At the NigeriaCom and WestAfricaCom conferences (October 1, 2020) I shared data that CyberSmart Africa recently collected about new teacher use of connectivity and digital devices. We learned that twice as many teachers – 89 percent – own smartphones in comparison to the general population. That’s important news for telecom.CyberSmart Survey
Teachers represent the largest professional workforce of regularly paid civil servants, and they can drive children and families to connect and learn online. As a group, teachers are the largest consumers of telecom services, they own smartphones, and they already benefit from regularly connecting with colleagues via Facebook, WhatsApp, and other services.
Unfortunately, teachers in sub-Saharan spend a greater percentage of their personal income on connectivity than their counterparts in other regions of the world. The telecom ecosystem needs to figure out how to reduce the cost of connectivity for teachers, provide more affordable smartphones, and act more aggressively to facilitate digital skills development and the availability of educational content. This is what I call good market development!
A market-based strategy driven by the private sector will result in the quickest and most financially sustainable uptake of digital content by teachers. Equipment donation programs simply don’t work because there is no built-in sustainability or scalability.
Watch the conference session Teachers Are Telecom’s Best Customers
View my presentation The Digital Life of Teachers