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How helping to educate can help out your business – Part 1

How helping to educate can help out your business – Part 1

How can the ‘Education for All’ movement and digital technology create opportunities for your business that will leave a lasting legacy?

Education is one of the most powerful tools for reducing poverty, building democracy, bringing peace and importantly bringing economic growth but it can be much more than that.

When the ‘Education for All’ movement was launched by UNESCO and others in 1990, it pledged to provide basic primary education and dramatically reduce illiteracy levels to all children and set to focus on achieving the vision to universalise primary education by 2015.

There is no denying that developments in digital and mobile technology have accelerated the opportunities for education and business. A recent UN study revealed half of India’s 1.2 billion population subscribes to a mobile phone, but only 366 million have access to a toilet!

So with 2015 fast approaching, what projects involving mobile and digital technology have been put in place to realise the education dream? And how are businesses, as well as communities, benefitting?

Mobile technologies are being used to distribute e-books and educational material for remote tutoring or allow peer-to-peer learning. By February 2012 Worldreader.org had distributed more than 441,000 digital books and e-book readers in Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania, serving village schools and creating village libraries. Partnerships with businesses such as Amazon and Penguin bring initiatives like this to life.

Another example is the award-winning ‘Hole in the Wall’ project set up by the Government of Delhi in 2000 with NIIT Ltd and the International Finance Corporation. The project takes the concept of mobile learning quite literally. Through ‘Learning Stations’ it brings the classroom to the playground via computers built in a wall where children have free access. Today, there are more than 500 stations across parts of India.

It is by participating in such projects that businesses as well as communities can benefit. Sponsoring learning programmes gives brands the opportunity to exercise their Corporate Social Responsibility. Getting involved in such programmes can also help companies to gain visibility in potential new countries and markets that they may want to target as part of their business strategy. Firms may also gain from a reduction in costs when hiring staff in these potential new markets that they have played a part in educating.
Businesses with the vision and foresight to invest in the future will be the ones not only to benefit from it, but be a part of making it happen – and create a future for those in communities that didn’t think it was possible.

Contact us today to find out how we can work with you to create opportunities for your business that will leave a lasting legacy.