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MPT and NLD Education Network Launch “Digital Skills to Go Forward,” Computer Literacy Campaign for Disadvantaged Myanmar Youths

17 Aug 2016

As MPT Moves Myanmar Forward, it makes sure no one is left behind in this chapter of growth for the country with a new CSR initiative, in partnership with NLD Education Network. They will provide laptops, data and training to help disadvantaged Myanmar youth to improve computer literacy, equipping them with critical skills for a successful future.

(Yangon, 17 August 2016) – MPT, Myanmar’s first and leading telecommunications operator, launched “Digital Skills to Go Forward”, a corporate social responsibility (CSR) program, to benefit underprivileged Myanmar youth. It is collaborating with the National League for Democracy (NLD) Education Network to expand an already successful computer literacy initiative, delivering an extra two hundred laptops at ten locations in the Yangon Region and Mon State.

Many young people in the townships or rural and sub-urban areas leave high school without basic computer knowledge, which negatively impacts their chances of gaining a good job. For example, having inadequate knowledge of Microsoft’s ubiquitous software packages, a prerequisite for many jobs in today’s Myanmar, means they stand to lose out on opportunities to their more educated peers, who typically have better access to technology.

The aim of ‘Digital Skills to Go Forward’ is to leave no one behind as Myanmar pushes into the future by increasing access to technology and education to the youth in less urban environments. Rather than travel to Yangon or larger urban areas, young people in remote areas will have the technology and training delivered right to their doorstep by MPT and the NLD Education Network.

The NLD Education Network established computer literacy courses at several Amay Eain Schools to help tackle this problem. With the program being initiated a year ago, more than 750 students have already completed classes, increasing their employability. However additional support is required in order to increase the scale and reach of the project.

With the help of MPT, this program will now expand to new areas and increase the computer skills of many more youths. In addition to the laptops, MPT also announced today they would provide Wi-Fi facilities and six months worth of data at all ten locations, as well as support for an extra five trainers to teach the courses.

“As MPT moves Myanmar forward, we want to make sure no one is left behind by supporting professional development in meaningful ways for those who need it most, or could not access it in the past. Technology and Myanmar are at the heart of what we do at MPT, so this initiative with the NLD Education Network just makes sense,” said Mr. Takashi Nagashima, Chief Executive Officer of MPT-KSGM.

“By delivering hundreds of laptops, vital Wi-Fi connections and professional training to those who need it most, we are enabling young Myanmar to take the next big step in their lives and enjoy the same opportunities as their urban peers,” he added.

Amay Eain pro-bono schools were initiated in 2011 under the instruction of Daw Aung San Su Kyi, after her release of house arrest.  From 2011-2015, 104 Amay Eain Schools were opened in Yangon Region and now more than 100 schools are already established in other States and Divisions. 2,000 teachers mostly volunteers are now training more than 20,000 students from primary to higher education.

It is predicted that with this new injection of equipment through MPT’s donation, at least 600 more students a year will be able to take advantage of computer literacy courses.

NLD Education Network said “We are very proud to be able to expand our computer skills initiative. Rather than students struggling to find an education that is fit for the 21st Century, it is our aim to bring good schools to the students where they need them. This donation from MPT allows us to teach more people with better technology and provide better futures. With this initiative, students don’t have to leave everything behind to access crucial courses, the school comes to them.”

Through ‘Digital Skills to Go Forward’ MPT will, along with the laptops, also donate wireless routers – including internet data packages. MPT will also make provision for trainers to deliver the courses to the NLD Education Network for running of courses.

The new locations to benefit from the contribution are NLD Education Network schools in the townships of Insein, South Dagon (72 Ward), Thanlyin (2 locations), Lanmadaw, Kyauktada, Pazundaung, Kaw-Hmu and Thonekhaw for the Yangon Region and Thaton Township in Mon State.