In November of 2016, tech company Hewlett-Packard announced its plan to deploy 48 digital inclusion and learning labs across rural India. The program, HP World on Wheels, intends to enhance digital literacy, education programming and entrepreneurship training.
At the 2017 Global Citizen Festival in Hamburg, Germany, HP furthered its commitment to underserved communities by committing $20 million in technology to enhance the learning of more than 100 million people by 2025.
“In our technology-enabled world, none of us should accept that 330 million children are not learning basic skills,” HP chief supply chain officer Stuart Pann told the festival crowd. “To break the cycle of poverty, we must not only provide access to quality education but also enable better learning outcomes.”
Each HP World on Wheels lab is supplied with computing and printing technology, software suites and e-learning tools as well as IT literacy classes. They are powered by 10 solar panels and produce the least possible greenhouse gases, making them fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly.
HP has set four targets that will help it build strong communities through education:
- Expand HP World on Wheels to other less fortunate communities.
- Bring HP Learning Studios to refugees in the Middle East in collaboration with Digital Promise Global, the Global Business Coalition for Education, Microsoft and Intel.
- Enroll another 100 million entrepreneurs in HP Life, a free e-learning program, by 2025.
- Use the HP National Education Technology Assessment (NETA) to guarantee that the education matches what employers require.
As of 2016, there has been seven World on Wheels “Future Classrooms” utilized in rural India. The initiative to improve digital learning everywhere is in collaboration with the United Nations and other nonprofit organizations that will provide business and tech insight in the United States, Myanmar, Tunisia and many other countries needing help in these areas.
“As we work to create technology that makes life better for everyone, everywhere, we recognize that a big gap remains between those who have access, and those who don’t,” HP chief sustainability and social impact officer Nate Hurst said. “We’re thrilled to take another step forward in helping bridge the divide with HP World on Wheels, bringing quality education, entrepreneurship training, and access to essential services to people right where they are.”
– Madeline Boeding