Two billion children of the developing world lack adequate education – the foundation for human development. However, technology offers a solution which empowers the poor of developing countries to pursue education and learning. It is a tool which holds the ability to transform the lives of the poor, as it provides a means to learn, to be exposed to knowledge of the world, to access information, and to communicate.
Educational programs must break away from old systems. Inspirational and innovative companies such as One Laptop Per Child (OLPC), an organization founded by MIT Professor Nicholas Negroponte which provides laptops to children in developing countries, have been instrumental in addressing the world’s education problem.
The internet has revolutionized the world, allowing educational services to help the global fight on poverty. Free and affordable programs are laying the foundation for a world potentially run by MBA leaders who come from underdeveloped countries. Khan Academy is one such service. Like OLPC, it is a not-for-profit organization founded by Harvard Business School graduate Salman Khan with the mission of “providing a world-class education to anyone, anywhere.” The education offered includes a large variety of math-related topics, including “GMAT math”.
The GMAT Pill Review is another company that trains MBA candidates worldwide to prepare for the rigorous GMAT exam on both the Quant and Verbal section. Founded by Stanford graduate Zeke Lee, the company offers services which are priced at an approximate 75% discount to other similar programs, allowing students from developing countries who might not otherwise be able to afford quality courses of a similar nature.
Whether paid or free these services provide educational opportunities to those who would have never had the chance in the past. As a result of the technology revolution business schools may see a greater influx of applicants from more diverse corners of the world. Due to the internet, people in developing nations have access to better and more affordable educational opportunities. More and more will strive to advance their lives through educational opportunities outside of their homeland and pursue advanced degrees – a notion typically uncommon in underdeveloped countries.
Technology is a tool which provides the resources for education. Free or affordable education is now available to anybody who holds access to a computer. For example, many major universities offer a few free “open course”, such as Stanford, Yale, MIT and UC Berkeley. Since education serves as a critical and foundational solution for the global fight against poverty, technology serves as the tool which provides education opportunities to the poorest of poor.
Brenda Vongova writes for the HARBUS on international affairs. She has served in the cabinets of three Presidents of the United Nations General Assembly.