The Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (CiTi) is delighted to announce that it is beginning a proof of concept (POC) on a new EdTech cluster in partnership with former UK Government Special Adviser on Education, Jamie Martin.
In South Africa as across the continent, education is failing. Failing to provide the right start in the early years, failing to teach the basics in primary education, failing to get students to get and stay in university places and jobs. The brunt of this failure is born by the most disadvantaged communities, who suffer the resulting high unemployment and low access to higher education.
Ian Merrington CEO of CiTi said: “The new technology driven economy demands relevant and appropriate skills in order to thrive, we are seeing many legacy jobs disappearing which drives up unemployment. Ongoing education with a curriculum relevant to business needs will become an economic and social imperative. Technology can be a great enabler of education and skills development, particularly in Africa, which is why we have chosen to focus on EdTech.”
Business as usual - the same flawed attempts to copy systems from more developed countries - cannot be the solution.
That’s why our new EdTech cluster will look to build an ecosystem that supports entrepreneurs from South Africa and across Africa to use technology to re-think education. In African countries faced with fundamental problems of distance and infrastructure and with acute shortages of quality teachers and schools, we believe technology can transform educational standards and therefore life chances.
"For the past several years we have set education as a key priority within CiTi's strategy through the CapaCiTi Tech Job Readiness Programme", says Alethea Hagemann, Head of Skills at CiTi. "Our internal drive to stimulate an EdTech ecosystem has also served as a catalyst to modernise our existing skills development model and deliver our own educational programmes with greater impact and scale through online learning, with a recently completed proof of concept as well as new online learning programmes due to launch in 2017."
Throughout the POC period we will be talking to funders, start-ups, educators, government, foundations and ordinary citizens from across Africa about what we need to do to to support existing edtech entrepreneurs to scale their impact and to help others to begin new innovations. We will also begin doing it - developing a cluster of innovative EdTech companies in the Bandwidth Barn, Cape Town and working with start-ups from across the continent to develop better products and bring them to more learners.
We are looking for funding, expert collaborators, and to hear about the best EdTech start-ups and ideas - so please get in touch.