Connecting Romania youths to their school

When the pandemic hit the world in 2020 and thousands of schools switched to remote schooling, it was a difficult change to implement in rural areas. In villages and smaller towns away from major centers, Internet isn’t widely available, even in the world’s richest countries.

The small town of  Poboru in Romania faced acute challenges. A large number of people there are small farm owners. When a family has a laptop or a PC, it’s shared by all members. As for the school itself, it had blackboards but no Wi-Fi. However Huawei learned of Poboru’s difficulties and fixed the connectivity problem.

                                                                                                    Poboru municipal school

"Honestly, many of the children don't have enough food at home," says Mihai Ilona, Poboru school director. "Some come to school for the free milk."

The sudden switch to remote schooling, in such conditions, seemed an unsurmountable challenge, even for school staff. “I have three children at home, and each one had to use a device," recalls Dascǎlu Aurel, a school teacher. “Nobody had that many at the time."

                                                                             Students prefer to be at school, but it's not always possible

Owing to its responsibilities as a citizen of the communities where it operates, Huawei provided Wi-fi connectivity to Poboru’s municipal school. Specifically, the company supplied telco equipment and worked with the local telecom company to install it. The centerpiece was switches from the Huawei CloudEngine S5735-S series, highly versatile equipment that can adapt to multiple scenarios to provide a pervasive wi-fi experience throughout the school. Huawei also donated 13 Huawei laptops and tablets, for use by the school and students. 

"If we didn't have the Internet and this equipment from Huawei, what would we have done during the pandemic,” wonders Lulian Bǎrǎscu, the town's mayor. "Illiteracy and school dropouts would have been in full swing, or they would have had to repeat the whole year."

                                                           Huawei CloudEngine S5735-S played a key role

Today, students and teachers are thankfully all back together under the school's roof. But one thing has remained from the pandemic. It's now common to see teachers hold a tablet computer in their hand while teaching, instead of paper notes or a book.

Watch the video to see Poboru's story. And for more about Huawei's efforts to Connect the Unconnected, see our event of Nov. 23 2022 Sustainability event Connectivity+: Innovate for Impact