How can we help shape education in other countries?
Lebanon’s Minister for Education and Higher Education visited the UK this week in order to better understand the UK’s education system and, in particular, to learn about the UK’s innovative education technology sector.
In recent years Lebanon has been hit hard by the Syrian crisis and has taken in over 1.5 million refugees, over a third of whom are children. In a country of only 4.4 million inhabitants, this makes Lebanon the country with the highest per-capita concentration of refugees worldwide; one in every four people in Lebanon is a refugee.
Unsurprisingly, this has put a significant strain on the education system.
It is estimated that nearly half of Syrian refugee children do not have access to any form of education. Alongside international bodies such as the EU, IMF and World Bank, the UK has committed to providing financial assistance to Lebanon to help cope with the refugee crisis. Unfortunately, even with financial aid, the education of over half a million children presents a significant challenge. Lebanon’s Minister for Education and Higher Education is looking to better understand how technology can provide scalable, effective education solutions.
As a result, and as part of his visit to the UK, the Minister visited innovative education technology company CENTURY Tech.
CENTURY Tech is an adaptive online learning platform that leverages advances in Artificial Intelligence technology and cognitive neuroscience to understand the unique learning needs of each individual. The platform plots a personalised route through the curriculum, recommending the most effective learning materials for each student at the right time in order to address gaps in knowledge and improve long-term memory retention. The result is a personalised education for each and every student, no matter where in the world they are. At the same time, all learning data is fed back to teachers and students instantly.
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CENTURY provides insights into each student’s achievements, strengths, areas for improvement and skills, enabling teachers to make evidence based decisions and giving students ownership over their own learning. Lebanon has more than just an edtech solution to consider: the country has limited connectivity outside of its cities and the curriculum is decades old, but if these structural issues can be overcome, then there is an impactful way to use technology to scale a personalised education for every refugee child, all half a million of them.
CENTURY founder Priya Lakhani OBE said, ‘don’t let any technology company tell you how to use its software – it’s important that teachers and schools can use the technology to adapt to meet the needs of their students.’
It was fascinating to hear about the challenges Lebanon are facing; as well as take another look at CENTURY Tech.