North Eastern Learners Set For Computing Lessons

At least 14, 000 schoolchildren in Northern Kenya will have access to computing lessons for the first time, thus equipping them with vital digital skills for the future.

The Digital Learning programme will be delivered by the Raspberry Pi Foundation, in partnership with the Frontier Counties Development Council (FCDC) and the M-Lugha Foundation.

Thousands of schoolchildren aged 8-14 in eight counties within FCDC are to benefit from computing lessons, a major boost to upskilling young people in the country’s arid areas.

The project will use the Computing Curriculum, a complete set of resources, which is being adapted and contextualised for Northern Kenya by the Raspberry Pi Foundation, to help teach computing to students.

The teacher training programme will build knowledge, skills, and confidence for 80 educators and will be delivered in partnership with FCDC and M-Lugha.

Teachers will be provided with resources written by specialists, including lesson plans, slides, activity sheets, homework, and assessm

The programme will be aligned to the national Competency Based Curriculum (CBC), where key terms will be translated into Somali, Borana, Turkana, and other local languages to support understanding.

This will be done by the M-Lugha Foundation, which is also leading the project delivery across the 8 counties.

The Raspberry Pi Foundation has trained eight government county coordinators in Garissa, Wajir, Mandera, Isiolo, Marsabit, Tana River, Lamu, and Turkana as part of the programme.

Using the Train, the Trainer (ToT) model, the coordinators will then share their expertise with 80 local school teachers, building up their skills and knowledge. The teachers will then be able to confidently deliver the curriculum during school lessons to 14,000 students aged 8 to 14 years old.

These structures mean children in rural communities in Northern Kenya will have access to the same quality of lessons and resources as young people in cities such as Mombasa, where a phase of the programme was recently launched.

The Frontier Counties Development Council has assembled members from the education, business, technology, and policy communities to improve learning in frontier communities through educational technology,’ said Dr. Idle Omar Farah, FCDC’s Chief Executive Officer.

‘Climate challenges, including droughts and floods, have disrupted education in the region, worsening problems like a lack of teachers and deteriorating infrastructure. Developing resilient educational solutions is vital, and digital literacy programmes for primary learners are being promoted with the Raspberry Pi Foundation,’ he added.

Speaking during an EDTECH Summit at Garissa University, Dr. Mohammed Abdinoor, who is a researcher and an educationist, said lack of good leadership is affecting many schools in the north-eastern province, thus making the schools not to progress.

‘Everything starts and stops at leadership. We cannot have any progress in schools, while there are no good leaders running the schools,’ Abdinoor said.

Source: Kenya Ne
ws Agency

Michelle Jepruto’s Journey To Academic Excellence

Amid the raging gunshot sounds in the troubled Kerio Valley, an academic champion brings the Ministry of Education officials on a tour to ascertain the challenges locals face, but she overcame them to prosperity.

Michelle Jepruto has decent work, earning and learning leadership skills with Equity Group after scoring grade A at the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) in 2023.

The brilliant Elimu Scholar was the best candidate out of the 90 in Elgeyo Marakwet that benefited from the first batch of the Ministry of Education Elimu Scholarships in 2019 implemented by Equity Bank.

Michelle attributed her success to being able to remain in school throughout her four years of uninterrupted studies after her fees was fully paid for, among other provisions for a school-going girl.

‘I was always in school, unlike some children whose studies were interrupted when they were sent home for fees or other items,’ she said.

The Government of Kenya and its partners are cognizant of the right to quality educatio
n for all children of school-going age as enshrined in the Bill of Rights in the Constitution to ensure admission, retention, transition, and completion.

Michelle defied the odds of early marriage, female genital mutilation, and teen pregnancy by choosing to work hard in school and serve as a role model to her younger siblings and the community, which has adopted the mantra ‘Tunataka tusome kama Michelle.’

Michelle is only one of the numerous beneficiaries of the Elimu Scholarships, courtesy of World Bank funding to improve the quality of education in Kenya through the Ministry of Education and implementing partners Jomo Kenyatta Foundation and Equity Bank.

Michelle is optimistic about getting a scholarship to study abroad at a prestigious university, but when push comes to shove, she commits to pursuing her dream degree as a nurse since she has already secured a slot at Meru University. This, she says, will make her realise her long-term goal of helping her community access quality healthcare.

The four y
ears’ transformation of a C student after scoring 299 marks at the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) to an A student at KCSE can only be equated to a wonder of the world and a miracle necessitated by the opportunity to transit to secondary school, retention, and the and the student’s hard work and determination.

