Wed. Oct 4th, 2023
    School Learners Engage with Robotics in South African EdTech Initiatives

    The Department of Basic Education (DBE) in South Africa has been working on incorporating the mathematics, science, and technology (MST) curriculum across local schools. A report by the African EdTech Insights, in collaboration with various organizations, highlighted both the accomplishments and challenges faced in this endeavor.

    One of the key findings of the report is that while online learning platforms have gained popularity with the increase in internet connectivity and mobile device adoption in Africa, there are still challenges related to unequal access to ICT. However, these platforms have provided educational opportunities to individuals who may not have otherwise had access to education.

    In South Africa, the DBE has made progress in implementing the new MST curriculum. Subjects such as robotics and coding have been included in general education and training. However, concerns have been raised about the equal access and implementation of these subjects in schools. Inequitable access to digital technologies, under-resourced schools, under-skilled teachers, and the uneven distribution of ICT services, including internet connectivity, have been identified as major obstacles.

    To bridge the digital divide and provide quality education to all learners, the report recommends developing multi-dimensional content that promotes technological and scientific awareness. It also emphasizes the need for inclusive and low-cost products for learners in disadvantaged schools. Collaboration with the DBE and other government stakeholders, as well as involving teachers in the development process, is essential for the success of educational technology initiatives.

    The report also highlights broader challenges faced by the edutech ecosystem in Africa, such as limited funding for edutech start-ups and corruption in governance systems. Access to ICT is also a limitation for venture development and expansion.

    Addressing these challenges requires synergistic partnerships and regular engagement between governments, private enterprises, edutech entrepreneurs, educational institutions, and the wider community. Co-creating solutions that are tailored to the African education ecosystem is key to overcoming these complex challenges.

    – African EdTech Insights Report by Injini Think Tank, Business France, EdTech France, and Afinef