Why we need to shape the ProFuturo digital program sustainability now
According to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), ProFuturo contributes to reducing the education gap in the world by improving the quality of education for millions of children through technology.
Globally, ProFuturo was launched in 2016 by the Telefónica Foundation and the “La Caixa” Foundation, whose mission is to reduce the educational gap in the world by providing quality digital education to vulnerable children in Latin America, in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.
Within the framework of the sustainability of the ProFuturo Digital Education program in the Salesian province of AGL, the Salesians of Don Bosco through the Department of Planning and Development Office, have started to carry out constructive and interactive discussions among stakeholders and the schools that are benefiting from this program.
As explained, the goal is to see how this program will remain with the beneficiaries even after the end of Technical support and funding which are offered via this program which will likely continue to expand to more schools in Africa or across the globe with the aim of reducing the digital divide in the education of the children in vulnerable environments.
What is needed is that the schools are prepared to take ownership of the program and also make sure that its continuation doesn’t rely on everyday support; rather it becomes a culture within the schools for the promotion of digital education.
Similarly, the ProFuturo Team from Spain recently traveled to Rwanda to observe how the program is implemented and to examine the modalities for schools to maintain the ownership and sustainability of the program.
Of course one of the challenges is that some teachers lack ICT skills to run the program alone.
However, even if the accompaniment of ProFuturo is not going to stop right away, it is preferable that the beneficiaries are also helped to prepare for self-help because accompaniment is generally something that has a specific objective, targets and in a specific timeframe.
This mode of implementation of projects funded by international organizations or other NGOs currently obliges the beneficiary to be ready to continue to work whenever the funding or any other support stops. This essentially allows beneficiaries to also continue to benefit from the good legacy of the initiative in place.
At present, about 50 schools supported by ProFuturo across the AGL province have been brought to the table for interaction on the sustainability of this program in their schools and representatives of teachers who have had experience in the ProFuturo program are being prepared so that when the coaches are not present the teachers can also make this program continue without stopping.
The Salesians of Don Bosco started the implementation of the ProFuturo program in 2019 with 10 schools in Rwanda and 11 schools in Uganda.
Another 40 schools were then added to the Rwanda program, bringing the total number of beneficiary schools to 50 under the coordination of the Rwanda Basic Education Board and Salesians of Don Bosco.