Creativity for jobs and leadership
MASK strengthens creativity and innovation of young people in Africa to improve their real learning, employability,
entrepreneurial skills and leadership
''Creativity and innovation' is the ability to identify problems and generate and implement new and original solutions.
It can be also called creative thinking, creative intelligence, resourcefulness, inventiveness, ingenuity, imagination, inspiration, ‘outside-box’ thinking, independent thinking, value-creation, paradigm-changing, vision, change, originality, novelty, individuality, initiative, insight, talent, genius, risk-taking, personal effectiveness, enterprise, and optimization.
“MASK's work is ground-breaking and
important to the young Africans going forward.”
MASK trustee Tim Dann
Strengthening creativity of young people must be a priority of education. “How effectively education fosters creativity is now at the center of the relationship between education and economic prosperity” ( WEF's 'New Vision for Education' report, 2016).
Creativity has a far-reaching effect on intellectual capacity, personality, work ethics and social behaviour of children. Neglecting children's creativity inhibits their development and performance throughout their lives. Creative young people - who can invent new and competitive solutions - are more employable, effective and successful. They generate change and bring socio-economic growth.
In Kenya (and many other countries around the world), children have traditionally been taught by rote and discouraged to venture ‘outside the box’. Art practices, one of the most effective ways to strengthen creativity in young people, has been critically limited in schools. Creativity has been misunderstood and undervalued. There is a misconception that creativity is ‘the arts’ and ‘for artists’ alone, that it cannot be taught, and that it does not impact prosperity and productivity in the same way as literacy and numeracy. The traditional education disconnects children from the skills needed to function in today’s world.
Creativity is not the 'frills' of the economic development, it is what spurs it. Creativity is economic necessity. “Survival in the 21st century will be difficult and without creativity it is not possible," warned the leading Kenyan industrialist Dr Manu Chandaria CBE at a MASK event in 2015.
There is the urgent need to develop and implement effective creativity learning and teaching. This is what MASK has been successfully accomplishing since 2007.
But, fostering creativity is not the responsibility of educators alone. Creativity is critical to preparing young people for the jobs of tomorrow. "By 2020 creativity will be the top skill required by employers," predicts the 2016 World Economic Forum ‘Future of Jobs’ report. Businesses too must invest in the creative skills of the new generation, their future workforce and market.
"MASK developed my habit for innovating; I want to innovate everything now! While studying chemistry in college I invented a new drug. Now I am employed by a top international company in Nairobi for my "creative attitude". I came from a small village in Kenya. Creativity empowered me beyond my dreams!" Hellen, 27.