Those involved in educational endeavors in the Third World, be they teachers, principals, survey takers, or tutors, face an enormous challenge compared to their fellow educators in more economically developed countries.
Understanding these challenges upfront and equipping yourself with the tools you need to overcome them should be a goal of every third world educator.
Here are four of the prevalent problems and challenges, related to education, that occur in less developed nations of our world:
1. Inadequate Technology and Software
In many educational facilities in third world countries, there are often surveys of students, parents, and the general community. These may be needed for government or school records or for improved personal understanding of the situations and attitudes of your pupils and their families.
The need for lightweight and portable, but durable tablets, and for adequate CAPI Software to accompany it is very real. Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI) Software in a third world setting needs to handle heavy demands, long surveys, be able to function well online and offline, and have built-in GPS. The right device and an optimal mobile survey app are key tools you need in your educational arsenal.
2. Large Classroom Sizes
In many of the world’s poorer countries and regions, classrooms will have as many as 50 children assigned to a single teacher. And the facilities may often be small and cramped, with few amenities.
Good classroom discipline is extremely critical in this kind of situation. You can’t speak over dozens of chattering pupils or chase down and redirect 50 wandering minds all at once. Too often, disciplinary measures become too severe in the third world classroom, but anything less than tight control of your class’s learning time will result in chaos.
One factor in your favor, however, is that many students are highly motivated to do well in school because their parents are sacrificing a lot to send them there. Keep good order in your large-sized class by a combination of rewards, reasonable but quickly administered punishments, and frequent reminders of the ultimate goals of getting a good education.
3. Many Never Attend Middle School or High School
Most children manage to attend grade school in their local village or neighborhood, and even then, it can take a large portion of their parents’ income just to afford the books, clothes, and school supplies needed to attend even free, local elementary schools.
But attending middle or high school is more difficult. It costs more, and the schools are often located further away. Children may even need to move into a dormitory, or else, the whole family moves to the town where the school is located.
Take time to inquire about students’ personal situations whenever possible: these will often affect their ability to continue at school, so it’s not prying. And do what you can to help brothers and sisters of your students to get a chance at secondary education, since often, parents can only afford to send one or two, if any, out of four, five or more children to school beyond the primary level.
4. Girls Are Often Left Behind
In too many third world families, where poverty puts pressure on the family’s educational decisions, the education of sons is deemed more important than that of daughters. As a result, two-thirds of the world’s illiterate population is female.
As an educator, you should encourage your female students and be quick to point out to their parents when they are excelling. You can only change the world one life at a time. Encourage parents to send their girls, as wells their boys to school and, realizing this unfortunately won’t always happen, be sure to teach your girl pupils as much as possible while you have them.