WASHINGTON, D.C., October 4, 2000 ---The
International Finance Corporation is helping to bring web-based education
tools to students in Brazil through an investment in Escol@24Horas
(Escol@), an on-line tutoring service provider.
Escol@, a start-up education company based in Rio de Janeiro, provides
students, at basic education levels, tutoring services via their website
(www.escola24h.br.com) and through a web-based program that facilitates
e-mail exchanges with dedicated Escol@ tutors. Escol@ also provides its
client schools with innovative tools to develop their own websites and
extends its interactive services and educational materials to parents and
The project will work to improve the access and content of education material
to students, parents, and schools by pioneering the use of the Internet,
said Karl Voltaire, IFC Director of the Global Practice Group for Social
Sectors. Bringing Internet-based education solutions to the country will
help to ease some of the constraints currently facing the Brazilian education
system, he added.
IFC will make an equity investment of $3.25 million in Escol@. The company
was launched in November 1999 to extend student learning support and resources
to schools and student homes using the Internet as a medium. Escol@ is
currently providing these services to students in kindergarten through
grade 12 and is expected to expand its services to higher education/tertiary
level students across Brazil.
The investment is part of IFC's focus on private investments to address
needs in the social sector and its strategy to improve access to health
care and education, where privately owned and managed operations can help
raise the quality of services and ease the burden on public resources.
The mission of IFC, part of the World Bank Group, is to promote private
sector investment in developing countries, which will reduce poverty and
improve people's lives. IFC finances private sector investments in emerging
markets, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, and
provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses.