Saturday, 1st April 2023
Breaking News:

uLesson report, discovers growth in tech as a learning tool

By Guardian Nigeria
27 January 2022   |   3:00 am
uLesson, an African edtech company has carried out a report which has identified increase in the use of technology as a learning tool.

uLesson, an African edtech company has carried out a report which has identified increase in the use of technology as a learning tool.

According to the statement, before the Covid-19 pandemic, it was less common for children as young as secondary school level to learn online using a phone or other device. Following the global lockdowns in response to the pandemic, many schools including public ones sought digital channels to help children continue learning at home. While the pandemic accelerated the acceptance of online learning by African families, the continued growth of edtech platforms suggests that the shift also results from systemic issues.

“Online learning complements classroom instruction, giving learners an opportunity to learn at their own pace and study for critical exams. Given uncertainty over future school closures, parents are investing in handsets for their children to support learning. The report found that over half of uLesson learners (52 per cent) are using the app on their own mobile phones. Handsets for children appear to no longer be a “nice to have”, but a critical tool for modern education.

Falling internet costs have enabled the emergence of edtech in Africa. While internet costs have remained high in some African countries, like Uganda, they have fallen in West Africa. In Ghana and Nigeria, average mobile broadband costs represent less than 2 per cent of average monthly income which is the A4AI’s definition of affordable internet. This means that video streaming is more affordable than ever before. To provide accessible content to learners, African edtech platforms compress videos to be as small as possible. uLesson claims a month of streaming lessons consisting of 54 pre-recorded and 14 live lessons consume less than 4GB of data. With all major service providers in Nigeria, this costs less than 2,000 naira.

STEM topics are still the most popular subjects among learners. More than a quarter of watched videos (26%) from the uLesson content library were for mathematics across all grade levels. Of all video plays, STEM subjects accounted for 76%, while English was the highest non-STEM topic with 20%. In the personalized homework help feature – where learners are connected to a tutor to help with assignments – more than half of the requests were for mathematics. Despite all the careers that have emerged in the last decade, most learners still want to pursue science-related careers. When asked what they wanted to be when they grew up, over 40% of learners wanted to pursue medicine, indicating a continued demand for medical professions in Africa.

The report however, highlights that there is a long way to go for edtech in Africa. More infrastructure is needed to make edtech readily available to more children.

“Edtech will never replace traditional schooling. Rather, it will be a complementary resource for personalised learning. Over 75 per cent of the students surveyed use uLesson to learn about subjects before they are taught in schools, indicating that greater ability to follow the pace of the classroom is a major motivator. Another one is external exams like WAEC and JAMB, with over a third of learners using the platform’s test prep to access past questions from such exams. This also includes learners who have completed secondary school and are studying to retake such exams.

In this article