02 November 2018

ProFuturo joins the enlightED debate on the challenges of digital education in vulnerable communities

Between October 3rd and 5th, ProFuturo participated in enlightED, an international conference bringing together experts in education, technology and innovation to fuel debate on education in the digital era. Organized by Fundación Telefónica, IE University and South Summit as part of the South Summit 2018 event, ProFuturo participated in a roundtable and panel on Thursday, October 4th, and a talk that foundation chairman César Alierta had with journalist Iñaki Gabilondo.

Participants in the roundtable “Advancing Education for Vulnerable Communities” included foundations such as War Child Holland, Norwegian Refugee Council, UNESCO and the Aga Khan Foundation. The keynote speakers debated about the challenges of our present technology for bringing digital education to vulnerable communities and how digital tools should not only favor the development of knowledge in children but also foster their empathy and capacities to become better people.

Technology as a tool for teachers

Both ProFuturo interventions underscored the essential value of teachers in the present educational world and as the cornerstones sustaining the ProFuturo educational program, which was made evident during the debate that followed the presentations.

“We cannot use technology without the involvement of teachers,” was one of the conclusions that event MC and journalist Lara Setrakian stressed following the roundtable “Are emerging markets the promised land for EdTech?”

Artificial intelligence was also a topic discussed during the roundtable and its limitless potential to help create effective technological tools that can help develop the potential of vulnerable communities. Despite its value, however, AI cannot replace the value of teachers in classrooms, but rather should support and provide them with the freedom to decide how to use their time with students in the best way possible.

Another great use for artificial intelligence mentioned during the roundtable was as a motor to help teachers pinpoint which students had a greater risk of falling behind in classes, thus providing them with a means of early detection so that those students can get the extra help they need.

The talk in this regard was presented by ProFuturo CEO Sofía Fernández de Mesa and Guinea Equatorial’s minister of education María Jesús Ncara Owono, who shared her country’s experience in education-related digital initiatives and also stressed that the educational sector is “decisive in every nation because it enables sustainable growth.”

During her talk, Sofía Fernández de Mesa pointed out that the next generations “will be working in professions that still do not exist today, and thus need to be prepared for them.”

The foundation’s CEO also analyzed the challenges of our present digital revolution, reiterating that she sees it as “an immense opportunity to close existing social-economic and educational gaps.”

One of the main objectives of ProFuturo’s presence at EnlightED was to motivate other organizations to work towards building this initiative to bring digital education to vulnerable groups as ProFuturo chairman César Alierta underscored during an interesting conversation with Iñaki Gabilondo on Friday, October 5th.

Facebook twitter

“Africa is my great passion”

César Alierta spoke about his experience with education and vulnerable communities since the early stages of his career. ProFuturo’s chairman admitted that Africa is now the “great passion in his life” and that the goal of his foundation is to educate so that “a child in a remote location in Africa can have the same opportunities as a child living in New York City.”

César Alierta shared an overview of the foundation’s two years, its educational program and the challenges coming in the near future. He also shared his views on the importance of having more institutions like ProFuturo. He argued that “there must be more foundations like ours, which is why want to be copied so that everything will be easier in the future.”

On World Teachers’ Day, the ProFuturo chairman expressed his appreciation and admiration of them. He concluded that “the key lies with the teachers, and with them we are working for a better world.”