Knowledge is a right – Education Week – 2011

THIS week I attended the African Education Week. This is an annual convention and learning expo and is hosted in Johannesburg.

I again realised that the one thing that is constantly coming to the forefront is the fact that if we want to provide educational opportunities to members of our communities, we will need to enhance the infrastructure for online learning.

Creating open educational resources which members of the community can access easily through their cell phones are sure to be one of the areas where content providers will have to focus their efforts.

We are currently seeing how access to mobile internet is becoming more affordable and getting access to content is becoming something that is almost in reach of all members of the community. I want to predict that by this time next year we would have seen another fall in prices.

When the stumbling block which is caused by the cost of access is removed, you will see large numbers of providers step up and make more resources available for our local communities.

The excuse that is being thrown around is that content cannot be developed because the people it is intended for cannot afford to access it.

It is vital that content providers and developers prepare for the demand that will come their way in a year or two.

We can uplift our communities by providing basic knowledge for free. Access to knowledge should be your right. I hope service providers realise this and lower the internet access cost for all South Africans.

 

(Published BloemNews Friday, 8 July 2011)