Friday 29 January 2016

E-Learning in Africa

The BBC has recently reported that “E-Learning for Africa [is] held back by power shortage”.
Digital supplies in African regions without access to traditional teaching supplies could provide a cost effective approach to education in less economically developed nations.

“There are well-documented problems about access to education. The Africa Learning Barometer at the US-based Centre for Universal Education at Brookings says of the continent's nearly 128 million school-aged children, 17 million will never attend school.”

According to the report, the result of difficulties to access digital education has means that “education in Africa… has become a hotbed for e-learning.”

My Learning UK Ltd developed our “Expedition” software specifically to battle these issues. Our “black box” works in isolated locations and provides its own wireless network. The internet isn’t available, but learning resources can be shared with students and teachers can also receive students’ work back.

The box can even connect to 3G networks if they are available in the area. All the content required by these schools can already have been loaded into the VLE before they receive it. This would mean books, lesson plans, videos, images and more could be available in the middle of a desert if needs be!

Innovative approaches to resolving this issue are the reason the article by the BBC announced there is “Huge Potential” for e-learning in the region.

“There are 440 million under-16s on the African continent, and the vast majority of them aren't getting a quality education, because their schools are overcrowded, with under-trained teachers, and with little to no learning resources," said Nisha Ligon, chief executive of Tanzanian company Ubongo, which creates digital content.”

The article continues to support e-learning as natural solution to education distribution in Africa:
"E-learning gives us a great opportunity to supplement these kids' learning at a massive scale," says Ms Ligon, whose company's television output reaches over 1.5 million households in Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Ghana.

"We see e-learning as a huge opportunity to equalise the access to learning material for the majority of schools in Africa that are under-served financially or academically," said Nivi Mukherjee, president of education at Kenyan company BRCK.

The issue is, of course, the shortage of a power supply. The lack of internet in the region can be overcome, however for any e-learning technology to function- such as the “Expedition” box by My Learning UK Ltd-electricity must be provided.

African officials have been exploring solar power and Jesse Moore, head of Kenyan pay-as-you-go provider M-KOPA Solar, says "I would bet that in a decade's time, distributed solar power ends up as the primary power source for half the population,” which would allow for e-learning to become an integrated aspect of teaching in Africa.

Our “Expedition” product has been itching to deliver learning materials to schools in need all over the world. Let’s get powered up! 

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