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Children Using Tablets
IMPROVING LEARNING OUTCOMES
IN SOUTH AFRICA
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EDTECH FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM

The Mastercard Foundation EdTech Fellowship Program is an EdTech specialised venture support program uniquely designed for high-growth and high-impact companies addressing pressing challenges in education in South Africa through technology and innovation.

The EdTech Fellowship Program specifically focuses on the following three 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; and

  • Improve financial sustainability, including investment readiness support, where appropriate.

The 2023 Fellows have been selected. We will open applications for the 2024 cohort later this year. 

Each selected EdTech company, or “Fellow”, will receive Injini’s specialised acceleration support valued at over R2,500,000, in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation.

 

Benefits include:

 

  • ​Equity-free venture funding of over R1,000,000;

  • Hands-on support from specialists in education innovation, fundraising, impact M&E, commerce and more;

  • Pedagogical evaluation and certification by EdTech Impact and Education Alliance Finland;

  • Bespoke market research support by the Injini Think Tank's team of education innovation researchers;

  • "Sponsored skills" to temporarily fill identified gaps in each team with the intention to build capacity for long-term success;

  • Exposure and growth in new markets, including travel and speaking opportunities at ecosystem events;

  • Training and personalised coaching from faculty members of Carnegie Mellon University - a global leader in education technology and applied learning sciences; and

  • Contributing to a growing body of evidence documenting "what works" in African EdTech.

PROGRAM BENEFITS

 PROGRAM TIMELINE

This acceleration program takes a hybrid format. Primary engagements are online with key initiatives and activities taking place at Injini’s office in Cape Town. Site visits will also be conducted where possible throughout the duration of the Mastercard Foundation EdTech Fellowship Program.

APRIL - MAY 2023: NEEDS ASSESSMENT & MILESTONE SETTING

  • We are kicking off the program by working alongside each EdTech Fellow to conduct a diagnostic needs assessment process and develop custom milestones to ensure each Fellow gets optimal value from their participation in the program. 

  • We aim to finalise all milestones by the first week of May 2023, although some Fellows are likely to have theirs set sooner. 

  • Our expectation is to engage with Fellows in-person in Cape Town for at least one week of this time.

MAY - OCTOBER 2023: ACTIVE EDTECH FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM PARTICIPATION

  • With leading experts in education innovation and venture development, each EdTech Fellow will receive bespoke support as well as strategic engagement with various ecosystem stakeholders and partners.

  • See the Program Outline for more details.

  • EdTech Fellows are expected to spend roughly one week per month of the program in Cape Town. All relevant travel expenses will be covered by the program. 

NOVEMBER 2023 & BEYOND: CONTINUED LIGHT-TOUCH SUPPORT

  • With the help of our EdTech Fellows, we look forward to building evidence of ‘what works’ in African EdTech, which will enable us to further engage government stakeholders, investors, and other partners who can channel more resources into the sector, reduce regulatory barriers and create a more enabling environment for South African education innovation.

MEET THE 2023 FELLOWS

The first cohort of 12 Fellows has been selected. They are: 

  • Afrika Tikkun Bambanani strives to provide South African children with access to quality education by standardizing the ECD curriculum. The organization collaborates with renowned researchers and educators to equip children with specialized 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.

  • Buzz Kidz 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. 

  • Code4Kids is a program that enables teachers to teach coding, robotics, and other ICT skills to students from Grades 4 - 9 through pre-made, curriculum-aligned lessons. Code4Kids offers multiple coding languages such as HTML, CSS and Javascript in a fun and easy-to-learn environment.

  • 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 practising 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 programs for schools and tertiary institutions. These programs 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.

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