The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the critical need for innovation and technology-based educational solutions in Africa. With time, online education will gradually supplant traditional in-person classes, especially given the positive reaction it has received. EdTech startups are better equipped to address the issues associated with traditional modalities of learning, as they do not require commutes or classroom overcrowding. Additionally, it enables students to progress at their speed and gain a deeper understanding of their passions through the acquisition of more applicable skill sets.
Africa’s education technology firms are rising to the occasion. While they do not attract the same level of attention or funding as fintech or agritech businesses in Africa, they complement the continent’s current educational systems. They have a significant obstacle, however, due to limited internet penetration, which means that only a few youngsters can utilize these services.
Economic disparity has driven a slew of edtech startups to develop solutions for long-distance learning, locations without digital resources, and the availability of free or subsidized educational internet tools.
As such, below is ten African edtech startups that have developed creative solutions to enable students to continue studying from the comfort of their own homes, utilizing the digital platform and numerous online resources.
Edtech companies are businesses that are completely committed to the creation and implementation of educational tools. Without a question, there is an increasing demand for EdTech firms that can assist instructors and students in maximizing the benefits of technology.
The Educational Benefits of Technology
1. Immersive education
Today’s students crave a more interactive environment and are brimming with curiosity: What makes the moon round? What dates in history are associated with a climatic change in Antarctica? There seemed to be no limit to the questions they raise.
EdTech collaborates with teachers to develop augmented reality-based lessons that, for example, can virtually transport pupils to the moon and assist them in studying effortlessly.
Games may significantly improve the overall learning experience. They provide vitality to a classroom and aid in quick personification. Numerous EdTech products incorporate gamification to assist students in mastering difficult subjects such as arithmetic. This increases involvement, fosters engagement and collaboration, and paves the road for more effective contextualized learning.
3. Accessible distance education
With tight schedules and demanding work, it’s become more challenging and critical to developing your skillset. That’s where EdTech enters the picture. Education is more important and practical than ever before, as virtual sessions gradually replace traditional lectures.
Students can manage their time and study within a period of their choosing. Additionally, they might pursue areas and courses that are not included in their course curriculum to broaden their knowledge.
4. Customizable educational experience
Not only is EdTech well welcomed by students, but it also fosters a healthy teaching environment. This is because access to online information supplements current classroom learning subjects and enables teachers to offer new ways of instruction on the fly.
5. Preference is given to students
Students choose to include technology in their coursework because they are already familiar with computers, tablets, and smartphones at home and want to utilize the same tools to communicate with their educators and classmates.
6. A hybrid educational environment
Education is particularly well served by a blended learning environment. It enables schools to save money, provides students with unrestricted access to instructional materials, and enables online submission of digital files, among other benefits. In short, education technology makes studying smarter and easier.
7. Increased involvement
Whenever students use tech, they become more interested and attentive. The National Math and Science Initiative has shown that blended learning approaches increase students’ focus and enthusiasm for learning, particularly in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) topics.
The following is a list of the ten best edtech startups in Africa that you should check out.
EdTech Startups in Nigeria
A Nigerian edTech startup was founded in 2019 to reach secondary school children in Anglophone Africa. uLesson leverages mobile phones as an educational platform by utilizing a diverse set of courses and a community of tutors. Since its inception, the startup has amassed over one million app downloads and garnered more than $10 million in funding, making it one of Africa’s best-funded education technology startups.
uLesson today serves learners in Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and The Gambia, although its advancement aims to center on the East and South African regions. uLesson strives to supplement existing educational systems through the use of interactive videos and an emphasis on generating information that students appreciate.
For a little price, it can be viewed via an Android mobile or a Windows PC. Depending on the plan selected, a user may spend as little as $6 per month.
Chukwuwezam Obanor and Olumide Ogunlana launched PrepClass in 2014 to address Nigeria’s serious teacher shortage. PrepClass, like Tuteria, links students and tutors for a charge. Venture Garden Group and Africa Angels Network have invested over $400,000 in the firm.
EdTech Startups in Kenya
Kidato is a virtual school for children ages four to eighteen. It provides pupils with both regular classroom lessons and after-school lessons. To ensure that pupils experience the same contact as they have in traditional classrooms, the school organizes monthly informative field trips. It provides high-quality, adequate education to Africa’s middle class from its headquarters in Kenya. The firm was started in 2020 and has raised a total of $1,525,000 in funding since its inception.
