Issued By: FUNDZA.
Injini is pleased to announce the first cohort of 12 EdTech companies participating in the inaugural Mastercard Foundation EdTech Fellowship at Injini. Injini is part of an Africa-wide network of partners implementing the Mastercard Foundation Fellowship to support growth-stage EdTech startups as they seek to improve learning outcomes.
Education technology (EdTech) has the potential to significantly bolster the educational landscape in South Africa. With literacy rates showing little improvement, and math and science results on the decline, solutions are urgently needed and, fortunately, these entrepreneurs have identified this need and are working tirelessly to provide innovative solutions.
“We saw many promising applicants during the selection process for our Mastercard Foundation EdTech Fellowship Program,” says Krista Davidson, executive director of Injini. “It was not an easy process to narrow down the applicants from hundreds to these 12 Fellows, as there are many impressive EdTech solutions operating and making a real difference to learners across the country. We are confident that we will be able to work with each one individually to grow their impact and improve educational outcomes in South Africa.”
The cohort of twelve Fellows selected by Injini and other partners are examples of the most promising educational technology solutions in South Africa.
– Joseph Nsengimana
The 12 Fellows are:
- Afrika Tikkun Bambanani strives to provide South African children with access to quality education by standardising the ECD curriculum. The organisation collaborates with renowned researchers and educators to equip children with specialised educational tools.
- Ambani Africa through the use of augmented reality, animation, and gamification, has successfully developed learner-focused products for language learning. They offer a free language app that currently offers six African language options.
- BuzzKidz Buzz-in-a-Box (BIAB), is an EdTech solution that helps South African teachers provide creative arts education to learners. Backed by research on play-based learning, the platform offers a comprehensive curriculum covering music, drama, and dance.
- Click Learning is an NGO that helps underserved primary schools in South Africa improve foundational literacy, numeracy, and digital skills through the deployment of relevant online programs.
- Digify Africa is a chat-based learning platform that delivers interactive micro-learning through WhatsApp to low-income users in Africa. Lessons are accessible to learners wherever and whenever they want and at their own pace.
- FunDza Literacy Trust is a ‘library on a phone’ where readers, writers, and course participants can connect with FunDza through a mobile-friendly and data-light site. The platform publishes reading and writing materials that ignite a love of reading, specifically aimed at teens and young adults who have never previously identified as readers.
- Matric Live is a multifunctional education app with interactive lessons, gamification of learning, and an exam simulation feature for practicing exam-like questions.
- Reflective Learning is a data-driven solution that helps teachers identify learning gaps and provides personalised learning pathways to empower learners to catch up on their backlogs.
- Resolute Education provides robotics and coding programmes for schools and tertiary institutions. These programmes follow the CAPS curriculum, include SACE-accredited teacher training and support, offer cost-effective robotics kits, and an LMS for educators and learners.
- Yenza offers smart career technology that combines the latest in psychometrics, data science and intelligent design to intuitively guide and recommend successful career pathway journeys for individuals.
- Zaio is an online platform that provides highly interactive educational content on digital skills like coding, including on-demand live support, at a fraction of the expected cost.
“We are delighted to be selected as one of the esteemed fellows for the Mastercard Foundation EdTech Fellowship Programme. At Fundza, we have witnessed the tremendous impact of mobile technology in advancing literacy and education. Our digital platform has provided millions of South Africans access to reading and learning materials that would otherwise have been out of reach”, says Lea-Anne Moses, executive director and trustee at Fundza Literacy Trust.
Moses adds that the fellowship programme presents them with an unparalleled opportunity to take their work to the next level with the support and guidance of leading experts in the field: “We are excited to collaborate with the esteemed partners of the programme and leverage their extensive resources and expertise to make an even greater impact on the lives of individuals and communities across South Africa.
“We are deeply committed to using technology to promote literacy and education, and this fellowship will enable us to achieve our mission at a previously unimaginable scale. We are grateful to Injini and the Mastercard Foundation for this opportunity, and we look forward to working with them to advance our collective goals of using technology for social good.”
The Mastercard Foundation EdTech Fellowship is an initiative of the Mastercard Foundation Centre for Innovative Teaching and Learning (CITL) that partners with technology and innovation hubs and EdTech accelerators across Africa to support promising, growth-stage EdTech ventures with the potential for scale and impact. Injini is pleased to be partnering with the Mastercard Foundation to implement this important initiative in South Africa to improve outcomes for hundreds of thousands of learners. The Mastercard Foundation EdTech Fellowship was launched in 2019 and supported 12 African EdTech companies from seven countries in its first year. Collectively, these companies have reached over 800,000 learners to date.
The Mastercard Foundation EdTech Fellowship at Injini will provide selected startups with direct funding support, product quality evaluation and certification, intensive skills development, coaching and mentorship, bespoke market research, and market access through Injini’s network of stakeholders across the education innovation landscape.
The fellowship specifically focuses on the following key objectives:
- Facilitate market access with a lens to increase reach to beneficiaries at the ‘bottom of the pyramid’.
- Design and implement, or refine, impact measurement, monitoring, and evaluation systems.
- Improve financial sustainability, including investment readiness support, where appropriate.
Joseph Nsengimana, director of The Mastercard Foundation Centre for Innovative Teaching and Learning, adds: “The cohort of twelve Fellows selected by Injini and other partners are examples of the most promising educational technology solutions in South Africa. Through our combined support, these entrepreneurs will be empowered to scale their innovations and effect positive change in teaching and learning across the country. We eagerly anticipate the impact these companies will have on learning outcomes in the months and years to come.”
“As South Africa faces mounting challenges in the education sector, Injini is thrilled to work with the Mastercard Foundation and our other partners to support these businesses that have the potential to drive significant change in this field,” concludes Krista Davidson, executive director, Injini.
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