Mexico: “Enciclomedia Runs No Risk of Being Discontinued”


Microsoft “digital divide” project queried by congressional subcommittee gets less than rave reviews. Finger-pointing rodeo commences.

According to the ASF’s review of the federal account for 2005, presented yesterday by the chief federal auditor to Congress, the Enciclomedia project needs to clarify, among other things, the use of 60 million pesos, because of the 18,000 classrooms in which it was to be installed, installation occurred in only 7,500. –See Veracruz: Black Market in Digital Chalkboards

Documentado, fraude de Enciclomedia: Sosa Castelán: El Occidental (Mexico) gives a local politician a chance to vent moral outrage over the controversial Microsoft “digital chalkboard” for Mexican schools.

“The Eciclomedia fraud is documented, says Sosa Castelán.”

That is, it reproduces a report by Alfredo Dávalos of El Sol de México.

I can sometimes tell when a topic has new newsflow when it starts showing up in the “Top Posts” column.

So what is new on the case of the techno-utopian Enciclomedia program the Fox government contracted revolutionary and visionary Bill Gates to provide?

  1. It will not be discontinued, says the secretary of education
  2. Fox’s Office of Governmental Innovation disavows involvement
  3. Criminal investigations are being called for

(1) is surprising, given skepticism about the program’s actual return on investment.

Ciudad de México.- Las conclusiones de la investigación aplicada al programa Enciclopedia [sic], que arrojan un presunto daño patrimonial de 11 millones de dólares, están basadas en documentación de la Secretaría de Educación Pública (SEP), no son inventadas y mucho menos fabricadas.

The conclusions of an investigations into the Enciclomedia program, which discovered the waste of $11 million, are based on documents from the federal education secretary, they are not invented, much less fabricated.

Tal afirmó el priísta Gerardo Sosa Castelán, secretario de la Comisión de Vigilancia de la Auditoría Superior de la Federación de la Cámara de Diputados, quien consideró que los resultados de las investigaciones aplicadas al programa “estrella” del ex presidente Vicente Fox son suficientes para que la PGR tome el caso y actúe en consecuencia.

Thus says PRI deputy Castelán, secretrary of the oversight committee of the federal auditor, an agency of the lower house of congress, who believes the results of the investigations into Fox’s “star” program are enough for the federal prosecutor to take the case and act on it.

El Diário reports, meanwhile:

La Secretaría de la Función Pública amplió sus investigaciones en torno a Enciclomedia y someterá a escrutinio la “donación” de los derechos del programa de la SEP para determinar si hubo irregularidades, reveló el titular de la dependencia, Salvador Vega Casillas.

The secretary of the civil service has widened its invetigations in the Enciclomedia and will look closely at the “donation” of the rights to the program to the SEP to see whether there were any irregulatiries, said the head of the agency, Salvador Vega Casillas.

“Tenemos varias investigaciones abiertas desde las licitaciones, las compras, el software, la parte que tiene que ver con los derechos de autor, la operación. Estamos investigando desde varios ángulos este programa”, dijo.

“We have various investigations open ranging from the bidding process, procurement, the software, that bit to do with intellecutal property, the operation of the program. We are looking at this program from all angles,” he said.

En entrevista, Vega Casillas no descartó llamar al creador de Enciclomedia, Felipe Bracho Carpizo, para que aclare las condiciones bajo las cuales “donó” por 7 millones de pesos el programa al Gobierno de Vicente Fox.

Vega Casillas, in an interview, did not rule out summoning the creator of the Enciclomedia, Felipe Bracho Carpizo, to explain the conditions under which he “donated” the rights for 7 million pesos to the Fox government.

I am not up on that development.

I know there was a question about the allegedly exorbitant cost of tutorial software.

Let me look into this rights “donation” business. I see an interview here with the guy in which he says he received about $700,000 for the rights in the rest of Latin America, but “donated” them to Mexico.

The image “https://i1.wp.com/i113.photobucket.com/albums/n216/cbrayton/Stuff/bracho.png” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
Reading …

Meanwhile, the Diário de Yucatan editorializes, under the headline “The Kidnapping of Public Education”:

Tal es el caso del proyecto como la enciclomedia que no es malo por naturaleza, pero sí en su operación y en dotar de tecnología a los salones sin antes no sólo capacitar, sino también fomentar una cultura de cambio que soporte la innovación tecnológica. De este modo tenemos maestros que sólo encienden la computadora, pero sin saber siquiera cómo aprovechar de forma eficiente las herramientas y sin contar con un método educativo moderno que sea el sustento y fundamento de la práctica educativa.

Such is the case with a project like the Enciclomedia progam, which is not bad in itself, but is badly run and provided classrooms with technology without training teachers first, without fomenting a culture of change that supports technological innovation. And so we have teachers who simply turn the machine on but have no idea how to use in an efficient manner the tools it offers, not to mention a modern educational method that might sustain and support educational practice.

El Siglo del Durango, meanwhile, notes:

Si se pensaba que la problemática sobre presunta corrupción a nivel federal podría afectar el desarrollo de Enciclomedia, por el contrario el programa se está fortaleciendo y no sólo pretende abarcar las primarias y secundarias. En el ciclo escolar 2008-2009 se pretende comenzar a dotar de este sistema a todas las instituciones de bachillerato en el país.

If you thought the problem of alleged corruption at the federal level might affect the development of Enciclomedia, you would be wrong: The program is being reinforced and does not intend to stop at primary and secondary schools. During the 2008-2009 school year it will be rolled out to undergraduate institutions throughout Mexico as well.

