Zuckerberg and Gates-Backed Startup Seeks To Shake Up African Education

theodp, Slashdot, Mar 17, 2015
Commentary by Stephen Downes

The WSJ article is inaccessible due to a paywall, but the opinions expressed in this Slashdot are more worth reading in any case (scroll down to read it). Here's the summary: "The WSJ reports an army of teachers wielding Nook tablets and backed by investors including Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg is on a mission to bring cheap [$6.50/month], internet-based, private education to millions of the world's poorest children in Africa and Asia. In Kenya, 126,000 students are enrolled at 400+ Bridge International Academies that have sprung up across the country since the company was founded in 2009. Bridge's founders are challenging the long-held assumption that governments rather than companies should lead mass education programs. The Nook tablets are used to deliver lesson plans used by teachers (aka "scripted instruction"), as well as to collect test results from students to monitor their progress."

Note that Slashdot discussions might offend some people. But some comments are quite good. For example: "Looking at our own educational systems, both in the US and Europe, I'm not too sure that we're the right one's to show the Africans how to do it properly." And, "Gates and Zuck want to farm the entire human race for wage slaves. The oligarchs want to pluck the best and brightest from wherever they may be and utilize them."

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