Mending bridges


Taken in Lebak (Indonesia), this image depicts children in peril while crossing a partially collapsed bridge over an overflowing river while trying to get to school. When asked, children said they’d rather take this risk than walk another 30 minutes to use the next bridge. The image has often been brought up as a shocking example of how arduous “the road to education” can be.

This picture went viral in early 2012 and the bridge was mended soon after. Yet many other bridges are still waiting to be fixed. One should not think only about physical or technological infrastructure. Poor quality of instruction; shortage of suitable content, and the lack of qualified teachers are just a few of the core issues to solve when it comes to education in emerging markets worldwide. This is especially evident in early childhood learning. The imbalance in science and maths instruction in rural schools due to lack of qualified teachers in India, Indonesia, Malaysia or the Philippines remains largely unresolved.

The road to equity in education is long and winding. Fortunately, many stakeholders in the education industry are determined to bring balance and sow the seeds of social and personal growth for current and future generations.


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