uLesson details the impact of the latest technologies on education in its latest report


uLesson, Africa’s leading edtech company, released a report on African edtech trends for International Day of Education. The report – based on internal data and a survey completed by over 750 uLesson learners in Nigeria, Uganda and other African countries – provides insight into the impact of technology on education and models learner behavior for parents and education sector stakeholders.

Technology is changing the game in education. Before the Covid-19 pandemic, it was less common for children as young as high school to learn online using a phone or other device. Following global shutdowns in response to the pandemic, many schools, including public ones, have sought digital channels to help children continue learning at home. While the pandemic has accelerated the acceptance of online learning by African families, the continued growth of edtech platforms suggests that the change is also a result of systemic issues. Online learning complements classroom instruction, giving learners the opportunity to learn at their own pace and prepare for critical exams. Given the uncertainty surrounding future school closures, parents are investing in handsets for their children to support learning. The report revealed that more than half of uLesson learners (52%) use the app on their own mobile phone. Children’s handsets no longer seem like a ‘nice to have’, but an essential 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, such as Uganda, they have fallen in West Africa. In Ghana and Nigeria, average mobile broadband costs are less than 2% of average monthly income, meeting A4AI’s definition of affordable internet. This means video streaming is more affordable than ever. 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 lessons and 14 live lessons consume less than 4 GB of data. With all major service providers in Nigeria, it costs less than 2,000 naira.

STEM subjects are always the most popular subjects among learners. More than a quarter of videos viewed (26%) in the uLesson content library were about math at all grade levels. Of all video playbacks, STEM topics made up 76%, while English was the highest non-STEM topic at 20%. In the personalized homework help function – where learners are connected with a tutor to help them with their homework – more than half of the requests were related to mathematics. Despite all the careers that have emerged over the past decade, most learners still want to pursue science-related careers. When asked what they wanted to be when they grew up, more than 40% of learners wanted to pursue medical studies, indicating continued demand for medical professions in Africa.

However, the report highlights that there is still a long way to go for edtech in Africa. More infrastructure is needed to make edtech easily accessible to more children. Edtech will never replace the traditional school. Rather, it will be a complementary resource for personalized learning. Over 75% of students surveyed use uLesson to learn about subjects before they are taught in schools, indicating that a greater ability to keep up with the pace of the classroom is a major motivator. Another is external exams like WAEC and JAMB, with more than a third of learners using the platform’s test prep to access past questions from those exams. This also includes learners who have completed high school and are studying to retake these exams.


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