During an official visit to Canada in May 1999, then-President Andres Pastrana-Arango and First Lady Nohra Puyana, had the opportunity to learn about the "Computers for Schools" program of that country, and after seeing the countless benefits of this initiative, they decided to implement a similar program for the Colombian case. Per presidential request, the National Planning Department prepared the document Conpes 3063 for the National Council for Economic and Social Policy, which approved the program and entrusted its development to the Ministry of Communications, Ministry of Education and SENA.
On March 15, 2001, the Program “Computadores para Educar” is initiated with the main objective of collecting computers discarded by public and private companies, for refurbishment and subsequent delivery at no cost to public schools, which also get additional educational accompaniment. Decree 2324 of November 2000 and the 2001 Presidential Directive 02 complemented the political framework and facilitated the development of “Computadores para Educar”.
In July 2000 Bogotá inaugurated the first Refurbishing Center of the Program located in a warehouse in Corferias. Subsequently, the four remaining refurbishing centers located in Barranquilla, Cali, Medellin and Cucuta were inaugurated. These centers were opened between May 2001 and January 2002. At this time, the refurbishing centers in Bogota, Cali and Medellin are still in operation. “Computadores para Educar” is aligned with the policies and programs of the Ministry of National Education, which seek to increase the coverage of ICT in the public education sector.
The Fund for Information Technologies and Communications, entity attached to the Ministry of Information Technologies and Communications keeps providing the national funds the program requires. Additionally, the ICT Ministry continues its close coordination with other programs such as “Gobierno en Linea”, ensuring coordination and synergy of “Computadores para Educar” with other projects related with Information and Communication Technology projects.