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Education is an art form, but technology can be a major equalizer

Education is an art form, but technology can be a major equalizer

Education is an art form, but technology can be a major equalizer

During my long career in teaching, I have learned to treat it with professionalism and not just as a profession. You have to creatively adapt to the unique dynamics that appear there.
Global perceptions have changed, now acknowledging that it is socially necessary and morally right to extend education to all children worldwide, preparing them for a life of learning and self-development. have proven to lack the resources necessary to meet this. As articulated in Goal 4 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, by 2030, all girls and boys will be “adequate and effective learning, while promoting lifelong learning opportunities.” It aims to ensure the completion of equitable and quality secondary education in
There has been much debate lately about the role of new technologies in education and whether they could be game changers in bridging the gap between the haves and have-nots in the field of education.
A new report by the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, “The Time for Global Education Services: Intensive, Free, and Inclusive” finds that to reach this goal by 2030, 272 million It suggests that the child of man needs to be educated. 2015. Worryingly, current trends predict that he will miss this target by 110 million, with most of these children projected to be in low-income countries.
The two-and-a-half-year-long global pandemic has slowed, and in some cases reversed, and progress has been made to ensure universal education as priorities shift. And while middle- and high-income countries have been able to transfer much of their learning experience to virtual platforms, this is not an option for many low-income countries that lack the necessary infrastructure and expertise. was.
Ultimately, this is a setback for students of all ages, but it’s even worse for younger generations. did. In some countries and even in parts of wealthy societies, lack of access to these technologies and training is taking a toll on children’s education and development.
An equally disturbing observation from the Tony Blair Institute report is that statistics provide only figures for the number of children attending school, not reliable information about the quality of their learning experience. This is satisfying and equates to what the author calls “learning poverty”.
The concept was first introduced by the World Bank and defined as the inability to read and understand simple text by the age of 10. Enrich the economy and society of the 21st century.

Well-coordinated mechanisms should be prioritized to ensure that all girls and boys have access to high-performance learning platforms.

Yossi Mekelberg

All major international education bodies warned even before COVID-19 that the world was facing learning poverty, and the two-and-a-half-year pandemic has only exacerbated the phenomenon. Nearly 60% of her 10-year-olds in low- and middle-income countries are falling behind as a result of their education, according to UNICEF. School closures and disruptions are exacerbating this situation, with long-term negative effects on economic and social equity around the world. Missing two or more years of schooling could result in an “estimated $17 trillion in lost lifetime income for those affected,” at a cost that could result in more misery for individuals, families and societies. , and the situation may get worse. politically confused.
Technology adoption can act as a catalyst to close the gap in access to education, but so far the opposite has happened almost everywhere, accelerating significantly during the pandemic. This highlights how disadvantaged some children are without access to technology. There is also evidence that girls in low-income areas suffer from inadequate schooling. Unless girls have equal access to educational opportunities, including access to technology, gender inequality will surely grow.
Classroom technology is changing the nature of education and how the adult world interacts with children and young people in educational settings. Educators will have access to information and teaching methods that were not previously available, but without proper training, they will be overly focused on technical issues and will be forced to use alternative and questionable sources of potentially harmful information. must compete with .
Moreover, in times of economic crisis, as in many other segments of the economy, there is a temptation to cut education costs by cutting human resources first. But teaching is a unique profession, and this temptation must be resisted at all costs. This temptation must be resisted, especially for young children who require real, rather than virtual, physical human interaction with adults and peers for their healthy development as learners and as humans. I have. .
Today, many in education find it difficult to keep up with the constant evolution of technology, but we want to help students focus less on the magic of equipment and more on the content that makes a difference during and beyond their studies. is working on formal education.
These challenges cannot be solved without the cooperation of educational technology developers and educators. Prioritize well-coordinated and appropriately funded international mechanisms to ensure that all girls and boys have access to high-performance learning platforms, wherever they are in the world. and income not a hindrance. This is central to achieving Goal 4, as well as most of the other Sustainable Development Goals, which rely heavily on achieving a high standard of education.
Technology in education is not an end in itself. It is not a panacea for inadequate education, but unless it is made widely available, we will see elements that are forced to a much lower level of development in different societies and regions of the world. A Tony Blair Institute report calls for a global organization to give every child free access to the best digital tools. It is up to governments and international organizations to meet this challenge.

  • Yossi Mekelberg is Professor of International Relations and Associate Fellow of the MENA program at Chatham House. He is a regular contributor to international written and electronic media. Twitter: @YMekelberg

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