The global E-Learning market is predicted to reach $252bn by 2020, but it appears that many of the current education technology (EdTech) solutions are maybe solving the wrong problem, according to Co-Founder and COO of Noon Academy, Aziz Alsaeed.
During the E-Commerce Summit 2019 on Tuesday, Alsaeed said that after years of bootstrapping, Noon decided it was time to raise funds.
“We pitched to more than 45 investors and VCs, but we were rejected. To be honest, I am very grateful to those rejections for the learnings we had from them,” he added. “I think by 2030 the number of students will outgrow the number of teachers and schools,” he continued.
However, Alsaeed believed that schools motivate students more than e-learning, pointing out that e-learning is not alternative to schools because studying is not just studying curricula.
He disclosed that Noon Academy provides social education platforms for students to have the option to choose their teacher and curricula. “We have mentors to advise students where and what to study according to their skills,” he added.
Meanwhile, Co-founder and CEO at ACT Microschools, Seif Abou Zaid, said that online learning substitutes direct learning and is an alternative to people who are deprived from education and also people in remote areas.
Abou Zaid added, “We digitise education and train teachers and education stakeholders on new techniques because education is a highly regulated industry.”
Founder and CEO of Dars, Noor Boodai, said, “We do supplementary education materials for what teachers do and we work on advancing education in the Arab world by providing up-to-date educational content, state-of-the art on-demand delivery technology, and easy access to both.”
She added that her startup believes that accessing good, engaging, relevant, and up-to-date education should be as easy as turning on your phone or TV.
Project Arab with an E is a large and ambitious project to transform the academic content used in K-12 education systems across the Arab world. Our goal is to move schools and students from relying on static and paper-based content, to benefiting from engaging, interactive, and mobile content that is accessed from any online and offline device, she elaborated.
Panellists said that Egypt is currently obtaining the highest capabilities in E-Learning and that the government will be able to apply it after preparing the suitable educational content.
Additionally, they confirmed that E-Learning has been able to break many of the barriers to education for youth and students, opening the doors of many areas of education that education in general lacks, in addition to being able to break the physical barriers in learning for many young people.