Over the last decade, Davis College and Akilah have made strategic investments in a competency-based education model, designed to be delivered through both face-to-face and online instruction. Yet in response to COVID-19, campuses in Rwanda and across the globe were forced to close in March and halt in-person education, and immediately transition to distance learning.
With the Mastercard Foundation’s support, Davis College and Akilah will now have the resources needed to ensure that young people are able to continue learning online during the current COVID-19 crisis and that its incoming students and educators are prepared for the digital future of education.
“Through years of testing and refining our model, we’ve learned that online learning entails so much more than making lectures and coursework digitally accessible. It requires a holistic approach to the student experience, ensuring that learners have both the support they need to successfully complete their coursework, as well as the mentorship to thrive as independent learners facing new challenges. We’re grateful that with the Mastercard Foundation’s commitment, we will be able to provide students with financing support during this difficult time—and in particular, young women—while also investing in both the infrastructure and support systems that drive the success of online learning,” shared Akilah Institute President Karen Sherman.
The faculty at Davis College and Akilah will be equipped with the resources and skills needed to fully facilitate online competency-based education for students, and investments in its online learning platform and digital coursework will ensure that the transition to learning and studying from home continues to be as seamless as possible for its students as they navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.
Through its COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Program, the Mastercard Foundation is assisting institutions like Davis College and Akilah, and communities in Africa, to withstand and respond to the short-term impacts of this pandemic, while strengthening resilience in the long-run.
“To build resilience, education institutions are increasingly leaning into the concept of principled flexibility—focusing on delivering high-quality learning opportunities through different modalities. We’re seeing this more and more, and Mastercard Foundation is committed to enabling this shift for the benefit of students both in Rwanda and across the continent,” says Rica Rwigamba, Rwanda Country Head of the Mastercard Foundation.
The COVID-19 global pandemic also shows how desperately the world needs ethically-minded, creative, collaborative leaders; those who can help their communities navigate widespread challenges like the one we are facing today. With the Foundation’s support, students are being positioned to effectively step into those leadership roles and ultimately help build sustainable and resilient communities. The success of students at Davis College and Akilah has never been confined to or reliant on a physical space. The College remains committed more than ever to its mission to equip students with the mindset and knowledge to solve the world’s most pressing challenges.
Davis College and Akilah look forward to collaborating with the Mastercard Foundation on promoting the positive impact that this partnership will have on the lives of its students and the broader community.
About the Mastercard Foundation
The Mastercard Foundation works with visionary organizations to enable young people in Africa and in Indigenous communities in Canada to access dignified and fulfilling work. It is one of the largest, private foundations in the world with a mission to advance learning and promote financial inclusion to create an inclusive and equitable world. Mastercard created the Foundation in 2006 as an independent organization with its Board of Directors and management. For more information on the Foundation, please visit www.mastercardfdn.org.
About the Mastercard Foundation COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Program
The Mastercard Foundation COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Program has two main goals. First, to deliver emergency support for health workers, first responders, and students. Second, to strengthen the diverse institutions that are the first line of defense against the social and economic aftermath of this disease. These include universities, financial service providers, businesses, technology start-ups, incubators, government agencies, youth organizations, and non-governmental organizations. For more on the Mastercard Foundation COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Program, please visit https://mastercardfdn.org/covid19-recovery-resilience-program/. Follow the Foundation on Twitter at @MastercardFdn.