By Kent McNeill
As the African continent continues to evolve with the times, aspects such as the education system play a vital role on how we will expand our knowledge and innovation with the rest of the world. It is evident that not every nation has access to scale and dependable infrastructures and tools to educate the future generation. Organisations such as Bridge International Academies acknowledge these blockers and have found a way to provide high-tech solutions and education in communities with low-infrastructure.
(TOP: A teacher at one of Bridge International Academies uses a tablet to deliver a lesson to students).
Bridge International Academies is a social enterprise focused on helping children in low and middle-income countries to gain a life-changing education. They run and support approximately 1,200 nurseries and primary schools in neglected communities across Africa. Students and teachers from countries such as Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria and Liberia have benefitted from the edtech services provided by the company. Bridge International Academies works in partnership with governments, communities, teachers, and parents across the continent fulfil their mission.
Using Amazon Web Services (AWS) has allowed the organisation to provide efficient services for each country’s education system. AWS solutions such as Amazon EC2 assist them in running their servers, Amazon CloudWatch to monitor and observe applications and respond to system-wide performance changes, Amazon Route53 to manage their public DNS and Amazon Glacier to assist in storing backups and disaster recovery.
In addition to cloud-based services, the company uses mobile devices and tablets to connect their platform with teachers to seamlessly access academic syllabus, review the effectiveness of education practices as well as improve their skills. Additionally, the education platform is designed to allow teachers to access teaching and study guides for up to two weeks without access to network or power.
In their quest to expand and support more countries, Bridge International Academies requires agile and highly secure computing power to rapidly expand operations without the need to set up new IT infrastructure and to comply with country-specific data policy requirements. With the backing by AWS, they can achieve their goals to provide much needed access to education for the youth of Africa.
(Kent McNeill is the CTO at Bridge International).