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S’African varsity VC wins continental education medal

The Vice-Chancellor, University of Cape Town, South Africa, Prof. Mamokgethi Phakeng, has been named the winner of the  Africa Education Medal.

The Africa Education Medal was unveiled this year by T4 Education and HP in collaboration with Intel and Microsoft.

A statement by T4 Education said  Phakeng was chosen as the winner from among 10 finalists for the Africa Education Medal from across the continent, including two inspirational Nigerians, Chief Executive Officer of Teach For Nigeria, Folawe Omikunle, and Founder and CEO of Comic Republic Jide Martin.

It read, ‘‘The Africa Education Medal was founded to recognise the work of those change-makers who are transforming African education. UNESCO data show that sub-Saharan Africa has the highest rates of education exclusion in the world.

Over one-fifth of children between the ages of 6 and 11 are out of school, with girls particularly disadvantaged. However, tireless international efforts have seen Africa make great strides in boosting enrolment in the decades leading up to the pandemic. By celebrating the stories of those working every day to expand upon these vital gains, the Africa Education Medal aims to inspire others to follow in their footsteps and bring lasting change in African education.’’

It added that Phakeng was among the world’s leading scholars in mathematics education who grew up in rural and township South Africa during Apartheid.

She became the first black female South African to achieve a PhD in Mathematics Education in 2002.

Phakeng said, “It is the greatest honour to be recognised for my life’s passion. Quality education is the key to Africa’s future and I’m so grateful to HP, Intel and Microsoft for this award that I hope will inspire others across our continent to further the cause of African education.”

Founder and CEO of T4 Education, Vikas Pota, also said, “Quality education will help African countries grow and prosper. And it will help Africa produce the public leaders of tomorrow who will go on to grapple with the continent’s greatest challenges from inequality, to climate change, food insecurity and disease.’’

This content was originally published here.

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