More than 20 state education ministers from across Africa last week were convened to Gaborone to attend African Union for digital transformation, which took place from 20th until 22nd August 2019.
It was hosted by BW government in partnership with Ministry of Basic Education, Botswana and AU Innovating Education in Africa Expo Ngwana Enterprises, picking up points that resonated with the current digital education transformation in Africa- and those echoed by Rwanda Education Minister of State Dr. Isaac Munyakazi.Rwanda education Minister, Dr. Isaac Munyakazi( left) shared piece of advice during African Union for digital transformation held in Botswana.
combination of business acumen, technological awareness and pedagogical
expertise is unlikely to be found in one person. African need to support
solutions by diverse pool of their own homegrown solutions and expertise, and
mindset,’’ advised Dr. Isaac Munyakazi.
The opportunity for collaboration across country, regional and continental educational offices to create the necessary capacity is clear since it is believed new skills for new technologies, prior to implementation- skills gaps appear- which need to be plugged if technology is to reach its potential, will engage learners in Rwanda in activities such as entrepreneurship, coding skills, digital skills, leadership and project management skills among others.
The second aspect is alignment with local and global agendas, which is expected as one way to maximise the reach and the impact of ICT for learning, is to appeal to, and align with, existing education policy agendas.
Often times, public narrative that surrounds technology in Africa is focused on infrastructure, investments and access to kits, reinforcing the idea of automatically introducing technology into education systems is likely to way up progress.‘’In Rwanda we have invested in 1 laptop per child project, in order to be able to do this, we have supported the establishment of a local company that manufactures these laptops,’’ he said.
He added they embraced Public/Private Partnerships (PPPs), which they consider as a natural model that can harness the potential of technology providers and investors, but also regulate them, ensuring a focus is kept on learning outcomes and equity.
Rwanda is more optimistic in terms of its people’s mindset, efficient and practical to transformation. However, they are yet to perceive far worse market coalitions thanks to president Paul Kagame thanks to his good leadership. The digital economy in Rwanda has been endorsed that it can “unlock new pathways for inclusive growth, innovation, job creation, service delivery and poverty reduction, but optimism is barely enough given the serious challenges ahead.
Rwanda has adopted a mindset that only exists to develop Rwanda as a pioneer, hence business leaders must act, local entrepreneurs must be developed and given opportunity. The key is digitalization and the time to embrace it in Rwanda is now.
What emerges is a compelling picture of potentially trans-formative change for many to learn from it - and that is the story of Rwanda. Botswana is challenged to transform leveraging its positioning.
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