Most enterprises in Africa recruit skilled and high-performing talent from other countries. At the same time, the wealthy leaders in Africa send their children to study abroad. Several studies have highlighted the falling standard of education in many African countries. These instances depict the poor standard and state of education in Africa.
According to the United Nations,
“It is widely accepted that most of Africa’s education and training programs suffer from low-quality teaching and learning, as well as inequalities and exclusion at all levels. Even with a substantial increase in the number of children with access to basic education, a large number still remain out of school.”
Policymakers and educational institutions in Africa can improve the state and standard of education only by overcoming many barriers – no internet access lack of funding, having no teachers, having untrained teachers, overcrowded classrooms, and lack of learning materials. Educational technologies (edtech) help educational institutions and educators to overcome some of these barriers to education in Africa.
Many educational organizations in Africa these days leverage edtech to mitigate the disparity in education. In addition to adopting different types of digital learning; they overcome infrastructural constraints by leveraging cloud-based elearning solutions. They overcome some of these key barriers to education by switching from classroom learning to digital learning. Hence, edtech has been improving the state of education in Africa in a number of ways.
How Edtech Has Been Improving the State of Education in Africa Consistently?
Overcoming Fund and Resource Constraints
Often poverty or lack of financial resources is cited as a key barrier to education in Africa. Most African educational educations lack adequate funding and budget to improve the state of education. Several studies have highlighted how educational technologies help educational organizations to reduce the cost of teaching and learning. Many educational institutions leverage edtech to make teachers more productive and curtail textbook printing costs. The educational institutions can curtail both upfront and ongoing infrastructural costs significantly by leveraging cloud-based digital learning solutions.
Leveraging the Growth of Mobile Device Market
The consistent growth of Africa’s mobile phone market suggests an increase in the number of students who have access to smartphones and tablets. Educational technologies help educational institutions to implement mobile learning and distribute educational materials by leveraging the increasing smartphone penetration rate. Students can access new-age elearning solutions on both computers and mobile devices. Educational institutions can overcome many barriers to education by investing in elearning solutions that deliver an excellent mobile user experience.
Enabling Students to Access Global Education
The poor state of education in Africa often made wealthy people send their children to study abroad. But a large percentage of Africans lack both resources and opportunities to enable their children to access global education. Edtech enables students to acquire knowledge over the internet regardless of their geographic locations. An African student can study in international schools simply by accessing a virtual class software or LMS on his computer or mobile device. Also, students can use the elearning solutions to access a wide range of content and develop many in-demand skills.
Boosting Productivity of Trained Teachers
According to QZ.com, “African countries face a particularly difficult path to educate their fast-growing millions of children because of a chronic teacher shortage across the continent.” The policymakers cannot improve the state of education in Africa without increasing the number of trained teachers. They cannot enhance teacher education and recruit more trained teachers in a short amount of time.
But they can leverage edtech to boost the productivity and performance of trained teachers. Many educational institutions in Africa already leverage elearning solutions to make a single trained teacher teach additional students. The LMSs and virtual classroom software come with features to automate routine activities like attendance tracking and classroom assessment.
Also, they make it easier for teachers to keep students engaged and motivated by adopting the hottest elearning trends like gamification. Hence, trained teachers simply need to focus on personalizing instructions and improving the learning experience while teaching to a larger number of students in virtual classrooms or distributed learning environments.
Transforming Conventional and Overcrowded Classrooms
Students in Africa cannot acquire knowledge and develop skills by studying in overcrowded classrooms. They can acquire knowledge and skills effectively only through personalized and customized learning. Edtech helps educational institutions in Africa to boost access to education by transforming and digitizing conventional classrooms. An educational institution can adopt the blended learning approach to integrate teacher-led learning and online learning seamlessly. Likewise, it can leverage virtual classroom software to set up live classrooms and continue online classes while adopting digital learning.
Providing Access to Multi-Format Educational Content
The lack of access to high-quality learning materials is one of the major barriers to education in African countries. The educational institutions lack resources to make learning material accessible to every student. Edtech helps educational institutions to overcome this barrier by replacing conventional textbooks with digital educational content. Elearning solutions enable students to access educational content in multiple digital formats seamlessly over the internet. An educational institution can make students access ebooks, video lectures, audiobooks, and infographics by subscribing to digital libraries.
Reducing the Cost of Higher Education
According to SciDev.net,
“In South Africa, the average annual cost of fees and board exceeds the average household income. While the poorest students are supposed to get government assistance, ‘there are a group of people caught in between’ who neither qualify for assistance nor can afford to pay fees.”
The policymakers cannot make higher education accessible to millions of African students without curtailing fees. The educational institution can curtail fees only by leveraging cutting-edge educational technologies and adopting digital learning. The reduced fees will help policymakers to make higher education accessible to millions of students, along with improving the standard of education and fostering research.
Edtech enables policymakers and educational organizations in Africa to overcome some of the key barriers to education by adopting different types of digital learning. Many edtech companies and startups contribute towards improving the state of African education by launching a variety of cloud-based elearning solutions – virtual classroom software, online digital library, offline digital library, learning management systems (LMS), and online examination software.