“One Thought in One Minute”
By Michelle DuQuette, Head of Marketing & Partnerships, EdTechX
In February , the EdTechX team travelled to five cities in Africa to organise the inaugural EdTechXAfrica Ecosystem Events — featuring startup pitch competitions showcasing local entrepreneurs transforming the future of learning and work.
While in Johannesburg, SPARK Schools invited EdTechX to visit one of their independent schools to see first-hand how they’re changing education in South Africa. Aligned to the South African national academic standards (CAPS), the 21 SPARK Schools in the Western Cape and Gauteng provinces offer a unique education model focused on continued mastery of academic goals and rooted in social emotional learning.
During our tour, EdTechX witnessed how SPARK integrates technology through computer-based instruction in their Learning Lab, dynamic lesson formats and blended, personalised instruction. The definite highlight of our visit was the morning assembly at 7:45am — Sparks Fly — where all students gathered to collectively reinforce their recent lessons through song, dance and a powerful closing chant with proclaiming that ‘I’m going to university!’
After observing how SPARK Schools enable students to academically thrive while advancing 21st century skills, the EdTechX team headed to Nairobi to partner with the African Leadership (AL) group — four schools dedicated to developing the future leaders of Africa. At the Kenyan Ecosystem Event hosted at ALX, EdTechX were honoured to have the founder, Fred Swaniker, deliver an opening keynote about how the AL group plans to educate 3 million entrepreneurial and ethical African leaders by 2050.
We then welcomed startups, students and professors to our final Ecosystem Event at the Kigali campus of the African Leadership University. Members of the ALU community shared how their personalised education system offers a first year Leadership Core programme followed by real-world internships focusing on the in-demand skills identified by African and global employers.
We are immensely grateful to our partners at SPARK Schools and the African Leadership group who kindly welcomed us into their communities so that we could see how these future schools are empowering students to develop the next generation of skills needed to succeed in a new world of work.