Everlyn Chepkorir, mother to Michelle, was jovial and appreciated that her second-born child in a family of nine is a testimony that education is an equaliser. Despite their humble background, the future looks bright.

She says since Michelle got the Equity Leadership programme and employment, she has seen light, and the family is changing for the better.

Chepkorir asserts they have an additional source of income, unlike before, when she struggled with her husband to raise the big family amid the high cost of living.

‘Michelle has enabled my other children to go to school; they are not sickly since they eat well, among other interventions that go into raising a big family while at the s
ame time being able to save,’ said Chepkorir.

No sooner had we completed the home visit at Michelle Jeprutos home than gunshots reigned supreme, forcing the Ministry of Education team and their champion scamper to safety, whichever way possible.

After a while, there’s calm, and the education officials embark on their journey with Michelle, passing through secured roads with army officers in heavy military artillery and armoured vehicles, a sign of control to contain insecurity.

Source: Kenya News Agency

TVETs Told To Partner With Industry Player To Commercialize Innovations To Generate Income

State Department for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Principal Secretary Dr Esther Mworia has urged Technical Training Institutes to embrace innovation as one way to boost skills development.

Dr Mworia challenged Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutes to commercialize innovations invented by their students and tutors to enable them to tap their full potential in generating revenue.

She urged students and instructors at TVETs to forge powerful collaborations with the business sector to translate research findings into industrial resources to create wealth and jobs.

To achieve this, she said TVETs should deliberately march towards becoming the springboards of economic development in the country.

Speaking at the Nyayo Gardens in Nakuru during the Kenya National TVET Fair, Innovations and Skills Competition the PS observed that TVETs carry a weighty responsibility as a catalyst for socio-economic development through the creation of new knowledge, research and
innovation, incubation and entrepreneurship, and the eventual commercialization of outputs emanating from these initiatives.

‘Our TVETs need to play a more proactive role in supporting an innovation ecosystem, especially through recognition of innovation that can be patented.

Commercialization of research is a common practice in most parts of the world where the private sector partners with universities and technical training institutes to develop innovations in sectors such as medicine and engineering, earning technical training institutes and universities extra revenue,’ added the PS.

Dr Mworia noted that the future of TVETs in the country was promising as the sector has embarked on various reforms, among them transition to the Competence Based Education and Training (CBET) curriculum.

‘The CBET curriculum has been developed to respond to current labour market demands and quick evolution of technology to solve the issue of unemployment in the country. The government started by building the capacity of t
utors at the Kenya Technical Training College (KTTC) so that they can be well equipped to roll out a massive pre-service and in-serving training programme for all trainers,’ Dr Mworia said.

She urged TVET boards of governors to source for grants and sponsorship for top innovators in their respective institutions to fund inventions.

Over 300 students from more than 30 TVETs showcased their innovations in the two-day event that was themed ‘TVET for sustainable development and science, technology and innovation for economic resilience’.

Dr Mworia said it is vital and urgent that Kenyan institutions endeavour to inculcate an entrepreneurial mindset among students to not only make them ready for the job market, but more importantly to catalyze a paradigm shift from seeking formal employment to being job-creators and employers by utilizing their creative and innovative abilities.

The event was organised by the Kenya Association of Technical Training Institutes (KATTI).

Acknowledging that science, technology an
d innovations are major drivers and enablers of social and economic transformation, the PS pointed out that applying knowledge and innovation is necessary to attain sustainable economic growth and competitiveness.

She said this reality is urgent in case of emerging challenges such as the Covid-19 pandemic and its adverse effects on the social and economic fabric of the country and the negative impact of climate change.

Dr Mworia noted that research accelerates innovation adding that countries that embrace it have secured a favourable position in a knowledge-intensive, globally competitive marketplace.

The PS indicated that innovative technologies incubated in research labs and businesses should focus on the key sectors of the economy, among them agriculture, tourism, ICT, and manufacturing.

She stated that the county government should initiate partnerships with the private sector to help sponsor top innovators.

TVETs, she added, must be facilitated to create links between learners and industry players to
enable them to advance their innovative ideas and get industrial exposure.

‘Proper policies and guidelines will help TVETs undertake quality research because, through such initiatives, students will tackle challenges like joblessness, illnesses and drought among others. Partnerships with industry players are key in unlocking the innovation potential of many learners in the country,’ Dr Mworia stressed.

