Quantexa Debuts Q Assist, New Context Aware Generative AI Technology Suite

New AI advancements are helping industry leaders get data ready for AI and make impact

Q Assist, New Context Aware Generative AI Technology Suite from Quantexa
Q Assist, a context aware generative AI technology suite to help organizations augment trusted decision-making across teams of front-line and information workers
  • HSBC is among several industry leaders participating in Quantexa’s Lighthouse Program for early adopters
  • HSBC anticipates that streamlining of analysis and acceleration of processes could lead to significant productivity gains within the first year of deployment
  • Q Assist combines Quantexa’s Decision Intelligence Platform and Generative AI to augment decisions for sales, customer service, and compliance teams in financial services, TMT, and government agencies

LONDON, June 10, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — This Monday, on the Centre Stage at London Tech Week 2024Quantexa, the global leader in Decision Intelligence (DI) solutions for the public and private sectors debuted Q Assist, a context aware generative AI technology suite to help organizations augment trusted decision-making across teams of frontline and information workers. The announcement demonstrates progress against the company’s platform innovation roadmap and comes nearly a year after Quantexa detailed a significant investment in the global artificial intelligence (AI) industry and previewed Q Assist as a stand-alone LLM agnostic copilot.

With the new Q Assist Technology Suite, Quantexa customers will be able to operationalize generative AI for transformational gains without significant investment in infrastructure, tooling, and additional skilled resources.

Frontline and information workers can leverage the power of copilots, linked data, Quantexa’s knowledge graph capability, and other Decision Intelligence Platform features to enhance the accuracy and reliability of generative AI models that interact with all data (structured and unstructured), context, and insight across their organization. Combining LLMs with the rich context within Quantexa’s Decision Intelligence Platform enables a better understanding of data, safely grounds responses, increases performance and trust, and ensures teams have the most accurate, up-to-date information in a single place.

Q Assist, a context aware generative AI technology suite to help organizations augment trusted decision-making across teams of front-line and information workersFind out what Q Assist is and how it works with Quantexa’s Decision Intelligence Platform.
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Helping Customers Succeed in the Era of AI
HSBC is one of the organizations currently participating in the Lighthouse Program for early adopters. Each organization in the program envisions using Q Assist in several ways, including:

  • Streamlining analysis, investigation, and reporting tasks for information and knowledge workers to achieve greater efficiency.
  • Reducing the reliance on data science and operations teams for ad-hoc data requests, giving them time to focus on more strategic tasks.
  • Empowering customer facing teams with access to enriched data and insights they need to increase revenue and enhance customer experiences.
  • Enabling teams across an organization to consistently make trusted decisions that are traceable and accelerate operational process improvement.

BNY Mellon is currently evaluating joining HSBC in Lighthouse effort. Quantexa worked with Lighthouse Program participants to project one-, three-, and five-year benefits from deploying Q Assist within their customer facing, data science, and investigative teams. It found an almost immediate productivity gain across three core areas: time saving and efficiency, new opportunity identification, and increased conversion rates.

HSBC anticipates that democratizing analytics and accelerating processes across these areas could lead to productivity gains within the first year of deployment. The company also expects to free up employee’s time, allowing them to refocus on other strategic tasks.

David Rice, Global Chief Operating Officer, Commercial Banking at HSBC, said: “This new solution has the potential to enhance the efficiency and accuracy of complex tasks such as anti-money laundering investigations and sales strategies by providing trusted data and contextual analytics. The introduction of contextual analytics and innovation will enable HSBC to concentrate our resources more productively and ultimately help our customers.”

Quantexa estimates that a tier one global financial institution with three levels of defense in financial crime and fraud compliance efforts, generating approximately 15k alerts a month, could realize significant efficiencies and cost savings by deploying the Q Assist Generative AI Technology Suite:

  • Over £17M in savings enabled annually by enhancing and automating investigating and reporting processes across financial crime and fraud.

