TechInAfrica – The education system in Africa is facing problems in terms of accessibility and the quality of teaching. There are approximately 90 million children out of school on the continent, losing their access to education that should be provided by the government.
In South Africa, only 40 percent of pupils finish high school, despite the fact of being the most industrialized economy in Africa. These issues facing Africa demand solutions, thus, many investors are currently offering potential solutions.
The widespread use of smartphone and the rise of entrepreneurship resulting in edtech innovation. Many edtech startups attempt to make education more feasible and accessible, providing learning to the individual and school curriculums with the availability of online learning apps.
Nevertheless, these edtech solution is never been an easy task as African edtech providers often face roadblocks due to internet connectivity limitations as well as the low interest of investors.
In order to address the challenges facing African edtech sector, here are what startups can do:
The increased use of the internet occurs in two African countries; Kenya (83%) and South Africa (71%) while the rest remain offline due to relatively expensive mobile data costs. Those who can access the internet are even going offline only once or twice a day for checking social media or messaging apps. This issue facing edtech as their solution to distribute online channels don’t reach the main target users.
In order to reach these offline users, edtech startups should utilize offline distribution channels by collaborating with governmental bodies or schools. With teacher helps, edtech startups will be able to cater to these offline users. Meanwhile, partnering with the government will enable the edtech startups to distribute their content at various accredited centers.
Edtech startups can use an approach to offline target users using CDs that can be installed easily on a computer. The CDs can be sold on a website, at exam centers, or in schools.
Another challenge facing Africa’s edtech scene is payment options. As their main target is underserved students with low-income, there should be a way for them to pay ‘offline’. This should be done with their parents. However, in Africa, there are still many parents who are not connected to online financial services.
The best solution to this payment challenge is to through direct carrier billing where enable them to pay for an app via telecommunication network provider. Users need to send a code to a number to download the app that automatically deduct money from their mobile credit. As for this solution, edtech startups should collaborate with network providers and split revenue.