In today's busy world more and more students want services, information and entertainment that they can keep with them and access whenever and wherever they want. This has led to a steep rise in the use of handheld devices
such as digital mobile phones, pagers, personal digital assistants and palmtop computers which are truly portable because they are small, light and can send and receive information instantly using what is known as WAP technology
. WAP stands for Wireless Application Protocol, an agreed-upon format for transmitting data between two devices set up by Unwired Planet, Nokia, Motorola and Ericsson. The introduction of these technologies in classrooms is likely to improve attendance rates of students.
The growing importance of mobile in emerging markets is an opportunity for increased access to education. Education in developing countries - particularly in rural areas - will benefit from the increasing population access to mobile technology.Wap-Education
is free, accessible through all operators and types of phones.
From the end of primary school to two years after the baccalaureat, students can access lessons, revision, careers guidance, cultural and medical information on their mobile phone. It is a means of connecting students and teachers. 1,100 lessons and questionnaires prepared by teachers are already online. These solutions will soon be tested in Senegal.
100 students, i.e. 3 final year high school students from a school in Dakar, are going to be prepared with high performance mobile phones with which they may use WapEduc resources for a few months. After this test period, the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS)
– via its IREDU (Educational Research Institute) entity - will conduct a poll on these students to quantify their satisfaction.
Young Senegalese students will be particularly attracted as few have computers and landlines but many have mobile phones.
Besides the Ministry of Education, the project is also supported by Orange France
and Microsoft Senegal.