Quantexa’s CTO, Jamie Hutton, said: “Quantexa’s engineering principle of shaping solutions to deliver maximum customer value has allowed our clients to play an integral role in helping to shape the product requirements for Q Assist. Through the company’s Lighthouse Program for early adopters, we have the benefit of working with industry leaders that provide valuable feedback throughout our roadmap process.”

Eric Hirschhorn, Chief Data Officer, BNY Mellon, said: “We are excited to see this continued innovation from Quantexa. Our multi-year collaboration has helped us to break down data silos and unify our data with unprecedented accuracy. The next phase in our innovation efforts will see us exploring the potential of enabling frontline workers across the bank to use Gen AI to act on the data insights confidently and reach new levels of efficiency in the process.”

How the New Q Assist Generative AI Technology Suite Works
Quantexa’s new generative AI technology suite will combine Quantexa’s Decision Intelligence Platform and Generative AI through a new data integration layer, prompt builder, and copilot that accelerates the ability of teams to make critical business decisions.

Q Assist delivers trusted, extensible AI anchored by Quantexa’s Decision Intelligence Platform. This lets non-technical teams benefit from Quantexa’s critical platform capabilities including a connected data foundation, graph analytics, modeling, and scoring to augment and automate decision making. The Q Assist Technology Suite is comprised of three components:

  • Q Assist Integration Layer: the nerve center of Q Assist. It is a framework of tools, connectors, and APIs designed to securely link Quantexa’s Decision Intelligence Platform with LLMs and conversational AI systems right out-of-the-box.
  • Q Assist Prompt Builder: an extensible prompt management and sharing capability that easily integrates with external prompt engineering tools and frameworks, such as Microsoft’s Azure Prompt Flow, Semantic Kernel or AutoGen, to put the power in the hands of administrators to define and control prompts and responses that are grounded in contextual data generated by Quantexa’s Decision Intelligence Platform.
  • Q Assist Copilot: allows users to query large and disparate data via a natural language interface, understand and summarize data, insights, and findings in real-time, and automate research, investigation, and reporting tasks.

Today, the company is making Q Assist Generative AI Technology Suite capabilities available to a limited set of customers, with wider public availability planned for early 2025.

To learn more about how Quantexa is helping organizations get their data ready for AI, or to download the Total Economic Impact™ of Quantexa’s Decision Intelligence Platform by Forrester and start measuring the ROI of Decision Intelligence investments, please visit https://www.quantexa.com/discover/ai/.

About Quantexa
Quantexa is a global AI, data and analytics software company pioneering Decision Intelligence to empower organizations to make trusted operational decisions with data in context. Using the latest advancements in AI, Quantexa’s Decision Intelligence platform helps organizations uncover hidden risk and new opportunities by unifying siloed data and turning it into the most trusted, reusable resource. It solves major challenges across data management, customer intelligence, KYC, financial crime, risk, fraud, and security, throughout the customer lifecycle.

The Quantexa Decision Intelligence Platform enhances operational performance with over 90% more accuracy and 60 times faster analytical model resolution than traditional approaches. An independently commissioned Forrester TEI study on Quantexa’s Decision Intelligence Platform found that customers saw a three-year 228% ROI. Founded in 2016, Quantexa now has more than 700 employees and thousands of platform users working with billions of transactions and data points across the world.

Media Enquiries
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E: Quantexa@fightorflight.com
C: Adam Jaffe, SVP of Corporate Marketing
T : +1 609 502 6889
E : adamjaffe@quantexa.com

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e& lidera como a melhor marca empregadora no setor de telecomunicações no Employer Brand Index 2024

  • e& EAU é a principal marca empregadora no setor de telecomunicações no ranking de Brand Finance
  • e& ficou em 16º lugar entre as 20 principais marcas empregadoras em todas as categorias em 16 países
  • A realização reflete a reputação mais ampla dos Emirados Árabes Unidos como um centro global de talentos

LONDRES, June 09, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — e&, o grupo global de tecnologia, alcançou a posição mais alta no primeiro Employer Brand Report 2024 da Brand Finance, com sua unidade dos Emirados Árabes Unidos classificada como a maior empregadora global do setor de telecomunicações.

