Inmarsat has entered into a strategic collaboration with Pearson, one of the world’s largest learning companies, to improve access to education and learning in rural and isolated communities around the world.
Inmarsat and Pearson are planning to undertake a real-life eLearning pilot project with a school in Southern Africa before the end of the year.
Through this collaboration, Pearson will leverage Inmarsat’s global 3G satellite network to extend the availability of its eLearning platform to areas that have little or no internet connectivity. A wide range of educational facilities, from basic elementary to higher learning institutions, will use Inmarsat’s Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN) to access Pearson’s Education Technology Platforms, empowering students in these areas to achieve a higher standard of learning.
“This is an exciting opportunity for Inmarsat as we enter the eLearning market alongside one of the largest and most respected learning solutions providers in the world,” says Drew Brandy, Inmarsat’s Vice-President of Industry. “The ubiquitous nature of Inmarsat’s global network means that students in remote regions can now access the same, high-quality education as those located in areas covered by a strong, existing terrestrial communications infrastructure.”
Improving quality and making education accessible to all continues is a global challenge. Nearly 122 countries around the world have signed onto the United Nations Millennium Development Goal of achieving universal primary education by 2015. However, there are a number of existing challenges in many remote and rural communities, most notably a shortage of skilled teachers qualified in the universal curricula.
Pearson has long been at the forefront in the field of education and, in working together with Inmarsat, the two companies will now bring Pearson’s online learning solutions to these underserved areas, improving both skills of teachers and quality of education.
“Pearson is excited about what this new strategic collaboration can bring to learners who have previously found it difficult to access quality learning products due to their remote location,” says Fadi Khalek, Pearson’s Vice-President of Higher Education and Applied Learning. “Pearson is committed to helping learners everywhere achieve their potential and realise their educational goals. This strategic collaboration is just another way in which Pearson is meeting its ambition of ensuring the world’s latest and most innovative learning solutions are available to students everywhere.”
Pearson will provide educational content via satellite, whether over Inmarsat’s BGAN, BGAN Link or, in the future, the new high-speed broadband service; Global Xpress. With Inmarsat connectivity and Pearson’s online learning platform, teachers can access digital content, lesson plans and supplementary materials to deliver to their class, while students can download digital content, upload assignments and take online assessment, for example.
“This collaboration has the capacity to enhance access to learning in a very meaningful way by providing the missing link many of these communities desperately need – connectivity,” says Nada El Marji, Inmarsat’s NGO Business Director. “Education is a global issue and key to improving quality of life and Inmarsat is delighted to play a role in helping to improve access to quality education.”