by Toffler



Streetside Education in India

March 2, 2009, by TofflerN, category Learning through Foreign Cultures, Tourism

Before I went to India I had heard about internet-connected computers being installed in outside walls in some of India’s major slums.  Known at the “hole in the wall experiment,” the project was initially a test to see if children’s aptitude for learning combined with computers could help illiterate children learn to read.  The test has met with resounding results in educating children in computer skills, the internet, and even English.

For more information read these articles or interviews with the intiator at these sources: BBC, BusinessWeek, Ode.

The reason I mention this, besides that I think its really interesting and amazing, is because I never actually expected to see one of these computers while on ‘the tourist trail’ in northern India.  But in our first day in Delhi, we did see a handful of children working on two computers just outside the Jama Masjid (central mosque).  While the children didn’t speak much English, they were willing to let me take their photo.  A guy who seemed to be monitoring their activities, said, ‘no this is not that project which you think it is.  This is sponsored by the Islam community to educate the children in the Qur’an. ‘ Well, I’m not sure the truth behind that, but I just thought it was totally cool too see these computers installed and children using them, learning something.  Here is the picture I took of the kids and the computer in the wall.

So, what do you think ?