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.
In the face of global closures of educational institutions and the halting of non-formal training, there has been remarkable innovation in responses to support learning and teaching. But responses have also highlighted major divides, beginning with the digital one. Learning losses due to prolonged school closures mean that many educational outcomes are at risk. For a number of reasons, we cannot return to the world as it was before. Education stakeholders need to ensure that education systems are more flexible, equitable, and inclusive.
The EdTech Lab is launching a Business Development Program to provide holistic support to innovative business spearheading the Future of Education. Program Support will be designed to refine, validate and sustainably scaling ideas designed to increase access to quality education and add relevant skills for development.
We’re Reimagining Education and
Accelerating Positive Change In Learning
Businesses offering skills needed for employability Programs:
How can we ensure they receive the support they need, prioritizing education and training and accelerating changes within the sector?
Measures to address these priorities should fully take into account the necessity of equipping youth and adults with the skills in demand in the labour market. This may require rethinking how these key skills are identified, for both current and future labor markets. Among the many things the crisis has underlined is the essential workers who hold the system together.
Businesses providing measures to build back resilience and reach all learners:
How can we ensure that education systems address the vulnerabilities in times of crisis?
Measures to “build back resilient” and reach all learners need to understand and address the needs of marginalized groups i.e. refugees, women and youth and ensure they receive quality and full-term education. Some of these needs include:
Learners in emergencies and protracted crises should be prioritized so that their education is not further jeopardized. School health and nutrition programs (including school meals, water and sanitation) are of great importance to vulnerable children, as well as a powerful incentive, increasing school reenrollment and attendance (especially of girls and children living in extreme poverty or food insecurity).
Support the teaching profession and teachers’ readiness
How can we strengthen systems of support for teachers, facilitators, and parents/caregivers in the successful and safe use of technology for learning?
It is essential that teachers and communities be better prepared and supported if equitable and inclusive learning, in and beyond classrooms, is to be guaranteed. Technology alone cannot guarantee good learning outcomes. More important than training teachers in ICT skills, is ensuring that they have the assessment and pedagogical skills to meet students at their level and to implement the accelerated curricula and differentiated learning strategies likely to emerge in the return to school. Digital solutions need relevant content, adequate instructional models, effective teaching practices, and a supportive learning environment. Teacher development and professionalization are key to ensure they are sufficiently qualified, remunerated, and prepared.
Who we are looking for
Why Join the Program
Future of Education will be a highly selective and intensive 8-weeks program for Uganda’s most promising education entrepreneurs, receiving expert guidance on how to navigate the education landscape and scale their solutions via mentorship, peer learning and expert feedback and guidance from the team and implementing partners.
Joanna ZimmermanAssistant Director, Education for Humanity Arizona State University
Marc SperberCreative Design Lead, Education for Humanity Arizona State University
Amanda ObidikeStrategic Innovator STEMi Makers Africa
Kenneth LegesiCo-founder and Managing Partner Ortus Africa Capital