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Call 0800 - AULAS, an educational tool for those who live in remote places

Facilitate equal access to educational resources for students in rural or low-income areas.

Photo of David Vilchez Elías
7 5

Written by

I am a.....

  • Team of graduates from an innovation program withn interest in education and social projects

Tell us about your idea

A wide range of resources can be found on the Internet to support learning, but what happens when there is no Internet connection available, or if the learner does not have access to a laptop or smart phone?

In Peru, according to the National Institute of Statistics and Information (INEI), only 3.7 out of every 100 rural households have "access to the Internet", while in the urban areas it reaches 35.7% (without considering Lima). In the capital, the figure almost doubles to 61.8% (first quarter of 2019). The same situation is repeated in other countries of the region such as Ecuador and Colombia, and even on the other side of the globe, in India, the percentage of households with Internet access is 23.8% (NSSO), with rural availability of 14.9% and urban availability of 42%. 

The difference between rural and urban in Peru is abysmal, but nevertheless it is drastically reduced when we talk about mobile phone ownership, here the rural area registered 79.6% in 2018 (INEI), the urban area 93.5% and Lima 94.2%. 


This gap has become even more significant this year because of the coronavirus and the emergency shutdown, classes have been cancelled throughout the country and may not be restarted until next year. So public schools and the government have relied on alternative media to help them maintain education, they have set up a website with educational material  (documents, videos, among other things), as well as programs (just 1 hour per day per grade level) on TV and radio nationwide.


PROBLEM

Students (3 to 17 years old) living in rural areas often have limited access to the Internet, therefore they have very limited access to adequate resources to continue their education. They cannot access additional materials on the web platform, and if they did not manage to listen to the program at the time of its broadcast (TV or radio), they have no way of doing it again or to accessing a history of these broadcasts.


IDEA

Implement a repository of educational content in audio format, accessible via free call at the national level. 

Usability is key for children and teenagers to be able to access on their own. Navigation will allow them to find the content according to their grade, subject, and class. The content of the audios must be adapted to short and friendly formats. 


Examples

0800 AULA1 (primary school) or 0800 AULA2 (secondary school)

OPTION 1 - 1st grade

OPTION 2 - 2nd grade

then

OPTION 1 - biology

OPTION 2 - language


Through this tool, multiple choice questions can be included, in this case, students would answer through the keyboard of their mobile phones. 

This service must be promoted by the government to guarantee free access to it.

There is an opportunity for private schools to collaborate by providing content that they have already prepared.


What part(s) of the pre-COVID school system do you wish to leave in the past? Why?

Access to learning services and materials, mainly in rural and remote areas, which are often left behind due to their location and accessibility. Peru's geography gives us diversity in products and landscapes, but also brings challenges in terms of integration and access to services. Although more than half of the public schools are located in rural areas, it is common for children and adolescents to have to walk between 1 and 3 hours to access a school. I must emphasize that access does not mean quality, the vast majority of these schools do not have the adequate resources needed to provide a quality education. This situation limits access to better opportunities for thousands of children, and also in some cases leads their parents to leave the rural areas, abandoning work in the fields. Access to quality education should not be limited to the place where you live. To improve this situation, it is necessary to facilitate access to educational tools that are not limited to infrastructure, and that take into account the resources of the populations involved.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what inspired you to share this idea.

I had the opportunity to travel deep inside my country, to explore not only the big and popular cities, but also the small and remote villages. I once observed children walking on the same path as me, they usually greet you and talk a bit, that opportunity they told me they were going home from school, that they have to walk almost 2 hours in each direction every day. Luckily they walked with a big smile, but that answer certainly shocked me.

Back home I talked to my brother-in-law who used to live in Marcabal, a small town in northern Peru. He told me that in some very small towns near his hometown, children have to walk 1 to 3 hours to get to school.

This situation, combined with Coronavirus context, inspired us (team effort!) to share this idea. It is an idea that can be applied to many other countries that have a similar situation; we want to do our part to improve education.



What region are you located in?

  • Latin America and the Caribbean

Where are you located?

Lima, the capital city that is home to 9.5 million (of Peru's 32 million inhabitants).

7 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Spam
Photo of Bettina Fliegel
Team

Hi David and team. I think this is a great approach as a way to tackle the issue of equity in education. Thanks for sharing it! Have you shared the idea with any educators in your area to get feedback?

Spam
Photo of David Vilchez Elías
Team

Hi Bettina, thanks for you comment. Yes, we shared the idea with some educators, they recommended us to keep the audios short and mentioned that some subjects could be more difficult to explain by this means. We are still looking for more people to validate.

Spam
Photo of Bettina Fliegel
Team

Hi! I read a few Idea posts on the challenge that are using radio to reach students without internet access, or propose to do so.

Spam
Photo of David Vilchez Elías
Team

Hi Bettina, thanks you, we are already talking with the team of Radio Enseña (Chile). Radio is usually a great way to reach more people, we seek to complement these initiatives by giving students access to content previously broadcast on the radio, but adapting it a bit to facilitate usability over the phone.

Spam
Photo of Bettina Fliegel
Team

Exciting! Glad to hear you have connected with the Radio Enseña team as I imagine not all students might be able to listen to the radio at the time when the Radio Ensena show is broadcast.

I love the idea of using SMS! It opens up many possibilities. What interactive features are you discussing? (mentioned in your comment below to Elia Fulchignoni )

Are you thinking of using push notifications as one way of using SMS?
Do you know the percent of students in Chile who have their own phone? If students share a family phone using SMS will also engage with others in the family which might be an interesting opportunity too.

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