Students in the Brazilian State of Amazonas are now learning their lessons via educational programs that go the distance—by satellite. The Amazonas Board of Education is using HughesNet broadband satellite service to deliver programs under the “On-Site Middle School with Technology Mediation” project to 10,000 students in rural communities. The program is designed to reach students who do not have access to a middle school, as well as those at schools that lack the space to accommodate them.
At the Educational Media Center of Amazonas in Manaus, specially trained teachers deliver classes that are transmitted in real time to the Hughes-operated network operations center, and then broadcast to students in rural communities in 42 municipalities. Through the interactive IPTV system, students report to the teachers in Manaus, ask questions, and receive real-time feedback, assisted by 260 on-site teachers. Utilizing the HughesNet two-way satellite service, students and teachers interact as though they were physically present at the same location.
Each classroom features a technology kit that includes a Hughes HN broadband satellite terminal, multimedia PC, LCD TV, laser printer, and special battery in case of power outages.
According to Delio Morais, president of Hughes Network Systems Americas, “Many of Brazil’s citizens live in remote areas with little opportunity for education. With this novel HughesNet distance education solution, we are able to overcome the obstacle of geography and deliver education to students wherever they live, even in remote parts of the Amazonas.”
“Our greatest challenge was in accessing rural communities in the Amazonian jungle to install the satellite equipment,” added Morais. “Crews and installation materials traveled larger rivers by ship, and then transferred to smaller boats that were able to navigate the local rivers. But these challenges are far overshadowed by the importance of bringing education to the teenagers and adults in more than 200 communities in Amazonas who will benefit from this project.”