Samantha Niyonsaba and CK Japheth, The Innovation Village Team Lead at a meeting
The Innovation Village, through its EdTech Lab in partnership with Mastercard Foundation Young Africa Works and the Arizona State University Education for Humanity, has launched a business development programme dubbed ‘Future of Education’, a challenge with the aim to support businesses spearheading innovation in the education sector.
The programme will be a highly selective and intensive 8-weeks programme for Uganda’s most promising education entrepreneurs, receiving expert guidance on how to navigate the education landscape and scale solutions via mentorship, peer learning, expert feedback and guidance from expert teams in the sector and implementing partners.
While commenting on the new development, Samantha Niyonsaba, The Future Lab Lead at The Innovation Village noted that the timing of the program is perfect seeing as the government recently announced new guidelines for opening up schools. She said, “At The Innovation Village, we reimagine and reinvent solutions to challenges with the ability to transform ideas and turn them into assets. We believe in co-creating with a broad community of innovators in solving sector problems. The Education sector is one of our core focus areas that needs transformation and support now more than ever after the COVID-19 disruption.”
The Future of Education programme is meant to fill this gap by sourcing and providing support to sustainably scale innovative solutions and ideas we see coming up for the sector.
According to UNESCO, the COVID-19 pandemic has created the largest disruption of education systems in history, affecting nearly 1.6 billion learners in more than 190 countries and all continents. Closures of schools and other learning spaces have impacted 94 per cent of the world’s student population, up to 99 per cent in low and lower-middle income countries.
“The Future of Education program is designed to refine, validate, sustain and scale ideas to increase access to quality education and add relevant skills for development. We have seen remarkable innovation in response to support learning and teaching amidst closure of educational institutions and halting of non-formal training during the pandemic. The next logical step would be to bring these ideas to life and offer the necessary support to scale the ideas to reach a wider audience.” Niyonsaba added.
The programme is focusing on businesses offering skills needed for employability programmes, businesses providing measures to build back resilience and reach all learners and those seeking to support the teaching profession and teachers’ readiness for the Future of Education.
“Identifying and supporting innovation is what we thrive on at The Innovation Village. Our Future Lab through collaboration with partners creates innovative solutions to complex and difficult challenges by identifying industry problems and then scouting tangible and scalable solutions to solve them. Right now, we want solutions that seek to promote a future ready education sector.” Niyonsaba concluded.
Deadline for applications is on October 27, 2020.