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Submitted by Reagan on
i just got to look at this article, and i, like a good number of people who have contributed to this post feel that the ereader is poised to be the change-maker as far as Education in africa is concerned. Now Africa is a big place, 50 or so states, each with somewhat unique education systems and curriculae, but ideally, in my view, all knowledge meted out in schools world wide ultimately converges. If this is the case, then let me propose a model that uses eReaders in schools. i live in Kenya and will use the education system here as a model and allow you to extrapolate this to your own settings. The body in charge of education here is the KIE(Kenya Institute of Education) and they work to produce texts that are used in primary, secondary and tertiary level colleges. in essence, this is where a lot of kenya's students are. they make a tidy fortune from this, but what if they could make more, much more? imagine they gave out an ereader to every student as they get into primary school. the ereader could access the KIE servers via 3G(which has over 80% coverage here) and download the necessary ebooks that they'd need for that years coursework. where's the money in that, you ask? well, every student buys a scratchcard that's scratched to reveal a hidden number(top-up scratch cards are big here, mainly due to the mobile network operators that sell their airtime this way, so the whole process's a no-brainer). Here, they could do two things A. put in the scratch card number into a custom app that comes with the ereader and which tops up their ebook credit B. attach the scratch card number to the ebook request sent to the KIE servers using a custom application. infact, if there weren't the resources to develop custom apps for the ereader, then users could send an SMS with the scratched numbers to the KIE servers, which would validate the details and load the users credit level. (There're just so many models to this, i'm sure others are probably coming to you right now) The interesting thing here is that KIE doesn't spend a dime printing, stocking and transaporting the books, users don't carry around huge bags stacked with books, and KIE can see their money come in as well all behind a computer! is this, and other models, worth thinking about? if someone can come up with a model that brings in money, isn't that one of the main issues cleared out of the way?