Educating Rigveda (and other stories)

Kenya and Nigeria are two of the crucibles of Africa’s tech revolution: yet the news from each of them this week presents a stark contrast. As do the findings of the OECD Survey of Adult Skills – good news for Finland and Japan, less so for the US and UK. All this, plus news on the educational impact of the US shutdown, and – but what’s that humming coming from the direction of India? Is it an ancient mantra? Is it the high-tech whirring of Internet cables? Or could it be both? Read on…


WORLD: major reports out this week include the UN’s Measuring the Information Society, which estimates that 2.7bn people will be online by the end of the year (UN) and the OECD Survey of Adult Skills – worrying reading for the USA, Italy, Spain and the UK, where adult numeracy and literacy scores are particularly poor (OECD)


USA: parks are closed, NASA employees are on furlough, and a default looms: but how is the government shutdown affecting education in the USA? (USA TODAY)


KENYA: big government projects to support and extend higher education have been announced, including doubling the number of tech universities and setting up an open university (UNIVERSITY WORLD NEWS). Meanwhile, connecting to the Internet in Nairobi has become as easy as getting on a bus (BBC)


UK: could this be the last article on MOOCs you’ll ever have to read? (TIMES HIGHER EDUCATION)


NIGERIA: education often suffers in the face of the West African state’s internal conflict. Lagos in the South, one of Africa’s tech hubs, is marked by supreme wealth and abject poverty; while in the North, Boko Haram violently attacks education, most recently killing up to 50 students in the Yobe State College of Agriculture. Support for education is vital, and news of Osun State’s tablet programme a glimmer of hope (ALLAFRICA)




and in other news…


INDIA: could the oral tradition of Veda chanting be passed down online? Sanskrit scholars convene for discussion (DNA)

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