Fostering innovation in education - Inno4Edu camp

26 July 2018
Photo of a group of the participants of the Innovation for Education camp listening to the presentation of Sofija Bogeva from SmartUp - Social Innovation Lab

SKOPJE, 7 May 2018: UNICEF in partnership with SmartUp - Social Innovation Lab launched an eighteen day Inno4Edu Camp this weekend, bringing together a group of 40 young innovators to develop prototype solutions for ideas generated at a three-day hackathon held on the sidelines of the UNICEF supported high-level conference “Quality Education for Growth, Achievements and Better Future”. 

“One of the goals of our education system is to ensure that all our children are able to live in a knowledge economy driven by innovation,” said Benjamin Perks, UNICEF Representative. “For this we need to start educating children so that they can create the economy and the kind of society we would like them to live in the future."

Over a next two months, teams at the camp will be taking forward three ideas to improve quality education: a “Future Inclusive Classroom” layout that nurtures inclusion, belonging and cooperation; an online library for pre-school educational games and resources for educators and parents; and an online “Character Blocks” tool to help teachers introduce character education in regular classes.

“Education systems were initially constructed only thinking about the cognitive brain function – the intellectual part of the brain - but the social and emotional part of the brain which is about character, skills, optimism, perseverance, motivation, values, fairness, and ethics should also be a fundamental part of the education system,” continued Mr. Perks. 

The Inno4Edu camp is also fostering social innovation and entrepreneurship, especially among young people and establishing partnerships and collaboration between stakeholders to address challenges in education. The Fund for Innovations and Technology Development is supporting the effort. “It is our aim to develop a critical mass of creative thinking and the place to start is in education,” said Jovan Despotovski, Director of the Fund for Innovation and Technology Development. “With UNICEF, we have a shared understanding of the need to foster innovation in education so that today’s youth can embrace innovation and develop the growth mindsets needed to shape society.”

In addition to developing prototype solutions, the camp is also designed to build participants skills in problem solving, multidisciplinary approaches, creativity, critical thinking, communication, social innovation and entrepreneurship. Working with prominent experts and mentors, the young participants will engage in a series of masterclasses and sessions covering topics including design thinking and project design, character education, sustainable business models, how to rock the stage and storytelling.

The Inno4Edu camp is being organized in partnership with SmartUp – Social Innovation Lab and is being hosted by the National University Library "St. Kliment Ohridski". 

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