She advised TVETs to put in place innovation entrepreneurship and technology hubs to mentor and incubate innovators, adding that research holds the key to unlocking the country’s industrial potential.

The PS underscored the importance of partnerships between TVETs and Youth Polytechnics with private companies towards equipping students with hands-on skills in an industry setting during their time of study.

This, she said, would bridge the skills gap among TVET graduates by ensuring that students spend at least 50 percent of their training working with relevant industries.

‘We need to explore a model where
students are subjected to a combination of theory and practical training, in a real-life work environment through an interchange of training at a TVET institute and in a company,’ Mworia said.

Dr Mworia pointed out that close links between enterprises and training centres have been at the core of the Western World’s economic success since the 19th century.

The PS challenged technical institutes to partner with other stakeholders to further research and innovations.

She said Research and Innovation are key in providing solutions to the country’s problems and more so key drivers in attaining fourth and eighth Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

‘Importance of TVETs in SDGs is emphasized on attaining quality education that equips students with lifelong skills to enable them secure decent jobs,’ said Dr Mworia.

As the world moves to the industrial and technological revolution, the PS said there was need for technical institutions and stakeholders to retool the curriculum to align with the current and futur
e industrial needs.

She said reengineering training would provide trainers and trainees with the in-demand skills needed by employers to thrive in their businesses.

‘The rapid change in technology and industrial revolution require us to retool, rescale, remodify our training to be able to meet the demand of the required skills in the industry,’ the PS pointed out.

According to Dr Mworia, the new skills set for the future world of work can be identified through research and analysis of trends in skills requirements.

She observed that the TVET Act 2013 provides for continuous development where teachers are expected to retrain so as to be able to retain the students.

‘In addition to attaching students, we’re also looking at how teachers can also go for attachment every three years so that they’re equipped with new technology in TVETS and industries,’ she said.

Dr Mworia noted that aligning training with industrial needs can have a ripple effect on the economy because businesses are likely to expand and cre
ate new jobs if they are able to find the talents they need.

‘Skills that are acquired through TVET can provide solutions to society, improve on national development, food security and other spheres of life.’

We expect to see technical institutions producing research papers looking into the skills required in the future and the labour market trends,’ she added.

Further the PS mentioned that equipping trainers and training with current knowledge on the effects of industrialization on climate change would promote creation of ‘green’ jobs to reduce pollution in the environment.

She confirmed that the State Department has created a good collaboration in linking with industries and partnering with other countries that have empowered the TVET sector and this has created strong partnerships with industries therefore ensuring that the skills trainees in TVET acquire are precisely what employers are seeking.

‘It has been proven that by collaborating closely with industries, it has bridged the gap between training
and employment, ensuring that our graduates are well-prepared for the workforce,’

The PS appealed to industry partners to open their doors to collaboration with TVET institutions saying that their active involvement in shaping the training programmes, offering internships, apprenticeships, and mentorship opportunities can make a profound impact on the future of the country’s industrialization agenda.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Construction Of A Resource Center Underway

The construction of a Resource Center at Kaptembwo informal settlement area in Nakuru city has excited both the parents and the youth who look forward to the facility changing the negative attitudes of the young people.

While inspecting the construction of a perimeter wall at the Resource Centre, which is poised to significantly enhance the security of the facility once completed, the Chief Officer for Youth, Sports and Talent Pastor Alex Maina said the center will be equipped with computers and indoor games.

He observed that Resource centers are necessary, especially in informal settlement areas where many people tend to stay in small houses, hence the need for a space for learning and meeting other like-minded people.

He appealed to the youth to desist from criminal activities, which has given them a negative image in the county due to various gangster groups such as the infamous conform group that has terrorized families in numerous residential areas.

Pastor Maina commended the social workers on site f
or their discipline and dedication, which he noted was crucial for the timely completion of the perimeter wall.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Quarter Of Baringo Students Join University

Basic Education PS Belio Kipsang has lauded Baringo County for beating all odds to post impressive quality grades in last year’s Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination with the region sending over 24% of its candidature to the university.

Dr Kipsang said despite the region facing unsurmountable insecurity, flood and drought challenges, the county was able to dispatch more students to institutions of higher learning, a figure that exceeded the national average target of 22 percent.

‘I want to most sincerely thank this county because this is an area that has gone through much of insecurities and that nature sometimes disadvantaged this place, where we lost a quite number of teachers, children because of banditry attacks and some schools to Lake Baringo after the water body burst its banks,’ lauded the PS.

