How is EdTech Shaping the Future of African Education?


How is EdTech Shaping the Future of African Education?

Africa is a nation, where the implementation of technology is disrupting the entire system because work is going on at the grass root level.

Education in Africa has been behind for several years and vital measures are taken to help alleviate the problems in education system. One such high-priority measure is implementation of technology in education. It was important to do so as this will help in combating the issue of lack of resources, give students the modern age skills to survive and adapt in the workplace.

Mobile technology represents an important avenue to reduce the gap between the haves and the have-nots in contemporary society. Implementing e-learning programs in South Africa is easier said than done. But with adequate planning and implementation even the impossible is turning out to be possible. And, with technology integration the fragile education scenario of Africa is getting a boost in essential areas. Youth in Africa make up on average two thirds of the African population and it’s still counting. Therefore, providing the youths with an access to quality education and developing their essential skills is a pressing need indeed.

So far, the response of whatever developments have taken place in the area of technology integration in African Education space has been really impressive. New kinds of learning such as m-learning, online courses and other aspects of e-learning technology has helped the youths of rural Africa get access to education and with it, it assisted in enhancing their education provisions in various ways. Africa is a very poor country, the lack of quality education infrastructure is nothing new. So, when the new form of learning using education technology reached the subcontinent, it is fast bridging the existing gaps by completing the existing courses of top level universities and offering remote learning facilities. Even in developing countries, the experimentation of mobile technology proved successful because it is a much less cost-prohibitive solution and facilitated the purpose of distance learning adequately.

Secondly, it is because of the positive influence of education through technology in Africa that young Africans have started to aspire becoming a successful business leader and for it they are enrolling themselves in online courses that impart professional knowledge in different disciplines. The online courses are affordable and easy to access and with it they also help these enthusiastic youths in honing their business leadership skills. There has been a continuous churning of ideas which will help the youths formulate new models of leadership which will usher hope in the future generations and pave a way for future growth of the nation.

Thirdly, there has been a significant growth in the level of literacy and numeracy development in Sub Saharan Africa. Such was possible due to the focused attention of international organizations such as UNESCO and regional stakeholders to develop essential education competencies of youths thriving in the poor states of Africa. To get more details of how UNESCO is working in the area of development of innovative technologies in boosting Africa’s education system, click here.

Growing Aspirations in Africa

The biggest change that can be seen in the youths of Africa is that ‘they are more than willing to learn’. Such a mindset and thinking is one of the biggest catalyst to any change and this is why we see there is an emerging need of educational technology and strategies to boost the aspirations of youths to emerge as the global and national leaders of the future. Even the education proponents too see a huge advantage in teaching technologies such as mobile Apps and Online courses to take the youths of Africa way forward.

Again, education commentators are in particular emphasizing the growth of mobile learning, MOOCs, and online courses because they see it as being a viable solution to lift the low literacy levels in Africa for so long. It is even more fruitful in cases where few areas of Africa stand with extremely poor transportation and primary plus secondary education infrastructure. Until one actually is a witness to such situation in Africa, it is very difficult to understand the miniscule of problems existing in the country. Therefore, proponents who have been in favor of this solution find it best to implement because it is hard to get one to school. However, in case of m-learning or online courses, a learner need not have to go to school or colleges to pursue their learning.

The chain of challenge which is not allowing the country to develop its infrastructure are inadequate infrastructure, poverty, lac of trained teachers and scarcity of schools. Hence, all efforts are into first resolving these problems so that the benefits of Education technology can be harnessed to its fullest potential. Side by side, efforts are also into meeting the demand for learning resources. Big universities situated in Cape Town are working on this regard and also strengthening online courses so that they can provide valuable supplements to classroom based studies.

Taking all this into tally, one finds the scope for online courses developers and also providers is huge in Africa at this moment. Many global as well as regional partners have sprung up to offer different approaches and pricing models but as pointed out earlier until the challenges are fully mitigated, the drastic effect of technology integration in education is yet to sprout out in Africa. Expectations are that within a couple of years, with the help of international organizations and the home states support the infrastructural barriers and skills gaps in Africa would be resolved completely and e-learning and m-learning facilities would be making learning available to all in extremely poor countries like Africa. 

About the Author
Author: Ananya DebroyWebsite: http://edtechreview.in
Ananya is currently working as the Content Manager at EdTechReview. She has a keen interest in Ed Tech and the ways in which it is strengthening the education sector as a whole. She is an avid reader and loves to meet relevant people & unleash new updates on various innovations in the EdTech world as it indirectly helps her pen down well-researched blogs on the niche. Follow her @AnanyaDebRoy

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