Moaning over rural-urban schools digital divide in Africa

By Issa Sikiti da Silva, in Dakar, Senegal

There is no telling when rural schools in Africa will become as digitally influent as their counterparts in urban areas. The technological gap is just too deep and too frustrating that some teachers in the rural areas are thinking of relocating to urban areas to apply for teaching posts.

Coumba Cissé, of Senegal, is among them. She poured her heart out to Biztechafrica during her recent visit to Dakar on Easter holidays.

She said she was bored to death to teach in rural schools where there is no ambition and where technology was seriously lacking – a factor she said was making her teaching useless and ineffective as the world is experiencing the full swing of the digital revolution.

“I have been shifting from one rural school to the other in the past 12 years of my teaching career, and all of them are the same,” a disgruntled Cissé said.

“We always hear through the unofficial channels that the government will supply all rural schools with computers, but I sometimes wonder where the money will come from. Compared to schools and educators in urban areas who are moving forward, we, in the bushes, are falling further behind and there is no clear sign that we might catch up with them any time soon.”

But she admitted that a few rural schools in Senegal have been equipped with IT equipment, not by government but multinational companies and western countries and NGOs.

On the other side of the town, a teacher from Guinea-Bissau, also plying her trade in a rural school, was caught up by Biztechafrica in Dakar singing the same song.

Guinea-Bissau, one of the world’s poor and politically unstable countries, is bordered by Senegal to the north and by Guinea-Conakry to the south and east, and with the Atlantic Ocean to its west.


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