The need for inclusivity when finding solutions to improve sub-Saharan Africa’s quality of education is of importance if we want to make effective change. Within education and EdTech, the sharing of ideas and working together to achieve goals is paramount not only to our success, but also to our students’.1 This was the theme that emerged from the first pan-African EdTech Think Tank launch.
Injini – a non-profit organisation founded in part by the Cape Innovation & Technology Initiative (CiTi) – launched its research division as an avenue to produce and distribute research and insights about education and innovation that is for Africa and by Africa. The division aims to support EdTech entrepreneurs through relevant market research, support corporate initiatives in achieving their commitments toward educational outcomes and advocate for educational reform through evidence-based research and engagement with policymakers in targeted African countries.
The launch saw people from varying backgrounds, both from the public and private sectors, come together with the aim to collaborate in order to create a more inclusive and quality education system. This emphasised the need for spaces of conversation and how eager people are to collaborate and work together to meet common goals. EdTech has become significantly relevant in minimising the gap in quality and access to education in Africa. It is widely accepted that most of Africa’s education and training programs suffer from low-quality teaching and learning, as well as inequalities and exclusion at all levels.2
A common consensus was the importance of collaboration between the different sectors, and how research can assist in mitigating the risk of project failure when implementing educational solutions. Executive Head of Injini, Krista Davidson, says: “ Injini has always had the objective of improving educational outcomes on the continent in a way that is centred around supporting EdTech entrepreneurs from across Africa. Our new research offering has allowed us to expand our mandate to ensure that we are including all stakeholders in the education value chain, which we hope will drive the quality, accessibility and relevance of education in Africa in the right direction.”
During a panel discussion at the launch event, former Superintendent General (Head of Department) of the Western Cape Education Department, Brian Schreuder, added: “Educators should be included [in research about EdTech in classrooms] as they are implementers of educational tools and are always willing to work towards the best outcomes for their students. Such research initiatives are a need in our society because although the state contributes significantly, there is a disconnect in the evidence due to the lack of resources to share the work with the public. This is the perfect platform for partnerships to emerge, as this will allow for the state to become more flexible and for civil society and the broader ecosystem to push to have these conversations with their respective departments of education.”
To further bolster the improvement of the quality of the education system, the Injini Think Tank team built up significant momentum and experience in supporting EdTech entrepreneurs and startup businesses with bespoke market research, which is a service they are extending to organisations outside of Injini’s programmes.
Watch the full Think Tank Launch video here.
Injini is known as Africa’s EdTech Accelerator and Think Tank and exists for the sole purpose of increasing the quality, access and relevance of education throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Injini’s programmes and research aim to support all education stakeholders with a mission to improve educational outcomes across the continent.