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Faizuddin Shariff Mohammed

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Can we implement cost-effective analogue solutions to education in Rural India.

I live in Hyderabad, India. My country faces a tremendous problem with poverty and education. India's statistics are bad: a third of the world's poorest, and the highest in illiteracy. These numbers keep changing, but it is still bad.

Sugata Mitra proposed a school in the cloud, strongly supporting self-learning through emotional encouragement as a requirement for educational growth. Even so, the cloud is expensive. A population that cannot afford food or education can only dream at the moment.

Can the existing educational system be improved using analogue solutions, until an infrastructure that can incorporate digital technology is put in place?

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    Jul 28 2013: India is a waking giant. With this comes many growing pains. There is much to overcome on India's path to greatness. One of the problems lies in politics and unfortunately corruption. This has a major impact on the growth and spread of education. As over 70% of the population is employed in agriculture and I assume that those areas are mostly the "poor" you speak of. Farming is a family business. Kids are expected to spend their time in the fields to help support the family ... so time away is money.

    So I would suggest a means of combining the two. Years ago in America we scheduled school around planting and harvesting. The problem I see is that once a person becomes "educated" in your country they want to go off to the big city to make their fortune. Another problem to overcome.

    So one step at a time. Show how reading and books can improve the farmers life and increase productivity. Don't concentrate on education ... focus on learning. When this knowledge is applied and the results are noticed then the first seeds have been planted in the mind. This is a first step. Remember a journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.

    Perhaps universities could fund scholarships with the provision that they teach two years in a rural setting as selected by the school.

    I don't have any wise words that will solve the issues you face. However, I would love to be part of the solution. If you have a specific area to discuss I would be glad to put in my two cents worth. Together we may find pieces to the educational puzzle you speak of.

    I wish you well. Bob.
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      Jul 29 2013: Bob,
      Your suggestion is fantastic. I am well aware of the farmers, and the thought of combining education with the subject of farming is nothing short of brilliant.

      I am in the process of writing a book on this. I think writing this using fiction could be better suited to reaching the masses, than writing a technical or theoretical account. I guess what I am trying to say is that I would be better off appealing to emotion through storytelling, as against appealing to credibility or logic.

      I have a few ideas in mind that I am still fine-tuning. I would love to share them once they make more sense. I do have a few requests. I would really appreciate:

      1) Any assistance or direction you could provide.
      2) More people joining this conversation and offering their insights.

      Thank you for your reply, it has given me new ways to look at this.

      Regards,
      Faiz

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