WASHINGTON, April 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Santillana- IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, will lend €25 million to Grupo Santillana de Ediciones to expand access in Latin America to high-quality education curriculums based on digital content, services and tools to meet 21st century educational challenges.
The main Santillana project, known as Sistema UNO, consists of digital content bundled with hardware, like computer tablets and projectors, textbooks, learning management systems, a student information system, student assessments and teacher training. The program aims to improve the quality and relevance of education by providing tools to improve teaching practices, promote English-language learning, and provide schools with tools to develop skills like critical thinking, problem solving and teamwork.
Since its creation two years ago, over 240 000 students in Mexico, Brazil and Colombia have learned through the UNO education curriculum. By expanding to other countries in the region, Santillana expects to reach one million students by the end of the decade.
"Support from IFC is essential to the expansion of our learning projects and to make innovation available to a greater number of students in all of Latin America and Spain, in both the public and private sectors. This agreement will allow UNO to grow, hence improving education quality and further developing abilities and skills," said Santillana's CEO, Miguel Angel Cayuela.
"Digital learning holds great potential for broadening access to education in developing countries. We are particularly excited over the potential for the UNO project to help schools raise the quality of their primary school programs and develop the skills needed in the workforce today," said Atul Mehta, IFC's Director of Global Manufacturing Agribusiness and Services.
IFC is the largest multilateral investor in private education in emerging markets. IFC's education portfolio stands at more than $550 million, encompassing 42 projects in 24 countries, including several of the poorest countries. The total value of these projects is about $900 million. In 2011, IFC's private education projects helped benefit 1.4 million students while providing employment for 60,000 people.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, mobilizing capital in international financial markets, and providing advisory services to businesses and governments. In FY12, our investments reached an all-time high of more than $20 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs, spark innovation, and tackle the world's most pressing development challenges.
For more information, visit www.ifc.org
Santillana Group is the leading textbook and general-interest publishing group in Spain and Latin America, and a prestigious publisher of literary works in Spanish. With more than 125 million books sold each year, the company has been synonymous with quality content, innovation and service to teaching staff since its inception in 1960. With five decades of experience in the sector and an international presence in 22 countries, Santillana has consolidated its lead across all publishing segments, and has established deep roots in all of its local and regional markets.