The pressing need to address the high numbers of children repeating grades and leaving school before completing primary or secondary education was revealed in the 2012 global education digest.
Whilst some of the variables that cause these challenges, such as the absence of electricity and livelihood, which are by and large out of the control of the education sector, a large number of obstacles can be rooted in overpopulated classrooms, under-resourced schools, poor teaching and a lack of access to quality learning material.
So what can be done to overcome some of these problems?
Radical innovation is required to help overcome these pressing challenges in a fast and efficient manner. One such innovation has come in the form of technology based learning such as e-learning and m-learning (mobile learning) facilitated and supported through the use of information and communication technology. Radical growth in sectors such as mobile telecoms has seen all-time high levels of mobile & smart phone penetration in remote areas.
Virtual technologies can help to address issues of educational equity and social exclusion, and broaden the reach of high quality and affordable education that transcends boundaries.
Technology also provides a conduit for the creation of a ‘global classroom’ – one that can accommodate any type of learner irrespective of age, race, social status or gender.
It is for these very reasons that national governments and non-governmental organisations who fund educational endeavours in developing countries, have advocated the use of new technologies to reduce the cost of reaching large numbers of children and adults.
Whether it is the form of formalised degrees available through virtual universities, school tuition programs or specialised skills training, virtual learning has the potential to create an education system in which no learner is left behind.