Bringing together public and private EdTech key players has been a turning point to build a more resilient Rwanda EdTech ecosystem and a conducive environment creating avenues for local EdTech innovators and entrepreneurs.
Closing the EdTech Mondays program 2022, the new ways of doing things were created through recommendations that were adopted during the Rwanda EdTech Ecosystem Workshop of 17th-18th November 2022 in Kigali organised by Mastercard Foundation, Centre for Innovative Teaching and Learning in ICT in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Rwanda ICT Chamber. The ideal was rephrased during the last episode of EdTech Mondays in 2022 hosted on 28th November 2022.
From the workshop, several recommendations were made around EdTech policy, procurement of EdTech products, product development and quality of Services, and EdTech Companies Support.
On the EdTech policy, participants recommended the mainstreaming hybrid system of learning in Rwanda and an adoption and implementation of open data policy within Education for both public and private institutions that qualify.
They further highlighted the need to utilise local EdTech companies in implementing education policies through relevant implementing agencies such as Rwanda Basic Education Board (REB).
Furthermore, they recommended the establishment of an education data center available to local private EdTech companies and an active involvement of the private sector in the validation of the EdTech strategy.
The active involvement of the private sector in the validation of the EdTech Policy and implementation plan was equally recommended.
As a matter of order and harmony, the workshop also recommended the establishment of clear standards for certifying of EdTech products
They recommended a review and, if necessary, an adaptation of the National Teachers CPD framework to incorporate blended mode of learning.
Very importantly, the partners recommended that the policy should harmonise infrastructure costs of key utilities such as electricity, Internet, access to devices among others in both public and private institutions.
The policy, they said, should include safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults.
Seeking the scrupulous procurement of EdTech products
For the secure procurement of EdTech products, the partners recommend adoption of an efficient, streamlined process for acquiring locally produced
EdTech products in public schools.
This would come on top of aggregating demand and supply of EdTech solutions through an EdTech products marketplace.
Also regarding the EdTech companies, they should leverage partnerships to accelerate distribution of their products to expand consumption and to reduce ‘go to market’ costs.
“EdTech companies should unbundle/unpack prices to understand better what goes into final cost of EdTech products, eg. hosting, internet etc,” part of the recommendations reads.
They recommended an active participation in public tenders leveraging partnerships and joint ventures where possible.
In the area of product development and quality of services, the workshop recommended an inclusion of integral to EdTech product development with consideration of different users with different types of disabilities.
They set out to develop demand driven products and work with subject matter experts to ensure product quality and relevance.
EdTech companies support
From the workshop, it was recommended that there is a need to raise awareness of EdTech solutions both internally within the EdTech ecosystem and to the general public.
Incubation and acceleration of EdTech startups to meet the needed quality and relevance requirements was also recommended.
As far as development agencies are concerned, they should engage more closely with local EdTech companies in implementing their programs.
On the other side, EdTech stakeholders will need to facilitate communication, coordination, and collaboration for building relevant partnerships. They will also need to meet on a regular basis to discuss progress on the EdTech ecosystem in Rwanda.
For proper network, the workshop recommended stakeholders to “facilitate linkages for regional collaborations of EdTech ecosystems where the Mastercard Foundation, Centre for Innovative Teaching and Learning in ICT is operating.”