With the daily challenges posed by economic hardship and other threats, governments in developing countries are working hard to ensure that their educational institutions continue to provide a level of education that can put their citizens in part with learners in more economically sound countries. To some extent, these third world countries have succeeded in their crusade for quality education. The problem is that a good education has a price, and it’s often a price that many people in third world countries can’t afford to pay. Therefore, although quality education is available, it is still inaccessible to a large segment of the population of developing countries.
Certainly, it is impressive to see that developing countries have world-class educational institutions that offer an education that can rival that of wealthier countries around the world. There is clear recognition of the role that education plays in overcoming hardship and poverty. However far-fetched it may be, quality education is still seen as the best way to a better life.
Among the developing countries with great education systems are “emerging markets” such as Mexico, India, Brazil, Turkey, the Philippines, Egypt, South Africa, Malaysia, Thailand, most of South America and many of the Arab Gulf countries.
It is clear that the poorest of the poor in these countries will have a hard time getting into the best schools in their neighbourhood. Of course, there are always scholarship programs available but they are few. Besides, people at the lowest levels of the economic scale are concerned with the more pressing matters of their mere survival such as where to find food, money for clothing, and shelter. After these basic needs are met, this is the only time parents can really focus on their children’s education. In fact, studies show that once their basic economic needs are met, the first priority of most poor families is how to send their children to a good school.
India recently launched EDUSAT, an educational program that aims to provide quality education to even the poorest citizens. Among the group’s first initiatives is the development of a $100 laptop that the government hopes to distribute by 2007 to public schools across the country.