MASK strengthens creativity and innovation in young people in Africa
to improve their learning, employability and leadership
and help them meet challenges and bring change.
MASK believes that creativity-learning must be the priority of education to impact prosperity and growth 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. Performance of people who lack creativity is inhibited throughout life.
Creativity must be fostered from early life. However, many young people around the world are still taught by rote and discouraged to venture ‘outside the box'. Art practices in schools - that are essential to creativity learning - are virtually non-existent. Creativity is misunderstood and undervalued. There is a misconception that creativity is 'art' and ‘only for artists’, 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 leading African industrialist Dr Manu Chandaria CBE., a keen MASK supporter.
There is an urgent need to understand creativity and develop effective ways for engendering this powerful skill 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 too must invest in education for creativity of young people.
"MASK developed my habit of innovating while I was in school. While studying chemistry in college I invented a new drug. 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