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E-Learning: Still an unrealized potential in many developing and backward nations

January 5, 2018 Shankar Krishna general

Recently, Dimension Data successfully set up two E-Learning centres, at Kwapata High School and Nyonithwele High School, for the benefit of high school learners and teachers in Dambuza in South Africa. The main aim was to help students gain access to premium technology applications to support the school curriculum and to demonstrate the power of Information and Communication Technologies to cater to as many learners as possible. On the launch, Zandile Mbele, Transformation Executive, Dimension Data, said: “Dimension Data is not just about business, it’s also about using our technology to enable education to empower young people to go out and fulfil their potential, bringing their skills and experience back to their communities and inspiring others to do the same.” Dimension data has been working on such programs since 2006 in Africa where it has the largest presence.
It should be a note-worthy point to have this success story replicated by governments of developing nations to empower their citizens through increased government-corporate tie-ups to develop elearning materials. The two main hurdles are however, slow internet penetration in many countries and newness to computer technology. Africa, some parts of Asia and Latin America are some of the nations needing immediate attention to improve their nation-wide learning initiatives.

At the Education Technology Debate, sponsored by Infodev and UNESCO in 2010, it was found that more than 60% of students who qualify for university or tertiary education in developing countries can’t attend due to limited physical infrastructure. The best solution is to make best use of low cost ICT technologies and implement elearning to expand the boundaries of education (ICT4E).
It is no doubt that elearning will be at the helm of all educational methodologies, but governments should steer their educational policies to implement it and serve one of the most basic necessity (like education) to the majority of their citizens. After all, education is power and power to improve lives and living conditions in a growing economy.

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