The gizmo has not proven useful, and a lot of them may have fallen off the back of trucks.

Buy more!

The Siglo quotes officials at the federal education secretary saying the program will continue full-steam ahead:

Todo esto tendrá que ser la base para reencausar el programa Enciclomedia, del que se dijo por parte de autoridades de la SEP no tendrá ningún riesgo en desaparecer, sino al contrario, será fortalecido. Incluso se está pensando en aulas que no sólo den servicio a quinto y sexto en primaria o en primero de secundaria, sino que todos los alumnos puedan tener acceso a un aula de medios en este tipo de instituciones.

… who say it runs no risk of disappearing; on the contrary, it will be reinforced. …

Back to the dispute between the PRI beancounter and the PAN senator.

El diputado tricolor hidalguense realizó estos señalamientos luego de que senadores panistas condenaron la información de la investigación a Enciclomedia, en la que se encontraron evidencias de que hubo influencia del actual senador blanquiazul Ramón Muñoz Gutiérrez y Marta Sahagún en la adjudicación de contratos.

The PRI deputy from Hidalgo made these statements after PAN senators condemned the report on Enciclomedia in which there is evidence that current PAN senator Ramón Muñoz Gutiérrez, as well as First Lady Marta Sahagún, wielded influence over the awarding of the contracts.

Cabe recordar que el líder de los senadores panistas, Santiago Creel Miranda, condenó el informe presentado por la Subcomisión Especial de la Cámara de Diputados sobre las pesquisas en torno al programa foxista, cuyos resultados no favorecen en nada el manejo administrativo que se hizo de dicho programas y que seguramente se discutirá por el pleno de San Lázaro.

It is worth recalling that PAN’s leader in the Senate, Creel Miranda, condemned the report by the Special Subcommittee on the Fox-era program, whose results were not at all favorable to the administration of the program and which will certainly be debated on the floor of the House.

I would like to see that report.

Sosa Castelán, a partir de los resultados de las pesquisas, dijo: “Tenemos que solicitar a la Procuraduría, a la Auditoría Superior de la Federación y a la Secretaría de Educación Pública que hagan las indagatorias correspondientes y procedan sobre las irregularidades “que hemos detectado, dado que los legisladores no tenemos facultades de Ministerio Público”.

Sosa, based on the results of the studies, said: “We need to ask the federal attorney, the federal auditor and the secretary of public education to conduct the appropriate investigations and proceed against the irregularities we have detected, given that we do not have prosecutorial powers.”

In the Crónica de Hoy, Muñoz denies involvement in the case:

El senador del PAN, Ramón Muñoz, rechazó estar involucrado en las irregularidades que se han detectado en torno al programa Enciclomedia, impulsado durante el sexenio anterior. Ramón Muñoz, quien fuera titular de la Oficina para la Innovación Gubernamental de la Presidencia de la República, señaló: “he reiterado en diversas ocasiones que en todo momento mi actuación como servidor público se apegó a la legalidad y la normatividad. Soy un convencido de que tarde o temprano la verdad prevalecerá”.

PAN senator Muñoz denied being involved in the irregularities that have been detected in the Enciclomedia program during the Fox administration. Muñoz, who served as head of the Office of Governmental Innovation in the office of the presidency, said: “I have repeated on many occasions that at all times my conduct as a public servant has been strictly in according with the laws and regulations. I am convinced that sooner or later the truth will prevail.”

En un comunicado, el senador panista hace referencia a uno de los resolutivos de la comisión de la Cámara de Diputados que investiga la situación patrimonial del ex presidente Vicente Fox, en el sentido de que es necesario investigar la actuacion de la Oficina para la Innovación Gubernamental de la Presidencia.

In a press release, the PAN senator refers to one of the resolutions of the House committee investigation the assets of former President Fox, which says it is not necessary to investigate the Governmental Innovation office.

Frente a esto, dice Ramón Muñoz, deseo puntualizar: “Soy un convencido de la obligación de rendir cuentas que tiene toda institución pública en el marco de un gobierno democrático. He dejado constancia de ello impulsando, desde diferentes trincheras, las iniciativas relativas a la transparencia gubernamental.

Given this, Muñoz said he wanted to explain: “I am convinced that every public institution in a democratic government has the obligation to render accounts. …”

I have led the fight for government transparency, yada yada yada.

Añade: “Está bien que se investigue el programa Enciclopedia; demando una investigación seria, con nombres y apellidos, con fechas, con documentos, con testigos. Exijo hechos, no supuestos”.En su comunicado, Ramón Muñoz señala: “Acerca de los procesos de licitación del programa Enciclomedia, una vez más desmiento categóricamente haber participado directa o indirectamente en la adquisición del equipo. No estaba en el ámbito de mis facultades legales dicha responsabilidad”.

He adds, “It is good that the Enciclomedia program is being investigated; I call for a serious probe, with names, dates, documents and witnesses. I demand facts, not speculation.” In his press release, Muńoz says: “As to the awarding of the contracts for the program, I once again categorically deny having participated directly or indirectly in the procurement of the equipment. This was not within my legal powers or job description.”

I actually tend to believe the guy. For no real reason that I can think of, just a gut feeling. Perhaps because of that bizarre campaign by Televisa to blame Senator Creel for getting Zhenli “The Man Behind the Meth” Ye Gon his Mexican citizenshiop.

The scandals of the Fox administration have become something of a circus in which it is getting harder to sort out the real issues from the killer clowning.

Some of the story so far:

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