O grupo também garantiu o 16º lugar entre as 20 principais marcas empregadoras entre as que foram avaliadas nos setores de serviços financeiros, telecomunicações, mídia e tecnologia (TMT), petróleo, gás e energia, serviços profissionais, varejo, automotivo e bens de consumo rápido (FMCG) na África, Ásia, Europa e Estados Unidos.

Ali Al Mansoori, Diretor de Pessoal do Grupo, e&, disse: “Esse reconhecimento como empregador preferencial reflete a incrível dedicação e paixão de nosso pessoal, que é nosso maior patrimônio. Ele também reafirma nosso compromisso de cultivar uma cultura empresarial unificada, na qual todos os colaboradores têm autonomia para pensar de forma diferente, experimentar sem medo e inovar continuamente. No atual cenário em rápida evolução, é mais importante do que nunca contar com uma força de trabalho talentosa.”

David Haigh, CEO da Brand Finance, disse: “As marcas de telecomunicações do Oriente Médio vêm ultrapassando cada vez mais a concorrência europeia e americana como lugares desejáveis para se trabalhar. Isso se deve às oportunidades de carreira e aos empolgantes desenvolvimentos tecnológicos criados pelos investimentos consistentes e de alta qualidade no Oriente Médio.”

Na vanguarda em termos de marca empregadora e desenvolvimento de talentos nos Emirados Árabes Unidos, o grupo alcançou uma pontuação alta em vários quesitos, inclusive como “marca de prestígio”, “visão inspiradora”, “trabalho agradável e gratificante” e “empresa bem administrada e dirigida”. A conquista da e& reflete a reputação geral dos Emirados Árabes Unidos como um centro global de talentos e o destino preferido para pessoas que buscam construir um futuro próspero.

“Na e&, temos o compromisso de equipar nosso pessoal com as habilidades necessárias para transitar e prosperar na era digital. Nossa visão não consiste apenas em acompanhar o ritmo das mudanças, mas em liderá-las. Estamos constituindo uma força de trabalho resiliente e com visão de futuro, capaz de levar nossa empresa e nossa comunidade a patamares mais elevados. Nossa estratégia inclui programas de treinamento completos, parcerias com instituições de ensino e um ambiente que premia a criatividade e o pensamento arrojado. Estamos comprometidos com a criação de oportunidades de crescimento profissional e com o apoio à nossa equipe enquanto ela desenvolve as habilidades tecnológicas e a mentalidade essenciais para o futuro”, acrescentou Al Mansoori.

O primeiro relatório do “Employer Brand Index” apresenta as principais marcas do mundo com tabelas de classificação globais e regionais. O estudo baseado em pesquisa é o primeiro do gênero, medindo as percepções internas e externas das marcas empregadoras de 16 países. O Índice é calculado com base nas respostas de uma pesquisa anônima com o público de vários setores, realizada por meio de painéis on-line independentes.

O Employer Brand Index 2024 da Brand Finance ocorre após a divulgação, em janeiro, da classificação global de marcas, na qual a e& EAU foi classificada como a marca de telecomunicações mais forte do mundo (classificação AAA) e a marca mais forte do Oriente Médio e da África (MEA) em todas as categorias.

A Brand Finance é a principal consultoria mundial de avaliação de marcas. Há mais de 25 anos, a empresa vem preenchendo a lacuna entre marketing e finanças, avaliando a força das marcas e mensurando seu valor financeiro para ajudar empresas de todos os tipos a tomar decisões estratégicas. Todos os anos, a Brand Finance realiza mais de 5.000 avaliações de marcas, respaldadas por pesquisas de mercado originais, e publica mais de 100 relatórios que classificam as marcas em todos os setores e países.

