Creating Positive Disruption in Education Starts with Investment in South Africa
In EdTechXAfrica Johannesburg and Cape Town, we challenged our 250 attendees on this scenario:
“It’s 2030, and South Africa has made it to the top of the global rankings in education. The country now has the highest literacy & numeracy scores, the highest share of expert and motivated teachers, the highest university pass rate & lowest unemployment rate.
What is the first step that South Africa’s government would need to take today to achieve this phenomenal jump in the country’s global education rankings?”
While some considered waving a magic wand to fast forward to this point, 3 key trends did come to light including the need to support teachers and improve the country’s infrastructure. However, nearly all feedback focused on investment. There was a clear argument that more spend was needed in education.
“We need to start upskilling and supporting teachers with continued professional development”. By investing in teachers and improving resources, improved educational results will follow. Likewise, by supporting funds for EdTech projects, there will be more resources to help schools, even in remote areas, improve performance. “Improving infrastructure in rural areas will allow access to EdTech and other eLearning activities. By increasing this access, both in low income and high-income communities, you will create more equal and fair opportunity to access high-quality education”.
To further support the student’s potential to succeed, we must apply a modernised curriculum that can categorise students according to their strengths at an early stage, rather than during tertiary educational levels. “There is a need to revisit, update and amend incentives and reward metrics that impact primary and secondary school assessment to increase performance in key subject areas”. Likewise, many suggested using different ranking systems to evaluate student success, other than exams, to help track progress and developmental areas.
It was evident in the discussions and thoughts shared that investing in teachers, their development and their resources was of primary focus. Likewise, improving accessibility and creating a system that provides opportunities for all is crucial to allowing the success of education and skill development at scale.
We will be going hosting EdTechXAFrica Ecosystem Events again in February 2020. To register interest and find out more visit edtechxafrica.com.