“We need technology in every classroom and in every student and teacher’s hand, because it is the pen and paper of our time, and it is the lens through which we experience much of our world.” – David Warlick.
There are over 10 million Nigerian children out of school. Let that number sink into your consciousness. Ten million is ten- one million children. Camp Nou is the second largest football stadium in the world. It is found in Barcelona, Spain. It can almost seat 100,000 people. The number of out of school children in Nigeria can fill up that stadium ONE HUNDRED TIMES!
That means that even if we began to attempt to build classrooms to teach them in; each classroom taking approximately 40 students each; we would need 250,000 classrooms. That as we know isn’t feasible with our current economic situation. So how do we reach these students? By looking at what has been done elsewhere with huge population of students who are out of school or need their education supplemented. In China, since 2015, the Hu+ Project has reached over 3,000 rural schools nationwide, equipping more than one million students at the very least. The magnitude of this outreach is truly amazing.
The underlying tool that powers this revolution is the internet; it is sustainable and replicable. The cost is affordable. The Internet is an equitable tool where tech has led learning to be achievable and more fun. With just a click, online courses can be retrieved from anywhere in the world.
The Hu+ Project enables users to learn about anything that they want to know about. This learning goes beyond geo-physical barriers and reduces the cost of education. Formerly, lots of primary school pupils in rural China took only three major subjects, namely Mandarin, mathematics and English. Currently they can take the same courses as their peers in towns and cities, courses such as physical education, drawing, music, science and art.
Online education worldwide is being used to address the problem of disparity in education between rural and urban areas and between different economic groups and regions, but creating technology or applications alone isn’t enough.
The key solution is in the even distribution of education resources and teacher training.
Technology means efficiency and flexibility in learning and teaching. The Internet allows people to study anytime and anywhere. Online courses are accessible to learners from completely diverse academic backgrounds and of all ages. Learning opportunities for everyone are broadening across the board and lifelong learning is a main stay notion now.
Additionally, availability of equitable education on a grand scale is now possible by means of the Internet which expedites the spread of knowledge and information, granting people the capacity to grow intellectually.
In my humble opinion, education is a fundamental tool that will alleviate poverty while creating opportunities for a turnaround of one’s life. It opens various paths to one- an academic degree, a promising career path and even enable the choice of where to live and work.
Everyone has an equal right to education. I hope that we will see that technology can help mitigate the problems we have and education for all is a palpable goal.
Adetola Salau; Educator / Speaker / Author/ Social Entrepreneur / Innovator
She is an Advocate of STEM Education and is Passionate about Education reform. She is an innovative thinker and strives for our society & continent as a whole to reclaim it’s greatness. She runs an educational foundation with the mission to transform education.