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Chart showing total users, with Ubongo and then Eneza far ahead of all other companies

Why the COVID Crisis Is Not Edtech’s Moment in Africa

With schools closed for hundreds of million students around the world, many have hoped that “edtech” can help keep children learning via internet, apps, and mobiles. A new database published by the EdTech Hub shows that though use of edtech products serving African countries has doubled in the last month, the total number of users is still very low, and most were viewers of one TV show. That, coupled with the fact that most firms come from just a few countries, suggests that edtech in Africa is far from maturity.

Figure 2. Share of teachers with a higher degree by school type.

Unnatural Selection: The (Under) Performance of Elite Public Secondary Schools

Politicians often claim elite schools are vehicles for social mobility. We look at the evidence on effects on the kids who attend elite schools—and on the kids who don’t—to explore whether they live up to their hype. We suggest they produce at best a small bump in learning outcomes, but at a high cost (including to the children who don’t get in) and without doing a particularly good job of targeting the poor. We then consider what this means for policymakers in developing countries planning to rapidly scale up provision of secondary education.

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