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e& se classe au premier rang des meilleures marques employeurs dans le secteur des télécommunications dans l’Employer Brand Index 2024

  • L’entité e& des Émirats arabes unis, élue meilleure marque employeur dans le secteur des télécommunications selon le classement Brand Finance
  • e& classée 16e dans le Top 20 des marques employeurs toutes catégories confondues dans 16 pays
  • Cette réussite reflète la réputation plus large des Émirats arabes unis en tant que pôle mondial de talents

LONDRES, 10 juin 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — e&, le groupe technologique mondial, s’est hissé à la première place du tout premier rapport Employer Brand 2024 de Brand Finance grâce à son entité des Émirats arabes unis qui se classe au premier rang mondial des employeurs dans le secteur des télécommunications.

Le groupe a également obtenu la 16e place parmi le Top 20 Employer Brands lors d’une évaluation effectuée au sein des marques employeurs dans les secteurs des services financiers, des télécommunications, des médias et des technologies (TMT), du pétrole, du gaz et de l’énergie, des services professionnels, de la vente au détail, de l’automobile et des produits et biens de grande consommation (PGC) en Afrique, en Asie, en Europe et aux États-Unis.

Ali Al Mansoori, Directeur des Ressources humaines du groupe e&, a déclaré : « Cette reconnaissance en tant qu’employeur de choix reflète l’incroyable dévouement et la passion de nos collaborateurs, qui sont nos meilleurs atouts. Cela réaffirme également notre engagement à favoriser une culture d’entreprise unifiée où chaque employé est encouragé à penser différemment, à expérimenter sans crainte et à innover en continu. Dans le contexte actuel en évolution rapide, il est plus crucial que jamais de disposer d’une main-d’œuvre talentueuse. »

David Haigh, PDG de Brand Finance, a confié : « Les marques de télécommunications du Moyen-Orient dépassent chaque jour un peu plus leurs homologues européennes et américaines si l’on se place du point de vue de l’entreprise où il fait bon travailler. Cela reflète les opportunités de carrière et les développements technologiques passionnants rendus possibles par des investissements constants et de haute qualité réalisés au Moyen-Orient. »

En chef de file des marques employeurs et du développement des talents aux Émirats arabes unis, le groupe a obtenu d’excellents résultats dans plusieurs domaines, notamment en tant que « marque prestigieuse », porteuse d’une « vision inspirante », où le « travail est agréable et gratifiant » et une « entreprise bien gérée et gouvernée ». La réussite de e& reflète la réputation plus large des Émirats arabes unis qui s’affirment en tant que pôle mondial des talents et destination privilégiée pour les personnes qui cherchent à façonner un avenir prospère.

« Chez e&, nous nous engageons à doter notre équipe des compétences nécessaires pour s’adapter et prospérer à l’ère numérique. Notre vision n’est pas seulement de suivre le rythme du changement, mais de l’initier. Nous construisons une main-d’œuvre résiliente et visionnaire, capable de propulser notre entreprise et notre communauté vers les plus hauts sommets. Notre stratégie englobe des programmes de formation complets, des partenariats avec des établissements d’enseignement et un environnement qui récompense la créativité et l’audace intellectuelle. Nous sommes déterminés à créer des opportunités de croissance professionnelle et à soutenir notre équipe dans l’acquisition de compétences technologiques et d’un état d’esprit indispensables pour l’avenir, » a ajouté Al Mansoori.

Le tout premier rapport « Employer Brand Index » met en avant les meilleures marques au monde avec des classements réalisés à l’échelle mondiale et régionale. Cette étude axée sur la recherche, est la première du genre, mesurant les perceptions internes et externes des marques d’employeurs dans 16 pays. L’indice est établi à partir des réponses à une enquête anonyme menée auprès du public dans divers secteurs d’activité au moyen de panels en ligne indépendants.

L’indice Employer Brand 2024 de Brand Finance fait suite à la publication, en janvier dernier, du classement mondial des marques, dans lequel e& UAE a été classée comme la marque de télécommunications la plus forte au niveau mondial (note AAA) et la marque la plus forte au Moyen-Orient et en Afrique (MEA), toutes catégories confondues.

