“A degree has become nothing but a receipt of a tuition that students parents paid for” – Jack Ma, Founder of Alibaba Group

December 2019 – Paris, France

Hoorah is a South African e-commerce startup that is known for using innovative ways to promote e-commerce in Africa. In 2019 Hoorah launched their pilot concept to educate the next generation of e-commerce buyers and sellers through a unique partnership with private schools in South Africa. Hoorah Learn is an Edtech platform that gives colour to the global landscape of e-commerce for South African students from Grades 8 to 10.

Hoorah has been making waves after their recognition by e-commerce giants Alibaba, representation of African startups at the World Economic Forum and the latest being their inclusion to the Young Leaders of the World Education Forum.

The first ever World Forum for Education was held in Paris on 3-4 December 2019 that brought together young global leaders, corporations, governments and educational institutes to discuss the phenomenon after the PISA results from over 80 OECD countries. PISA analyses the data collected from 15-year olds to test their mental ability in mathematics, science and reading to meet real-life challenges.

From the results it is clear that the educational system that has been working for the past century has become outdated as today’s youth is much more informed and have much better access to technology. The general sense of urgency at the forum to make radical changes to the educational systems called for action by entrepreneurs and businesses to develop systematic vocational training and technology that would cater for a life-long educational experience.

When asked about the role of technology and artificial intelligence in education, Jack Ma (Founder of the Alibaba Group) remarked that “..emotions and wisdom is something that comes from the human heart, and that cannot be replaced by machines. However, humans need to programme the right logic into machines to help us process information faster and better”.

Some key quotes from the forum:

“Emotions and a personalised teaching experience needs to be curated for each and every student. Students should be less about numbers and names, and more about personalised needs and greeted by hand.”- Hekia Parata

“Technology has been a massive disappointment in Education for far, so much more possibilities exist” – Andreas Schlecter, Executive chairman of PISA.

“Governments should spend more money on the front end of education and less on the back end” – Jack Ma

As many problems were identified with the current educational system, very few action plans could be drafted as it could be argued that the right people were not in the room to bring forth change. The World Forum for Education Young Leaders from over 17 countries represented has formed a formal committee to address challenges and inclusivity of all humans – regardless if their countries form part of OECD. With a new generation workforce that will have options within new kinds of business models, formal employment and permanent self-employment – the educational sector has many challenges to face in order to prepare students to become global citizens. The Forum has ensured the identification of these problems – yet action is needed.

Hoorah will ensure that the key findings from the forum will be implemented into Hoorah Learn courses for students in the future. Furthermore, Hoorah now represents South African Young Leaders at the Forum and welcome any collaboration with institutes or individuals who wish to learn more or become part or the World Forum for Education.

Written by Basson Engelbrecht – Founder & CEO of Hoorah Online (Pty) Ltd