How Online Classrooms Are Helping Haiti Rebuild Its Education System

Sarah Kessler, Mashable, Nov 26, 2010
Commentary by Stephen Downes

This is one of those articles where the University of the People 'plans to do this' and 'intends to do that' (though to be fair it has opened an access centre with 16 students). The very real problem in Haiti is the destruction of school buildings and the deaths of teachers. It is for students the problem of being able to stay alive between classes. And yes, internet could help, but with a per capita income of $790, a access cost of $60 per month ($720 per year) is prohibitive. Yes, online learning would help Haiti, and would be a gazillion times less expensive than rebuilding schools and hiring teachers. But making Haiti a net importer of its own education will not help its economy and will not serve development in the long run.
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