Brand Finance est le premier cabinet de conseil en évaluation de marques au monde. Depuis plus de 25 ans, son objectif est de combler le fossé entre le marketing et la finance en évaluant la force des marques et en quantifiant leur valeur financière afin d’aider les organisations de toutes sortes à prendre des décisions stratégiques. Chaque année, Brand Finance réalise plus de 5 000 évaluations de marques, étayées par des études de marché uniques, et publie plus de 100 rapports classant les marques dans tous les secteurs et tous les pays.

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Kitui Marks Day Of The African Child

The Cabinet Secretary for Education, Ezekiel Machogu, has reiterated the government’s commitment to build resilient education systems for increased access to inclusive relevant learning and equitable universal basic education.

The CS underscored his ministry’s responsibility to ensure it creates an enabling environment where children can grow, learn, and build talents effectively.

Machogu made the remarks in a speech delivered on his behalf by the Director for the Policy Directorate at his Ministry, Bartholomew Lumbasi, during the official launch of this year’s celebrations of the Day of the African Child, held on Sunday at Ithokwe Primary School in Kitui County.

The CS noted that the Kenya Kwanza Administration, under the leadership of President Dr. William Samoe Ruto, continues to invest heavily in education towards the realisation of quality education for all.

‘The Kenya Kwanza Government continues to prioritise education, and the MOE receives the largest allocation of the government budget. We are inv
esting this money in infrastructural expansion to meet the growing demand for education facilities,’ CS Machogu said.

He further said that the Ministry has employed more teachers and promoted those already in service, promising that they will continue providing teaching and learning materials and funding Free Primary, and Junior Secondary education.

‘We have also implemented various initiatives to enhance access, retention, transition, and completion for all children, including those with disabilities, refugee children, pregnant adolescent mothers, and other vulnerable groups.

Scholarship programmes and bursary schemes have also been put in place to support needy children in order to ensure that no child is left behind,’ the education CS added.

On university education, Machogu said that his Ministry has reformed the funding arrangements for university education to ensure that no one misses education because of the economic status of their parents or guardians.

Labour and Social Protection Cabinet Secreta
ry, Ms. Florence Bore, who also graced the occasion, said that the government has developed a new children act in efforts to put in place many laws, policies, and guidelines to safeguard the rights and welfare of the Kenyan child.

In her speech delivered on her behalf by the Principal Secretary, State Department for Social Protection and Senior Citizen Affairs, Joseph Motari, the CS, said that the day gives the country an opportunity to take stock of what has been done for the children and reflect on what more needs to be done to ensure that the children fully enjoy their rights.

CS Bore explained that citizens are required to take all appropriate measures towards the full realisation of this right, and in particular, provide free and compulsory basic education, encourage the development of secondary education in its different forms, and progressively make it free and accessible to all children in line with sustainable development goals number four (4) on the provision of inclusive and equitable quality edu
cation that promotes lifelong learning opportunities for all.

The Charter further requires member states to make higher education accessible to all on the basis of capacity and ability; take measures to encourage regular attendance at schools and the reduction of drop-out rates; and also take special measures in respect of female, gifted, and disadvantaged children, to ensure equal access to education for all sections of the community,’ the Cabinet Secretary noted.

Noting that the 2022 Children’s Act states that every child has a right to a basic education, this resonates with Article 53(1)(b) of the Constitution. She appreciated that Kenya has made great strides in implementing the Charter, especially with regard to children’s access to education.

‘As part of the government’s efforts to ensure that children access education, my Ministry implements the Presidential Secondary School Bursary Fund for Orphans and Vulnerable Children, amounting to Sh. 400 million, targeting an average of 22,000 children in pub
lic boarding secondary schools every year. Similarly, the Inua Jamii programme, which is under my Ministry, supports households with orphans and vulnerable children as well as children with severe disabilities,’ she noted.

‘This programme aims at cushioning families from the effects of poverty and thus ensuring that children are enrolled and retained in school,’ she said.

