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Posts Tagged ‘Ethiopia’

Ethiopia diverts Nile flow, Egypt says no impact

May 28th, 2013
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) -- Ethiopia started to divert the flow of the Blue Nile river to construct a giant dam on Tuesday, according to its state media, in a move that could impact the Nile-dependent Egypt....


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Tablet as Teacher: Poor Ethiopian Kids Learn ABCs

December 26th, 2012
The kids in this volcano-rim village [Wenchi, Ethiopia] wear filthy, ragged clothes. They sleep beside cows and sheep in huts made of sticks and mud. They don't go to school. Yet they all can chant the English alphabet, and some can spell words.

The key to their success: 20 tablet computers dropped off in their Ethiopian village in February by a group called One Laptop Per Child.

The goal is to find out whether children using today's new technology can teach themselves to read in places where no schools or teachers exist. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers analyzing the project data say they're already startled.

"What I think has already happened is that the kids have already learned more than they would have in one year of kindergarten," said Matt Keller, who runs the Ethiopia program.

The fastest learner is 8-year-old Kelbesa Negusse, the first to turn on one of the Motorola Xoom tablets last February. Its camera was disabled to save memory, yet within weeks Kelbesa had figured out the tablet's workings and made the camera work.

He proclaimed himself a lion, a marker of accomplishment in Ethiopia.

On a recent sunny weekday, nine months into the project, the kids sat in a dark hut with a hay floor. At 3,380 meters (11,000) feet above sea level, the air at night here is chilly, and the youngsters coughed and wiped runny noses. Many were barefoot. But they all eagerly tapped and swiped away on their tablets.

The apps encouraged them to click on colors -- green, red, yellow. "Awesome," one app said aloud. Kelbesa rearranged the letters HSROE into one of the many English animal names he knows. Then he spelled words on his own, tracing the English letters into his tablet in a thick red line.

"He just spelled the word `bird'!" exclaimed Keller. "Seven...



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