Education and training remain among the bedrocks for human empowerment, inclusive prosperity and progressive development. However, this powerful agency of education does not happen by chance but has to be planned and strategized through adoption of innovative practices in education. Current demographic trends in Africa have seen expansion of education systems without necessarily having the concurrent enhancement of productivity and efficiency, particularly with regards to improved outcomes in quality and equity in learning opportunities. In addition, education and training systems today are characterized with an exponential growth in information technology, globalization, questions about relevance and rising inequalities.
To contend with these issues, education systems have to develop new and innovative approaches at all levels from government policies to classroom teaching methods and informal learning, with an aim of empowering learners to adapt to their changing environments. This must be done urgently in order that we achieve the goals we have set for ourselves in Agenda 2063 and SDGs, as unpacked in the Continental Education Strategy for Africa (CESA 16-25), whose mission is to “Reorient Africa’s education and training systems to meet the knowledge, competencies, skills innovation and creativity required to nurture African core values and promote sustainable development at the national, sub-regional and continental levels.” Innovating Education in Africa is therefore at the centre of CESA’s implementation as education should remain relevant in the face of rapid societal changes to which it needs to adapt.
It is with this background that the African Union Commission is working with several partner agencies across Africa to organize the ‘Innovating Education in Africa Expo’ to showcase technical and social innovations in every area of education and training. The purpose is to establish a multisectoral platform for experience sharing on relevant innovations that address education challenges in Africa. The event, to be held in Dakar – Senegal, from 27th-29th September, 2018 is also aimed at raising the visibility of these innovative practices in order that they can be supported, up-scaled, replicated or further developed.
2. Formats of submissions
As this will be an opportunity for engagement, we are looking for a diverse range of submissions including those listed below. Main text of your submission should be in Arial 11 point font with single line spacing.;
A. Project Summary
Individual innovators and organizations are invited to submit a summary of projects which are leading or have led to unique outcomes. Submissions should cover the problem being solved and solution offered following areas in a maximum of two pages.
Papers should present original quality research with the potential for practical application. Full Paper submissions are expected to be a maximum of 5 pages, including references.
C. Policy Presentation Proposals
Government institutions are also welcome to present a summary of innovations in policy which have are leading to or have led to unique outcomes on one of the focus areas. Such submissions should be a maximum of 2 pages and should cover the problem being targeted, solution offered and how the policy is innovative.
D. Lightning Talks
Lightning Talks are opportunities to provide a very short overview of a project, showcase a technology or its implementation, or highlight a key issue. Presentations shall be a maximum of 1 page including references. Lightning talk submissions shall be scheduled as part of the exhibitions and plenary in the program.
E. Digital Poster
Posters offer visual representations of projects and development initiatives that provide opportunities for conference delegates to discuss the topic with presenters. Posters enable individuals or groups to display information about innovative projects or activities in an informal, interactive environment. Digital Poster submissions shall be a maximum of 1 page, including references. A poster session will be scheduled as part of the program.
F. Techno Expo
Techno Expo allows one to demonstrate innovative projects or applications using instructional technology to communicate. The expo is similar to a poster session, but with computers and large screens replacing poster boards. Presenters are expected to provide live demonstrations of their projects, applications or tools at their kiosk during a scheduled time period. The clips should not be more than 3 minutes in length.
3. Eligibility Criteria
The organizing committee of the Innovating Education in Africa Expo therefore invites submissions of innovative projects, papers and policies regarding ground breaking practices and findings that are leading to more impact than traditional methods in education and training. Among others, we are looking for educational innovation in products, processes, services, programmes and partnerships. Innovations being sought for include both technical inventions and social innovations that seek to enhance access, inclusion, quality, relevance, school security, learning achievement, financing, employability, school management, STEM learning and so on.
• Individuals, organisations or government institutions of AU Member States;
• The innovations must have demonstrated impact, with potential for wide dissemination in Africa;
• The individual, organisation, government institution must consent to having their innovation shared across the continent for purposes of replication;
• Submissions must be made by the original author of the innovation or a senior official of the organisation or government institution that developed the innovation.
4. Submission Guidelines
Please follow the following guidelines in your submission:
• Submission Languages: English and French.
• Submit your innovation in any of the specified formats on the event website at iea.edu-au.org/submit.
• Deadline for submissions is 15 June 2018, 12.00 midnight Addis Ababa time (GMT+3). Early submissions are encouraged.
• Each individual, organization or government institution may make only one submission which must succinctly articulate a single original idea, argument or policy recommendation related to the selected topic.
5. Benefits for successful applicants:
• Presentation of their innovations at the Innovating Education in Africa Expo.
• Funding support to participate in the event may be available, based on need and geographical distribution.
• Membership of the Africa Education Innovators Network (AEIN).
• Innovations will be published in the first edition of the Africa Education Innovators Handbook.
• Certificate of recognition for Innovation