babwe.” Senator Coltart will share his assessment of the crisis of schools and education in Zimbabwe, present his country’s priorities for recovery and outline options for international support.
Please join us for this unique opportunity to meet Senator Coltart, learn more about Zimbabwe and meet with old and new friends who have an interest in Zimbabwe’s future. We hope to see you there!
David Coltart, MDC Senator, has been a human rights lawyer in Zimbabwe since 1983. He was first elected to represent the Bulawayo South House of Assembly constituency in June 2000, and was reelected in March 2005. In March 2008 he was elected as a Senator to represent Khumalo. A leader in the opposition party Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), Senator Coltart was sworn in as Minister of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture in February 2009, under the Global Political Agreement, which made Robert Mugabe (ZANU-PF) President and Morgan Tsvangirai (MDC) Prime Minister.
The Council for Zimbabwe, an international civil society organization, serves the humanitarian and development needs of Zimbabwe by leveraging the expertise and resources of the Zimbabwean Diaspora, other global citizens, and institutions for the health, education and economic well being of all Zimbabweans. The Council is a non-political organization. For more information about our efforts, visit: www.zimcouncil.org…
to own the process. At the same time I would like to underline that I am keen on translating the idea into practice and am looking for agencies/ individuals to financially support me for the same. Responses and offer of support are cordially solicited.
THE IDEATribes should determine, own and control their education. Instead of the dominant section represented by authorities in the government and corporate institutions taking decision as to what the education for tribal children should be like, the indigenous tribes who have socioeconomic and cultural lives different from the nontribal sections should be allowed to build a philosophy and a methodology that would best suit their interest.
The expected outcome:- Emergence of brilliant teachers, teacher educators, education experts, creative writers and resource persons of varied disciplines who will decide what is good for their children and what the bridge should be like with the mainstream.-
The strategy is not just about including mother-tongue at the primary level or recruiting a few tribal teachers here and there. It is to entail taping of native resources- human, cultural, historical, drawing contents from people’s regular interface with the state and the surrounding environment, and establishing the community’s role as subject, not mere recipient, in the education discourse.
The NEWNESS of the Idea lies in contrast as seen in the present trend. For those who advocate and open opportunities of education for tribal children, the catch word is “Mainstreaming” and the implicit intent is merger of the marginalized communities into a single social and development paradigm. Thus the tribes face the danger of losing their unique identity on one hand and becoming a race of modern day slaves, on the other.
The VALUE of the Idea:- 1. Further enriching democracy by giving the concerned communities to choose the way of educating themselves-
2. Transforming the people to free themselves from oppressive forces- 3. Each constituent unit of our diverse society should retain its ethos and assert equal dignity.
MY PAST TRACK RECORDFrom 1991 onward - 1. The prevailing system was found ignoring the special needs of the tribes like Santal, Kol-Ho and Munda in Odisha. Along the then civil society spirit I decided to undertake ‘region-specific/ Community-specific approach to education as an answer. I did all this through my own organization called Rural Education Committee in Mayurbhanj district.
2. We opened 30 evening schools for children; appointed tribal teachers to eliminate the language and culture gaps that occurred when a nontribal teacher taught;
3. Adopted two broad strategies- a. A child-friendly pedagogy- production of locality-specific textbooks, bilingual literature, regular teacher training; b. Involvement of community in school management.
4. As a response to problems of poverty economic orientation was given to educational transaction- metric tools of measurement used as teaching-aids, community shop and oil-pressing units were run with children participating, Collective spirit encouraged by involving people in some income-generaing activities to raise funds for school.5. Street-plays and newsletter were used to influence the greater public including govt school teachers.
LESSONS LEARNT ON THE WAY1. Separate plans necessary for tribal communities with distinct life-style and socioeconomic culture; schooling timing be decided as per children’s convenience; Economic components must be included to make education more responsive.2. At one point I thought the children in the formal stream be taught the contents in their home language for the entire elementary stage to check high rates of drop-out and failure at the high-school level since they face an unequal competition with their mainstream peers. But gradually I felt that would do no good as the children had to fight a battle in a stranger’s territory.
