Recent posts to this blog about the use of mobile phones in education in developing countries have generated a *lot* of page views. News earlier this year that firms in the United States are beginning to make a pitch for greater use of mobile phones in the education sector highlights the increased attention that this topic is now receiving in OECD member countries as well.
East Asia and Pacific
Thomas Schelling, one of the fathers of game theory, would be proud. There are now websites that allow people to place bets with themselves over whether they will achieve certain weight loss goals:
China could very possibly be setting a record this year with the largest number of unemployed recent college graduates in the history of the world.
In light of the global economic crisis, the World Bank announced today that its investments in safety nets and other social protection programs in health and education are projected to triple to $12 billion over the next two years.
Additionally, the Bank also increased its fast track facility for the food price crisis to US$2 billion from US$1.2 billion. As World Bank Group Managing Director Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala explains:
"The continuing risky economic environment, combined with continuing volatility for food prices, means for poor people the food crisis is far from over. Many poor countries have not benefitted from some moderation of food price spikes in global markets. The decision to expand the facility will help ensure fast track measures are in place for continued rapid response to help countries."
More information about today's announcements:
Earlier this month, the World Bank and the Global Distance Learning Network (GDLN) helped to facilitate a "South-South" dialogue on the use of ICT as part of larger education reform initiatives. The video for the event is now available online. This dialogue, mediated by one of Indonesia's leading talk show hosts and watched live by groups in eight Asian countries, included exchanges between the ministers of education in both Indonesia and Jordan, as well as contributions from other leading figures involved in education and technology in those two countries. Dr. Thiam Seng Koh of the National Institute of Education in Singapore brought in perspectives from the experiences of Singapore, considered one of the world leaders in thinking -- and action -- in this field.
The worldwide press is full of bad economic news about the financial crisis. You'll find plenty of graphs and figures of collapsing commodity prices, depreciating currencies, rising unemployment, and other economic horrors. But what about the impact on the ground? Here are some observable signs of the crisis in Mongolia that I've noticed in the last six months: