HP signs deal to supply Saudi schools

Hewlett-Packard Middle East and Jeraisy Computer and Communication Services (JCCS) yesterday signed a deal to supply and install 17,000 PCs in Saudi Arabian schools...

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By  Patrick Phelvin Published  September 23, 2003

Hewlett-Packard Middle East and Jeraisy Computer and Communication Services (JCCS) yesterday signed a deal to supply and install 17,000 PCs in Saudi Arabian schools. The deal, worth SR65.5million, will result in the provision of computers, printers and scanners for 845 schools in the kingdom.

Salih Al-Uwaishiq, IT supervisor at the Ministry of Education, says the project is part of the government's strategy to integrate IT into the educational system and integrate e-learning into the school curriculum.

Jeraisy will assemble the PCs at its factory in Riyadh as part of a program to ease technology transfer into the Kingdom.

The program is being implemented in two phases. Under the first phase, 196 laboratories in secondary schools for boys have been equipped with 2,936 computers.

The ministry will also install 9,860 computers in 570 labs of primary and secondary schools and additional 2,500 computers in 500 other labs at the learning resource centres for boys.

An important feature of the contract is the training aspect. HP is to train the teachers to do trouble-shooting themselves in order to cut down maintenance cost.

JCCS general manager Harbi Yousef said the contract was awarded even though it was not the lowest bid, but the Education Ministry decided in the Jeraisy group’s favour in view of the group’s commitment to provide curriculum content online to schools throughout the Kingdom. “This factor, added to HP’s commitment to manufacture more than 17,000 desktops in the Kingdom, won us the deal,” Harbi adds.

Christoph Schell, HP general manager Middle East, says this is the second contract of its kind to be awarded to HP by the Saudi Education Ministry. Previously HP won a contract equipping computer labs at girls’ schools in the Kingdom.

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