Its been a long time since the last post – extreme workloads and travel has meant that the blog has taken a back seat. However, its back now – and this time with a much wider range of technologies and topics. In future articles I’ll be sharing my thoughts on how the surge in education technology innovation in developed countries is likely to impact on developing countries. More on that in later articles, but first a report from Brazil –
In a new report – ‘What Young People Think of Schools in Low Income Areas‘ young people complain that subjects don’t make sense, teachers are unprepared, and the curriculum does not include the use of technology.
More than 80% of the young people surveyed reported poor use of the internet to help them study – not surprising given than less than 50% of the schools in the study had internet access. The biggest challenges are in High Schools where about 1.7 million young people between 15 and 17 years are abandoning schooling.
Angela Danemann, Director of Fundação Victor Civita explains “students will go away because they don’t see the sense in being there. Schools do not respond to their aspirations, and do not use the media with which they are familiar.” Students have to spend a lot of time copying from books.
The study also points to another problem: the lack of relevant content. Most students claim that only Portuguese and mathematics are relevant.
However, there are some schools in Brazil who are fully embracing technology, particularly in the private sector – for example Colegio Dante Alighieri caught media attention recently for their use of Scratch.
NAVE in Rio is a bright, modern learning environment, deeply enriched with technology – but NAVE receives its funding through the CSR arm of a major Telco so it doesn’t represent a widely replicable solution for public schooling in Brazil.
Reforms to the entire way in which public schooling is done in Brazil needs to happen quickly. First steps should focus on the accelerated introduction of technology into schools so that children can at least get access to relevant content. Reforms to education management, import tariffs on equipment, teaching, physical spaces and funding are long overdue.
O Ensinio A Velocidade Do Pensamento, and the accompanying workshops with Planeta Educacao, were written specifically to enable transformation of Brazilian public schooling. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org