Creativity for jobs and leadership
MASK strengthens creativity and innovation in young people in Africa
to improve their learning, employability, and leadership.
'Creativity and innovation' is the ability to generate and implement new non-routine ideas
MASK that hopes to change the education paradigm. Creativity-learning must be a priority of education to impact prosperity of individuals and society. This vision is shared by the WEF: ‘How effectively education fosters creativity is now at the center of the relationship between education and economic prosperity’ ('New Vision for Education', WEF, 2016). Creativity has a far-reaching effect on people's intellectual capacity, personality, work ethics and social behaviour. Creative people spur change and development. Neglected creativity inhibits people's performance throughout life.
However, many children and young people around the world are still taught by rote in schools and discouraged to venture ‘outside the box'. Art practices in schools - essential to creativity learning - are virtually non-existent. Creativity is misunderstood and undervalued. There is a misconception that creativity is 'art', ‘only for artists’, ‘luxury’ or 'just a leisure activity', that creativity cannot be taught, or it does not impact productivity and prosperity in the same way as literacy and numeracy. Although politicians, civil servants and business leaders have high regard for innovation and entrepreneurship, they do not yet associate it with education for creativity in schools. This disconnects young people from the skills needed to function in today's world. ‘Survival in 21st century will be very difficult and without creativity it is not possible’, warns a MASK supporter Dr Manu Chandaria CBE.
There is an urgent need to understand creativity and develop effective ways for engendering it in children and young people. But fostering creativity is not the responsibility of educators alone. ‘By 2020 creativity will be the top skill required by employers’ predicts the WEF (WEF’s ‘Future of Jobs’ report, 2016). Businesses must invest in education for creativity of young people.
"MASK developed my habit of innovating. While studying chemistry in college I invented a new drug. Coming from a small village, I now work for a global corporation in Nairobi that hired me for my "creative attitude". Creativity empowered me beyond my dreams." Hellen, 27.
“MASK's work is ground-breaking and
important to the young Africans going forward.”
MASK trustee Tim Dann