The initiative, supported by the Mastercard Foundation's Regional Centre for Innovative Teaching and Learning in ICT, aims to address youth unemployment in Africa by improving access to quality education.
EdTech Monday explores challenges and solutions for 21st-century learning in Africa
In the final edition of EdTech Monday on Citi FM for this year, 2023, moderator Nathan Quao led a dynamic discussion on the integration of technology in education, focusing on Africa's educational landscape and if this is adequately equipped for 21st-century learning.
Four technology experts joined the panel to delve into the critical topic of monitoring and evaluating blended learning models.
Mica Woode, Research and Impact Associate, MEST Ghana; Dr. Vandyck Lomotey, Country Programs Manager at Generation Ghana; Kofi Asare, Executive Director of Africa Education Watch; and Thomas Eghan Ekuban, Content and Training Manager, TECHAide; provided valuable insights during the discussion.
Thomas Eghan Ekuban emphasized the strides made by his tech company in introducing practical STEM education. "Gradually, I'm sure we all can testify that we're moving in the right direction in terms of adapting to edtech solutions," he remarked.
Despite acknowledging challenges in reaching certain areas, Thomas highlighted their innovative solution, Asanka—an offline Learning Management System (LMS) enabling children to learn irrespective of location or internet connectivity, without incurring additional costs.
Dr. Vandyck Lomotey shed light on the challenges of reaching marginalized areas, citing both existential and systemic barriers.
He stressed the need to address basic needs before expecting marginalized groups to engage with EdTech, commending the Mastercard Foundation's efforts to transition these communities from survival mode to embracing educational technology.
Kofi Asare brought attention to a significant participation gap in secondary schools despite substantial investments in procurement.
"Participation was less than 10% in a model with a capacity for 10 million learners, teachers, and parents," he noted.
Kofi emphasized the importance of differentiating between procurement and participation, calling for improved access to tech tools to enhance engagement.
Mica Woode lauded MEST for leading the way in blended learning and explained their efforts to digitally train teachers for effective support in this educational model.
She also announced plans for an upcoming Edufair, providing stakeholders with a platform to collaborate and address key challenges in the education sector.
As the EdTech Monday series concludes for the year, the discussions highlighted both progress and hurdles in leveraging technology for education in Africa, emphasizing the need for concerted efforts to bridge gaps and create an inclusive and tech-savvy learning environment.
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