Empowering Female Teachers to Lead Africa’s Digital Revolution

ACW’s Women Empowerment Program - Empowering Female Teachers to Lead Africa's Digital Revolution

Back by popular demand, Semester 2 of Africa Code Week's Women Empowerment Program (WEP) officially kicked off this October. This Continuing Professional Development (CPD) program equips African female teachers and educators in Computer Science and STEM with the skills and knowledge they need to successfully teach, inspire, mentor, and prepare girls for tomorrow’s tech workplace. The WEP thereby supports ACW’s ambitious plans to transform the continent’s education system by including digital literacy in national curricula – in line with the work of UN SDGs 4, 5 and 17.

 

Female teachers’ role has never been greater.

Research suggests that female teachers increase girls’ test scores and their likelihood of staying in school. Beyond academics, female teachers can also heighten girls’ aspirations and lower their likelihood of being subject to violence. The WEP was first launched in 2019 by SAP, UNESCO, Irish Aid, the Moroccan Ministry of National Education, and Camden education as a joint response to bridge the digital gender gap and related pressing issues across Africa. The program actively supports female teachers on their leadership and mentoring journey while providing a safe learning platform for them to explore current barriers to girls’ education. They also develop innovative ideas to overcome these barriers, honing a wide array of tools and skills along the way - from Design Thinking and storytelling all the way to animation and digital tools.

Taking place over six weeks with live interpretation in English and French, the ACW WEP workshops also involve global advocates for girls,  policymakers, scholars, pedagogues, and change-makers from organizations such as SAP, UNESCO, DCU, Global Partnership for Education, Innovation Academy and many more. These expert speakers unpack multiple ways to transform learning through virtual and digital tools. Two weeks ago, the program welcomed Vanessa Sinden, an award-winning film producer from the Cape Town based Triggerfish animation studios, for one inspiring ‘Storytelling and animation in the classroom workshop.

 

Innovation in Education : tackling Africa's unemployment challenges

Recent studies also show that animation strengthens learning and makes the teaching–learning process fun. Educating students through moving motion pictures and drawings can significantly enhance their performance, reducing failure and other challenges such as the high dropout rate. The introduction of animation in learning could also trigger interest and passion for animation early in a pupil’s life, stimulating it as a viable career opportunity across Africa. As a result, this could potentially curb the continent’s high unemployment rate, with the African animation market growing by around 7% during 2015-2020 and is expected to boom post the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

WEP 2022 Semester 2 participants presented their team projects on Girls' Health Education and well-being supporting SDGs 3, 4 & 5at the November 10th graduation ceremony,  in front of the WEP Alumnae and a high-level panel with:

  • Claire Gillissen-Duval, CSR EMEA Senior Director and Co-founder of ACW at SAP.
  • Ilham Laaziz, GENIE Program Director, Ministry of National Education, Morocco.
  • Carol Hannon, Development Specialist, Department of Foreign Affairs, Ireland.
  • Jackline Oluoch-Aridi Director of the Nairobi Global Centre, Notre Dame International, University of Notre Dame.

After graduation, the WEP journey continues as each participant is invited to grow further through a structured leadership and upskilling pathway, from first-time participant all the way to program co-moderator. With over 450 alumnae from 40 countries, the WEP continues to strengthen and support ACW’s mission of reaching all corners of Africa, ensuring that no child is left behind in the digital era.

To learn more about Africa Code Week and the Women Empowerment Program, visit www.africacodeweek.org or read WEP’s latest news on LinkedIn.

ACW’s Women Empowerment Workshop returns, virtually

Teaching really is a work of heart, and this year’s Africa Code Week Women Empowerment Workshop couldn’t be better suited. The first pilot program officially commenced last year, and little did the organisers know what a great success it would be. This year, the Women Empowerment Workshop returns for its second edition and will host more than 70 women from across Africa.

Organized by SAP, UNESCO, Irish Aid and the Moroccan Ministry of National Education the unique digital event will provide female teachers with the opportunity to meet, collaborate and connect on best teaching practices and new 21st century skills. The Women Empowerment Workshop will also provide a space for teachers to discuss online learning and gain understanding of the issues related to virtual classrooms; such as cyberbullying and internet safety.

Taking place from November, seven interactive workshops will be scheduled each week and highlight different themes and topics relevant to Africa Code Week’s key enabler. Fun, engaging and collaborative, expert speakers will present in both English and French.

With 1 out of 3 children missing out on remote learning because of today’s unprecedented challenges, the role of the teacher in community-based societies is central and reinforcing teacher leadership is crucial. Adding to the importance of advancing women in today’s modern teaching space, Africa Code Week Co-founder and Head of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) at SAP EMEA, Claire Gillissen-Duval adds, “We are incredibly excited to welcome our second edition of the Women Empowerment Workshops! Last year’s pilot program was a great success and we received positive feedback from all participants. Through our webinar series, we aim to close the digital gender gap and help ensure everyone can play a role in shaping Africa’s future in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR).”

Last year’s group of 28 female teachers attended the workshop in Morocco and came from +14 African countries. Over the course of four days, female participants attended training sessions that focussed on computational and design thinking agendas. After getting to grips with the technologies sitting at the heart of the 4IR, participants also shared best practices on girl mentoring, capacity-building strategies and imparting digital skills to students. And this year’s event promises to be even better!

Let’s show our ACW support as our female participants engage in this important learning process to help conquer Africa’s digital divide. We invite you to leave comments here and to help spread the message using #WEW2020.

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