Speaking at Kenya School of Government (KSG), Baringo campus, during the ongoing county dissemination forums on Fourth Medium Term Plan (MTP IV), 2023-2027 period, the Basic Education P
S also lauded the county for managing to send more than 42 percent of the candidates to tertiary institutions thus allowing almost 70 percent of the students to progress to the next level of learning.

‘That in itself speaks so much to the determination as a county has put notwithstanding the numerous problems you faced. I really congratulate you people for your resilience. The county is performing well in relation to neighbouring stable counties,’ noted Dr Kipsang.

On classrooms, the Principal Secretary disclosed that the government through the education ministry is set to construct more than 190 classrooms for junior school in grade nine in Baringo County before the end of this year so that come January no child will miss a class.

The PS stated that by January next year the government will have established 16,000 new classrooms across the country to accommodate grade nine JSS students with 190 of these facilities being done in Baringo.

Governor Cheboi in his address called for establishment of more board
ing schools in Tiaty constituency to boost enrolment and retention of pupils.

He recommended the utilization of equalization funds already availed by the national government to put up the institution facilities to mob up eligible learners who are likely to drop out due to rampant retrogressive cultural practices such as female genital mutilation and forced marriages.

Cheboi added that vocational training centres (VTCs) is a critical sector that the county is focusing its attention as it chunks out graduates with relevant skills and knowledge most required in job creation and export to foreign countries in dire need of them like Germany and South Korea, where the President visited recently to seal a deal on the same.

The half day event presided over by Cooperatives and MSMEs Development CS Simon Chelugui was attended by principal secretaries Peter Tum (Sports), Harry Kimutai (Health) and Professor Julius Bitok (Immigration service).

Others in attendance included county commissioner Stephen Kutwa and a host
of CECs and members of county assembly led by speaker Vincent Kemboi.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Government Registers More Qualifications Awarding Institutions

The government has registered 18 colleges as Qualifications Awarding Institutions (QAIs) granting them power to train and award certificates to learners, reports indicate.

The details are captured as part of achievements of the National Education Sector Strategic Plan (NESSP 2018-2022) which was made during the launch of new NESSP 2023-2027 at Kenya School of Government, Kabete in Nairobi by Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu.

In a press statement sent to news rooms, the report adds that during the period 2018-2022, a total of 1,281 Qualifications were registered in the National Qualifications Framework by the Kenya National Qualifications Authority (KNQA).

‘A total of 183 curricula were developed, 28 curriculum support material digitized, 102 trainers trained, 133 learning guides developed, 6,515 candidates assessed in 88 institutions, Learning Management System (LMS) developed, and Trainer of Trainers (ToT) CBET training materials digitized,’ reads the report.

During the launch of the new NESSP
2023-2027 Machogu said: ‘I have no doubt that this Strategic Plan will ensure that we succeed in the delivery of this important education service. For, as they say, ‘if you fail to plan, then you are planning to fail.’ This well-done strategic plan is indeed a clear testimony that we will not fail to deliver robust and solid education programmes to our children and youth.’

According to KNQA Director General (DG) Dr. Alice Kande, the Vision 2030 and the Bottom-up Economy stress on the link between skills and competencies and the labour market to give an opportunity to the marginalized.

‘It is prudent that we create opportunities for the youth to propel our nation to greater development. Aligning educational skills with job market demands not only produces academically qualified graduates but also equips them with practical competence,’ read the statement.

This alignment, the statement added, fosters a responsive education system capable of adapting to the ever-evolving demands of the global economy.

onally, the Competence-Based Education and Training, underpinned by the Kenya National Qualifications Framework (KNQF), signifies a significant stride towards creating a more relevant, inclusive, and dynamic education system.

‘By embracing these initiatives, we contribute not only to shaping the future of our learners but also to the overall development and prosperity of our nation,’ said the DG in a statement.

The Kenya National Qualifications Authority is established under the KNQF Act Number 22 of 2014, with the mandate to coordinate and harmonize education, training, assessment, and quality assurance for all qualifications awarded in the Country.

Its overarching goal is to enhance quality and international comparability, and promote lifelong learning in addition to defining qualifications, their inter-relationships, and fostering international comparability.

The KNQF framework provides a transparent and structured platform for organizing and recognizing qualifications at various levels, facilitating s
eamless learner progression and recognition both nationally and internationally.

Source: Kenya News Agency