In September, 25 influential African EdTech leaders will join a new fellowship program by Cambridge Partnership for Education and HP.
The HP Cambridge EdTech Fellowship enhances participants’ skills in leading impactful EdTech transformations in education systems.
The inaugural cohort of EdTech fellows will focus on leveraging digital transformation to improve the quality and equity of learning in education systems across Sub-Saharan Africa. By incorporating technology into education, societies can become more inclusive, prosperous, and equipped to prepare young people with the necessary career skills.
The selection process involved reviewing 400 applications, and the first cohort of the HP Cambridge Partnership for Education EdTech Fellowship includes government officials working in education, as well as leaders from private and not-for-profit EdTech organizations.
The Cambridge HP fellowship program will cover various aspects of inclusive EdTech, including addressing the needs of disadvantaged groups, exploring the role of artificial intelligence (AI), and developing strategies for digital policy, governance, and strategy. The fellows will also work on developing equitable solutions to education system challenges using a user-centered design approach while honing their leadership skills.
Given Africa’s rapid population growth, the influence of the first fellows on global education is expected to have a significant impact.
Among the inaugural fellows are senior government officials responsible for national digital education initiatives, aiming to improve learning for over 120 million children across multiple African countries, including Botswana, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Uganda, and Zambia.
The program will commence with online study next week and will include a residential course in September 2023 at Trinity Hall, University of Cambridge, in the UK. Additionally, fellows will receive one-on-one coaching throughout the seven-month duration.
Scholarship recipients joining the program include Dr. Frances Alimigbe, Assistant Chief Education Officer at the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria. Dr. Frances collaborates with over 2 million teachers across 36 states, focusing on teacher selection, standards, and policy. During the fellowship, she intends to address challenges related to infrastructure, tools, digital skills, and capacity-building for teachers, particularly in rural areas.
Dr. Frances expressed the value of being part of the fellowship, stating, “The wealth of contacts and ideas that will be acquired by being a member of the fellowship will form an immense database and viable resource for us to fall back on. With the fellowship, we form a community of practice where best practices are shared across borders and generate quality research ideas for improving EdTech transformation in teaching and learning globally.”
Another fellow is Mrs. Catherine Agyapomaa Appiah-Pinkrah, Director of General Administration at the Ministry of Education in Ghana. She emphasized the need to establish reliable and credible strategies for quality assurance in program implementation and policy. Mrs. Appiah-Pinkrah anticipates that the fellowship will expose her to new ideas, exchanges, experiences, and best practices from fellow participants.
Jane Mann, the Managing Director of Cambridge Partnership for Education, highlighted the significant responsibilities and strengths of the first EdTech fellows. She noted their crucial role in turning policy into action, and with support from peers, tutors, and coaches, they will contribute to building healthier EdTech ecosystems that promote grassroots innovations, effective evaluations, and successful scalability. These efforts aim to address learning crises and enhance education system resilience for the future.
Mayank Dhingra, HP’s Senior Education Business Leader, believes EdTech breakthroughs will come from visionary leaders in diverse national contexts. This fellowship program will facilitate cross-border discussions and development to overcome barriers, ranging from infrastructure to curriculum content.
Cambridge Partnership for Education and HP collaborated at the African Brains Summit 2022 to develop the inaugural EdTech fellowship.
Leading the program is Julia Citron, the Head of Education Technology Solutions at Cambridge Partnership for Education. The Digital Education Futures Initiative (DEFI) at Hughes Hall, Cambridge University, and Dr. Bjoern Hassler’s OpenDevEd team support the program.