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African EdTech Startups Delivering Learning using Advanced Technology


Oct. 31, 2022, 2 p.m.

The way we learn today has undergone a complete paradigm shift. Learners desire to have learning at their fingertips. They want to be able to use their smartphones to do it whenever they want, from wherever. The one-size-fits-all learning model is no longer effective.

In Africa, as smartphones become cheaper, a rising number of people are getting online and accessing information using their mobile devices. However, most Africans typically have feature phones, posing a challenge for the delivery of quality and engaging learning content. In addition, internet access and affordability remain a big challenge for most people, especially the rural poor, women, and persons with disabilities.

To create high-value, accessible information, curators of learning content must explore ways to combat this, utilizing advanced technologies such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, and cloud computing to produce and distribute content to various audiences depending on particular learning tools available to them.

Below, we highlight some startups applying innovative technologies in delivering quality content to learners in Africa:

M-Shule (Kenya)

M-Shule is a knowledge-building SMS platform that helps organizations deliver learning, evaluation, activation, and data tools across East Africa. Meaning “mobile school” in Swahili, M-Shule combines SMS with artificial intelligence to reach offline or low-income communities with self-paced, interactive, and personalized resources to power their success. The system is populated with lessons based on national curriculum standards that use AI technology to adapt to each student’s skills and abilities. As students use the platform, M-Shule tracks, and analyses learner performance to empower parents and schools with insights and recommendations.

Trackosaurus (South Africa)

Trackosaurus provides a formative game-based assessment tool that helps preschool teachers track the developmental progress of their students. With just one tablet per classroom, Trackosaurus enables teachers to identify which young child is struggling in certain areas of learning so that those teachers can give individual attention and help the child get back on track. At its core is an elastic cloud computing technology that ensures that the machine learning models behind the analyses and reports are kept up to date.

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FoondaMate (South Africa)

FoondaMate is a WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger Chatbot for high school students with limited internet access in emerging markets. It can be used to download notes, and past exam papers, do basic research and work out solutions to simple maths equations. FoondaMate was built from the ground up with inclusivity at its core - removing the high technological, economical, and societal barriers seen across the wider edtech market. The process works by allowing high-school students to send a message to the FoondaMate chatbot. The chatbot becomes the student’s proxy, such that instead of sending them to a browser, it curates and summarises the requested information by searching the web for relevant information from trusted sources and then sending it back as blocks of text within the messaging app. Similarly, files are sent as replies within the same chat window and can be downloaded to the phone or shared with other students.

Ubongo (Tanzania)

Ubongo is an Africa-focused edutainment company that creates fun, localized, and multi-platform educational media that reaches millions of families through accessible technologies like TV, radio, and mobile phones. Their programs, which include children's television series Ubongo Kids, Akili and Me, and Akili Family, aim to significantly improve learning outcomes for school-age children and promote social and behavioral change for kids, caregivers and educators.


tag: Africa, technology, Education, edtech, Innovation,

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