4. Bridge International Academies
Bridge International Academies educates students from disadvantaged backgrounds using the national curriculum. The Academies provide extensive teacher training, cutting-edge wireless technology, and are completely free for children. The startup has expanded its reach with other schools to serve more disadvantaged children around Africa as a result of the funding. This is a network of nursery and primary schools that has been funded to the tune of $27,800,000.
EdTech Startups in South Africa
5. SPARK Schools
This is a chain of affordable private schools in South Africa that utilizes a blended learning strategy for elementary school students. SPARK Schools was created in 2012 in Johannesburg, South Africa, as a group of independent and private schools committed to providing students with an internationally competitive education.
Its most recent round of funding is an unknown sum in 2021 from Creadev, Finnfund, and Imaginable Futures. SPARK Schools has obtained $11,700,000 in investment to renovate and expand its structures.
6. Valenture Institute
Valenture Institute is a virtual private high school dedicated to equipping students with the information, skills, and courage necessary to influence quality improvement in quest of a more stable future. It was created in 2019 and is headquartered in the United Kingdom, but operates out of South Africa at the moment. The institute got $7 million in Series A funding from GSV Ventures in 2020.
The funds will assist in the establishment of additional campuses in South Africa that incorporate online education, learning coaches, and peer involvement. The startup wants to capitalize on the present climate’s increased demand for online education.
7. The Student Hub
This startup, situated in South Africa, was launched in 2015 as a smart education company. Its objective is to establish a learner-centric educational system in which each student is trained and successful in discovering their purpose. Its recent funding discovery – $2,900,000 from Naspers in 2020 – increases its overall investment to $3,200,000. The Student Hub digitizes TVET course content to provide it to learners in a manner that is tailored to their needs via its 100 percent online distance learning model.
Additionally, the portal enables professors and tutors to monitor student achievement. Additionally, it features crowdfunding options to aid students in financing their education. The startup plans to use the capital to increase its efficiency.
Founded in 2013, iXperience works alongside high schools, universities, and businesses to create progressive educational programs and empower students with industry-specific skills. Kalon Venture Partners and Caleo Private Equity invested $2,500,000 in the firm in May 2021. The cash will be used to grow the company’s personnel and develop an innovative technology platform.
External undertakings include the establishment of a worldwide strategic alliances division and the launch of programs in new areas.
Extramarks, based in Gauteng, has developed educational software to assist learners, parents, and teachers. The Extramarks Total Learning app has benefited students in grades six through twelve by providing convenient access to their school curriculum from the comfort of their own homes. Parents and instructors can also use the app to monitor their child’s growth.
Google Play and the Apple App Store both provide the app. Learners will have access to resources that will help them improve their math, science, and English skills. Extramarks employs a three-tiered strategy to assist learners and students in their academic endeavors. The first section focuses on assisting the learner in comprehending the idea through the use of appealing images such as videos.
The second phase requires the learner to put what they have learned into practice. Finally, their knowledge is tested through a variety of quizzes. Additionally, the app can assist learners in improving by presenting them with a complete and personalized report.
Other EdTech Startups in Africa
This is Egypt’s Arabic e-learning website, featuring more than 200 courses online, 400 animated video presentations, and over 5000 hours of study. The company provides services throughout the Middle East and aims to help individuals improve their overall business skills.
The firm was founded in 2018 and secured $1,200,000 in pre-seed funding in June 2020. It strives to enhance Arab human capital by offering its services at a quarter of the price of offline equivalents.
1. Why is edtech essential?
EdTech enables learners to view learning through the methods they find most beneficial and effective. A significant benefit lauded by online learning students is the ability to obtain instruction and training at their speed and on their schedule.
2. What are the primary barriers to integrating technology into education?
Inadequate Professional Education.
Inadequate Network Infrastructure
Intolerance For Change.
3. What factors contribute to the failure of EdTech startups?
Even the quickest increasing edtech companies occasionally struggle to generate sufficient income and thus fail to sustain themselves in the market for an extended length of time.
Despite significant infrastructural and funding constraints, African EdTech activity is tremendous, with young entrepreneurs working throughout the system to enable teachers, schools, students, and parents in achieving equal access to education and benefit from learning.
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