Forward Protocol Whitepaper
by Karnika E. Yashwant (Mr. KEY) and Mitch Rankin
Former president of the United States, Lyndon Johnson famously said, “At the desk where I sit in, I have learned one great truth: The answer for all of our national problems, the answer for all the problems of the world, comes down, when you really analyze it, to one single word - EDUCATION”.
More than a billion people in the world still do not have access to the information and solutions that are freely available to change the quality of their lives at a local level. They lack the knowledge to solve real-life problems that are inherent in their communities.
There are two major issues:
    1.
    Education is not democratized.
    2.
    The information that is available online to solve many problems at a local level - perennial issues like climate change, agricultural issues, energy issues, financial issues, business problems, HIV education, literacy, math, sciences, etc. - is not accessible. It could be caused by inadequate technology, methodologies, or poorly trained experts.
Forward Protocol aims to democratize education and change how the world learns by reforming and redefining the existing education and learning model with blockchain technology. This goal is achievable by creating a framework that incentivizes the transfer of knowledge between experts and learners in a qualitative model.

What is the democratization of education?

The Pedagogical encyclopedia (1989) defines the democratization of education as follows: A process in the world, in certain countries and areas in which the inherited class and other restrictions in exercising the right to education are avoided, ways in which its mass use is opened at all levels. It enhances the wide social influence in politics, financing, planning, and the practice of education of the population. This is done by the expansion of the network and improvement of financing, the reduction of the impact of the state bodies, the decentralization or in other words by the distribution of decision-making at different levels. This means the inclusion of the educator and other employees, parents, learners, and representatives of the various social structures, direct management i.e. self-management in schools and other educational organizations and at other levels and modernization of the learning process with greater participation of the learner.

Why is this important?

Creating a conducive environment that inspires passion and interest is vital for students to learn and is an integral part of the education process. Students in many countries of the world are stuck in environments with archaic educational structures and systems that limit their access to the knowledge they need to progress at the same pace as their counterparts in other parts of the world. Couple that with poorly trained, unmotivated teachers, and the result is a substandard education or transfer of knowledge. Forward Protocol will provide the underlying framework, with an incentivized “earn as you learn” protocol that applications and organizations around the world can use to connect learners from countries with inadequate educational resources to the best educators in the world.
Many people argue that education is a tremendous socioeconomic equalizer. This is a sentiment shared by politicians, journalists, and anyone that had the privilege of a good teacher. They agree that a good education will provide everyone with the professional opportunities necessary to overcome and eliminate poverty and elevate human achievement.

If this is true, we need to answer the following questions:

    How can learners without access to the right experts learn and compete in the global marketplace against people with access to these experts?
    How can learners with poorly trained experts be expected to perform at the same level as their counterparts in parts of the world where the educators are of superior quality, and industry experts are accessible?
Forward Protocol will provide the framework to help experts and learners, or teachers and students to connect by facilitating the transfer of knowledge through an education protocol driven by an incentivized reward system.

What does Forward Protocol provide?

Forward Protocol provides the blockchain solution that connects the EdTech sector. Forward Protocol’s modular architecture and ready-to-deploy fully customizable smart contracts are designed for any learning platform to adopt blockchain technology. DeEd (Decentralized Education) creates infinite possibilities, changing how the world learns. The protocol's “earn as you learn” model works by rewarding participation and excellence, motivating learners to learn new skills or knowledge, whilst earning tokens.
The protocol is designed to be modular so any organization or application in the education space can use whichever module they need to make their platform functional. The rules are defined by the organization deploying it, but Forward Protocol sets the stage for Decentralized Education (DeEd).
This reward system in Forward Protocol is validated and executed by various types of smart contracts - which are built to motivate and reward participants - they will be the moderators of our protocol.
The primary purpose of Forward Protocol is to validate and reward the transfer of knowledge between experts and learners. It creates a level playing field while incentivizing the qualitative transfer of knowledge.
Forward Protocol will be decentralized, maintaining independence from any third-party influence. This is guaranteed by the use of smart contracts, community-driven governance (DAO) and an open ecosystem.
Forward Protocol serves as a trusted, transparent, and valid intermediary between two parties in the learning space that enables the validation of knowledge transfer in one or both directions.
Forward Protocol will not be part of the content creation process. It will create the framework that learning applications educational institutions build on.

What is the relevance of Forward Protocol for Education?

The COVID pandemic highlighted a painfully obvious truth about the inequality of education globally. It is a dire situation with an ever-widening gap between the learners able to access experts and the ones that cannot.
There are many active initiatives deployed worldwide to resolve the challenge of creating access for the 50% of the world population without access to the internet or the technology they need. A notable project is gigaconnect.org, an initiative launched by UNICEF and ITU in September 2019 to connect every school to the Internet and every young person to information, opportunity and choice. This initiative is funded by the Musk Foundation and many other parties.
After these hubs are connected to the internet, they still need a system to connect their learners to experts who can deliver world-class education and knowledge transfer. Forward Protocol promotes a framework that links experts to learners globally. In essence, Forward Protocol is the software update to the hardware being implemented.

UNESCO’s goal

For UNESCO's Sustainable Development Goal #4 (SDG4), that all girls and boys complete free, equitable, and quality primary and secondary education leading to relevant and effective learning outcomes to be achieved by 2030, we need to ask the following questions:
    Is the current education system equipped to solve this challenge?
    Is the current education system able to eliminate gender disparities in education and ensure equal access to all levels of education and vocational training for the vulnerable, including those with disabilities, indigenous people, and children in disadvantaged situations? This inclusion and equity mean that all people irrespective of sex, age, race, color, ethnicity, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property or birth, as well as people with disabilities, migrants, indigenous peoples, and children and youth, especially those in vulnerable situations, should have access to inclusive, equitable quality education and lifelong learning opportunities.
    If not, is an alternative system available?
    What incentive could facilitate the change needed to solve this problem?
Forward Protocol will enable the possibility of a digital education facilitated by experts to support the transfer of knowledge needed to complete this goal.
Last modified 22d ago