There are many interlocking issues of course. Education for all sounds great and
is a lofty goal but is not so simple. As you point out in your paper on the
subject (at, primary education should
ideally be/start in children's first language, but in many if not most of the
countries lagging in overall education (see, learning
materials in these languages, teachers trained to instruct in them, and even
political will in the national educational authorities to encourage such
education are all lacking.

Africa in particular, where 2/3 of the countries with low educational levels are
found, and where an estimated 3 million new teachers are needed, deserves
mention in this regard. Although the societies on the continent are among the
most multilingual in the world, monolingual approaches to education using the
former colonial languages have dominated for the half century since
independences. This arguably is a larger handicap to the individuals and
countries of the region than is recognized.

Multilingual ICT, where it can raise the status of maternal languages and
facilitate learning and the production of a range of materials in them, is or
should be a part of the solution in such multilingual contexts. But there would
seem to be a need first for governments, donors, and NGOs to recognize that
more of the same old monolingual approach to education is not going to solve
the educational puzzle but will rather have ongoing hidden costs to the
continent and its development hopes.

Don Osborn, Ph.D.         [EMAIL PROTECTED]
*Bisharat! A language, technology & development initiative
*Bisharat! Initiative langues - technologie - développement

Quoting Alfred Bork <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>:

> Neither the simputer nor the Raj Reddy machine will solve the problems
> associated with the digital divide. The problem cannot be solved by
> hardware alone. People globally can use hardware only with appropriate
> software, and access to the Internet does not provide this. Further only
> one person in 10 in the world has Internet access now.
> My interests are with the education for all problem. The only hope of
> providing lifelong education for everyone on earth is through effective
> use of computers. We can solve this problem in twenty years. Details
> available!
> Alfred Bork
> Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Science
> University of California, Irvine
> book with Sigrun Gunnarsdottir
>      Tutorial Distance Learning -        Kluwer     
[ . . . ]

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