Education can make a difference if you have access to it

2 min readFeb 14, 2023

We often discuss on the podcast how the education system in places like England needs a revolution, and we still believe it really does. But this week’s podcast brought a stark reminder that for many, our quality of education would be a fine thing as access to any education in some parts of the world is not guaranteed.

The question and panic for many around online learning and access to it again was debated during and long after Covid-19 was causing mass lock downs globally, but for many young people around the world, access to learning in this way would solve an issue not faced by many. In fact, because of their location and sparsity of schools, or the terrain or the lack of teachers this could be the best solution.

UNICEF tell us: ‘Education is a basic Human Right’. But the fact is that out of the 1.8 million who begin school at primary school age in Uganda, only 800,000 of them go on to complete it, and post that, only 30% of those 800,000 ever go on to start secondary school. The stat is even greater still beyond those 1.8 million who never even attend school because of financial or geographical reasons.

Enter Yiya

This week we chatted to the wonderful leaders at a tech platform called Yiya. Its principle and mission is simple: to enable those without access to education to have it. The challenge for them is that online school would solve the problem but how can they access it without at least a smartphone or connectivity. This would mean that traditionally the learning would be passive and also once the instruction has been given, there’s no way of supporting the learning or providing feedback to students.

They manage to innovate with what many would class as a low tech solution but one which has made such an impact on the lives of many, but also for many of their children and children’s children too. The organisation has now provided a way for students to engage in their learning and also be provided with reports on progress and support on how they can improve.

Through their work they have also supported individuals with a focus on science and maths to be creative and solve real solutions for their lives such as pedal-power washing machines, and battery packs which charge phones and other tech through the use of cycling.