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From Classroom to Screen: The Evolution of Education in Africa’s Digital Age



The Evolution of Education in Africa's Digital Age

In the wake of the digital revolution sweeping across Africa, the landscape of education is undergoing a profound transformation.

According to Statista, online learning platforms in Africa are experiencing significant growth as more students seek accessible and flexible education options, with the number of users in the Online Learning Platforms market projected to reach 25.5m users by 2028.

With the rise of online learning platforms and the increasing accessibility of the internet, education is no longer confined to the four walls of a traditional classroom. Instead, students across the continent are embracing digital tools and platforms to access educational content and resources like never before.

The COVID-19 pandemic served as a catalyst for this digital revolution, accelerating the adoption of remote learning solutions across Africa. Case in point: during the first lockdown in Nigeria in 2020, a remarkable initiative emerged that exemplifies the power and potential of online education.

As the founder of one of Africa’s largest communities of Authors and Entrepreneurs called Online Publishers and Entrepreneurs Network (OPEN) which is largely built on a Facebook Group, I found myself at the intersection of necessity and opportunity.

Observing the widespread disruption caused by the pandemic and the profound impact it had on education, I recognized the need for swift action. It was within the confines of my “Online Publishers and Entrepreneurs Network” community that I witnessed firsthand the struggles of parents grappling with the sudden shift to remote learning and the lack of resources to support their children’s education.

Driven by a deep sense of purpose and a commitment to making a difference, I embarked on a journey to create a solution that would address the pressing needs of the community. Drawing upon the power of technology and leveraging the reach of social media platforms, I launched a free Online School for Kids, entirely hosted on Facebook using the platform’s groups feature.

With over 900 parents in the group and 22 volunteer teachers, including myself, classes were conducted seamlessly from Monday to Friday. The curriculum spanned a diverse range of subjects, catering to children aged 3 to 18 years old, covering core subjects like Math and English, as well as specialized topics such as Languages, Diction, and Leadership.

The collaboration didn’t stop there; teachers convened on Telegram to coordinate schedules and lesson plans, ensuring seamless delivery of instruction. Daily timetables were uploaded as volunteers became available, offering a structured learning environment for students amidst the chaos of the pandemic.

What made this initiative truly remarkable was its grassroots nature and the spirit of community and altruism that drove it forward. Teachers volunteered their time and expertise, selflessly dedicating themselves to the cause without expecting any monetary compensation.

For the children who participated, access to quality education was no longer a privilege reserved for the fortunate few who had schools with established remote learning access, but a right available to all, regardless of socioeconomic status.

This, I believe, was one of the core reasons why Africa’s leading online learning platform AfriLearn, invited me to join their excellent team as Lead Business Analyst in 2022.

The success of this initiative underscores the immense potential of online learning to overcome barriers to education in Africa.

With the continent’s youthful population being its greatest asset, harnessing the power of technology to provide quality education is paramount. Online learning offers a flexible and accessible solution, transcending geographical constraints and socioeconomic barriers.

Furthermore, the benefits of online learning extend beyond mere accessibility. By leveraging digital tools and platforms, educators can personalize learning experiences, catering to the unique needs and learning styles of individual students.

This personalized approach fosters greater engagement and comprehension, ultimately leading to improved learning outcomes, just as we have done with AfriLearn.

As we look towards the future, there is a compelling argument for the further adoption of online learning for children across Africa. In a region where under-education remains a pressing challenge, online learning presents a viable solution to bridge the gap and empower Africa’s youth.

By embracing digital innovation and investing in online education infrastructure, African nations can unlock the full potential of their young population, driving socioeconomic development and prosperity for generations to come.

Edirin Edewor combines analytical prowess with strategic insights to drive the growth of product-led startups.

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