One organization is hoping to prove that an epidemic can't stop Liberian kids getting an education by using Rumie tablets at a cost of $50 a piece, each loaded with books, videos and games that have been pre-approved and operate offline.
Named the World's Best Social Startup by Global Entrepreneurship Week, Rumie can provide a virtual tech library and, of course, invaluable hope for those with the motivation to learn, for the cost of a single textbook.
The math that we like even more is that, as private donors cover the R&D and development of the tech, as well as the shipping of the tablet to Africa, the public's donations go 100% to providing kids with this invaluable tool. Originally, Rumie tablets had been sent to Liberia to help reeducate and rehabilitate child soldiers, a program canceled when schools were closed after the outbreak of Ebola.
Interestingly, the power-efficient tablet costs less than $1 a year to charge, and uses open-source textbooks (produced by CK-12) and videos (by Khan Academy) that have been pre-vetted as being as effective as commercial textbooks. The tablet's tech includes background analytics that automatically track a student's progress.
The most important element is something we're very much in the throes of at Not Impossible, and that's a commitment to ensuring that all kids, regardless of their socio-economic status, have access to a digital education. Without digital literacy, let alone literacy, the gap between the developed and developing countries will continue to diverge. Affordable technologies are, perhaps, the best first step to addressing this growing and ongoing concern.
"By investing in the education of the future of humanity, we increase the chances that tomorrow's adults have the tools to solve those problems effectively."-Tariq Fancy, Rumie.org founder.
To help support the initiative, take a look at the IndieGoGo campaign that's been set up to help. The page will be active until December 27, 2014.