Education is certainly one of the most valuable human services that we can find. Since the Renaissance to constantly improve it has been one of the great challenges of humanity. Nowadays, there is an ongoing debate about the role of public education in our societies. Many authors agree that education, especially in the public sector, has failed to keep up with the requests of time and the market (Luftman, 2004). They also agree that a reform is necessary to boost and make it again the motor for development.
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The situation we are describing is valid for many industrialized countries of the world, yet this is especially true for developing countries. Proper education of the population is the only way to empowerment for the social classes in need. In order to perform this reform many developing countries require proper funding. In fact the United Nations does have a program on this issue and many donator countries provide large sums of money but many times the funding does not reach its designated target. Most of it in fact fails to reach the educational institutions due to bribery and corruption which pose a great barrier.
Nevertheless, information technology can play a significant role in reducing this corruption and gradually destroy this barrier. During the last decade, there have been significant developments in this respect. Especially, the developments in information technology and communication technology have been of great help. For example, in the case of educational development, the use of a central platform and the direct level of communication between the interested parties and donators are the latest ideas in the fight against corruption.
Through this method, the educational institutions of the developing countries that require funding for their projects will have the opportunity to apply directly to the United Nations agency without before passing through the bureaucratic institutions and processes of their respective countries. The platform developed allows these institutions to register and input all the required information along with their project proposals. The donating countries will also be able to input the information regarding the types of projects they are willing to fund.
Both parties will have access to this database and will be free to communicate directly through this platform via video, text message chatting or voice over internet protocol (VoIP) communication. In a certain sense, the platform forms a sort of virtual forum where the interested parties can exchange information without the need for a third intermediary party. This helps reduce corruption significantly but still, two other problems remain.
The planning process of the project and the practical implementation phase, have also been a big problem for the educational institutions and donators. Along with funding, these were three major barriers to educational empowerment in developing countries. The platform described above does also plays an important role in planning and implementing the funded projects.
Now, educational institutions can send directly to donators personalized messages with presentations of their projects. These presentations can be video messages or short films accompanied with PowerPoint slides and figures or excel financial requirements. The donators can review them and decide whether to approve the project or not. After the project has begun its implementation, the platform can serve as a medium of feedback exchange. The institution that has received the funding can time after time sends reports to the donator of the progress of the project. The donator can also ask to have live video streaming of the ongoing project.
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All of this would avoid the bureaucratic procedures and institutions of the developing countries and would ultimately benefit the societies living in those countries. We should not forget that this was made possible through the use of the latest technology and communications software. Also, since the educational institutions have input all the required information into the platform they can decide to send a field team to monitor the situation. This monitoring process can be directed from the United Nations office of representation in the country of the educational institution. This would completely avoid the corruptive administration of the local governments and of the United Nations staff also.
The donators will have the possibility to evaluate themselves (through their representatives) the ongoing of the projects. The passing of the funds can also be done through the online platform, through gradual payments via bank accounts. If, after the monitoring, the donator decides not to continue to finance the project, they can stop the funding through the platform at once.
This is a good example of what this new technology can do to benefit humanity (Luftman, 2004).
Luftman, J. (2004) Managing the Information Technology Resource, N. Y.: Pearson.