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What is Your Vision for Developing World Education?

Wayan Vota

Across the developing world, the reduction of child mortality rates in the last two decades has led to a dramatic increase in the number of school-age children.  This growing cohort of children need more and better educational opportunities to engage in a global economy that is increasingly technology-oriented.  Yet the way education is currently delivered cannot possibility cope with the population surge.

Development experts in education estimate that across Africa alone, 64 million additional teachers are needed just to maintain a 45 student per teacher ratio. This outstrips the financial and human resources of almost every government in Africa.   Consequently, African policymakers are desperately searching for alternate ways to educate the next generation of African society.

So what might be the needed simple, effective, and affordable educational resources for students, teachers, and parents? Resources that can become tools that radically changes the concept of both “teacher” and “classroom” to accommodate a learning environment where neither is restricted by the formal constructs we have today.

What is your vision for an African learning environment that transcends the formal educational system to offer multiple learning opportunities to youth via multiple facilitators? And how can the full breadth of information and communication technologies – from the humble radio or newspaper to advanced computers and the Internet – be utilized in that vision in a cost-effective and practical manner?

2 Responses to “What is Your Vision for Developing World Education?”

  1. Africans face rapidly changing circumstances and a large portion of Africans get only a few years of poor quality formal education. It seems obvious that it is even more important to provide Africans with learning opportunities over their entire lifetimes than to improve primary schooling.

    People should be able to choose learning opportunities that are in languages that they speak fluently, that are appropriate to their current knowledge and learning skills, that meet their priority needs for information, that are readily accessible, and that attract and maintain their interest and attentiveness.

    Thus there should be learning opportunities for farmers, for people working in manufacturing, for those involved in sales, for mothers and fathers, for the ill and those who seek to maintain their health, for those who need to maintain and/or improve their housing, for those who cook, etc.

    Some of the learning opportunities would be face to face, some in setting in which services are provided and some should be via the media. I think the more innovative approaches will be using radio, especially community radio, and phones including SMS.

  2. Debbie Dunn - UK

    Yet the way education is currently delivered cannot possibility cope with the population surge.

    You have a typo.


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