press release

Discovery Channel Global Education Partnership and ChevronTexaco Launch Learning Centers in Angola


Issued by ChevronTexaco Corp. and Discovery Channel Global Education Partnership.

SILVER SPRING, Md. and SAN RAMON, Calif., Oct. 20, 2004 -- In partnership with ChevronTexaco, Discovery Channel Global Education Partnership is extending the power of educational media technology to under-served schools in rural areas of Angola with the launch today of 15 new Learning Centers, resulting in a total of 21 schools participating in this innovative project across the country.

Today's launch will begin with an evening reception in Luanda attended by representatives from the Angolan Ministry of Education, the US Embassy, USAID Angola, the Luanda diplomatic and business communities, local and international press, and other non-profit organizations. Tomorrow, selected guests will fly to Cabinda, a province northwest of Luanda, to observe the Learning Center project in action at Escola Faty Veneno, one of the six pilot sites that were established in 2003 in partnership with the Cabinda Gulf Oil Company Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of ChevronTexaco, along with its partners in the Block 0 Association (Sonangol E. P., ENI Angola Production BV and Total Petroleum Angola Limited). Teachers and students will demonstrate the use of television and video in the classroom. The classroom demonstration will be followed by cultural performances from the students.

"The Learning Centers bring the world into the classroom for hundreds of thousands of students," said Dr. Gail Ifshin, executive director of the Discovery Channel Global Education Partnership. "At such an important time in the history of Angola, we are eager to expand on the success of the Partnership's activities in other countries and to use technology to complement and accelerate ongoing efforts to offer children and their parents better access to information and education."

The Partnership equips each school with a television, VCR, satellite technology if possible, a source of electricity if necessary, a library of specially produced, locally relevant educational video programming, and access to information from any source that meets the needs of the school and community. Each Learning Center receives three years of teacher training and technical support in how to use TV and video effectively in the classroom and as a community resource.

ChevronTexaco, Discovery Communications, and the Ministry of Education of Angola are local partners in this initiative. With support from the Cabinda Gulf Oil Company and its partners, Discovery Channel Global Education Partnership established its Learning Center project in six schools in Cabinda province. Based on the response in Cabinda, ChevronTexaco offered to partner in the expansion of the project elsewhere in the country, linked to its Angola Partnership Initiative. The Ministry of Education recommended the provinces of Bengo and Huambo for the new Learning Centers.

Mr. Jim Blackwell, Managing Director of Cabinda Gulf Oil Company, said, "The learning programs have proven their value as a teaching tool and as a resource for communities. They have improved student motivation and their ability to grasp abstract concepts. They have assisted in the professional development of teachers and increased parent and community involvement in the schools." Blackwell added that the project "is a public-private partnership with a locally driven and locally managed project strategy. We hope the project will not stop there and welcome additional partners to be able to expand this effective program for many more Angolan students."

Discovery Channel Global Education Partnership is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) public charity that was spearheaded by Discovery Communications, Inc. in 1997 as an effort to bring together partners from the private and public sectors in support of a unique, international, grassroots education and technology project serving populations left out of the information age. Together with locally appropriate video programming and long-term training, television is being used to enhance learning and understanding, share new ideas, honor traditions and stimulate a sense of community at a local and global level. The Partnership provides schools and community centers in under-resourced areas with televisions, VCRs, teacher training, satellite technology if possible, and the ongoing delivery of relevant video programming. Today, over 320,000 children plus their communities in 10 countries around the world have access to valuable information tailored to their needs. For more information please visit

Angola Partnership Initiative

The Angola Partnership Initiative (API) was created with ChevronTexaco sole source corporate funding of US $25 million to be matched with other donor funding, creating public-private partnerships for an initiative exceeding US $50 million. Its goal is to build Angola's human capacity to realize greater economic stability and improve the standard of living for many communities in the country.

Updated: October 2004