Africa can’t afford to miss out on the opportunities of education technology, Amujae Leader Ifeyinwa Maureen Okafor wrote in a recent op-ed.
Currently, 97.5 million children in sub-Saharan Africa between the ages of 6 to 17 are out of school, according to UNESCO, and the majority of African countries are not on track to achieve Sustainable Development Goal #4 —Education for All—by 2030. In her article for Global EdTech, Ms. Okafor emphasized that without improved education access, the future of Africa as a whole is at stake:
“How can Africa hope to build a bright future for all its citizens if we don’t provide a digital education and teach our children the skills they need to succeed in life? The answer, of course, is that we can’t.”
Ms. Okafor, who is on the advisory board of EmBED, a new education technology (EdTech) company, explained that digital learning tools could be a vital aid in closing that gap. In particular, EdTech has the potential to “standardize education between cities and even countries,” and help close disparities in education access.
One of the biggest hurdles, Ms. Okafor wrote, is that government officials are not investing enough in education:
“Unfortunately, elected officials across sub-Saharan Africa still fail to realize that our continent’s greatest resource is not mineral wealth or natural resources—it is our people. We have millions of young people with dreams and aspirations for their own bright future. They deserve to see those dreams come to fruition.”
Ms. Okafor encouraged politicians to incorporate digital tools into the current education systems and curricula as well as invest in the necessary digital infrastructure to “enable universal access to EdTech tools, and develop a comprehensive quality assurance framework.”
To help Africa to thrive, Ms. Okafor called on African leaders:
“to make education their top priority. Not for any individual’s sake, but for the sake of our continent and, most importantly, for the next generation.”
Read the full article here.