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How best to standardize e-learning in rural and urban schools with/without Internet access.

The topic which I often wish to discuss is how countries can easily implement e-learning in rural and urban areas irrespective of the environment the users are in .

Take for example, how someone in the most remote areas without electricity and Internet can have access to the same contents and tools that the city folk with access to electricity/Internet.

Most e-learning providers rely very much on Internet based e-learning and management tools for their solutions as they are using online programming languages like PHP.

The problem with most of these solutions is that rural areas will not generally be able to have access to such materials with the result that two systems have to be implemented - one solution for connected and another for the unconnected. This causes many financial and logistic challenges in many if not all countries.

We are proposing a solution that will work fine in all areas including the most remote areas using existing infrastructures and technology. The solution does not need Internet to run and works fine with Solar powered PCs.

This way, any country from Indonesia to Zimbabwe can implement universal education very cost effectively without having to spend billions on infrastructure.

Our opinion is if any country's rural areas are not empowered digitally and trying to implement digital Education will face lots of challenges as is happening now.

We know of countries which have great grandiose ideas of using latest digital technology with all the supposedly fantastic features and connectivity etc , but in the end did not solve their main problem... their rural areas' ICT empowerment.

Others with better ideas on how to close the digital divide in developing countries are welcome to add here.

Alan Foo

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