How Do You Bring Reading and Learning to Philippine Cellphones?

EDSA Dos. Electronic cash. Train passes. Dual-SIM phones. Miss calling phones. Most of the innovations in this texting republic take on specific and unique needs—be it avoiding theft, minimizing expenses, or ousting no less than the President of the Philippines. Could literacy and education be added to that list?

Last night I learned literacy rates among Filipinos have diminished by 7% since 2003. And that predictably, text messaging and online gaming have taken the place of reading books.

Shortly after, I discovered Japan has found yet a new use for its unbelievably versatile mobile phone: Cyber University. With almost 2,000 students enrolled since its opening in April, this university offers over 100 courses online, through a computer or a mobile phone.

It seems futile to develop and implement the same technology here, especially to the people that need it the most but in all probability have no phones anyway. To those who do, however, I can definitely imagine something on a smaller scale. The wildly popular Inday could be a start.

A few nits to pick first: her English is only almost believable, far from sophisticated, and even slightly forced. Her quips aren’t as witty as true comedy should be. One joke reveals how little she understands Rizal, which, like the others, clearly assumes anyone Inday talks to is dumber than her.

However, “intelligent” text jokes with a dash of vocabulary lessons might be the spoonful of sugar that helps the medicine go down—in a most delightful way!

1 reply

  1. There are some programs for cellphones that allow the user to read ebooks. Granted, the cellphone must be at least something like a 6600 (thus making the technology less accessible), and most of the ebooks out there are scanned copies (thus illegal), but still…

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