A recent piece published by the BBC provides some bleak facts to illustrate the dire need for education reform in Africa. The figures are unsettling to say the least.
Every year, around 10 million children drop out of primary school in sub-Saharan Africa. That’s about the entire population of Somalia. Qualified teachers and education officials are in severely short demand. The BBC estimates that sub-Saharan Africa will need to recruit over 350,000 teachers every year to keep pace with the growing educational needs of the area. The illiteracy rate in sub-Saharan Africa is remarkable, with over 1 in 3 adults unable to read and more than 150 million adults unable to read or write.
Though the obstacles facing the African education systems are considerable, they’re not insurmountable. Many educators and social innovators in sub-Saharan Africa are abandoning traditional and outdated schooling methodologies in favor of policies and practices that embrace technology as the key component of education. These pioneers have harnessed the power and reach of mobile technologies in an attempt to make education more accessible, alluring, and accommodating to the youths of the continent.
The use of mobile technology as a tool for education makes sense on a number of levels for sub-Saharan African youths. Mobile technology has causes an explosion of economic growth in many sub-Saharan African countries. Business owners can conduct much of their sales and transactions via mobile phones; people can use social media tools to find jobs, get the news from across the country, or keep track of their finances. Education seems like the next logical step for mobile technology—why shouldn’t the youths of Africa be able to learn key lessons from their mobile phone if they can’t access the material elsewhere?
Many of the new educational technologies are making use of Africa’s primary social media platform Mxitas a vehicle for reaching potential students on the go. This is the idea behind such educational mobile programs as Nokia Momaths that try to turn students onto important educational lessons on their own terms. With mobile technology, students don’t stop learning once they leave the classroom. They may continue to learn about a subject as they walk home, when they’re at the house doing homework, or when they’re simply out and about.
Source: African Brains
Read more: http://africanbrains.net/2012/10/12/how-mobile-phones-are-playing-a-role-in-african-education/
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