In Nepal, World Education’s Tech4Ed project is developing and promoting the use of technological tools to address two very different challenges: exploitation of migrant laborers and a dearth of mother tongue reading materials for the roughly 60% of Nepal’s children whose first language is not Nepali. In both cases, innovative use of technology allows World Education to expand the impact of its educational expertise beyond the number of people that could be reached through traditional programming.
As many as 1,700 migrants leave Nepal for foreign work every day, a move that brings both promise of better wages and of exploitation, unmanageable debt, and trafficking. Many migrants lack financial literacy skills, which puts them at greater risk. After realizing that face-to-face financial literacy classes could not keep pace with the flow of workers leaving the country, World Education developed a mobile application, “Prabasiko Sath”, with financial tools to guide migrants through pre-departure financial planning and money management while working abroad. The app also contains embedded safe migration messages and contact information for service providers to further reduce migrants’ risk.
The second focus of World Education’s technology work is developing decodable and leveled readers in six minority languages, plus Nepali, using Bloom software. Research has shown that children learn best when they learn first in their mother tongue. This component of the project will build the capacity of teachers, parents, and community members to quickly and easily create the reading materials children need to facilitate mother tongue literacy learning.