HITCH, Nigeriaan educational video platform that provides underserved African schools with curated, high quality educational content is one of the first cohort of 12 EdTech Fellows, companies that will benefit from the Mastercard Foundation Centre’s support to expand their operations and improve secondary teaching and learning across the continent. The Mastercard Foundation Centre for Innovative Teaching and Learning in Information, Communications, and Technology (ICT) said the Fellows were selected after an Africa-wide Request for Proposals late last year. Innovators were invited to submit proposals that either; enhance and increase accessibility and affordability of professional development for in-service teachers, which also minimises their out-of-classroom time; or create and deliver enriched learning content that improves quality, relevance, and accessibility to both in-school and out-of-school secondary school learners.
Peter Materu, Chief Program Officer at the Mastercard Foundation says, “The announcement of these first Fellows at the Centre for Innovative Teaching and Learning is a milestone moment in the work we are carrying out in Africa. Bringing together these talented entrepreneurs and supporting them as they innovate to drive excellence in teaching and learning offers new opportunities with great potential to raise the bar in African education and benefit tens of millions of students.” The companies will receive a comprehensive package over the next year that includes customised mentorship, financial support, the opportunity to test, validate and scale their business, and a $40, 000 grant to aid in the development of their solutions. The other selected EdTech companies are O’Genius Priority, Rwanda; iCog Labs, Ethiopia; M-Shule, Kenya; The Dr. C.L. Smith Foundation, Kytabu Co. Ltd., Kenya; Litemore, Kenya, Chalkboard Education, Ghana; Siyavula Education, South Africa and Instill Education, South Africa.
“We’re very proud and excited to have this first group of leading African innovators in EdTech with us,” says Joseph Nsengimana, Head of the Mastercard Foundation Centre for Innovative Teaching and Learning in ICT. “These companies are working to expand the use of ICT to address some of the most pressing issues facing education in Africa today. We will give them access to the customised mentoring and financial support they need over the next year so that they can test, refine, and validate their products. With that, they can grow their businesses and help to improve learning outcomes throughout Africa.”
The Centre for Innovative Teaching and Learning is a five-year initiative. It was launched in 2018 as part of the Foundation’s Young Arica Works strategy to enable 30 million young people, especially young women, to find dignified and fulfilling work by 2030. The Centre aims to spark innovation and promote promising practices in the use of information and communications technologies for teaching and learning, and to catalyse significant improvements in education across the continent.