Beijing, China - Give2Asia grants US$160,000 to Sunshine Library in China to design and purchase tablet computers, digital curriculum and necessary accessories for use in rural schools.
Today, Give2Asia, a US-based nonprofit and catalyst for philanthropic investment in Asia, announces a new international partnership to provide digital education in rural western China.
This week, Give2Asia granted US$160,000 to Sunshine Library in China to design and purchase tablet computers, digital curriculum and necessary accessories for implementation such as wi-fi connections for use in rural schools. The Fabao project is designed to close the gap between rural and urban students in China. As of 2005, only 40 percent of China’s rural students made it to high school, compared with 80 percent in cities.
The program will distribute 1,000 tablet devices to students and teachers at two new schools for the 2012-2013 school year in Hunan Province. This is an extension of Sunshine Library’s pilot program which brought 1,000 tablets to schools in Gansu province last year. Studies by the Rural Education Action Project (REAP) at Stanford University demonstrate that rural students who used laptops and digital curriculum demonstrated a marked increase in performance in math and Chinese language compared with students who did not have computer access.
“Exposure to computers is absolutely necessary for rural students to be competitive in China’s labor force,” said Ta-lin Hsu, Chairman of Give2Asia. “And while students are learning to use these tablets, they will also be using some of the most innovative and intuitive digital curriculum, developed by experts specifically to push them in math, science, English, Chinese and other subjects.”
Following the initial grant, Give2Asia will serve as an ongoing partner to the project helping to develop international funding as needed and as additional schools are added to the program. The China Social Entrepreneur Foundation is a domestic partner for the project and will help to tap domestic philanthropy for the program.
The goal of the project is to establish proof of concept and leverage the resources and scale of the Chinese government to incorporate the program as part of national education policy. This model, developed by REAP, has worked well in the past to introduce nutrition and health programs to rural schools.
“The ultimate goal of philanthropy in China today should be to show something works on 1000 kids, show how to it more effectively, get the government to buy into the program and let them upscale and have an impact on 1,000,000 kids or more,” said Dr. Scott Rozelle, Co-Director of REAP.
About Sunshine Library
Sunshine Library was initiated in the beginning of 2010 and its first in-school program began in August of 2011 in Gansu Province. The organization has 6 full-time staff members and 4 part- time staff with an office in Beijing.
About the China Social Entrepreneur Foundation
The China Social Entrepreneur Foundation is a comprehensive entrepreneurial platform, a professional institute, and a supportive strategic partner for enterprise implementation. By helping entrepreneurs plan and implement strategic philanthropic projects, the Foundation helps improve and elevate the public image of enterprises, heighten their brand recognition and identity, and turn a positive social return into an economic return.