With a population of 1.3 billion people, Africa has earned itself the second spot in the
list of the most populous continents in the world. Africa is a multicultural continent
with an almost embarrassing abundance of natural resources. Sadly, these resources
have been massively underutilized, causing the hopes of the continent to rest on the
shoulders of its well marginalized children and youth population.
The problem, though, is that these children and youths are massively unprepared to
rebuild the continent. Illiteracy has plagued this young demographic to the point where
they, who hold the hopes of the continent, are in need of saving. African children are
educationally disadvantaged when compared to their counterparts in Europe and the
Americas. This disadvantage stems from a number of reasons, including, but not limited
to: poor school management, the use of outdated curricula and inadequate teaching
materials, poorly educated teachers, apathetic governments, and an aversion towards
the use of technology to aid learning.
While considering solutions to this problem, India—a country in Asia that used to be
analogous to Africa in terms of their educational standard—comes to mind. India,
having a population of over 1 billion people, just like Africa, had struggled with
providing good quality education for its children and youth population. It was common
for Indian parents to send their children to countries in North America in search of
better quality education. However, over the past couple of years, education in India has
improved drastically. This improvement was due to the spike in the number of startups
that fused education and technology, now known as EdTech businesses, operating in
India. Companies like BYJU’s, Unacademy, Vedantu, amongst others, have made proper
use of technology and other tools at their disposal to provide quality education for
children all over India.
These venture-backed companies have rewritten the story of education in India, and
their success lends credence to the idea that the use of technology can change the
narrative of education in Africa as we know it.
The Economic Times magazine refers to India’s growth in the 21st century as
transformational, and this is mostly thanks to the many breakthroughs that they have
had in science, technology, engineering and medicine, and at the centre of this growth
is the education of their citizens.
Africans must take a cue from the Indians; we must educate our people because they
represent our only chance of restoring the dignity of our continent.
Check out a few startups in Africa that are using EdTech to make a difference in Africa: https://mswitchglobal.com/2021/07/5-innovative-startups-that-are-preparing-african-kids-for-the-future/