With smartphones becoming more accessible and affordable, and network coverage growing stronger, the uptake of mobile technology is in a good space and growing in leaps and bounds on the African continent. Many mobile technology companies and organisations, both public and private, are harnessing the potential of this to bridge education gaps and alleviate poverty.
With over 70% of its population under the age of 30, Africa has one of the youngest populations in the world. Lack of resources and infrastructure to educate this young population has resulted in a huge education gap.
According to UNICEF, more than 1 billion children globally are at risk of falling behind due to recent school closures. To keep the world’s children learning, countries have been implementing remote education programs, and many organisations and companies like Huawei have stepped in to alleviate the pressure, especially for those children from families who can’t afford laptops or computers to connect to the internet.
Bridging the education gap
The role of technology, especially mobile technology, in ensuring students in rural and poverty-stricken areas can get access to basic education is vital.
Mobile phones, with their ability to fast-track communication and connect many people in next-to-no time and with relative ease, have been instrumental in keeping children in school. Schools have had to think of innovative ways to get the school year going and for some, it has been met with more challenges than good outcomes. However, thanks to mobile technology, some pressure has been alleviated in African countries like South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria.
How Huawei is carving a digital footprint in skills development
In October 2020, as part of Huawei’s digital inclusion initiative Tech4All, Huawei South Africa collaborated with the Digital School Project in partnership with operator Rain and educational non-profit organisation Click Foundation. The project is about connecting schools and boosting skills development to improve quality education, which aims to connect 100 urban and rural primary schools over the next year using 5G technology. Through this, partnership schools will get access to high-quality educational resources like digital curriculums and e-learning applications, and teacher and student training by connecting schools to the Internet.
To bridge the educational gap even further, once students are able to access the Internet they will be able to tap into some of the informative, educational and fun Applications provided by Huawei Mobile Services (HMS) either through HUAWEI AppGallery or HUAWEI Petal Search. With these two platforms, there are over one million Apps to download to help with homework or keep organised with school activities. One such App is School – Ultimate Studying Assistant. This App is your personal assistant in educational processes and keeps you organised with day-to-day and school activities. This App is available on HUAWEI AppGallery and is just one of many tools HMS has to alleviate the pressure on school-goers.
How mobile technology can change the future of skills development
Since the majority of young people have access to smartphones, Apps can play an even bigger role in developing a technologically savvy generation.
To further enhance digital skills development, there is the Huawei HMS Innovation Competition, AppsUP, which is currently taking place in Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, Latin America, and China. AppsUP aims to inspire global developers to leverage the open capabilities of HMS Core to create innovative Apps, reconstruct the future of technology and bring all-scenario, smart life experiences to 650+ million Huawei users globally.
To enter, participants must register an account on the competition’s official website and submit their App before 5 September 2021. Participants can sign up either as an individual or as a team of up to three members. All Apps entered must integrate one or more of the HMS Core Kits (find more info about the Kits and how to integrate them here). A panel of judges will pre-select work based on social value, business value, user experience and originality, from 6 to 23 September. From there, the top 20 shortlisted Apps in each region will be made available to the public to download on the competition’s official website or HUAWEI AppGallery from 24 September to 08 October, before making their way to the finals later in the month.
Competitions like AppsUP give developers the tools to build something that has the potential to change the world. Whether it’s an App to help with a health or education crisis, the AppsUP competition will help established and aspiring developers to take their ideas to great heights.
These are just a few ways in which Huawei Mobile Services and Huawei are helping combat the education crisis in Africa. With the current decline in school attendance in some countries and the unemployment rate, mobile technology solutions can change the course of many people’s lives in Africa and show the rest of the world the potential that the countries on our continent have.