WITH FAVOURABLE RESPONSES FROM READERS AND SUPPORTERS I WILL BE DELIGHTED TO SHARE MORE DETAILS OF MY PLAN OF ACTION. YOU MAY USE MY EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org to send your response as well.…
w can I make such a claim? Well, simple we all know that a degree is really worthless in todays market and what is really wanted is EXPERIENCE. How do I know this... Well, currently I am looking to find Federal Enterprise Architects for a project for Dept of Homeland Security and it doesn't matter how much education, what school you attended or training they have, what is sought after is applied knowledge. They want someone with 5+ years of FEA. I drill top executives... How many years have you done FEA? Where? How many segments have they written etc... In what area? What technologies to you know? What specific kind and how much time in each? I'm sorry but your $200k our masters degree from Harvard or MIT is absolutely worthless to me! Understand that debt is a economic driving force and the entire capitalistic market is all about who owns it and controls it. That's the real power... The other reality is that there is no guarantees in a degree either... their is really nothing tangible or measurable about it. However, experience has milestones, accomplishments and real outcomes.So where is education headed? Education 3.0 or as I call it #e3o on twitter. E3o is the next evolution of education and it is going to be a really exciting reincarnation/reinvention. Its impact will be far greater than other Great Leaps humanity has undergone: speech, writing, the industrial revolution, the information revolution...and so on. The turning point will be what I have named "the Education Singularity" or "eSingularity" event -- this is the moment when any 2 yr old on a smart device running autonomous learning software will playfully and entertainingly guide any child to an grade equivalent education in Math, Science and Language arts. We are just years away from such technology coming out in the West (it wont be free initially...but it will be eventually). When eSingularity happen's a Pandora's Box will have been open that will set in motion the collapse of the Western Educational Complex that for 3000 years has monopolized and governed over Western education and the rest of the world (Probably at this point you are laughing like I am Don Quixote describing dragons and all you see are windmills... but that's okay. New paradigms are tough to swallow the first time :) The eSingularity Dragon is coming. It is a Pandora's Box because taking the nest leap to universal free education in all subject matters will be relatively easy to step to make. And when that happens... well, you can use your imagination. The shit will hit the fan!Some milestones... Opensource media platform Kaltura 2007, Development of smartphones and their dominance over PC 2010. Apple buying Siri on April 28th 2010. Siri is a very rudimentary autonomous platform that acts as an personal assistant. Using the imagination one could easily see Apple releasing "Siri app finder" and coming out and "Siri Ed" for powering iPhone apps learning with Siri and doing some very cool things with it. I can imagine a host of other simple autonomous apps too... when others see the power and usability of Siri other autonomous software apps start hitting the market. And out of this will evolve the autonomous software industry. What these apps will do is allow anyone to take content and turn it into learning modules that can be translated into any of the 6782 languages and autonomously delivered to any smart device... Learning Engines like the Cerego engine will track these modules and actually deliver them intelligently to an end-user. I will be able to tell my smart phone what I want to learn and it would not only train me but also provide me the skill challenges that we only traditionally learn by experience... maybe it will be VR or augmented delivered or in other problem solving method... the ways we will be able to deliver the challenges and experiences would be near infinite and completely up to the the imagination of the community builders using easy to use autonomous software tools.The eventual outcome is what we know will not be displayed on a CV, but more like a bar-code that is unique to me and only me. It would tell you EVERYTHING I chose to release to you. Maybe "Active ID (tm)" would allow anyone to just scan me with another smart device and provide you with my life playlist of my actual accomplishment, activities, roi, learning ability and education... No lies more BS or silly meaningless degrees!…
o bring higher education within reach of millions of people, at a minimal cost.
With such opportunities, however, there are also challenges to overcome. Further debate and understanding is necessary to maximize the benefits of free digital education and bring it to the most underserved parts of the world. It is with this goal in mind that University of the People (UoPeople) has formed a partnership with the Information Society Project at Yale Law School (Yale ISP).
Overseen by UoPeople Founder and President Shai Reshef, with the support of Professor Jack Balkin, Director of the Information Society Project, Knight Professor of Constitutional Law and the First Amendment at Yale Law School and member of the University of the People Advisory Committee, the partnership’s goals are multifold:1. Digital Education Research ProjectDesigned to investigate potential legal barriers to innovative models for online education, the Digital Education Research Project will be conducted in collaboration with students and faculty of the Access to Knowledge course at Yale Law School.
In this course, students will have the opportunity to apply their studies to the UoPeople model, researching and critically examining the laws and policies that shape and enhance access to information and education. With the direction of a Yale ISP fellow and consultation of Yale ISP faculty directors, students will discover the strengths and weakness of UoPeople, as well as the exceptions and limitations to copyright in digital education.
Resulting analyses and recommendations will be reported to academic and policy conferences, journals and international forums such as the World Intellectual Property Organization, the Internet Governance Forum and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.
2. Edited Volume on Digital Education FreedomYale ISP members Laura DeNardis and Michael Zimmer, along with other coeditors, will launch the MIT Press Information Society Series, including a volume on the opportunities and challenges of digital education. This volume will be authored by Reshef and feature a chapter on UoPeople.
3. Digital Education Events at Yale Law School within the Yale ISP Speaker SeriesThe Yale ISP Speaker Series, a popular lecture series and important channel for promoting new trends in technology, society and laws among the Yale community and beyond, will feature one speaker per semester who addresses the issues UoPeople faces: digital education and its potential to reach the world’s poorest and most underserved regions. On February 12-13, 2010, Reshef will speak at the Conference on Access to Knowledge and Human Rights.
4. Global Network BuildingThe Yale ISP has an investment in international research and close ties with a global network of partners that share similar missions. By leveraging these relationships and recognizing each partners’ area of expertise, Yale ISP will help UoPeople realize its goal of becoming a truly global service. This network will help identify unique opportunities and challenges in each country UoPeople reaches, encourage the involvement of individuals around the world and establish strategic public-private partnerships.
5. Student InternshipsInternship and mentorship programs will be an integral component of this partnership. Students of Yale Law School will be given the opportunity to intern as Yale ISP research fellows at the University of the People, and will also be paired with students of UoPeople to learn from one another.
UoPeople’s goal is ambitious but, with the support of Yale ISP and other great minds, it is within reach.