The unprecedented events of recent weeks have put education technology in the spotlight like never before. Educational institutions have closed in 107 countries, affecting more than 860 million students and counting. The EdTech sector has leapt to a prominent position, making it of particular interest to investors as it reshapes the how we learn in real time.
Even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, global education was no longer fit for the 21st century, making the industry ripe for disruption. The World Bank believes we are in the grips of a learning crisis, where 60% of children globally fail to achieve minimum standards of reading and arithmetic because of poor-quality teaching. Even when students are learning, their education often doesn’t include the skills they need to succeed at a time of unprecedented automation and technological disruption.
The problem of effective learning is not restricted to young people. Adults, too, are increasingly required to refresh their knowledge and acquire new skills as they change jobs and careers.
This failure to instil learning is costly, with Unesco estimating that 10% of global spending on primary education is lost through poor-quality delivery. On the other hand, Unesco data also show that quality education can increase a country’s gross domestic product (GDP) per capita by 23% over 40 years.