In Chile and South Africa, pupils study English and math on their cell phones.
Doing your homework or learning English on your cell phone? This is already a reality for 1.2 million secondary school students in Chile. In 2006, the government and Fundacion Chile jointly launched an online education portal to help secondary teachers and their students prepare the PSU (Prueba de Seleccion Universitaria), the university entrance exam. Via their cell phones or a computer, students can hook into a program tailor-made to suit their level.
Ana Maria Raad, director at the EducarChile program, a 2012 Wise Prize finalist, says: “Chile’s geographical oddities have made it a highly centralized country. In terms of access to education, this means marked inequality between students in the provinces, often from disadvantaged backgrounds, and those in the big cities.
By bypassing the geographical obstacles, EducarChile aims to provide them with the same tools and the same chance of going to university.” The results so far are encouraging: 62 % of those using the program live in the provinces, and in 2011, twenty of them were among the top scorers in the national exam.
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