Why not teach in Madagascar? No, really, why not?

Timezone issues aside, we now do have the technology to make teaching in other countries possible. Why think about this?

According to UNICEF, like many countries Madagascar needs to improve educational opportunities for children. The country faces many challenges including “dilapidated and overcrowded classrooms with few learning materials” with regular cyclone damage hindering improvement and causing loss of already inadequate school materials. There are limited funds available for rebuilding.

What about qualified teachers? Over half of all “primary school teachers are recruited by parents’ associations and have limited or no training” and there is a “lack of money to pay teachers recruited by the community.

Technology makes it possible for us to change this or at least to ameliorate it. I am not suggesting teaching  a class via Skype, although that would be possible in many circumstances. I am not suggesting a lot of time be involved either, but imagine if most teachers volunteered for 1 hour a week to share their expertise. What could be achieved?

Sure there are problems. What about access to technology for those in poorer areas? This doesn’t just mean having a computer, but reliable Internet access is required.  In some places reliable electricity will be required! What about technical support? There could be a language barrier, time zone challenges, political and religious mistrust etc. etc. etc. So does this mean too bad for these children? Does this mean we shouldn’t try to work this out?

What about setting up a mentoring program? As a qualified teacher, could we provide support for a local person recruited by parent groups as mentioned previously?

However it might work, my point is this: technology today makes collaboration between educators, including mentoring and coaching, possible. Imagine the impact such collaboration could have upon the world! Imagine the impact it could have upon the lives of countless children?

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