Can Digital Education Help Transform Africa?

By Nicole Earll, Parent Herald May 13, 11:45 am
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Technology is evolving fast and with greater connectivity through the Internet, many look into it as a tool to transform the lives of many people. One of the things discussed in the World Economic Forum in Africa is how the digital technology can aid Africa's economic transformation and social development. Is Africa ready for digital education?

As reported by TIME, some people believe that digital education will be the answer to the education crisis in Africa. However, this is in contrast to studies that showed "people learn best when learning is active." TIME moderated the debate during the forum between education professionals and digital technology evangelists looking into the potential and pitfalls of digital education.

Some of the interesting points made include what Colin McElwee, co-founder of Worldreader digital library, said that there is a great opportunity for the country given that 2G network has already reached 75 percent of Sub-Saharan Africa. Meanwhile, Temitope Ola, head of Swiss Institute of Technology's MOOCs for Africa, said, "Where there are no schools, where there are no teachers, we need to embrace digital to the fullest."

While the country can embrace digital education, many believe that it can't be 100 percent digital. As Fred Swaniker, founder and chief executive officer of African Leadership University put it, Africa needs an "Education that blends online and offline interaction...blending best of both worlds."

Regardless of whether it is digital or not, education should be given a priority. Giving more people access to education can help them have a better life by enabling them to have greater control of their "financial destiny," TechCrunch noted. The publication said the people is one of the most important resources of the country, and investing in their development will result in key long-term benefits for their communities and the country as a whole.

 


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