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Taiwanese-funded program to improve education in Paraguay kicks off

2012/06/05 16:54:22

Taipei, June 5 (CNA) A Taiwanese-funded program to provide lighting and computers to improve a school's facilities in Paraguay, Taiwan's only diplomatic ally in South America, opened on Tuesday.

Under the program, the school in Bella Vista in the northern region of Amambay will be equipped with solar panels, solar energy-to- electricity converters, computers and multimedia equipment, among others.

Among the representatives presiding over the opening at the school were Jose Maria Liu, Taiwan's ambassador to Paraguay, and Francisco Gimenez and Cynthia Brizuela, Paraguay's vice education ministers.

The ultimate goal of education is to light up the "lamps" in students' hearts and bring light to their lives, Liu said, hopefully helping the students perform better.

The program represents a milestone in Paraguay's efforts to narrow the education gap in the country, Brizuela said in thanking Taiwan for the donation.

Alvaro Marchesi, secretary-general of the Organizacion de Estados Iberoamericanos (OEI), said he was happy to see the program's realization.

The OEI is an intergovernmental organization working to further education, science and cultural cooperation in the Latin American and Caribbean region.

Taiwan has been pushing similar projects in its allies in Africa and the South Pacific by providing solar-powered LED lamps and rechargeable batteries to aid nighttime study.

(By Lucas Wang and Scully Hsiao)