The Barefoot College

Sanjit "Bunker" Roy  tells in a TED talk of the "Barefoot College", the educational NGO which is changing the developing world -

The Barefoot College is a non-government organisation whose objective is to supply rural communities with self-sufficient and sustainable solutions. Its main fields of  operation are: solar energy, water, education, health care, rural handicrafts, people’s action, communication, women’s empowerment and wasteland development. The Barefoot initiatives are planned and implemented by rural men and women who are known as ‘Barefoot Professionals’. These are rural men and women irrespective of age, who although barely literate or not at all, were trained to work in various professions - day and night school teachers, doctors, midwives, dentists, health workers, solar engineers, water drillers, hand pump mechanics, artisans, designers, masons, water testers, phone operators, blacksmiths, carpenters, computer instructors, accountants and others. Quoting the organization's statement: "The College believes that for any rural development activity to be successful and sustainable, it must be based in the village as well as managed and owned by those whom it serves. Therefore, all "

Ido not fully accept the denunciation of formal education as Bunker Roy does in his talk, but one has to accept that the Barefoot College presents a competing paradigm to the one currently dominant in developed countries. It may very well be that everywhere in the world, a different approach, combining a necktie and the barefoot, may be more beneficiary.