Nairobi, Kenya – CEMASTEA, the Centre for Mathematics, Science, and Technology Education in Africa, is urging Kenyan parents to enroll their children in coding, programming, and robotics lessons to better equip them for the global market. This call was made by the CEO of CEMASTEA, Mrs. Jacinta Akatsa, during the 4th STEM Boot Camp – Coding and Robotics in Karen, Nairobi.
According to Kenya News Agency, CEMASTEA has been providing coding and programming skills to learners from grade three to form four since 2022. She emphasized the importance of these skills in nurturing creativity and innovation in young people. “I urge parents to continue bringing their children to the boot camps, which are carried out during holidays,” she encouraged, highlighting that these skills are essential for preparing youth for the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century.
The Kenyan government has recently approved a new curriculum for primary and secondary school students that includes coding, positioning Kenya as one of the first African countries to implement such a curriculum. This move aims to align Kenyan students with their counterparts in developed countries and is in line with the government’s efforts to promote technology use through a digital literacy programme.
Since its commencement, the program at CEMASTEA has organized four cohorts, providing participants with skills in creative coding, robotics, mobile app development, graphic design, mathematics, and science innovations. “The skills they acquire make them logical thinkers, develop them for future readiness, and make them collaborators and digital savvy,” Akatsa stated. She also noted that these skills enhance resilience, stress tolerance, and flexibility in learners.
Akatsa remarked that the experiences gained in these boot camps ignite students’ interest in pursuing STEM-related careers at the tertiary level and foster a community of problem solvers and critical thinkers. She expressed gratitude to CEMASTEA’s partners for their support and assured that the institution would continue the program in 2024.
Mr. Makoba Kizito, the CEMASTEA Dean of the Biology Department and Coordinator of the STEM, Climate Change, and Innovations Committee, praised parents who recognized the value of coding and programming. He emphasized that these skills are foundational in the modern economy and are integral to the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC). “Coding and programming are the present and future. It is the language; those who are unable will be clustered as being illiterate,” Kizito stated.
Furthermore, Kizito announced that CEMASTEA is working on developing technology to communicate with people with special needs. The institution, established under the Ministry of Education in 2004, aims to strengthen mathematics and science education in both primary and secondary schools. It is part of the SMASE technical project, a collaboration between the Kenyan government and the government of Japan through JICA, initiated in 1998.
The event was also attended by the CEO of UCMAS Kenya, Mr. Mayank Shah, among other dignitaries.