Demand pull for Internet created by the needs of education in post-COVID-19 era


Posted by Rohan Samarajiva on May 15, 2020  /  0 Comments

Senior Research Fellow Sujata Gamage‘s op-ed in today’s Daily FT concludes thus:

Sri Lanka and most developing countries have come a long way from a situation where owning a phone was a luxury to where, for example in Sri Lanka, 97% of households have access to a mobile phone. However, access to the internet is available for less than 50% of households in Sri Lanka.

If parents see the benefits of their children learning to learn using supplementary content and note that children with better access to the internet have more and better content, those parents will go the extra mile to secure internet access for their children.

According to the 2016 Household Income and Expenditure Survey of Sri Lanka, parents in Sri Lanka already spend 50% of their education expenditure on tuition. If the need for tuition is reduced through fewer number of examinations to be faced by children and students are required to learn on their own supplementing textbooks with e-content, it could well be that education will be the driver of digitalisation of Sri Lanka.

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