The CS noted Children with special needs and disabilities are among the most vulnerable groups of people in our community, and as such, they encounter unique challenges in accessing education.

‘In this regard, the National Council for Persons with Disabilities, a state corporation under my Ministry, pays school fees for children with disabilities registered under the Council from primary to tertiary education,’ the Labour and Social Protection, Cabinet Secretary said.

The Council also supports schools with infrastructure and equipment grants. Schools use these grants to put up disability-friendly facilities with the aim of making life co
mfortable for these children. These efforts go a long way towards ensuring the retention of children in school.

Ms. Bore regretted that children drop out of school due to family breakdowns, among other factors. In order to address this vice and in recognition of the family unit as the basic social fabric of society, her Ministry has developed various policies, including the National Policy on Family Promotion and Protection, which is a component of a parenting programme currently being scaled up across the country to facilitate the wholesome growth and development of children.

On child labour, the cabinet secretary said that her Ministry remains the central player in the fight against child labour to prevent children from leaving school for employment.

‘The process of reviewing the National Policy on Elimination of Child Labour is ongoing. This Policy will guide on combating child labour in both formal and informal sectors of our economy,’ the CS added.

Kitui County Governor Dr. Julius Malombe, while spea
king on the occasion, underlined some of the development activities and projects his government has made in support of education for children.

He said that during his leadership, they have employed a total of 1688 ECDE teachers on permanent and pensionable terms, with the County government spending over Sh 600 million annually for their remuneration.

Dr. Malombe further noted that there are 1,536 ECDE centres across the county with an enrolment of 52,099 children and that 42 free feeding centres have started in schools.

Governor Malombe added that in the current financial year 2023-2024, 40 ECDE classrooms have been constructed and that each of the classrooms has a 10,000-litre water tank for water supply.

The week-long event of celebrating the African child is meant to bring awareness to the plight of the African child, and the national event will be held at Mwatate Primary School in Taita Taveta County on June 16, 2024.

Other leaders who graced the occasion included Kitui Central Member of Parliament D
r Makali Mulu and Kitui County Commissioner Jepchumba Ruto.

Source: Kenya News Agency

English Language Proficiency Is Declining Among Learners

Education stakeholders in Kiambu County have raised concern over the dwindling proficiency in the English language among learners, attributing this to the overuse of slang.

This was raised during an annual contest event of both written and spoken English among learners from 27 public schools at Mary Hill Girls High School in Thika, where school heads said the language was under threat from emerging languages, especially in urban centres.

They added that their grasp of the language was also poor, particularly among learners from rural schools.

Led by the Chief Principal, Mary Hill Girls, Jacinta Ngure, the school heads called on the need to build a strong reading culture among learners in order to sharpen their understanding of the English language.

They said English remains a core language as it’s among the most used for interactions worldwide, thus the need for learners to be proficient at an early age.

They called on schools to consider holding these contests regularly to facilitate the development of
self-confidence, increase students’ interest in the language, and enable them to make progress in the language.

The event, according to Ms. Ngure, is meant to facilitate interaction, competition, cooperation, and socialisation, which are key requirements for bringing up well-rounded learners.

Teachers at the event that was sponsored by Longhorn, among other promoters, said the proficiency will further enable students to stop making grammatical errors.

John Muthiora, the principal of Strathmore School, decried that learners in upcountry schools are disadvantaged in the language due to lack of the necessary exposure, as the language is largely spoken in major towns.

He called on the government to come up with necessary language policies, undertake reorientation of teachers, and avail more reading materials to improve the subject in schools.

Learners led by Faith Ngugi lauded the contest, saying it goes a long way in pushing them to revise the language better for the exams and for future use.

They urged th
e Ministry of Education to make it a policy for such contests to happen to accommodate all schools, including those from rural areas and those that are seemingly disadvantaged.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Teachers, Learners Welcome STEM On The Wheels In Uasin Gishu

Teachers and learners across various primary schools in Uasin Gishu County have praised the Centre for Mathematics, Science, and Technology Education in Africa (CEMASTEA) STEM Outreach Mentorship Programme in the county.

