Online Education

Digital options, a strategy to resolve the issues of training and coaching (…)


Contribution from

Jean-Michel HueBearingPoint Partner,

Lennart PLOENBearingPoint Manager,

Florence RieuxBearingPoint Consultant


In Africa, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, technical and vocational education and training (TVET) is needed but greatly underestimated.

Significant progress has been made in education in Africa in recent years, especially at the level of basic education. In sub-Saharan Africa, literacy rates rose from 52 % in 1990 to over 65 % in 2019, while during the same period the number of children attending primary school has tripled and today stands at about 180 million. [1].

On the other hand, access to secondary education (secondary school, high school) and tertiary education remains limited on the continent and strongly determined by the social background and gender of students. [2]. Sub-Saharan Africa has less than 2 % of students in the relevant age group currently attending technical and vocational education and training (TVET) courses [3] :

Designated in English under the abbreviation Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET)TVET refers to vocational training, often technical, based on the study and application of specific methods and gestures to prepare the student for immediate entry into the labor market, as opposed to academic education.

It is often focused on sectors such as agriculture, commerce, industry, or services, and may interact with work-related apprenticeship or training systems. It is provided in institutions such as vocational schools, ITUs (university institutes of technology attached to universities), certification schools, etc. Although this path is often less valued than general education and training in the eyes of the general public, a successful system TVET – in the case of KOSEN colleges in Japan, it covers applied engineering at a very good level, especially in the digital sector – can prepare its graduates for careers in the foreground and provide a path to university for those who want it. .

The means to meet the dual challenge – quantitative and qualitative – of education in Africa include: digital solutions, in particular for the vocational training segment, which is an important link between education and integration into the labor market.

Interest in digital learning and the use of digital technologies in the service of vocational training or higher education in Africa

African use of digital technologies is becoming more widespread [4]as well as the accelerated digital transition since the emergence of COVID-19 and the closure of educational institutions, make the current context favorable for the use of ICT (Information and Communication Technology in the Department of Education) in vocational training.

Furthermore, digital technologies have become the main provider of jobs in Africa : The GSMA estimates that, for example, 650,000 formal jobs in addition to 1.4 million informal jobs are supported by the mobile telephony ecosystem in sub-Saharan Africa. [5]. digital literacy (digital literacy) is now part of the core skills required in the African job market. In South Africa, process automation, data analytics, big data, artificial intelligence, machine learning are all among the top ten core competencies sought by organizations surveyed for the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs (2020) report. [6]but less than 30 % of the working population has digital skills.

TVET is arguably the most relevant and relevant level of digital learning to date for Africa, for several reasons:

– This allowsintegrate millions of young African unemployed or informal workers into the labor market as quickly as possible are in high demand for digital skills ;

– provides leverage to promote opportunitieslifelong learningresonating with United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 4 and, in particular, addressing adult literacy, learning or retraining needs. ;

– this allows performance gain by automating tasks and ensuring that business activities continue remotely during a crisis.

Besides, digital technologies make it possible to increase the effectiveness of TVE and higher education.

digitalization of TVE allows better public policy management industries and respond quickly to local labor market expectations through the collection of quality data: monitoring performance indicators ; registration of students, teachers, diplomas ; Spread of information ; identifying needs… Automated monitoring of alumni integration would also have the advantage of providing students with concrete examples of vacancies in each course, or even easy contact with employers, which would facilitate their learning. orientation.

Secondly, it is possible to expand education and training, while increasing their quality, thanks to digital technologies. According to UNESCO [7]about 42 % of Fortune 500 companies in the US now offer digital-based learning after finding that it reduces training costs by 50 %, reduces training time by up to 60 % and increases the speed of saving information up to 60 %.

Particularly in the context lack of teachers from which African education systems are suffering, digital technologies could enable the rapid provision of mass education with verifiable standards of quality, making it a powerful lever of social inclusion. [8] and gender [9]. On the African continent, whose labor market is largely informal and where women make up the highest proportion of female entrepreneurs in the world, using digital technologies for entrepreneurship education at a lower price, in addition, it is especially relevant, for example, with “ SME Toolkit IFC (International Finance Corporation of the World Bank Group) and IBM, or Start and grow your own business from the International Labor Organization (ILO).


one – Source: World Bank Online Statistics,

2 – UNESCO Institute for Statistics, “ UIS publishes the latest national data on SDG 4 in education (February 26, 2020),

3 – Chart source: BearingPoint, 2022, adapted from UNESCO-UNEVOC International Center for Technical and Vocational Education and Training, Technical and Vocational Education and Training for disadvantaged youth (2021), ark:/48223/pf0000378367/PDF/378367eng.pdf.multi

four – In 2019 77 % of sub-Saharan African population had a SIM card, i.e. 816 million users, and 26 % of the population in sub-Saharan Africa, almost 272 million people, especially among young people, used mobile internet. See GSMA, Mobile Economy – Sub-Saharan Africa (2021),

5 – GSMA, Mobile Economy – Sub-Saharan Africa (2021),

6 – World Economic Forum, The Future of Jobs 2020 (October 2020),

7 – UNESCO, Leveraging ICTs and Blended Learning in Transforming TVET (2017),

eight – UNESCO-UNEVOC International Center for TVET, Technical and Vocational Education and Training for disadvantaged youth (2021),

9 – In sub-Saharan Africa, where, according to UNICEF, one in four girls become pregnant before their 18th birthday (see, distance education may offer young women and mothers the flexibility they need to continue their education.


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