Self-directed computer-based learning boosts education in developing countries


by Rhonda Massad

The 60 million girls foundation will be holding a learning lunch at Beaconsfield Golf Club on June 4 at noon.  The subject of the lunch is self-directed computer-based learning that gives children an extra educational boost in rural areas of developing countries.

Founder and President of 60 million girls foundation and former Beaconsfield resident, Wanda Bedard will talk at the upcoming lunch about her recent visit to Sierra Leone, Uganda and Kenya, where she got to see first hand the projects put in place by 60 million girls, an organization committed to improving girls academic success.

“I try to go to the field every two years, at my own expense, to see how our projects are doing but also to see other projects to benchmark what we are doing,” Bedard told The Suburban. “We  are constantly trying to make sure that the money we raise is having the greatest impact possible.”

One of the programs the foundation has been working on is a pilot project called Self Directed Computer Based Learning in rural environment.  In the past the foundation focused on providing access to primary and high school for girls and boys.  Today, as access has much improved, the focus has shifted toward the shortage of trained teachers and class sizes of up to 70 children.

“In the past three years we set up a research and development department to seek out the most innovative ways to push forward quality of education.” Bedard explained. “Our pilot projects are proving very successful in increasing literacy and learning.”

The upcoming lunch is to expose people to the foundation but more specifically to update us on the newest innovations in technology that are being used.

“We will introduce our participants to something new called Raspberry Pi that is a mother board without a screen.  Materials are downloaded and anyone with a cel phone or tablet can take advantage of what is provided.”

“Almost everyone has a mobile phone.” Bedard went on. “At first glance it is strange to see the poorest of the poor with a cel phone but then you realize that cel phones have a tremendous impact giving people access to information and communication. It is life changing.”

Tickets for the luncheon can be purchased for $100 and a tax receipt of $50 will be issued.

More information and ticket sales can be found at


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