The investment, pooled from seven partnering countries in Europe and Africa, is aimed at developing and deploying digital Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) laboratories in secondary schools across Africa. This will help to improve students’ participation in STEM across the continent.
The fund is part of an initiative known as GO-GA (from ‘Go-Lab Goes Africa’). In a statement sent to BusinessDay, CcHub disclosed that the initiative is a funded collaborative project by the European Commission, under the Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Funding Scheme.
“GO-GA’s overall purpose is to accelerate the adoption of richer learning environments and improved learning outcomes in science and technology. GO-GA will create an outreach for, and adapt the successful Go-Lab Ecosystem to the needs of teachers and students in Nigeria, Kenya, and Republic of Benin, with built in plans to scale across Africa,” CcHub’s statement noted.
The statement also explained that Go-Lab (from ‘Global Online Science Labs for Inquiry Learning at School’) opens up online science laboratories (remote and virtual labs) for large-scale use in school education, encouraging young people aged from 13-18 to engage in science and engineering disciplines, acquire scientific inquiry skills, and experience the culture of doing science by undertaking active guided experimentation.
“Despite the growing availability of technology resources in schools, there remains a disconnect between resources available and impact achieved, with reviews generally showing that input-based policies on their own are largely ineffective in increasing learning outcomes in the absence of complementary initiatives to improve accountability or pedagogy,” said Bosun Tijani, CEO, CcHub.
He added that it has become imperative that education focus moves from primarily input-based policy towards policies that concentrate on learning outcomes.
The GO-GA project begins in January 2018 and the organizers hope that by leveraging Go-lab ecosystems in schools across Africa, it will address the challenges.
“The international dimension of the European Commission funded Horizon 2020 programme supports innovation excellence and industrial competitiveness through collaboration between the best minds of Europe and partner countries all over the world,” said Célia Gavaud Coordinator of GO-GA. “In that context, GO-GA will promote the mutual interests of EU and African partners by ensuring the global reach and adoption of an essential education technology development and market innovation. We are very excited by the prospects of the project.”