Can EdTech be a solution to the current education challenge 

Electine Oyaga

What you need to know:

  • As a result, the concept, “EdTech” is becoming an edge-cutting phenomenon, with a market projected to grow to more than $252 billion by 2025.  

In the past months, there has been compelling arguments and public debates on whether the Ministry of Education and Sports should review the current education curriculum with several Ugandans calling for scrapping of the Primary Leaving Examination due to its inability to meet learners’ needs and equally or effectively evaluate them.  

I believe most of these conversations have been triggered by the sector’s failure to provide quality education to learners. 

As we wait for the Education Policy Review Committee to finalize their inquiry and submit reports with recommendations on the effectiveness and relevance of the current education system, the question to ask educators, parents, innovators and stakeholders interested in the education system is, how can we leverage the current wave of digitalisation to develop technology solutions that will provide solutions that expand access, engages students and equips them with relevant skills as they prepare them for the future of work.  

This trend of digitalisation involves driving demand for learning beyond the traditional classroom and creating a wave of innovative solutions in educational technology to provide access to high quality educational content and personalized learning to equip students with the critical thinking and solutions creating skills. 

As a result, the concept, “EdTech” is becoming an edge-cutting phenomenon, with a market projected to grow to more than $252 billion by 2025. 

In Uganda, the EdTech Industry rose during the 2020 lockdown. During this period, a critical mass of EdTech companies were formed ranging from “Learning, Training, Collaboration, Credentialing and Financial aid to create solutions to a standstill sector.  

The integration of EdTech into our education sector has the potential to provide solutions to some of the challenges faced by the education sector. For instance, increasing access to education in remote areas of the country where traditional schooling may not be feasible, provides personalized and adaptive learning based on learners’ experience and needs to adjust to their pace, difficulty, and content of lesson. 

Some EdTech solutions can facilitate easy collaboration and communication among students, teachers, and parents. Platforms like Google Classroom and Microsoft Teams allow for seamless communication. Database systems like cloud, Power BI or slack provide efficiency and valuable data on student’s performance and learning outcomes which can be used to improve teaching methods and education curriculum.   With teachers still lacking in professional development, EdTech can offer solutions for professional growth opportunities that are flexible, convenient, and cost-effective. Online courses, webinars, and virtual conferences can help teachers stay up to date with the latest teaching methods and technologies.

Since inception, the Innovation Village has been on a mission to nurture innovative solutions in various sectors of the economy. Through the Future Lab Studio, the EdTech Lab provides ideation, incubation, acceleration and business development support to innovator building solutions across various ventures of STEM, E-Learning, digital skilling and Research in Education that enables the build and refine their products, business plans and navigate the complexities of the EdTech market. 

Whereas technology may present valuable solutions to the challenges affecting our education sector, the government must begin to view the technology and internet as a basic need and work with private companies to deliver seamless connectivity in homes and schools and at low costs. Players should also work with innovators to tap into the existing e-learning solutions. All these steps are critical towards reimagining the future of literacy learning and teaching.

Achieving this doesn’t come cheap and bridging the education challenges will take not only the commitment of resources on the part of students, parents, schools and private sector but government in the form of policy as well.

Ms  Electine Oyaga  is Manager, Public Relations at Innovation Village.