#NextGen Educators Forum – Developing the skills of the next generation of teachers

#NextGen Educators Forum – Developing the skills of the next generation of teachers

Building the right foundations for future learning for children in Africa starts with developing the right skills for the next generation of teachers.

Today, HP convened the #NextGen Educators Forum with that exact future in mind – sharing ideas and discussions relevant to the education sector in Africa on how to equip teachers with the skills to do advance education on the continent.

The forum took place ahead of World Teachers’ Day on Wednesday 5 October theme: “The transformation of education starts with teachers.” The panel of influential voices from the education sector participating in the forum included:

  • Simi Nwogugu: CEO of Junior Achievement Africa
  • Brian Schreuder: Former General Superintendent at the Western Cape Department of Education: Specialist Advisor
  • Folawe Omikunle: Managing Director of Teach for Nigeria
  • Mayank Dhingra: HP Senior Education Manager for Africa, Middle East and Eastern Europe

The discussion focused on a series of thought-provoking topics aimed at advancing the discourse on the future of education. Topics covered included innovative technologies and pedagogies at the frontier of education in Africa; empowering educators to define new ways of learning for students; and digital equity: implementing digital transformation in education areas and effectively replacing traditional learning confined within four walls.

Simi Nwogugu said, “Educators need to understand that their traditional role as an expert imparting knowledge has evolved into that of a guide facilitating the acquisition of knowledge, conceptual thinking and critical reasoning skills in their students. To do this effectively, educators themselves must be equipped with these and other emotional intelligence skills to be able to continuously adapt to the needs of the students in their care. Forums like this help point us all in the education sector in the right direction for how to empower teachers to be more effective in the classroom.

HP recently revealed the results of its first survey focused on education in Africa, which shed light on teacher skills and how the profession can be improved in South Africa and Nigeria.

Understanding the realities of teaching in the 21st century, 10 skills were identified in the study as crucial to preparing the future of classrooms for educators. Overall, teachers surveyed rated these skill sets as important, with 70% saying ‘soft skills’ such as creative, innovative, critical and entrepreneurial thinking, as well as digital literacy are very important .

Additionally, one in three teachers say they could benefit from additional training to improve the aforementioned skills and that the development would have a huge impact on pedagogy.

Omikunle says, “The only way for African countries to reach their full potential is to invest in education. By investing in teachers, we are investing in the future of our children, and necessarily that of our continent. We know there are many challenges facing educators, and these discussions will help provide African solutions to African challenges.

Speaking on the impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Schreuder noted that if anything the pandemic disruption has proven about the sector is that it is resilient. “We’ve seen teachers implement innovative strategies to keep learning going at critical times in the school year. Armed with even better tools and relevant training, African teachers can transform this sector,” he says.

The world of education is changing, and teaching must transform to better meet the needs of a digital learner. That’s why HP launched its Innovation and Digital Education Academy (HP IDEA), which plays a critical role in closing the skills gap and is part of HP’s goal to accelerate digital equity for 150 million people by 2030. This immersive teacher development program is designed to enable educators to develop and access new learning modalities in select schools in South Africa, Nigeria and 15 other markets in Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

“Now is the time to rethink and reshape the future of the education sector in Africa. The last few years have propelled the sector towards new ways of learning. It showed us that we need to give teachers the right tools to ensure learners have the best chance of future-proof results,” says Mayank Dhingra-HP Senior Education Business Leader for Africa, the Middle East and Eastern Europe.

About HP

HP Inc. is a technology company that believes that a thoughtful idea has the power to change the world. Its product and service portfolio of personal systems, printers and 3D printing solutions helps bring these ideas to life. Visit http://www.hp.com.

Jennifer C. Burleigh