The Philippines is one of the world’s fastest-growing economies with a population of 100 million and a GDP of $330 billion USD, rising at 6% annually. Despite its rapid expansion, the burgeoning country, like others in the Asia Pacific, continues to struggle with access to relevant, quality education pathways that can lead to sustainable futures for its children.
COVID-19 has propelled edtech to the forefront, and the edtech scene in the Philippines is slowly transforming the country’s learning environment. Edtech Filipino startup game changers are bridging existing gaps in the national education system. We look at the key players making waves in the region and how educational technology is changing learning methods in the country.
Opportunities in the Philippine edtech scene
Asia is driving the development of edtech, with Asia-Pacific poised to account for 54% of the worldwide edtech industry by 2020. The region’s growing population of Gen Z, its love affair with smartphones, and easy access to the internet create ideal conditions for digital education services’ growth.
Eduspaze 2021 portfolio share their insights on edtech in 2021
The large and increasing population of tech-literate Gen Z
The Philippines has over 20 million Gen Z-ers between the ages of 13 to 23, representing 20% of its population. They are digital natives, growing up with social media and mobile applications. Technological innovations are already a big part of their lives, which sets the stage for further advances, particularly when it comes to education.
High internet consumption and penetration
With an average screen time of 10 hours a day, the Philippines has continuously led rankings for the world’s heaviest internet users for the last four years. So much time already spent online opens doors to significant opportunities such as greater access and broader options for global education providers.
Internet penetration in the Philippines is at an all-time high thanks to better infrastructure and lower costs. Local internet speeds have increased and improved dramatically, 341% for mobile and 741% for broadband, since the 7.44 Mbps registered in July 2016. At the same time, internet costs have considerably decreased from $5.28 per Mbps in 2013 to $0.48/Mbps in 2019. In the coming years, fewer obstacles and greater internet accessibility will see the continuous rise of internet users from younger generations.
The commercialisation of Gen Z online activity
Because youths make up a considerable proportion of the Philippine’s eCommerce market, digital marketing is zoning in on their mindsets and the preferences of this age group to better cater to them. Digital channels are becoming widely available, and more funds are finding their way towards digital marketing. As expenditure continues to grow, there will be more possibilities of integrating education into youth-focused advertising.
Emerging Filipino edtech startups to watch
Edukasyon.ph, finalist in the Emerge X Startup Competition 2020, is currently the largest edtech platform in the Philippines. In its latest news, the startup is partnering with Microsoft to boost development in the education ecosystem, which means more Filipinos will have the chance to accomplish their educational, career, and life aspirations.
One of the Philippine’s fastest-growing edtech startups is CloudSwyft. During the pandemic, when most schools were closed, and educational activities went online, the startup’s Virtual Labs Platform, which uses cloud-based technology, proved incredibly beneficial and valuable to both students and academic providers. Another recent collaboration with Alibaba Cloud and DITO CME resulted in Luna Academy, a learning platform aiming to revolutionise online education in the country.
KITE eLearning Solutions
This edtech startup provides eLearning solutions that are supported by local research and tested worldwide to Philippine educational systems. KITE’s product offering ranges from an end-to-end academy system, a platform that connects teachers and students in a virtual classroom with a predetermined curriculum, to an app that promotes reading.
Innovation and technology spark numerous new market possibilities, such as the ability to compete with the world’s established economies. Plenty of countries in Southeast Asia are still devoid of teachers and educational supplies, with most grappling to keep up with local government curriculum standards. As many countries in the region strive to bridge the educational gaps, edtech is beginning to emerge as a solution.
This is especially true for a growing nation, and the success of the edtech scene in the Philippines is crucial to compensate for some of these limitations. Fortunately, the region is emerging to be a favourable environment for edtech Filipino startup businesses who are spearheading the movement to provide access to world-class education to children in remote locations.