In May 2020, the Government budgeted US$62 million from the Excellence Fund for the project to build a telecommunications network for educational institutions. However, to date Mitic has only managed to complete the installation, connection and service activation processes in 119 of the 1,538 selected institutions. Alejandro Peralta Vierci, Juan Manuel Brunetti and Fernando Saguier have already passed through the “superministry”, but they did not even reach 10% internet connection in target schools.
Source: The Nation
Research Unit, MIDDLE NATION
In May 2020, the government of Mario Abdo Benítez announced with great fanfare the project of “Construction of a telecommunications network to improve learning conditions and management in educational institutions in Paraguay” financed with US$62,145,436 from the Fund for Excellence in Education and Research (FEEI). 1,538 public institutions were selected; however, to date only 119 schools have accessed the complete equipment installation scheme, connection and active services, according to reports from the Ministry of Education and Sciences (MEC) and the Ministry of Information and Communication Technologies (Mitic).
The data provided officially through the Access to Public Information portal by the ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) Projects and Programs Execution Unit indicate that, Of the 1,538 institutions selected for the project, equipment installations were carried out in 1,511, but only 333 were connected to the network system.
But, a striking fact is that only 119 educational institutions are active and have Internet service, in just over two years of project execution. Not to mention that the executing unit of the program is precisely the Ministry of Information and Communication Technologies, where three ministers have already passed.
Those responsible for the failure of the project “construction of a telecommunications network for the improvement of learning conditions and management in educational institutions of Paraguay” are the former heads of the portfolio as Alexander Peralta Vierciwho was linked to media groups; John Manuel Brunettiwho later became Minister of Education and Science and is currently a candidate for the Vice Presidency for the Republican Force movement, and Fernando José Saguier Caballero Bernardeswho since March of last year has been in charge of Mitic.
“Our main challenge will be to write a new chapter for communication and continue working to achieve the goal of connecting 1,538 educational institutions to the Internet this year,” Saguier had said on May 26, 2021, when he was confirmed and sworn in as minister after interim the post after Brunetti’s departure.
However, it was also unable to advance efficiently and effectively with the connectivity program in schools, since in the planning of the project it was planned that by September 2022 the tasks would be completed by at least 26%, and only it reached 7.7% of the selected schools.
The long-awaited connectivity project for schools and colleges began its execution in June 2020 and, at least on paper, the work was expected to be completed before December 2024. As already mentioned, the planning was expected to reach at least to 406 institutions, by November there should be 825 already covered, and by April 2023 it was planned to reach 100%.
To better illustrate, the documents to which they had access mention that connectivity should reach 11 schools in Alto Paraguay, 146 in Alto Paraná, 43 in Amambay, 11 in Boquerón, 243 in Caaguazú, 108 in Caazapá, 93 in Canindeyú, 9 from Asunción, 73 from Central and 83 from Concepción.
The list continues with 83 educational centers from Concepción, 78 from Cordillera, 88 from Guairá, 161 from Itapúa, 25 from Misiones, 25 from Ñeembucú, 83 from Paraguarí, 37 from Presidente Hayes and 221 from San Pedro. Arriving with the installation, configuration and commissioning of equipment, this was going to benefit about 1,600 students.
However, none of this seems to be reflected today in the work carried out by Mitic.