The programme aims at enhancing learners’ and teachers’ creative and innovative skills through Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) to enable as many learners as possible to choose the STEM pathway from Grades 10 to 12 that would spur the country into industrial development.

The programme enables learners to find solutions to address real-life problems in society.

CEMASTEA, a state corporation under the Ministry of Education with the mandate to do STEM education, is conducting outreach activities across the counties dubbed STEM on the Wheels, which is well equipped with the basic apparatus needed and models in order to help learners in grades 7 and 8 discover themselves in various learning areas that they have been undertaking in areas of science, technology, engineerin
g, and mathematics.

In Uasin Gishu, the team visited four schools across four sub-counties. The schools were Kapsoya Primary School in AinabKoi Sub-County, Ainabtich Primary (Moiben), Kidiwa Primary (Soy), and Kipkaren Road Primary in Kapseret Sub-County.

The teachers expressed gratitude for the outreach, noting that it has enhanced the learners’ potential, especially in STEM subjects, after they realised and knew what they were required to do in regard to STEM subjects, that is, Integrated science, Biology, Physics and Chemistry, Mathematics and ICT.

Madam Beverly Langat, head of the institution, Kapsoya Comprehensive School, pointed out that they have learnt that every learner has potential if given the opportunity to participate.

She observed that teachers must prepare very well in terms of reading and understanding the concepts so that it becomes easier for learners to understand while at the same time ensuring they have the right apparatus and teaching aids for the learners to appreciate the practica
l experience which they will be able to connect to real-life situations outside the classroom.

‘Today has been a good session whereby the teachers prepared first, having all the teaching aids, all the apparatus, and the tools, and involving the learners in the learning process,’ noted Madam Langat.

‘For example, in physics, there was a generator where the learners were really able to operate it to see that they were able to give light in correlation to the common energy transformations in everyday life,’ she added.

In his remarks, Ainabtich Comprehensive School principal, Mitei Joseph, lauded the CEMASTEA, noting that their content was very good because everything is practical, unlike what they usually do, which is pure theory due to lack of equipment, to enable learners to appreciate the practical aspect of STEM and build up a positive desire to pursue the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics subjects.

‘CEMASTEA has brought to us something of great benefit, in the areas of mathematics, scien
ces, and ICT. Practicals were being done, and students interacted with the equipment which they had never interacted with, and that is exactly what we really need, especially in our junior schools at this point in regards to the CBC curriculum,’ noted Mr. Mitei.

He indicated that what they have received from CEMASTEA is exactly what they have been missing, as most of their schools do not have the equipment that the Centre brought to take the learners through with, adding that they are not the same as the ones they usually acquire locally from shops.

‘Especially things like the microscopes-we have not been having them, ICT equipment, and others-we really feel like the government must invest in this. CBC is about imparting skills and knowledge, and the only way we can do that is by equipping the schools with all the necessary equipment to ensure we are headed in the right direction,’ he complained.

He underscored that through the training and mentorship outreach programme, they have really learnt that having
the required materials and equipment is very key in teaching STEM subjects and promoting uptake by learners, and at the same time, they discovered that they can still utilise the local materials to use in class to enable students to relate what they are learning with what they usually see in real life.

On his part, Samuel Abuga, a teacher at Kapsoya Primary, noted that the students are eager to learn more about integrated science, but the time is limited, as he requested more of these outreaches by CEMASTEA to bolster learners practical experience in STEM, which will go a long way in boosting their attitude in terms of taking up these sciences.

‘They are enjoying a lot; they are getting to understand what they are supposed to do on these subjects, which are about practicals; they are getting to touch and doing it practically; subjects like mathematics and integrated science are tangible things; the experience is good; and they are really eager to get new experience,’ he said.

He expressed interest in learn
ing more, especially in the ICT area, which he said will enable him to improve on his teaching experience through integrating ICT concepts in delivering content to students through the use of ICT components like computers and projectors to teach.

