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Edutech in SEA is ripe to accelerate. This is why they can help build a more inclusive society

As a child, traveling with my father all over India to visit his textile factories, I spent a considerable amount of time with my peers in rural villages. What was clear to me, even then, was how talented these kids were. However, there are very few decent educational options available to them.

The same can be said for Southeast Asia, which I now call home. This area has a population of 700 million people, of which 26% are in school age However, know how to read the price as low as 58% in Laos, 74% in Cambodia and 76% in Myanmar.

Southeast Asia’s large rural population may be partly due to this educational gap, while the lack of proper infrastructure, adequately trained teachers and funding also play a role.

Despite Southeast Asia’s relatively low literacy, the region boasts high rates of internet usage 400 million Internet users and the population are increasingly tech-savvy, especially among the younger generation.

The combination of the need for more access, quality education and the recent digitalization creates a fertile ground for the education sector to thrive. There is a significant untapped opportunity for e-learning products and services to deliver quality learning programs to traditional underserved communities. This potential is gradually being realized with 480 million US dollars in Venture capital is allocated to edutech Southeast Asian startups over the past five years – includes 200 individual investments.

With a deep interest in making education as accessible as possible, especially in my elementary years, I launched Creative Galileo in July 2020, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Creative Galileo is an e-learning app that combines education and entertainment to provide personalized learning experiences for children aged three to eight.

Our aim is to leverage technology to focus on personalized needs, demand-based learning methods and experiential activities, delivering a fun, interactive curriculum.

Also read: Jungle Ventures leads $ 17 million Series B in Leap Finance, an Indian education firm focused on foreign education

Technology is key to democratizing access to education

For me, technology is a key factor in democratizing access to education – an urgent priority in the developing world and beyond. As Asia’s digital economy continues to accelerate, promoting digital inclusion, especially in the region’s underserved communities, must be at the forefront of broadcast strategies. social development.

To this end, edutech solutions can bridge the literacy gap and pave the way for more inclusive education systems by providing better access to high-quality teachers. for all types of students, improving efficiency and flexibility in implementing learning programs and reducing the cost of traditional home instruction.

In terms of accessibility, edutech has a huge role to play in ensuring no one is left behind in the transition to digital. For starters, many e-learning applications are offered completely free, sometimes with in-app purchase option possible for those who can afford it.

Second, as the education sector develops, we are seeing more and more languages, both widely spoken as well as more local dialects, available, continuing to democratize opportunities. education. Finally, for students with limited data usage and internet connection, players in education must prioritize keeping their application size below a certain threshold to ensure all Students still have access to education.

Technology also enables the personalization and gaming of learning, providing a more immersive and impactful experience for children. For example, digital tools make it possible for parents to receive real-time updates on their child’s progress, while children can be prompted to join revised modules in fields. need to improve.

At Creative Galileo, we offer interactive online lessons through the storylines of Little Singham and his friends, cartoon characters that are greatly loved in the Indian subcontinent. While ‘edutainment’ shows such as Dora the Explorer and Sesame Road has an international reputation, there is a ripe opportunity to replicate this in developing markets, especially in Asia.

Edtech: A trend is here to sustain

Near the 1.6 billion students in 200 countries was affected by the school shutdown at the peak of COVID-19, leading to a sharp increase in adoption of edutech solutions.

The number of installs of the top five edutech apps in Southeast Asia has more than tripled from six million in 2019 to 20 million by 2020. I believe this trend is still very much, even beyond we should expect the combination of offline and online learning to become the norm.

Also read: Edutech in Southeast Asia is still “far behind North America” – but there is still some hope

Even more evident evidence of the longevity of edutech solutions is their apparent success in major countries like India, where there is a shortage of teachers and Indonesia. With the world fourth largest education systemBut also one of the least effective, Indonesia has an increasingly thriving edutech ecosystem.

E-learning solutions are helping to overcome archipelagic geographic challenges – which have hindered comprehensive access to physical learning spaces – and direct access to younger generations. digital collaboration.

Although digitalization has transformed many key industries, including retail, finance, and insurance, edutech is yet to fully see its full potential. Digital tools will play a key role in delivering personalized, meaningful education to the next generation while also helping to address critical development needs, especially in countries. developing.

I am delighted to see what the future holds for edutech in Southeast Asia and look forward to continuing to create a more inclusive education system through e-learning solutions.

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Image credit: Ismail Salad Hajji dirir on Unplug

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