Source: UN Human Development Report 2011
Literacy rate of India as of 2011 census was 74.04% and the global literacy rate is 84.1% for people above 15 years of age according to Wikipedia page. This Wikipedia page also tells approximately three fourth of the illiterate adults of the world are from 10 nations namely India, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Egypt, Brazil, Indonesia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo in descending order. This also indicates if the literacy rate improves especially in populous Asian countries like India, China, Pakistan and Bangladesh it can significantly improve world’s literacy rate as well.
Now let’s don’t get bothered by the reasons as to why and how the populous Asian countries mentioned above have significant number of illiterate adults. Let’s focus on how social media can help these countries in improving their overall literacy rate by increasing number of literate people.
Governments of these Asian can work together with telecom companies to provide good quality internet service at a low price so that it can be provided in schools at a nominal cost. Then these schools can be equipped with monitors to display educational videos. Video sites like YouTube can play a big role in providing good quality educational videos.
Special channel for education can be created on YouTube where educational videos on various subjects can be uploaded. Effort to create these videos would be one time effort as these videos can be referred infinite number of times after that. This will ensure a standardized education to multiple schools and children at the same time. This can compensate for the shortage in teaching staff and books and all that would be required at school for children learn would be:
- Some monitoring and mentoring
- Paper and pen/pencils to make notes
- Internet access to YouTube videos
- Electricity supply
- Servers and monitors
Definitely this sounds too good to be true that too when we look at world internet penetration levels which stands at 34.3% and for Asia it is 27.5%. But it is possible. We are living in 20th century where technology innovations are happening faster than before. Also, this does provide good business opportunity for companies having skills and expertise to find solutions to provide quality and affordable internet service in the developing countries. The Governments countries mentioned above can work with these companies so that needs of both parties are met.
Let’s hope that innovative solutions will help in finding a way to provide uninterrupted internet and electricity supply as well as other infrastructure requirements like building, servers, monitors and desks at low cost so that worldwide literacy rate improves. If this model works it can do wonders in the providing education at higher school and college levels by leveraging other social media sites specifically to meet diverse education needs. This might become a social media trend that transforms the world for everyone’s benefit.
— Social Media Trend (@SocialMTrndInd) October 17, 2014