- Youth Skills & Enterprise
Youth employment has become a top priority policy concern across countries and regions. This results in part from the fact that many young people have little or no relevant skills and are therefore largely excluded from productive economic and social life. There is increasing recognition among policy makers of the importance of taking advantage of the potential that young people represent for growth prospects, sustainable development and social cohesion and the need for developing strategies to foster youth employment and self-employment.
Such strategies must factor in the rapidly evolving labour market and the technological changes that have opened new frontiers, created new jobs, eliminated others and created new ways of working. ICT is now considered by many governments as a critical component of a responsive, demand-driven Education and Technical and Vocational Skills Development system tasked with meeting the needs for learners in formal and other learning environments.
K4DWB is developing innovative models and frameworks designed to equip unemployed youth with digital and entrepreneurial skills that can enable them to start their own small businesses or to take up employment opportunities.
K4DWB will focus on collaborating with research, education and business communities to:
- Consolidate and expand its informal education-enterprise models and frameworks designed to equip unemployed youth with digital and entrepreneurial skills
- Consolidate and disseminate the model toolkit for building youth digital start-up and take-up capacities to create and avail of employment opportunities in digital and cultural media industries
- Leadership for Sustainable Development
We are witnessing increasing demand for public sector leadership capable of driving sustainable development.
Leadership is becoming more collective, less individual. Many thinkers today suggest that innovation, change, new directions, and strategies emerge not from individuals, but from the social network, stressing the need for collective and distributed leadership to meet the challenges of social and economic development.
Additionally, two critical dimensions must be seriously taken into account when formulating and planning development policies:
(a) “the Sustainable Development Goals recognize the vital role that women play in social and economic development and reform and the need for their full and equal participation and leadership in all areas of sustainable development” (The World Health Organization, 2015);
(b) Based on the outcome of the COP21 conference, climate change and ecology are to be reflected in every aspect of social and economic development.
- K4DWB focus of work
For the period 2017-21 K4DWB will work with governments, ministries of ICT, STI, Education, Universities and School of Government partners linked to leadership development to:
- Scale up a distributed model of the ICT programme regionally and internationally;
- Enhance the programme to include critical themes for sustainable development – inclusive of environmental sustainability, women leadership, social equity and inclusive development.
- ICT in Teacher Development
There has been a renewed focus in the Sustainable Development Goals on the need for quality teaching and learning. Historically, there has been less attention paid to the role of teachers and teaching which are key to improving the quality of education.
Now the need is for a radical shift in teacher preparation towards school based professional learning and collaborative design approaches that are timely and relevant to teacher professional learning needs. The requirement to reform and transform teacher education as on-going life-long engagement will be a critical challenge in the post 2015 education.
Quality ICT-enabled teaching and learning can only occur in school environments which enjoy a positive ICT culture, has a basic level of digital equipment and where ICT use and integration is championed by the principal and senior staff.
- ECOWAS Digital Schools Initiative
The ECOWAS Digital Schools Initiative (EDSI) is a comprehensive program to implement digital school development in secondary schools to transform secondary schools into digital schools of distinction.
It is designed specifically to build secondary-level student 21st century skills and teachers’ innovative practice in a way that is responsive to the needs of the market place and to the emerging knowledge economies and societies.
K4DWB’s focus of work for the period 2017-21 K4DWB will work with governments, ministries of education partners and national institutions linked to teacher professional development to:
- Expand its ‘phased approach’ models for teacher professional development based on ICT competency frameworks and the K4DWB Digital Schools of Distinction Framework which includes head teacher capacity building to support digital whole school development;
- Integrate blended learning approaches to ensure practical application of professional learning with technology in school and classroom practice;
- Improve the quality of teaching and learning through school-based and virtual teacher communities of practice for collaboration on e-lesson and e-resource design.
- Local Community Based Learning
It is widely recognized that literacy is an indispensable foundation and means to empower people to cope with the complexities of life and active participation in society.
Despite this realization, little progress has been made in reducing illiteracy rates worldwide. There are still about 781 million illiterate adults in the world and in regions experiencing booming economic growth, in particular Africa, illiteracy may reach even greater heights, challenging countries to make heroic efforts in order to deliver basic education services to all.
ICTs hold tremendous potential to improve both access to and the quality of education in both formal and informal environments and reaching the unreached.
K4DWB will work with governments, partners and local communities to:
- Explore new models for the use of mobile technologies to support community based learning literacy and numeracy initiatives;
- Adapt and adopt its models and frameworks piloted and up-scaled in existing programs and projects for community based and cross-generational learning initiatives.
- Leadership Network for Sustainable Development
K4DWB will launch the ‘Leadership Network for Sustainable Development’ soon.
The network will comprise local community leaders, decision makers, government officials and experts, practitioners and researchers join together to strengthen Africa’s capacities to implement the SDGs.