Is it time for technology to make a step change in education ?
The gap in the supply of teachers and resources to educate young people is beyond the means of most Sub Sahara Africa governments to fill using conventional approaches.
In sub-Saharan Africa an estimated 30 million children are missing out on primary school (UNESCO figures). Some 22 million children are not in secondary school. Basic skills for future employment are founded on literacy and their future is at risk.
70% of the African population is under the age of 30.
The demographics are unlike anything elsewhere on the planet. How to change the dynamics?
Education is the ticket out of poverty for children. Families in Africa will invest in their children’s education because they know how important it is. Governments have mostly failed to provide affordable education using conventional routes to learning. It is left to individuals to look after their children’s future.
Can technology shape education opportunities in Sub Sahara Africa?
The African young have taken to “mobile” devices and communications. They are a generation that embraces its potential. Digital literacy is ahead of academic development amongst the young.
The traditional way of building schools and populating the buildings with teachers and blackboards will not meet demand. Leapfrogging infrastructure-intensive education could do the same as using mobile networks did for telephone networks rather than burying cables.
Legacy technology is not the barrier to change that it is in the West. The opportunity is there now to go straight to digital both in learning systems and content (eBooks).