How to teach using technology while facing infrastructural challenges in Africa



Updated 04 May, 2020

You're a teacher or lecturer in Africa. How can you become 21st-century ready while facing numerous infrastructural and technical challenges?

As an Edtech startup that develops solutions for Africa, our customers all face one challenge after another with using technology to teach. There are a few of these challenges and they are mainly infrastructural or technical. However, other teachers have been able to adapt their teaching during this time and our technology can definitely help. In this article, we’ll look at some ways you can keep teaching in Africa while facing infrastructural challenges.

CHALLENGE A: Poor internet, limited data or no internet connection

WHAT YOU WANT TO DO: You want to create academic documents like Quizzes, Assignment Briefs, Feedback documents for your students


          • Download and ask our Personal Assistant App for teachers in Africa – Dr. Jane to help you create it. This is because Dr. Jane will work offline and so won’t use any data or constantly depend on an internet connection. Dr. Jane can easily help you to create Quizzes, Assignment Briefs, Feedback documents and so on.
          • Use Microsoft Word to create the academic documents
          • Create a WhatsApp Group or email distribution list for each class and distribute the academic documents you’ve created
          • Use SMS/Text messages to type the academic documents and send it as a text message to your students (daily or perhaps every other day)

CHALLENGE B: No training on how to use computers or education technology

WHAT YOU WANT TO DO: You want to help your students and continue delivering brilliant classes using technology


          • Our excellent Personal Assistant App for teachers in Africa – Dr. Jane can help you. Dr. Jane will work with you and train you as you go along. Dr. Jane will talk you through the process and if you need any help, Dr. Jane will provide you with more information. There are numerous samples provided by Dr. Jane, you just have to edit it and if something is missing, she’ll let you know.
          • During the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ll be providing online training via Zoom for teachers in Africa. Contact us and we’ll book you into one of our sessions.
          • Ask someone in your school for help
          • Share educational videos with your students. If you’re teaching a particular topic, feel free to search for educational videos on YouTube that illustrate that topic
        • NO TRAINING
          • List the technology that (1) you currently have access to and that (2) your students have access to. For instance, Do you have a smartphone with a camera? Do you have a mobile data plan? How much data do you normally buy every month? Do you have a laptop? Do your students have access to a laptop at home? Can they use the internet under supervision from their parents or on their own? Do they have smartphones?
          • Write your lesson notes by hand, take a picture of each page of your lesson note using a smartphone. Use a messaging service (e.g. WhatsApp) to share it with one of your colleagues. This is a good starting point.
          • Ask for help by contacting us


CHALLENGE C: No access to devices – computers, laptops, tablets or smartphones

WHAT YOU WANT TO DO: You want to become a 21st-century teacher, but you don’t have any access to the technology that will help you to do so or you cannot afford it


          • Loan/grant from a friend, your school, a local education body or the government in your country
          • Contact us, we’re compiling a waiting list to see if there’s a strong demand for devices for teachers
          • Save up. If it’s possible and realistic, put some funds aside every month. Did you know that by putting £15 aside every month in about 2 years, you’ll be able to save enough to buy a 2nd hand laptop?
        • NO FUNDS
          • Be patient, eventually, something will work out
          • Visit a library or a computer centre to use their computer (especially when it’s not busy)
          • Ask if a friend or a family member might be willing to lend you their device for one day a week or visit them at their house to use it once a month, that’s a starting point. 


All over the world teachers and lecturers face challenges, but we’ve looked at 3 challenges that the teachers and lecturers that use our Edtech products in Africa particularly face especially during COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve also briefly seen some ways to possibly overcome these challenges. This article shows that with limited internet connectivity, limited funds or no training, it is still possible to go on to become a 21st-century teacher or lecturer.

P.S. Join us this week for a training session for teachers in Africa on how to become a 21st-century teacher.