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Technology for education has huge potential: partnerships can widen access

The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted normal contact learning in education systems worldwide. Technology became an essential tool for learning and it has great potential beyond the pandemic. For one thing, it enables more interactivity than some old styles of teaching.

But there are a number of barriers to using technology more widely in education. Users need data, a device and a learning management system. They need training in the skills to learn and teach online, and support for troubleshooting. Internet access may be seen as a human right, but Africa’s digital divide means that in reality not everyone can equally exercise that right. Some people are more connected than others.

Radio and television are also useful technologies in widening access to education but they mostly require electricity, which isn’t universally available either.

In today’s episode of Pasha, vice-chancellor and principal Tawana Kupe shares what the University of Pretoria in South Africa did to make online learning possible for all its students. He calls for public-private partnerships to develop internet infrastructure so that everybody can have access. And he makes the case for an internet-empowered education system at all levels.

Photo “Hands of a little girl child working or typing on a laptop’s keyboard.” by Kehinde Olufemi Akinbo, found on Shutterstock

Music “Happy African Village” by John Bartmann, found on licensed under CC0 1.

“African Moon” by John Bartmann, found on licensed under CC0 1.

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