ICTs for Development

March 9, 2008

“LifeLines Education”

Filed under: Uncategorized — anoushrima @ 11:32 am
Tags: , ,

Here is an example of a new project involving mobile phones which aims to assist teachers in West Bengal. It’s called “Lifelines Education”.

Some excerpts from a recent article in OneWorld.net:

Using an innovative mix of telephony and internet, this phone-based service helps teachers working in remote areas with critical instructional aid while also linking them up with a network of educational experts.

…Covering 13 panchayats, 164 villages, and 571 schools, the LifeLines Education has been a boon for Bhattacharya and thousands of other teachers.

…LifeLines Education is an extension of OWSA’s LifeLines for Agriculture service that has been functioning with considerable success in north and central India since 2006.

“Voice is the most powerful medium to leverage information service delivery in communities where literacy and language are barriers. We wanted to help the rural farming community by linking voice to web technology, thus giving ordinary people the chance to get answers to questions that are key to improving their lives” said Naimur Rahman.

I like the idea of supplying information through voice/phones as that helps resolve problems of local language content on the web, and cuts out the need for any software/PC training which often stands in the way of a person seeking information. This may be a good example of “appropriate technology”

I would be interested to know what kinds of questions teachers will have when calling the “educational experts”, and if those experts really don’t mind taking the time out of their day to answer the call. The article doesn’t go into any of those details, though it does allude to a similar program for Agriculture which has been successful.

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