" Information Technologies and Education Development Foundation, an independent Armenian NGO, comprised of the ASCP Technical Department staff. The primary objective of the local NGO creation was to sustain the group of skillful professionals who instituted the educational network and could further assist the Armenian Ministry of Education and Science in the future administration and expansion of Armenia’s school connectivity infrastructure. Throughout 2005-2007 PH International and the “Harmony" Information Technologies and Education Development Foundation closely worked with the Ministry and their partners to mentor and coach them in the network management and online content development when simultaneously, the Armenia State Budget provided the program with co-funding of about 1mln USD as a positive action evidencing the Armenian government’s will and financial capacity to adopt and maintain the vast program infrastructure and related program operations.

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.

To learn more about the program, please, visit  http://ascp.ph-int.org 

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