Three (3) outstanding education innovations were awarded grants of USD 60,000, 40,000 and 20,000 at the Innovating Education in Africa Pitch Event 2020. The grants will be used to undertake pilot projects in collaboration with African Union Member States. The innovations included: BAG - Building A Generation - A gamified platform that offers real-time access to experience-based learning for University students; Learnable - Teaching assistant that allows teachers to compose and distribute lessons via a dedicated mobile app and WhatsApp; Chalkboard Education - A remote teaching and learning toolkit aimed to help teachers and parents during the COVID-19 crisis.
"One of the critical challenges of our time is the imbalance that exists between skills offered in the Education and Training institutions and the skills needed in the world of work - often referred to as the Skills Mismatch. The high and persistent levels of unemployment together with job vacancies that remain unfilled could be addressed through adopting innovative approaches in education and training".
The Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology, H.E. Prof. Sarah Anyang Agbor called on all the stakeholders to build education, training and innovative ecosystems that have local relevance, global competitiveness and mutual recognition to enable us to equip the African citizenry with the necessary knowledge and skills needed to build the Africa we want, as identified in Africa's blue print for development Agenda 2063.
Innovating Education in Africa (IEA) is a flagship programme of the African Union Commission and Partners, intended to identify and promote practical social and technological innovations aimed at enhancing access, quality, relevance and inclusion in education in order to release the potential for empowerment, employability and inventiveness. Supporting the programme are key partners including: EU, GIZ, Mastercard Foundation, UNESCO, UNICEF, AfDB, Ashoka, ADEA, and GeSCI.
As part of the events for this year, 50 Innovations have been selected for documentation in the Africa Education Innovations Handbook, which serves as a reference point for Member States, RECs, and Partner Organisations in the development of national and regional education programmes. The innovators have also been connected to the Africa Education Innovators Network to facilitate experience sharing and partnerships for sustainability and resilience of their innovations.
The theme for this year's event, "Building Innovative Education and Training Systems to Create Impact at Scale" embraces the fullness of the Strategic Objectives of the Continental Education Strategy for Africa (CESA 16-25) with emphasis on the 3rd Strategic Objective: "To Harness the capacity of ICT to improve access, quality and management of education and training systems". The series of virtual events including a Dialogue and Pitch brought together over 500 participants, including policy makers, education development experts, private sector players, innovators and educators.
Other Innovations which were pitched at the event include: AI/VR Solar lab cases, BrainShare, Class Quiz, If-Tech, M-Lugha App, Padziwe Ecosystem for Digital Education, and TextSchool.