UNESCO’s Global Education Coalition helps grow Technovation Girls in key regions
Following the success of the 2020 Idea Lab pilot programme, Technovation and other members of UNESCO’s Global Education Coalition are building on their partnership to support girls’ learning during the global COVID-19 pandemic.
“I entered Technovation Girls never imagining that it would change my life so drastically”, said Gyaan, a secondary school student after she finished the programme last year. “I had to push past my boundaries, going above and beyond.”
Gyann isn’t alone. For Jigyasa in India — who developed a mobile application to support survivors of acid attacks — participating in Technovation meant discovering a talent for coding and video production. “At the beginning of the programme, I was scared of computer science and coding as a whole, but I ended up being one of the main programmers on my team.”
Despite the pandemic, last year more than 5,000 girls like Gyann and Jigyasa completed the Technovation Girls programme, developing over 1,500 mobile applications and business plans addressing a range of issues including COVID-19 recovery, domestic violence, and climate change. Over 75% of girls learned how to solve community-based problems, work in a team, and analyze data. More than 60% learned to code and 56% were interested in starting their own technology business.
This year, Technovation, UNESCO, and its Global Education Coalition partners are ensuring even more girls are engaged in tech and have access to related learning opportunities. Some 10,000 girls from under-resourced communities are being supported as they participate in the multi-week technology entrepreneurship programme.
Some 3,600 educators, parents, and mentors will also be engaged to support the girls as they learn, and will be provided with capacity-building training to help ensure that girls keep learning and receiving the community support they need.
Volunteers from Global Education Coalition partners like Ericsson, Qualcomm, and Siemens Stiftung have been engaged as mentors and judges to the girls, providing encouragement and feedback to keep girls motivated.
Local programme partners and UNESCO field office staff in Brazil, India, Mexico, and Nigeria are helping reach and engage more girls in their communities, as are schools that are part of UNESCO’s Associated Schools Project Network (ASPnet). Technovation is also being showcased at the marketplace segment of the 2021 Consultation of E9 Ministers of Education.
“As we head into another year of the COVID-19 pandemic, girls and women remain in the cross-hairs, feeling the most severe impacts of the global pandemic and recession”, said Tara Chklovski, CEO and Founder of Technovation. “We are grateful for the support of our corporate and community partners to support more girls to keep learning and developing into community leaders.”
A Global Education Coalition partner, Technovation empowers girls and women in particular to create technology-based solutions. Technovation has engaged 50,000 mentors and educators supporting more than 250,000 participants across over 100 countries, to tackle pressing problems ranging from climate change to substance abuse, and most recently, COVID-19. Technovation Girls is a 12-week curriculum about technology entrepreneurship through which girls are equipped with 21st-century skills of problem identification, complex systems thinking, and real-world problem-solving.
Other local partner organizations include Mentoralia, Hacademy, Women Who Code in Mexico, Instituto Paramitas in Brazil, Brainfacio Educational Services, Exsuntra Tend Foundation, the Odyssey Educational Foundation in Nigeria, and HRDEF and Metoomentor in India. Technovation’s corporate partners include Shopify, HSBC, Servicenow, Cadence, Factset, and Oracle.
At the peak of the pandemic, over 1.5 billion learners around the world have seen their education disrupted due to COVID-related school closures. Under UNESCO’s Global Education Coalition, a Gender Flagship was established to safeguard progress made on gender equality and education and promote girls’ and women’s empowerment in and through education.