Like many people and institutions the world over, the 2020 global pandemic forced a pause, and for many others, a reset. Several institutions were faced with navigating hurdles the pandemic brought while re-shaping curriculum and programs. 

For the Education Collaborative at Ashesi, the pandemic brought to the fore, an even stronger need for collaboration and impact. From hosting our largest annual convening virtually, to launching the Eastern regional hub, to providing mentorship to several institutions, 2021 was a year of continuous growth and impact. 

Here’s a look at stories that shaped the year: 

Fifth annual Education Collaborative convening welcomes over 300 participants

Since 2017, through the annual convening, the Education Collaborative at Ashesi has brought together educators and leaders of higher educational institutions committed to transforming Africa through high-impact education. 

Held online, the 2021 convening brought together some 300 participants from over 100 organisations and higher ed institutions across the globe. Jointly organized by Ashesi University, KeplerCentre for Social Innovations GhanaUniversity of Gondar and Ayenit Alolom Africa, the three-day event featured plenary sessions, workshops and talks focused on entrepreneurship, employability, and diversity and inclusion within African higher educational institutions.

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On growing impact, Eastern African University heads kickoff Education Collaborative regional hub model

University leaders from 8 institutions convened at Rongo University, Kenya, to draw a roadmap for operating and driving impact through the Education Collaborative’s first regional hub. Starting from East Africa, the Education Collaborative looks to scale impact across the continent through a regional hub approach that works through clusters of exemplary African universities.

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On Entrepreneurship; African Development University strengthens focus of Innovation Lab through collaboration

Since launching in 2017, the iiLab has become a hotbed for student ideas and entrepreneurship projects like Saidou’s. By providing resources, network, and support, the lab has helped over ten students scale their innovative and entrepreneurial ideas and projects into businesses in industries ranging from agriculture to technology to fashion.    

In looking to grow their impact, the iiLab partnered with the Education Collaborative under its mentorship program to work towards their goal of becoming a regional hub for young entrepreneurs. 

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On Ethics and Leadership: Impact Stories from Giving Voice to Values Workshop

In July 2020, the Education Collaborative held a train-the-trainer workshop focused on helping institutions develop tools for teaching skills in ethical action using the Giving Voice to Values (GVV) approach

As part of the workshop, three participating institutions EducAid Sierra LeoneEdify Ghana Organization and Emerging Public Leaders Ghana received microgrants to help build their capacity for ethical action. 

Since then, the beneficiary institutions have all taken steps in designing modules, starting initiatives, and holding workshops for their respective audiences. 

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Building an ethical campus: Beginning a mentoring journey with Kibi Presbyterian College of Education

After participating in the 2019 Education Collaborative Annual Convening  Dr. Kwame Asamoah Debrah, Development & Research Officer at Kibi Presbyterian College of Education (KPCE), was particularly interested in how Ashesi University’s honour system’s was implemented both inside and outside the classrooms. That experience started a journey of collaboration with Ashesi University, as KPCE looks to form their own honour code.

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Re-tooling hands-on science training for scale and impact through online workshops

Since 2014, the Practical Education Network (PEN) has equipped over 3000 teachers from remote communities across Ghana, with skills to engage their students in hands-on science learning.

In 2020, however, the COVID-19 pandemic brought an indefinite pause to the workshops. And while the switch to virtual learning became the obvious alternative for most people and organisations, PEN, however, had to grapple with reaching teachers in communities with limited connectivity while also, re-tooling their primarily in-person curriculum into digital modules. 

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With new honour system, Palm Institute strengthens commitment to ethical leadership

Nine years after Palm Institute first opened its doors to its pioneering students in 2012, the institution has reached a new milestone by enacting an honour system.

“The leadership of Palm felt very strongly that without an Honour System, our mission of educating ethical leaders was essentially an illusion,” a note on the university’s website said. “We strongly believe that creating an honour system would help build the kind of trust we need as a community.”   

By adopting the honour system, students at Palm commit to taking examinations without invigilators. Additionally, the entire community, including faculty and staff, agree to do the right thing even when no one is looking. The honour system further charges members of the community not to compromise with any form of unethical behaviour. 

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