|Photo: Dolia Estevez|
|Carlos Slim announcing a new educational app in Mexico City on June 15, 2016 Photo credit: Carlos Slim Foundation|
As part of his philosophy that philanthropic foundations do not solve poverty but knowledge does, Mexican telecom tycoon Carlos Slim Helú launched Aprende.org, a free online educational platform aimed at expanding opportunities to anyone with a smartphone and an internet connection, his foundation announced Wednesday.
“This is an important achievement for Mexico and can be a model for other nations,” Slim said during a press conference at his Museo Soumaya in Mexico City, according to Uno TV, Slim’s online TV news channel.
Slim made the announcement to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Carlos Slim Foundation, which focuses on education and health care and reportedly has an endowment of $5.5 billion.
Mexico’s richest person explained that Aprende (which means “learn” in Spanish) is a platform with educational, cultural and job training content aimed at improving people’s job opportunities by earning diplomas free of charge. An agreement with Mexico’s Department of Education has already been signed to validate the diplomas in Mexico’s education system.
Free courses are being offered in the fields of mathematics, history, science and culture when users connect via Telcel and Infinitum, Slim’s América Móvil mobile carriers. Other mobile or fixed devices can also connect, but not free of charge.
Slim anticipates that América Móvil’s competitors will likely be encouraged to also offer Aprende free of a connection charge.
One of Mexico’s biggest problems is the lack of access to affordable education. Mexico is the sole OECD country where 15 to 29 year-olds are likely to spend more time in employment than in education. More than 20% of 15-29 year-old Mexicans are neither employed nor in education or traini