Ouagadougou: The Young Students and United Students association in battle against unsanitary conditions

Ouagadougou: The Young Students and United Students association (JEEU) cleaned during the night from Saturday to Sunday, the portion of the road going from the Cathedral to the Rond-Point des Cinéastes in Ouagadougou. This activity was preceded by a talk on citizenship and patriotism.

‘Our mothers from the green brigade, with their brooms, try every morning to make our streets clean. It’s a citizen action that helps restore a good image to the city,’ declares Saïd Sylla Zombra, communications manager for the association Jeunes Elèves et Étudiants Unis (JEEU).

For him, the street sweepers in the early morning, called women of the green brigade, restore shine to the streets of the capital through their civic action.

Mr. Zombra was speaking during the night from Saturday to Sunday in Ouagadougou, during a cleaning activity organized by his association.

According to the president of the association, Cheick Amed Tidjane Compaoré, this activity aims on the one hand to pay tribute to the mothers of the green bri
gade for the efforts they make to make cities clean and on the other hand to bring the community schoolchildren and students to adopt cleanliness around them so that Burkina Faso is one of the cleanest countries in Africa.

The members and supporters of the association, around sixty, cleaned the street leaving the Cathedral Church of Ouagadougou to go to the Rond-Point des Cinéastes via the central town hall.

‘We were really surprised by the goodwill of these young people who agreed to sacrifice this Saturday and occupied it usefully through this civic action, namely the sweeping of the tar,’ rejoices Saïd Zombra.

‘This activity is a great initiative that we fully appreciate. Seeing young people and students coming together to carry out eco-citizen action in the city is truly to be welcomed,’ greets Assami Tiendrébéogo, First Vice-President of the Special Delegation of Ouagadougou. Assami Tiendrébéogo encouraged participants to raise awareness about citizen actions that reflect their patriotism.

Before the
actual cleaning began, the members of the association led a discussion on citizenship and patriotism.

‘A good citizen is one who respects the duties and rights that his country confers on him. The good citizen does not wait for his country to give to him,’ says Labidi Naba, spokesperson for the Faso Kooz movement, speaker.

According to him, the citizen should be the one who does good things in his environment and for his homeland.

‘Regarding patriotism, we invited them to respond positively to the various calls from their state. The transition has put in place certain instruments such as popular shareholding through community entrepreneurship and the Patriotic Support Fund, which allow people to demonstrate their patriotism,’ explains Labidi Naba.

Sosthène Sanou, special advisor to the President of Faso, responsible for youth, present at this talk, encouraged the members of the association to continue in this momentum.

Cheick Amed Tidjane Compaoré expressed his gratitude to the special advisor to the Hea
d of State in charge of youth, to the 1st vice-president of the special delegation from Ouagadougou, to all the distinguished guests and to his comrades for their effective presence.

The Young Students and United Students association was created in 2021. It has several hundred supporters led by an office of 12 members. In addition to civic activities, JEEU holds leadership sessions.

Source: Burkina Information Agency

Gourma/Baccalaureate 2024: The province of Gourma achieves a success rate of 36.54% in the 1st round

The province of Gourma achieved a success rate of 36.54% in the first round of the baccalaureate exam for the 2024 session.

Out of a total of 3,877 candidates, including 2,010 girls and 1,867 boys, registered for the 2024 baccalaureate session, 1,386 candidates, including 637 girls and 334 boys, were admitted in the first round, representing a success rate of 36.54%.

985 candidates including 521 girls and 464 boys are authorized to take part in the 2nd round tests.

Source: Burkina Information Agency

CEMASTEA Unveils 5-Year Strategic Plan To Steer STEM Education

Centre for Mathematics Science and Education and Technology in Africa (CEMASTEA) has begun on significant steps towards achieving excellent capacity in developing science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education following the launch of the Strategic Plan 2023-2027.

Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu, in a speech read on his behalf by the Director of Projects Coordination in the Ministry of Education, Elija Mungai, underscored the importance of the 5-year plan in enhancing STEM education and socio-economic development.

The CS said the plan is very crucial in defining CEMASTEA’s role in enhancing STEM education in Kenya as it will address the skill gap crisis existing globally where businesses fail to attract the right talents in STEM-based careers.

Machogu commended the stakeholders for drafting the plan, saying it will revolutionize the education system by enhancing training, research, and innovation.

‘We believe, as a sector, that CEMASTEA is one of the key institutions that wi
ll revolutionize how STEM education is implemented at the school level,’ he said.

CS commended CEMASTEA while urging CEMASTEA to continue providing capacity building for STEM teachers, training curriculum implementers on gender responsive pedagogy, and providing specialised STEM teaching and learning resources.

He revealed that the National Curriculum Policy promotes enrolment in STEM subjects, as reflected in the Basic Education Curriculum Framework, which recommends 60% of learners from Junior School to transition to the STEM Pathway in Senior School.

The CS reiterated the government commitment to supporting and expanding the number of students pursuing advanced degrees and careers in STEM fields by promoting the participation of women and marginalised communities, expanding the STEM-capable workforce, and increasing STEM literacy for all students, including those not pursuing STEM-related careers.

