On the 10 and 11th of April Higherlife Foundation was part of redefining the future of education on the African continent at the Future of Learning Conference in Johannesburg South Africa. The two day event saw many of Africa’s Education Thought leaders, EduPreneurs, Educational Technology Leaders and game changers converge to address the education challenges in Africa and discuss sustainable solutions to shape the future of African education.
The emerging theme at the conference centred on how technology is changing educational approaches and is leading Africa into a learning revolution. In his workshop, Higherlife Foundation’s Ranga Mandaza who is the Manager of Ruzivo Digital Learning – an online interactive digital learning platform created by Higherlife Foundation to improve access to quality education to children in Zimbabwe- reiterated the need for Africans to change the narrative on education by developing their own models on education whilst leveraging technology. “There’s a huge need for Africans to do things for Africans and develop our own model to improve education in Africa,” stated Mr. Mandaza.
Together with Dr. Kennedy Mubaiwa- Higherlife Foundation’s Director of Education- Mr. Mandaza led a workshop on the solutions to effective content writing for e-learning platforms. In their session they shared insights into the Ruzivo e-learning platform and how it is revolutionizing the Zimbabwean education landscape through its rich digital content aligned to the Zimbabwean curricula.
In his presentation Dr. Kennedy Mubaiwa spoke on the challenges in the Africa education sector particularly for the rural student. He reiterated on how through its big hairy audacious goal of ‘raising 2 million African scholars by 2020’ as well its Ruzivo e-learning platform; Higherlife Foundation aims to curb education exclusion for the rural student.
Dr Mubaiwa also unveiled the Higherlife Foundation jingle that captures the goal of the foundation to impact the African student by going where they are, believing in them and empowering them to see beyond their circumstances and become responsible leaders that address the challenges in Africa, by ‘calling innovative solutions as opposed to development by dependency or cut and paste’. “If we can only love our students, we will see tremendous results!” added Dr Mubaiwa.
The conference’s key note address came from Mr Simon Kaguramamba a Zimbabwean who is currently the technical co-founder of the fast growing UK based Ed-tech Start-up ‘Action Starter’. In his address Mr Simon Kaguramamba spoke on ‘re-imagining education across Africa and developing the 21st century mindset required to dominate in the 4th Industrial Revolution’. He reiterated on the need for Africans to move away from the typical “read, write and count” approach to education and embrace the 4C’s approach of creativity, collaboration, critical thinking and communication; brought about by the technological era also known as the 4th Industrial Revolution.
Mr Kaguramamba emphasised the need for a brand new curriculum for Africa through customized learning experiences that are made possible by technological innovations. “Technology is bringing new possibilities that should be embraced by Africans,” added Mr Kaguramamba. He also spoke on the youth bulge of Africa and how it is positive thing for Africa if all Africans re-invent themselves by transforming their mind-sets into the 21st century mindset. “Everyone needs to think differently from the teachers, students, government” expressed Mr Kaguramamba.
The conference also saw many engaging workshops and spark sessions in which many African change makers and educators were in attendance. Renowned social entrepreneur and Co-founder of Simba Education; Mrs Elizabeth Masiyiwa led a breakout session on technology and early childhood education that explored how to leverage technology in the early years of a child’s education.
Other Zimbabweans at the conference included Mr Moses Mukoyi, the head of St. Faiths High School- a school known for its top performing students in Zimbabwe- who expressed how education has evolved due to technology and is transforming knowledge transfer. “Education has evolved and children are more receptive to technology. Educators should also follow suit,” identified Mr Mukoyi.
At the conference new learning technologies were also unveiled. Higherlife Foundation exhibited the Ruzivo Digital Learning platform- an innovative technological solution- that is bringing a new blended learning approach to Zimbabwean primary and secondary school education.
For more on Ruzivo please visit: https://www.ruzivodigitallearning.co.zw/