Our School Systems are failing, Technology can save them all

The recently released Primary Leaving Examination results in Uganda indicate a familiar pattern that shows our school systems are in a state of disarray. In 2016, 9% of the students scored in division 1 while in 2017 the results were worse.

So what are we going to do about this, we are going to do the same thing we did last year. I have a prediction for 2018, The % of students in division 1 will hover around 7-9 %. we can't do the same thing every year and expect different results.

Reading the press a lot of analysts have come up with solutions, and these have revolved around building more classrooms, curriculum review, better pay for teachers among others. Luckily the solution has been hiding in place sight.

We can save all our schools by deploying novel Technologies. Internet prices have followed Moore's law and are constantly going down each passing 6 – 12 month cycle. The time for excuses is over, and we have to get our hands dirty and get to the real business of rescuing an entire generation that faces a bleak future.

Early childhood is the most rapid period of development in human life and evidence suggests that if the brain does not receive appropriate stimulation during this window, it is difficult for the brain to rewire itself later in life.

Out of over half million students who sit for primary level education exams, less than 20% of them complete high school. Africa is going to be one of the leading frontiers in supplying human resources to the global economy and we have to prepare our kids for this boom, otherwise it will be a lost opportunity.

Good grades in schools are important, while certain proponents might argue otherwise, good grades build a child's confidence and can help them achieve their dreams in sports, the fine arts, and any other career path they take.

Technology is not the proverbial silver bullet, and we might get an egg on our face, however without taking risks, most of the innovations we enjoy today might never have seen the light of day.

At Digital Development Solutions we have developed an e learning platform (skooldesk) using software as a service model that helps kids improve their test scores. We do this by providing a question bank for students where they can practice past papers (and other questions) and get graded instantly. A robust analytics engine is able to identify strengths and weaknesses of each kid at subject and topic level e.g. Maths >> Algebra, Arithmetic, Geometry English >> Comprehension, Grammar, Graphic stimulus, Reading. Teachers are able to save time otherwise spent marking paper based scripts and know in real time problem areas of each individual learner. We have also created interactive learning objects that make learning fun and intuitive.

We believe the introduction of smart information and communication technologies can go a long way in addressing some of the challenges in the current education system.

Cavin is the Founder and Technical Lead at Digital Development Solutions, a Software as a Service Development Shop and he can be reached at