Here is a big potential with the LEO venture. LEO is the abbreviation of "Earth orbit satellites." Ever heard of the fight for space internet supremacy in this digital era? The best known players are Starlink and Blue Origin. They have invested heavily in space hoping that once the satellites are full operational worldwide, they will harvest handsomely. LEO digital emerging technologies offers robust internet access to everyone; even the nations lacking wired, low-latency broadband options. These emerging technologies are driving down internet prices for consumers.
On the contrary, LEO satellites are promising not only bringing down low-latency broadband internet to consumers but also extraordinarily close to the Earth. Today, it's taking less time transferring data with lower latency than ever before.
Earlier, experts had extrapolated additional costs from the outdated wired cable and fiber broadband services available; and concluded that the introduction of LEO satellite internet could save the world billions of dollars (USD).
In Africa, we don't need such a top-down approach when it comes to closing the digital divide gap. It has to be a from the bottom-up approach, all the way from the Kindergarten. Bridge for Change (BFC) is coaching young teacher graduates who are already thinking big with their proposed projects. One participant in the BFC session is Ms. Bertha Baltazar. As a Science Teacher graduate, she see big challenges on science and innovation in Tanzania. When she was presenting her next big idea project, she wondered "why most Tanzanians get primary education in environments' that do not support creativity and innovation?" At the end of the day; she insisted that, when kids grow up, their minds are prepared to come up with their own home-grown appropriate technological and scientific solutions.
On the contrary, she said, the learners who opt for science courses are only those who take advantage of government policy opportunities like getting sponsorships and scholarships and not otherwise. Hence, they do not have passion in the science field. They just disappear after graduating. Furthermore, she feels that our institutions are mixed with unhelpful courses which do not challenge learners to explore ways to solve community problems creatively. Hence, they end up choosing a simple way to solve unemployment problems, leading to graduates who are jobless which is a time bomb. She insists that, insufficient technological infrastructure and other services are results lack of innovators.
The development of our nation has to depend on how we design systems to prepare the young ones to solve problems independently without aid. How might we design Tanzanian scientists? How might we adjust our environment to solve the problems of innovation and science creation? She thinks that, it's time to focus on children from early ages (3 to 5 years) in our communities. By doing that, kids will be induced to learn how to create and innovate in early stages hence becoming problem solvers. She is designing a project that will make raising kids who are learning science in our schools; to begin at the earliest possible stage with the right content such as cartoons, comic books, documentaries, etc. Based on the way, she has defined the problem; she is hoping, her solution which is home-made solution will make a difference.
Lastly, with the use of accelerated learning, facilitators will make kids more comfortable, learning at their pace. The little kids will never get bored easily, and with their ability to learn, the content will be mastered much better and well understood. She concludes that “learning will be more fun with interesting enjoyable science projects."
By Innocent F. Swai.
First Published in the Citizen Newspaper, Tanzania.