STEM Badges for Africa

Increasing food security and recognizing relevant skills and achievements

Today learning happens everywhere, not just in classrooms, this is especially true for children in Africa who never attend school or fail to complete a Basic Education of 8 years of uninterrupted schooling. These children who learn things out of the formal school system find it difficult to get formal recognition for the things they know and can do. Open Badges solve this problem by providing public recognition for learning regardless of where or how it happens, showcasing new skills and achievements across the web to open doors and unlock employment  opportunities within and beyond the agricultural sector .

The agricultural sector plays a key role in promoting food security in West Africa. This role includes providing both social and economic benefits to the people of the West African Region The African Scientific Institute, National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion and the International Council on Education for Teaching recognize the need to recognize skills, achievements and qualities of local learners working to improve the quality of life for local. The Open Badges program seeks to recognize Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and 21st century skills like collaboration and teamwork — to allow local learners in and out a school to tell their story through the badges they earned We expect that these stories told through the universal language of badges can lead to jobs, community recognition, alternative professional pathways, and new learning opportunities.

Recognizing  new skills and achievements

Badges provide a pathways for learners in and out of school to contribute to food security by earning STEM badges, which will be recognized  by  potential employers, schools, colleagues and their community.

...through a simple framework that's open to all...

Using Mozilla’s Open Badges infrastructure, authorized African based organizations will be able to issue badges backed by their own seal of approval. Learners can then collect badges from these organizations and display them across the web -- on their walls, websites, social networking profiles, job sites and more. unlock new career and learning opportunities!

Displaying STEM skills and achievements can lead to jobs, community recognition, and new learning opportunities and most importantly food security in Africa.


How Mozilla’s Open Badges May Work In Africa

The main priority for phase 1 of the African badging project is to create a create a common language and currency to motivate and acknowledge the knowledge and skills of learners working in STEM fields to promote food security in West Africa.  Local organization in partnership with local communities will control the quality of the elements required for badges listed within its project. Lead organizations will provide authentication for the organization issuing the badge and for the user receiving it, as well as a link to the criteria needed to earn it and the evidence of the learner meeting that criteria.

Lead organizations wanting to get involved with the project are encouraged to a look at organization abroad discussing similar projects

  • Davis badge system for  sustainable-agriculture

  • Educause discussion on seven things you should know about badges

How Will Open Badges Project Complement the Pan African University?

The Open Badges for Africa Project is a recognition that "learning looks very different in Africa compared to more traditional contexts. Learning in Africa is occurring through a multitude of channels outside of formal education, and yet much of that learning does not "count" in today's world.  Currently for those children out of the school system there is no real way to demonstrate that learning and transfer it across contexts or use it for improving food security in Africa.

Making an open source and openly accessible education system contextualizes skill and knowledge certification to reflect the reality and needs of the context. Learners following this pathway have the option to use the local badge-based certification system to obtain employment in STEM industries linked to the agriculture sector. The African Scientific Institute, National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion and the International Council on Education for Teaching also hope that the open badge project will allow local learners to take advantage of the multiple entrance and exit points that will be made available and local centers connected to the Pan African Institute for those wishing to complete secondary and tertiary education as they progress towards study at the Pan African University.