Priorities II.

How do you get children to school in a rural, mountainous region when they live a good way away and you don’t want them to arrive at school already tired out? The answer was that you get hold of some donkeys. The problem is that it is difficult to buy donkeys under the United Nations procurement guidelines. These guidelines require performance specifications, tendering and suchlike. The solution is to hire the donkeys as consultants, which is fine under the UN rules. Donkeys also have one great advantage compared to human consultants – they do not write reports.

From: Daniel, John. “Technology is the Answer: What was the Question?” McGill University. Montreal. 22 Sept. 2002. Public Lecture.

Priorities.

When I asked about the possible use of alternative learning technologies one woman suggested that her most pressing need was not for learning technologies but for other technologies such as washing machines, cookers and vacuum cleaners, which would help shorten the time she spent on housework and increase the time she needed for studying.

Edith Mhehe discussing her research on female students at the Open University of Tanzania, qtd. in: Daniel, John. “Technology is the Answer: What was the Question?” McGill University. Montreal. 22 Sept. 2002. Public Lecture.