Digital solutions, a way to face the challenge of education and training (…)

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A contribution from

Jean-Michel HUETBearingPoint partner,

Lennart PLOENBearingPoint Manager,

Florence RieuxBearingPoint Consultant

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In Africa, especially sub-Saharan Africa, Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) is needed, but greatly underestimated.

Substantial progress has been made in education in Africa in recent years, especially in basic education. In sub-Saharan Africa, the literacy rate rose from 52 % in 1990 in addition to the 65 % in 2019 while, during the same period, the number of children enrolled in primary school has tripled, to the current 180 million [1].

On the other hand, access to secondary education (secondary, high school) and higher education remains restricted on the continent, and strongly conditioned by the social background and gender of students. [2]. In sub-Saharan Africa, less than 2 Percentage of students in the age group in question are currently in a Technical and Vocational Education and Training (EFTP) course [3] :


Designated in English under the acronym Technical and Vocational Education and Training (EFTP)EFTP refers to vocational training, often technical, based on the learning and practice of specific methods and gestures, in order to prepare the student for immediate insertion into the labor market, as opposed to academic training .

It is often aimed at sectors such as agriculture, trade, industry or services, and can interact with work-related learning or training systems. It is taught in establishments such as technical and professional baccalaureates, IUTs (University Institutes of Technology, attached to universities), certification training schools, etc. Although this route is often less valued than general training and studies in the eyes of the public. , a successful EFTP system – in the case of KOSEN schools in Japan, encompasses applied engineering, at a very good level, especially in the digital sector – can prepare its graduates for foreground careers and provide pathways to college for those who wish. .

Among the means to meet the dual challenge, quantitative and qualitative, of education in Africa are: digital solutions, particularly for the vocational training segment, which is an essential link between education and employment.

The interest of digital technology training and the use of digital technology in the service of vocational training or higher education in Africa

African uses of digital are becoming more widespread [4]as well as the forced digital transition since the advent of COVID-19 and the closure of schools, make the current context conducive to the use of ICTE (Information and Communication Technologies in the Department of Education) in vocational training.

Besides, Digital technology has become an essential provider of employment in Africa : The GSMA estimates, for example, that 650,000 formal jobs, in addition to 1.4 million informal jobs, are supported by the mobile phone ecosystem in sub-Saharan Africa. [5]. digital literacy (digital literacy) it is now part of the basic skills needed in the African labor market. In South Africa, process automation, data analytics, big data, artificial intelligence and machine learning are among the top 10 skills sought by organizations surveyed for The Future of Jobs (2020) of the World Economic Forum [6]while less than 30 % Of the active population has digital skills.

EFTP is arguably the most urgent and relevant current level of digital training for Africa. for several reasons:

– allowsintegrate millions of unemployed young Africans or informal workers into the labor market as soon as possible with a high demand for digital skills ;

– is a lever to promote the possibilities oflifelong learningechoing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal No. 4 and, in particular, meeting the literacy, training or retraining needs of adults. ;

– allows productivity gain by automating tasks and ensuring the continuity of remote economic activity in times of crisis.

Besides, digital technology makes it possible to gain in efficiency in TVET and higher education.

First of all,
allows digitization of EFTP better management of public policies of the sector and an agile response to the expectations of the local labor market, thanks to the collection of quality data: monitoring of performance indicators ; enrollment of students, teachers, diplomas ; dissemination of information ; needs identification … Automated monitoring of graduate integration would also have the advantage of providing students with concrete examples of the openings of each course, or even of easily meeting with employers, which would facilitate their orientation.

Secondly, it is possible to extend education and training, while improving its quality, thanks to digital technology. According to UNESCO [7]about 42 % Of Fortune 500 companies in the United States now offer training based on digital technologies, finding it this reduces training costs by 50 %, reduces training time by up to 60 % i increases the information retention rate to 60 %.

In particular, in the context of shortage of teachers Suffering from African education systems, digital technology could quickly deliver mass education, with verifiable quality standards, that would make it a powerful lever for social inclusion. [8] and gender [9]. On the African continent, whose labor market is largely informal and where women have the highest proportion of women entrepreneurs in the world, using digital technology to train in entrepreneurship at a lower cost, it is also especially relevant, for example with the “ Toolkit for SMEs of the IFC (World Bank Group International Finance Corporation) and IBM, or Start and improve your own business of the International Labor Organization (ILO).

1 – Source: World Bank Online Statistics, https://data.worldbank.org/

2 – UNESCO Institute for Statistics, “ UIS publishes the most up-to-date national data from SDG 4 on education (February 26, 2020), http://uis.unesco.org/en/news/lisu-publie-les-donnees-nationales-les-plus-actuelles-de-lodd-4-sur-leducation

3 – Source of the graphic: BearingPoint, 2022, adapted from the UNESCO-UNEVOC International Center for Technical and Vocational Education and Training, Technical and vocational education and training for disadvantaged young people (2021), https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ ark : / 48223 /pf0000378367/PDF/378367cat.pdf.multi

4 – In 2019, 77 % of the population of sub-Saharan Africa had a SIM card, ie 816 million users, and 26 % Of the population of sub-Saharan Africa, almost 272 million people, especially young people, use the mobile Internet. See GSMA, The Mobile Economy – Sub-Saharan Africa (2021), https://www.gsma.com/mobileeconomy/sub-saharan-africa/

5 – GSMA, The Mobile Economy – Sub-Saharan Africa (2021), https://www.gsma.com/mobileeconomy/sub-saharan-africa/

6 – World Economic Forum, The Future of Jobs 2020 (October 2020), http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_Future_of_Jobs_2020.pdf

7 – UNESCO, Using ICTs and Blended Learning in Transforming TVET (2017), https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000247495/PDF/247495eng.pdf.multi

8 – UNESCO-UNEVOC International Center for TVET, education and technical and vocational training for disadvantaged young people (2021), https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000378367/PDF/378367eng.pdf.multi

9 – In sub-Saharan Africa, where one in four girls becomes pregnant before the age of eighteen, according to UNICEF (see https://data.unicef.org/topic/child-health/adolescent-health/), tools for Online and distance education can give young women and mothers the flexibility they need to continue their education.

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