Empowering the youth of our homeland
Empowering the youth of our homeland: Information Technology
and the Internet for Education in Iran
Sunday, December 12, 1999
2:00-3:00 PM University of Southern California
Stauffer Lecture Hall, Room 200 (SLH 200)
Abbas Edalat Professor of Computer Science and Mathematics Imperial
College, London //www.doc.ic.ac.uk/~ae
At the dawn of the third Millennium, an extraordinary technological
revolution, dramatically illustrated by the rapid development of the Internet,
is unfolding in our planet which is radically changing the way human beings
live, communicate, develop interests, learn, research, produce and trade.
It has had a massive impact on the new generations in the West: Computers
and the Internet have brought about an explosion of perspectives for tens
of millions of children and youth who can use this new medium and technology
as a natural part of their daily lives in order to realize their full potential.
In contrast, this gigantic process is sharply accentuating the gap between
the developed and the developing countries by producing a deeply uneven
and divided world of the digital haves and the digital have nots, with
its striking consequences in terms of global inequality in the years ahead.
However, information technology, and in particular the Internet, has created
for the first time in human history an empowering tool to eradicate effectively
the roots of underdevelopment. The basic precondition is to make the new
technology available and integrated consistently at an early age in the
education of the hundreds of millions of the children in the third world.
The Science and Arts Foundation (SAF), which was set up as a non-profit-making
educational charity on 1st March 1999, aspires for such an ideal future
SAF's first campaign has been in Iran, where school children and university
students have shown their outstanding talents in recent years by a series
of spectacular successes in International Science Olympiads and other major
international competitions such as the RoboCup. Information technology
can enable the youth in Iran to realize their full potential towards the
highest degrees of scientific, technological, cultural, social and economic
progress. By acting now, this vision is within our reach.
In this talk, full details will be presented on how SAF has provided,
in its first seven months of activities, well- equipped computer sites
and Internet access for 11 model state schools nearly all in deprived areas
of Tehran, Shahre Ray and Varamin. These are the first schools in the country
to go on-line. SAF has also set up a School Information Centers at Sharif
University in Tehran and is now setting up a similar one also in Isfahan.
These centres provide Internet access to schools, train teachers in information
technology and the Internet, download major educational and cultural Websites
around the globe for use of school children in Iran. They will also be
used to organize Internet based collaborative projects between schools
in Iran and the rest of the world in scientific, environmental, cultural
and artistic areas. Finally SAF's overall program of activities for the
next two years will be outlined.
SAF is a registered charity in US with tax identification number 13-4087316.
For more information about SAF, see //www.science-arts.org
- Alborz High School.
- Mathematics Graduate of Imperial College.
- Postgraduate work at Berkeley and Warwick (PhD in Mathematics, 1986).
- Lecturer in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at Sharif University,
- Postdoc, Lecturer and Reader at the Department of Computing, Imperial
- Professor of Computer Science and Mathematics at Imperial College since