Machogu urged the Board, Management, staff, and stakeholders of CEMASTEA to ensure successful implementati
on of the Plan to meet high expectations and reflect the institution’s rich experience in the quality of outcomes at the end of the strategic period to boost education in Kenya.

While assuring the government support, the CS said, ‘I therefore urge the Board, Management, and staff of CEMASTEA, as well as the stakeholders, to spare no effort in ensuring successful implementation of this Plan to enable CEMASTEA to meet high expectations already placed on the Centre.’

CEMASTEA is a Pan-African institution serving Kenya and other African countries. It serves as the official headquarters of the Strengthening Mathematics and Science Education in Africa (SMASE-Africa) Association as well as the Secretariat for the Inter-Country Quality Node on Mathematics and Science Education for the Association for Development of Education in Africa (ADEA ICQN-MSE) on behalf of the ministry.

The government’s Vision 2030 Medium-Term Plan IV, which embodies the Bottom-Up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA), CS added, prioritises
STEM education for inclusive growth. This is a key focus under the Human Capital Development in the Social Sector Pillar, which aims to strengthen STEM skills and reduce the cost of strategic projects requiring expatriates’ expertise.

‘Africa and Kenya, included, rely on expatriates to deliver projects that require related knowledge and skills. As a result, investments in strategic projects become expensive,’ he said.

The CS said the Ministry has collaborated with CEMASTEA to develop a Sector Policy on STEM Education and Training, to enhance well-coordinated, inclusive, equitable, quality, and relevant STEM education and training.

On his part, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), of the Centre for Mathematics, Science, and Technology Education in Africa (CEMASTEA), Jacinta Akatsa, said the launch of the strategic plan is a well-thought-out and focused move, as it will address the existing gaps and spearhead the Centre into the next high level towards meeting the expectations of the nation and the Centre.

‘The s
trategic plan is very crucial, as it will steer the Centre into the next high level,’ she said.

The CEO added that the plan will open new horizons and platforms for the Centre to achieve its mission to provide continuous competencies for sustainable development through STEM education.

Among the strategic goals are enhancing quality teaching and learning, increasing partnerships, linkages, and collaborations, as well as strengthening STEM education, training, and research in Africa for innovative transformation.

She commended stakeholders for developing a sustainable plan that aligns with national development priorities, including Vision 20230, MTP-IV, BETA, SDGs, AU Agenda 2063, and EAC Vision 2050, as it boosts experiential learning, innovation, creativity, and attraction to STEM-related disciplines.

On his part, Director Teacher Professional Management Teachers Service Commission, Dr. Reuben Nthamburi, commended CEMESTEA for developing the plan, adding that it helps transform the education system by ena
bling the government to achieve the STEM agenda.

Nthamburi pointed out that 60% of the STEM skills are required by the students to succeed in schools, emphasising the need for CEMESTEA to support teachers through upskilling.

Adding that, ‘We stand with CEMESTEA to ensure teachers succeed’.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Government Asked To Increase Funding For Research Institutions

The National Research Fund (NRF) Chairman Prof Ratemo Michieka has called on the government to allocate more funds to research institutions to boost the country’s development.

Speaking during the official opening of the third Meru University of Science and Technology International Conference (MUSTIC), Prof Michieka said that every country should fund its research institutions for its benefit.

‘Nobody or any country can support research institutions other than the nation where such institutions are. It is therefore imperative and very important that developing nations eject more funds into research arena to get things done for that country,’ he said.

He added that the government should push ahead with this agenda which would generate employment opportunities for its citizens.

‘If there is a big factory that has been researched in a given institution, such could probably take in 600 or 700 persons who could be employed comfortably having had research and developed an innovation that can take that number of
people,’ said Prof Michieka.

He said at the moment, the government was releasing two percent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to research institutions but this could be increased for more benefits to the country.

He added: ‘If you want to know how research contributes to the development of a country, go to the development index of developed countries and check on the amount of money paid in research. You will then realise that it is much more than what we give in Kenya’.

He said the theme of the conference; ‘Science in Service of Climate Action’, revolves around the question of whether after the floods and varying climatic conditions witnessed lately, shall we again witness the same?

‘What can climate teach us, how can we educate the citizens on how to mitigate and stop the devastating effects of climate change as it keeps on coming every four to five years in time,’ posed Prof Michieka.

He exuded confidence that after the conference, Kenyans would get good reasons as to why they should not probably s
tay close to the rivers and try to avoid activities that could affect the climate and micro-environment within a particular area.

The University’s Vice-Chancellor Prof Romanus Odhiambo said the conference’s theme was informed by the fact that everyone knows what we have gone through as a country including the terrible floods witnessed about two months ago.

As a university, they decided to dedicate the whole world to discussing scientifically, the mitigation, resilience, and the science behind climate change, he said.

‘As a country, we encourage you and as President William Ruto has been saying, we have to be sensitive about climate change issues in the whole country,’ he noted.

‘When we talk about climate mitigations, planting trees is one of them that we as Kenyans have to do, and also inculcate this ideology amongst our young people, and all Kenyans so we can succeed in this,’ said Prof Odhiambo.

