The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation celebrated its 15th anniversary by announcing its intentions to improve the lives of people in poverty-stricken countries through technological advancements and betting on online education to extend to billions worldwide.
“We’re putting our time, resources and credibility behind this bet, and asking others to join in.”
According to the Foundation’s 2015 annual letter, it promised to drastically improve life in the developing world at a rate higher than any other time in history. It ensured that online education would be revolutionary by the year 2030, especially when it provides the citizens of poor countries with access to educational opportunities.
“We think the next 15 years will see major breakthroughs for most people in poor countries. These breakthroughs will be driven by innovation in technology — ranging from new vaccines and hardier crops to much cheaper smart phones and tablets — and by innovations that help deliver those things to more people.”
The Foundation also visualized the benefits of online education to help navigate individuals towards specific career paths. It stated that the new course material that will be provided would focus on specific professional requirements.
The Foundation also mentioned its benefits to children in third world countries, asserting that online software tailored to various learning speeds would be able to help educate children in basic letters and numbers prior to their admission in primary schools. The software, which would also be accessible on parents’ smart phones, would allow easier collaboration with students and other teachers. Language learning will be easier as well through feedback returned from the software that corrects any mistakes in pronunciation, writes Peter Jacobs of Business Insider.
Gates promised to tackle the threatening gender gap through promoting online education in developing countries. It aims to equip women in countries such as Africa and South Asia with a more pronounced technological platform, writes Geoff Weiss of Entrepreneur.
The letter also notes how the software would benefit teachers in the classroom. Teachers will be able to upload videos and receive feedback from their peers, watch and learn from the best teachers in the world and get real time responses from their pupils. Such advances would be highly beneficial in developing countries where there is high enrollment but low rates of student achievement.
The Foundation made the vitality of education clear, but also mentioned the need to address the situation at the pain points or else the “education will become another cause of inequity, rather than a cure for it”.
The Gates Foundation continues to give more money to education than any other cause within the United States, considering it to be “the best lever we’ve seen for giving every child in America a chance to make the most of their lives.”
Other than technological advancements, the Foundation also insisted on an increase in the number of donors willing to lend a helping hand to the more vulnerable regions in the world. A video released by the Foundation stated how aid dollars donated to the poor would push more and more people away from the grasps of extreme poverty.