Last week, our VP of Analytics and Artificial Intelligence Matt Woodruff headed to Egypt and Morocco to attend the UK EdTech School Showcase in Cairo and Casablanca. The event was aimed at discussing the future of education and EdTech in these countries, and having 11 UK companies from the British Education Suppliers Association (BESA) – including us! – present their solutions.
The event was attended by CEOs, investors, and consultants of British and international schools in Egypt and Morocco, who listened to the UK industry experts on the reasons to implement their EdTech solutions, which varied from artificial intelligence to classroom management and digital assessment tools.
The ceremony in Cairo was opened by British Ambassador to Egypt Gareth Bayley, followed by Dr Reda Hegazy, His Excellency Minister of Education and Technical Education. From Gareth Bayley’s speech: “Education lies at the heart of any society’s growth and success. The UK has long been a leader in the field, and I am proud that our first event of the new year is dedicated to bringing this expertise to support the education sector in Egypt. The UK companies exhibiting their latest education technology here today are offering young Egyptian students unprecedented learning experiences, which will in turn help them build solid foundations for their future.”
The ceremony in Casablanca was also attended by Consul General of the UK Tom Hill, who commented: “This event highlights the innovative British companies which work with Moroccan establishments in a perspective of mutual aid to modernize teaching methods in the Kingdom.” Simon Martin, the British Ambassador to Morocco, also explained the importance of this event, as it is “a real opportunity to celebrate the success of British international schools and the UK EdTech sector, which have gone through a difficult time.”
“Joining BESA and the UK DIT on this short tour was important for us,” Matt reports, “not only to be able to share our story around improving student outcomes through parental engagement and data analytics, but also to hear, and learn, from schools and ministers in the region on their specific challenges and opportunities. I found strong resonance with our message and mission – to save educators time and reduce costs through automation and viewing data as a strategic asset, and a real synergy with our work with Microsoft around Open Education Analytics (OEA).
“Of particular interest was the Ministerial address at the British Embassy in Cairo. There have been significant investments in the production of curriculum and content, which is now available via multiple channels – online, print, and also TV. It would be natural in the data maturity model for the Ministry and its Systems Integrators to now consider the value that could be gained through ethical descriptive and predictive analytics on the data that is doubtless generated through its use, and use this knowledge to further drive policy reform.
“Morocco was likewise a learning experience. There was evidence of growth opportunity for British Schools Overseas, and while there are only currently a handful, there is appetite demonstrated through growing school roll numbers and fund-backed investment in building new schools. We were fortunate to be allowed to tour three of these schools and to have conversations with staff to better direct our own investments in education technology.
“I look forward to continuing to build on partnerships made across the region and help all of those responsible: system integrators, ministries, and school groups turn data into meaningful information to make better decisions and raise outcomes for young people.”