POSTED BY 60milliongirls | Jun, 28, 2013 |

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Oleleshwa Girls Secondary School, Kenya

Kenya recently announced a plan to deliver 1.3 million laptops to schoolchildren, which sounds like pretty incredible news, in a country where less than half the population enrolls in secondary school*. But a recent article in The Guardian asks if, in a country where 15 million people still don’t have access to safe water or sanitation, emphasizing electronic learning is the best strategy. The article points out that laptops won’t address the fact that so many children, thousands of whom are malnourished, still don’t have functioning schools, electricity, or access to trained teachers, and states that “Policymakers in other low-income countries will undoubtedly be watching closely; we need to ask who will ultimately benefit from the project and who may get left behind.”

On the other hand, in a situation where there is limited or no access to textbooks or teachers, and where  isolation is a big factor, e-learning could have tremendous benefit. True: it won’t get rid of hunger or create schools, but it just might  help push education ahead faster than massive infrastructure changes that will take decades to accomplish. Kenya is a leader in mobile phone use for banking.  This has given millions of the very poor access to information through communication, as well as access to micro-funds, that traditional infrastructure never did. It’s had a tremendous impact on the economy and poverty reduction, but the same argument could be made: if you’re poor, why would you spend money on a cell phone?

What are your thoughts on addressing education through technology in developing countries?

Read the full article here.

Read more about how a lack of clean water and access to sanitation affects Kenyan residents here.

Read about 60 million girls’ current project Oleleshwa Girls Secondary School in Kenya here.

*according to UNICEF statistics 

TAGS : education Kenya Technology
  • Education has been addressed through technology to a significant extent in Barbados, but not without problems. However, social and economic conditions in Barbados and Kenya are not quite the same. Barbados is also much smaller.

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