About the Project
The Distance Learning in the Amazon Forest project was launched in 2007 by the Education Secretariat of Amazonas (SEDUC/AM). Amazonas is the largest state in Brazil with a population of 3.8 million inhabitants, half of whom live in the capital, Manaus. Ninety-two percent of its area is covered by the Amazon Forest and the rivers of the Amazon basin. The population from the hinterland of the state is spread out across small towns and villages, mostly accessible after a 21-day trip by boat via rivers.
The project involves transmitting live classes given by teachers, from three studios located at the main office of the Secretariat of Education in Manaus, via a two-way video-conference link to 35,000 students per year, in over 900 schools and 2,000 classrooms, throughout the 62 county districts. A teacher is also located at each classroom to support local activities. The technology kit in each classroom comprises a satellite antenna linked to a satellite router, a radio transmitter, a computer, a printer, a web camera, a microphone, a VoIP phone, a no-break power supply, a 42” LCD television and Internet connection.
The project addresses an urgent social need and was therefore carefully devised with a view to fostering the participation of all students and teachers, allowing the integration of different cultures – even when hundreds of kilometers apart.