The education technology sector is fast growing in Southeast Asia, with diverse learner-centric platforms trying to bring learning closer to the learners by breaking down barriers to access to infrastructure like schools and transport. New digital tools such as eBooks, web-based quizzes, testing content, streaming media, online tutorials and more are all trying to provide quality learning content in places that were once inaccessible.
The pandemic has accelerated this by pushing everyone to adopt and adapt technology to enable teaching and learning. However, these EdTech advances are not benefiting all school aged learners in an equitable way.
A recent assessment of Covid 19 Impact by ASEAN secretariat found that ‘Schools were largely unprepared for remote teaching and learning. The infrastructure was not in place, device access not universal, and many education institutions and households struggled to cope with the demands and skills required to implement online and home-based learning. School closures threatened to exacerbate existing inequalities between those who have access to internet and digital devices and those who do not’ (Source: ASEAN Rapid Assessment – The Impact of COVID-19 on Livelihoods across ASEAN, November 2020).
It is important that the Edtech sector continues to innovate in addressing challenges such as content quality and relevance on the one hand, and access to technology and learning science on the other hand.
We are excited to be partnering with MIT Solve to develop a platform to select and support innovative solutions, that are harnessing technology to solve for the equitable quality education in select Southeast Asian countries. The winning solutions will be supported through a grant award and capacity building program to unlock their growth and scale potential.