The learners were taught how to make integrated science, math, and ICT simpler by making use of locally available resources like the use of abacus in math, the separation of mixtures in chemistry, using onion bulbs to appreciate and learn cell physiology using a light microscope, and others.

‘In ICT, we learnt about computer programming and how to make a game on a computer; in chemistry, we have learn how acids and bases apply in our daily lives; in physics, I have learnt that there is a small generator called a dynamo; in mathematics, I have learnt how to make mathematics simpler by using an abacus; and in biology, we learnt how to observe a cell of an onion by using a microscope. I want to thank CEMASTEA for coming to our school to teach us more about STEM,’ said
Medal Gracia Chemutai, a grade 8 learner.

Kelvin Alusimbia said, ‘We learnt many things from the CEMASTEA. In chemistry, we learnt about immiscible liquids, homogeneous and heterogeneous mixtures, the application of acids and bases in real-life situations; in physics, we learnt about dry cells, how to generate electricity, and how the dynamo is used in generating electricity; in biology, we learnt about the field of view of a plant cell, how the microscope is used, parts of the microscope, and many others.’

He noted that they now have more knowledge of STEM than they had before, noting that if they have the same activities every week, they will be good to go with the STEM pathway.

Brine Kibet, a Junior Secondary School (JSS) learner from Ainabtich Primary, alluded to the fact that the state corporation’s outreach activity has enabled them to acquire practical STEM experience to become creative and innovative, through using locally available resources like a small generator called a dynamo to generate elect
ricity and many others to solve real-life problems in their communities.

In an interview with KNA in Eldoret, during the CEMASTEA STEM on Wheels training and mentorship outreach in Uasin Gishu, Madam Beatrice Macharia, the Team lead, pointed out that the programme is very important because it is really exposing learners to what they should be exposed to with regard to the CBC curriculum.

She noted that through STEM activities, the teachers are able to connect their learners from the theoretical work in class to the practical work.

Madam Macharia explained that the Centre’s main work is in-service education and training for teachers, especially with the junior schools, to help the students during this transition as they move to join junior schools.

‘Through this programme, we are bringing the STEM activities to the various schools in the counties, which have already been in other counties. We come with our bus ‘STEM on the Wheels’ with all the requirements so that they interact with our activities, mainly
hands-on, to become creative and innovative,’ she noted.

She lauded the programme, which has also attracted the interest of teachers who have felt that they should also take part in it. Even if it is intended for learners only, they also need to understand the same activities because they are the ones dealing with the learners.

‘They have been attending our sessions; the beauty is that in some areas, instead of CEMASTEA teams explaining, they will even take over and explain to their learners because they feel they may have done the same work theoretically, but with CEMASTEA, we have come with activities like models and apparatus that they have been unable to make, and they have been teaching theoretically,’ alluded Madam Macharia.

The Team Lead hinted that teaming up with teachers during the STEM activities plays a crucial role in helping them a lot in terms of improving thinking, creativity, and innovativeness to come up with their own activities and utilising local resources to teach different concepts.

oting that the government, through the Ministry of Education, targets 60 per cent uptake of STEM in senior school, Madam Macharia indicated that preparation must start early, which is why CEMASTEA has begun the preparation by training teachers of JSS and engaging with the learners with the STEM activities so that they become creative and innovative.

She called on teachers to devise creative and innovative ways of teaching to nurture students to realise that STEM subjects are very simple in order to enable them to have a positive attitude towards them.

‘This way, we are trying to pull up that number of 60 per cent to be able to take the STEM pathway. One of the things in ensuring that the learners take the STEM pathway is that the teachers themselves must embrace STEM first, because the main issue is normally an attitude, like many people always say and feel like these are tough subjects. That is an attitude problem,’ she explained.

Noting that STEM is an area that everyone should concentrate on, Madam Mach
aria called on teachers to try and campaign by mentoring learners that these are the simplest subjects they can easily handle and do very well because it is about themselves and what they are doing every day in their daily lives.

Source: Kenya News Agency