South African edtech startup The Student Hub held a two-day workshop showcasing its student-centered digital education system to government and education stakeholders ahead of its launch in January next year.
Launched in April 2015, The Student Hub is a Cape Town-based edtech company that provides smart education technology to educational institutions, students and government in order to reduce the cost of education, make education accessible to the masses and increase student success rates.
The Student Hub’s ERAOnline product is an education technology platform that provides educational institutions with the entire ecosystem to implement blended, distance and open learning.
The startup has already partnered with a number of colleges around South Africa and is currently piloting ERAOnline ahead of a full launch early next year, which is expected to reach more than 100,000 students and 2000 lecturers by January 2018.
The two-day workshop in Cape Town last week saw The Student Hub host nine Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges, four Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs) and representatives from the South African Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET).
It was aimed at bringing together the representatives from the various institutions and authorities participating in the ERAOnline pilot programme, as well as governmental stakeholders and representatives from a national mobile operator, to align their needs and demonstrate how the soon-to-be-launched digital learning platform can help them.
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The workshop was also attended by leading publishers Oxford University Press and Troupant/MacMillan.
The potential for e-learning to change lives in Africa is immense. Of Africa’s nearly 128 million school-aged children, 17 million will never attend school, while another 37 million African children will learn so little while in school that they will not be much better off than those who were unable to attend, according to Africa Learning Barometer.
This is something that e-learning could potentially solve, with edtech startups such as The Student Hub aiming to improve access to education.
The attendees further discussed potential connectivity initiatives, and discussed the ways in which ERAOnline will improve education in South Africa, tackling issues such as outdated curriculum, high failure rates, and a skills crisis by assisting colleges in equipping students and helping students complete their learning in record time.
“This workshop – and the approaching launch of ERAOnline – helps to establish our image as game changing participants in South African education,” said The Student Hub founder and chief executive officer Hertzy Kabeya.
“We would like to thank the representatives from the various TVET colleges, SETAs and DHET – as well as the national mobile operator, who will be revealed at a later stage- for participating, and very much hope they went away with a greater understanding of how ERAOnline will help them meet their targets and provide South African tertiary learners with a more student-centered way of obtaining skills and qualifications.”
Attendees at the event spoke positively of the outcomes of the workshop, with Philani Kunene of the Education and Training Practices Sector Education and Authority saying the event was valuable and that ERAOnline would be a welcome addition to South Africa’s learning environment.
“The methodology and idea will benefit the TVETs,” Kunene said.
Louis Oosthuizen from West Coast College agreed that the platform would benefit all stakeholders.
“It will be excellent support to teaching and learning,” he said.
A consultant at the national mobile operator, said the company had partnered with The Student Hub to assist in the rollout of ERAOnline, as the platform ran alongside their own goals in providing alternative ways of learning in South Africa.
“They are, for content, something totally different from the norm. What ERAOnline is doing is something we have been trying for very long time,” he said.