Guatemalan Mayas Set Up Bilingual Educational Internet Portal

By Dialogo
August 13, 2009

Leaders of the K’iche’ indigenous community, one of the twenty-two Maya communities in Guatemala, have activated an educational internet portal with content in Spanish and in their native language, with support from a U.S. company and the U.S. government. “The Skoool portal (www.skoool.edu.gt) will offer online lessons, as well as digital teaching materials in both Spanish and K’iche’,” according to a statement issued by the portal’s general director, the vice president of sales and marketing for U.S. company Intel, Steve Dallman. He specified that the internet site is intended for students between nine and fourteen years old and was developed within the framework of the programs offered by the Central American country’s Ministry of Education. Dallman said that the portal will serve to strengthen intercultural bilingual education and was created under a cooperation agreement with Intel and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The objective is to integrate “technology and facilitate the Guatemalan educational community’s access to digital resources,” he indicated. The Minister of Education, Ana Ordóñez, commented that the portal’s launch seeks to “promote access to technology with sustainable educational approaches.” The K’iche’ make up 42% of Guatemala’s thirteen million inhabitants.
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