Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Blog 7 Bria McDaniel My teacher is a ... cheeky hippo: 7 startups reinventing education in Africa

Entrepreneurs and businesses are starting to invest in African education systems. They met with politicians and the academic community in Senegal in order to discuss ways to improve the education systems as a pan African movement. African countries are dramatically behind Western countries when it comes to providing higher education. The rate of higher education in Africa is 7 percent compared to 76 percent in the West. Some of the innovative idea’s to improve education included technology. Charles Muhindo has developed a way to combine previous work of other students, notes and e books to help share information more efficiently. Another businessman created a television show similar to pbs that will allow children access to educational information even when they are not in school. Another program was developed similar to our canvas and blackboard that allows students to access their classroom from their phones. Many more ideas were discussed in this conference that will further the education systems of African countries using new technology.

I believe that this is a great way to spread education throughout African countries. These idea’s might even be able to bypass many of the obstacles that have stood in the way of progression of education in African countries such as War and poor economic development. If just a few people in a town or village has access to these technologies through donation of the businessmen and entrepreneurs, they can use it to spread education through their community, without seeking a lot of support from the government that might not be able to provide it otherwise. This is great for the middle class or even some of the working poor. The only problem I see is that it will be difficult to spread this technology through communities that don’t even have access to clean water everyday. It wouldn’t be surprising to see them sell the devices that they access the education through in order to just have money to feed their family everyday. Not all of Africa is absolute poor, so these technologies would still be useful and would be a great push forward into advancing their education systems.


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