Technology in African Education: ICT from the Bottom Up


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Education is one of the most important facets to economic development in Sub-Saharan Africa. The deployment of Information Communications Technology (ICT) in education and the development of pilot programs in some of the most economically depressed and rural regions of Africa can help drive innovation and empower the next generation. Without proper and adequate education innovation becomes stifled keeping individuals impoverished. Technology helps to transform education in Africa by building a stronger workforce and developing entrepreneurs.

Programs such as; CyberSmart Africa, Interconnection Uganda, and m-learning platform’s like Nokia’s MoMath are some of the efforts helping to fight educational challenges, which include teacher training, classroom resources, and access to information.

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Technology in African Education: ICT from the Bottom Up

  1. 1. Education in Africa ICT from the bottom up
  2. 2. Social/Global Goal Economic Development in Africa Through EducationSource: UNESCO ReportUWEZO Report
  3. 3. Sub-Saharan Africa 46 countries 800M in 2007 1.5B in 2050 (UN projection) Lowest median age, highest birthrate Top 8 fastest- growing cities 2010 are in Africa 10 lowest GDP per capita (17 of bottom 20) Courtesy Rob Salkowitz
  4. 4. Education Stats Africa Last Source: UNICEF statistics
  5. 5. The Why?Without proper and adequate education:Innovation is stifled, which keeps individuals impoverished.Technology helps to transform education in Africa by buildingworkforce and developing entrepreneurs.
  6. 6. Children out of School Source: UNESCO Report
  7. 7. Some tough #’sPrimary school enrollment is among the lowest in the world.In Sub-Saharan Africa, only two-thirds of children who startprimary school reach the final grade.40% of Africans over the age of 15, and 50% of women above the age of25 are illiterate.Average of 40 pupils per teacher in sub-Saharan Africa, 60 to 1 in some Source: UNICEF
  8. 8. Educational Challenges Teacher Training Classroom Resources Access to Information
  9. 9. Potential Solutions Digital Media & ICT Solutions Increasing access to technology helps improve the quality of teaching and the learning experience for students on the front end Efficient management and resourcing of schools by governments on the back end.
  10. 10. Leveraging Point Large support and financial, institutional backing Low cost infrastructure and a ubiquity across nations Access to mobile and other forms of technology Successful piloting programs Education
  11. 11. Failure is not an option Pilot programs have not been able to run Some argue that there are not enough pilot programs implemented. Money and resources are low. ICT infrastructure is not ubiquitous. Corruption and lethargy
  12. 12. Tech Transforming Education in Africa  Interconnection Uganda  CyberSmart Africa  Nokia MoMaths
  13. 13. UGANDA
  14. 14. Interconnection Uganda What they do: A for profit social enterprise dedicated to spreading the use of information Communication Technologies (ICT) in Uganda. ICU works in partnership with Computers for Uganda; It donates 10% of the refurbished computers to CFU.
  15. 15. Computers For UgandaOn June 21, 2006 Computers for Uganda departed from MIT on its fourth tripto install computer labs of fifteen computers each in 9 schools in andaround Ugandas Masaka District.Rotarians,Computers for the WorldIndividualsForest Ridge School of theSacred Heart, Mount Si High SchoolWA public high schoolsGov’t of Uganda
  16. 16. Use of Digital Technology Donate and sell Computers and ICT equipment at low prices to schools. Training for students, teachers and administrators Hosts databases and offers data share programs Vision to get computers in every home.
  17. 17. Achievements: 400 computers to 30 secondary and primary schools School sizes 700-2200 totaleffect. Students find Gov’t & Educaiton
  18. 18. Social ValuePay it forwardTeach a man to fishUse technology to raise skill level of workers in UgandaEmpower youth to become entrepreneurs
  19. 19. SENEGAL
  20. 20. CyberSmart AfricaWhat they do:CyberSmart Africa reaches the poorest schools on earth with the world’sfirst adapted interactive whiteboard operating with inexpensive solar power.We offer a packaged service solution focused on student learning.
  21. 21. CyberSmart Africa21st Century Skills for Education:  Disruptive  Innovative  Scalable
  22. 22. Use of Digital Technology  Access to technology and curriculum in rural schools  Using solar energy to power whiteboards  They reach more students in the classroom and help train teachers  Implementation costs are 50% Less than traditional models  Provide 50% more teacher Photography CyberSmart website training Source: CyberSmart website80% of schools in Sub-Saharan Africa without Power
  23. 23. Social ValueOffering an innovative environmentally sustainable form of ICT education inthe most difficult and distant rural locations.This is a good representation of the Bottom of thePyramid, extreme areas working to solve a particular issue.They offer the largest demographic of rural poor schools access. Photography CyberSmart website
  24. 24. Achievements: Featured on the EduTech blog by the World Bank as a viable source if battery issues could be resolved Scalable option both in rural and urban educational settings. Truly sustainable if it was figured out because it is solar based Photography CyberSmart website
  25. 25. SOUTH AFRICA
  26. 26. Nokia MoMaths Photography/ Source Nokia Momaths brochure
  27. 27. Use of Digital Technology  Using mobile SMS technology to educate students  Raise Math scores,  A big issue in South Africa. Source Nokia Momaths brochure
  28. 28. Achievements 350 learners Grade 9 to mid-year examination in grade 10 7% less for regular users of the service than their peers who did not use it regularly. Average decline of 22% is evident Source Nokia Momaths brochure
  29. 29. Results: In 4 years- Grade 9 to mid-year examination in grade 10 7% less for regular users of the service than their peers who did not use it regularly. Average decline of 22% is evident
  30. 30. Social ValueApplication for education at the bottom of the pyramidFramework that allows many people to learn and access is a big social value.
  31. 31. Achievements: Started as a pilot involving 6schools in 4 provinces in 2009. 30 schools in 3 provinces in 2010 2011 implementation of theproject to a targeted 150 schools infour provinces
  32. 32. Progress on the Issues mLearning offers cheap and easy access to information Helps at the bottom of the pyramid Uniting Government, private and NGOs Is important to help expand educational initiatives Training for teachers is important Enhancing administrational support for teachers
  33. 33. What still needs to be done? Piloting Program support Replicate Successful Programs Scalability
  34. 34. Possible Investors: It’s not always about the Benjamins… Source: mLearning Report Dec. 2010 GSMA
  35. 35. Developed World Implications If it works in extreme environments then it can work anywhere. The use of a solar power interactive whiteboard can offer considerable savings to power bills and also be implemented in schools around the world. M learning is a viable option for access to information anywhere As a learning tool in all areas with access to mobile phone connection Viable low cost solution to economically depressed areas within the western world and helps bypass the use of smartphones, an expensive alternative to mobile technology in the western world