Source: Kenya News Agency

State Allocates Sh7.4 Billion For Junior Secondary Schools’ Infrastructure

The Cabinet Secretary for Education Ezekiel Machogu has announced the allocation of Sh7.4 billion to enhance educational infrastructure by constructing more classrooms, laboratories and procure science related learning materials in preparation to receive more students in Junior Secondary Schools across the country.

Speaking at the 47th Kenya Secondary School Heads Association (KESSHA) National Conference held at Sheikh Zayed Hall, Mombasa, Machogu noted that this development aimed at accommodating the growing number of students in line with improving the quality of science education across the country.

‘Already, we are providing Sh3.5 billion to primary schools for building 1,000 additional classrooms countrywide. A further Sh3.9 billion, to be topped up by the National Government-Constituency Development Fund, has also been provided for the construction of classrooms at the constituency level through NG-CDF,’ noted the CS

The CS urged the principals to work closely with the government to guarantee success
in the education sector.

‘The roll out of the CBC especially in senior schools requires we all work together with you principals as the primary actors. The government is committed to providing you with all the support possible to guarantee success,’ said the CS.

On his part, the Mombasa Governor Abdulswammad Shariff Nassir highlighted the tremendous support that the County Government is currently offering to schools in an effort to ensure that every child enjoys their right to education.

Source: Kenya News Agency

DP Commends KESSHA, Emphasizes Flexibility In Education System

The Deputy President, Rigathi Gachagua has applauded the Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association (KESSHA) for playing a critical role in providing state agencies with valuable information that guides strategic interventions, especially as the implementation of the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) is underway.

This collaboration, he said, ensures that the education sector can effectively address emerging challenges and improve the quality of education for secondary school students across Kenya.

Speaking at the 47th Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association (KESSHA) Annual National Conference, the Deputy President emphasized the importance of flexibility in the education system, noting that significant challenges will arise in the future if the system is not adaptable.

Competence-Based Curriculum (CBC) has been noted to be the best for the coming generations as it is designed to be student-centered, flexible, and inclusive.

‘This conference is focused on 3 pathways of the CBC system including social scie
nces, arts and sports, and science and technology, engineering and mathematics. With a particular focus on the 3 pathways, we want an education that generates job creators and not job seekers,’ added the DP.

In addition, the DP said that the government has identified junior secondary and senior secondary schools as a crucial stepping stone of modeling the student in professionally desired ways and hence the government has various representations of the national government in better preparation for the rollout of senior secondary school.

He also highlighted that the government is investing more in expanding Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions across the country to complement universities by providing a seamless transition from secondary schools for students who are firmly established in their chosen pathways.

By increasing the number of TVETs, the government seeks to ensure that students have diverse options for higher education and skills development, aligning with their int
erests and career goals.

‘Since we want the TVETS to deliver, we are set to employ 2,000 more tutors in the 2023/2024 financial year to bridge the capacity gap,’ said Gachagua.

Furthermore, he noted that the government has continued to invest in the TVETS because of their potential to create jobs, especially in the formal sector of our economy which employs over 83% of the people.

The Deputy President also observed a moment of silence for the lives lost during the ongoing protests in the country. This comes after protesters were shot dead after storming and setting ablaze the parliament just after MPs passed the financial bill 2024/2025.

The Principal Secretary for Education, Belio Kipsang urged the school heads to look at situations that will allow the younglings to be part of decision-making in a way that they would want to influence the future.

‘We do not want them to think that we as adults are influencing their future but that we are guiding them into what they can be and do better for this country
and humanity,’ he said.

Kipsang declared that the government acknowledges the diverse talents, interests, and aspirations of learners that offer multiple and personalized pathways or roots that give them opportunities to pursue their uniqueness in learning and life and are adaptive to learning.

‘As we adapt these pathways, it is important that they are tailored to the learning of individual students,’ he added.

Kipsang urged the School Heads to be at the forefront to prepare the young ones to be responsible and accountable for every action they take for the betterment of humanity into the future.

‘Let us give our children an opportunity to map and be part of the mapping of the future. I urge all of us that the education and leadership that we provide in our schools should be student-centered, flexible, and inclusive of nurturing all learners’ potential because they are not the same, we have those living with disabilities and require special ways of being taught and dealt with, he said.

He stated that the
Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) emphasizes the acquisition of competencies and skills. Unlike the previous system, which focused on memorization and knowledge retention, the CBC prioritizes the practical application of knowledge. The future of education lies in what students can do with what they know, preparing them for real-world challenges and opportunities

‘Pathways ensure that we identify the competency and skills of our learners, map out learning objectives, we create modular learning and activities that we can be able to re-enter. It is age-appropriate. It integrates assessments and checkpoints to monitor learners’ progress,’ he said.

He pledged that going into the new year, the government is going to invest heavily in laboratories and science-based learning areas in day schools because they constitute 72 percent of the learning environment in the country.

He addressed the delay in capitation allocation as he pledged that it shall be Sh. 22,000 moving forward.

Source: Kenya News Agency