Leveraging Technology to Build Resilience in Foundational Learning

Learning poverty has become an all-too-common term in the foundational learning (FL) space in Africa. It is the inability of learners to grasp foundational literacy and numeracy competencies. Africa hovered around 86% in terms of learning poverty, signifying that close to nine out of 10 children under ten do not have the requisite FL competencies. The COVID-19 pandemic pushed this figure higher. This exposed the need for resilience in Africa’s educational systems with technology and data at the base of such a need.

Zizi Afrique Foundation collaborated with several partners to implement Accelerated Learning (AL): a contextualized version of Teaching at the Right Level (TaRL). The AL approach applied targeted instruction to support lagging learners to quickly catch up on critical FL skillsets. Following the pandemic, the initiative deployed technology, including 1,600 solar-powered radios and SMS-based literacy and numeracy content, to the most needy households covered in this program to ensure learning continuity. In this podcast, we explored the role of technology in learning continuity, particularly in low resource contexts, with Virginia Ngindiru, the Director of Programs at Zizi Afrique.