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Published in CEMASTEA News Written by October 13 2017

Education: City- based Centre boosting science teaching in Africa

By: Joe Ombuor

October 32017

Nairobi- based Centre for Mathematics, Science and Technology in Africa has trained hundreds of science, technology, engineering and mathematics teachers from across the continent the institution’s Director Mr Stephen Njoroge has said.

He said the skills acquired had trickled down to thousands of others and their students as those trained become trainer of their colleagues with the end result of improved performance.

The director spoke when he presented certificates to 43 participants from seven African countries at the end of a two- week training session organized together with Kenya’s Ministry of Education and the Japan International Co-operation Agency.

Mr. Stephen Njoroge (right)Director, Centre for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education in Africa, presents a certificate to a participant. [Dan Orero/CEMASTEA]

Published in CEMASTEA News Written by October 13 2017

By: OumaWanzala

September 24 2017

The Teachers Service Commission has said there is need for regular training of practicing teachers in Kenya and other countries in the region.

TSC chief executive Nancy Macharia, said this will enable teachers to continuously equip themselves with opportunities to update and improve their knowledge and teaching techniques.

“This will greatly impact how they deliver lessons and effectively offer and education that is not only relevant but focused on real world problems,” said Mrs. Macharia

Ms. Macharia made the remarks at the Centre for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education in Africa during a training of mathematics and science teachers from seven African countries in the region on in Nairobi.

The two-week training will end next week. “I am delighted therefore to see continental efforts being made to improve the professional practice of teachers that will enhance the quality of education and learner achievement, “added Ms. Macharia.

Mrs. Macharia said the in-service education and training will increase teachers ‘capacity for a deeper understanding of the continent, how students learn and a broaden comprehension of clear- cut teaching skills and strategies that ultimately result in student learning.

Association for the Development of Education in Africa senior Finance and budget office Foday Kargbo underscored the role of governments and development partners in achieving both continental blue prints and global agenda

 

Mrs. Nancy Macharia, CEO Teachers Service Commission.[File]

Published in CEMASTEA News Written by October 13 2017

By: Augustine Oduor

August 26 2017

The government is equipping selected secondary schools with modern learning tools that will make Mathematics and Science easy and enjoyable. Each of the 102 schools selected in every county will get modern equipment for Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics and Information and Communication Technology.

The items are part of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) project being implemented by the Ministry of Education. The programme is being rolled out by the Centre for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education in Africa (CEMASTEA). At least two schools were selected in each of the 47 counties for the pilot stage.


Esther Nyambura ICT officer CEMASTEA interacting with robots during The STEM Sensitization workshop. [Dan Orero/CEMASTEA]

The Ministry of Education initiated the Stem Model Schools intervention programme to enhance learners’ capability in Science and Mathematics, CEMASTEA Director, Mr Stephen Njoroge said each of the selected schools will get laptops, LCD projectors, digital cameras, white-boards, light microscopes, photometers, biological models, and preserved specimens. Also, to be provided are thermometers and stop watches to make learning cool. Mr Njoroge said the Government has already started to procure the modern learning equipment

“We are going to provide modern Chemistry, Physics And Biology leaning materials to schools at an estimated cost of Sh54 million,” said Mr Njoroge

CEMASTEA was allocated Sh32 million in the 2016/2017 financial year to implement the project. In the 2017/2018 financial year, the centre has been allocated Sh58 million. The centre has already developed a Stem module and is conducting training of teachers and sensitization of stakeholders. The training will end this month, Mr Njoroge said more than 306 teachers have undergone one-week training ahead of the roll out. The training was conducted in Nakuru, Eldoret, Mombasa, Nyeri, Embu, Kakamega, Kisumu, and Thika. 

Published in CEMASTEA News Written by October 13 2017

Thursday August 24, 2017

By Ouma Wanzala

Teaching of science subjects in secondary schools is set to be done through the use of ICT as the government steps up efforts to make learning attractive

Procurement of modern learning equipment such as laptops and LCD for use in teaching has begun under an ambitious programme that targets more than 100 schools.

“We are going to provide modern chemistry, physics and biology learning material to schools at an estimated cost of sh54 million,” said Mr. Stephen Njoroge, the director of the centre for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education in Africa (CEMASTEA)

Mr. Stephen Njoroge Director, CEMASTEA addressing School principals and BOM during the STEM Sensitization workshop. [Dan Orero/CEMASTEA]

Mr. Njoroge said the initiative also aims to ensure learning of science subjects in schools is

hands-on and students can create jobs while still in school. More than 306 teachers from the 102 model schools have since undergone a one-week training course to prepare them for the rollout. The training was conducted in Nakuru, Eldoret, Mombasa, Nyeri, Embu, Kakamega, Kisumu and Thika.

Change methods

The initiative spearheaded by CEMASTEA seeks to set up Science, Technology, Engineering And Mathematics (STEM) model schools and changing the way the subjects are taught.

Statistics show 22 per cent of students at local universities are taking science courses, compared to 70 per cent in the “Asian Tiger” nations such as South Korea and Singapore.

Published in CEMASTEA News Written by October 13 2017

Most schools ignore holistic learning, says report

WEDNESDAY AUGUST 9 2017

By OUMA WANZALA

Wilbroda Oleroh (centre), from Moi Girls’ High School in Uasin Gishu County and other students during the National Math Contest at AIC Chebisaas Boys High School in Eldoret on July 11, 2015. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP  

In Summary

  • The government has stepped up promotion of science-related subjects in secondary schools across the country.
  • Vision 2030 is premised on more students taking up mathematics and science in the hope that this will drive scientific inquiry and innovation.
  • Already, more than 306 teachers have been lined up for training starting August 14 to 18 in eight regions across the country.

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Secondary schools are only focusing on academic excellence and giving less focus on producing all-round students who can serve the society, a report has revealed.

The report indicates that in most schools, vision, mission and motto are about the institutions being Centre of academic excellence.

The study conducted by the Centre for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education in Africa (CEMASTEA) show that academic performance was at 58 per cent, holistic view at 27 per cent, character or value system at 10 per cent and national goal and aspiration at five per cent.

The holistic view is about making a student an epitome of physical, moral, spiritual and academic excellence while the national goal and aspiration seeks to provide quality education to students and prepare them for national development.

ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE

At the same time, character or value system is about producing an educated, disciplined and determined person ready to serve while academic performance is about being a leader in academic excellence.

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“In most schools vision, mission and motto are just statement to fulfill statutory requirements with little evidence of efforts to make the vision an integral and vibrant facet of the school community,” notes the report that was released recently during a school heads and boards of management workshop in Nakuru.

The aspirations were generally used to refer to what the school owners or managers wanted the students to achieve at the end of their four-year period in school.

“There is a need for the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) model schools to adjust their vision to reflect the aspiration for becoming an effective model school,” recommends the report.

The government has stepped up promotion of science-related subjects in secondary schools across the country.

POOR INFRASTRUCTURE

Some of the challenges that have been identified are poor school infrastructure, school climate, under-staffing, inadequate teaching and learning resources, poor attitude by both teachers and students and lack of role models.

Vision 2030 is premised on more students taking up mathematics and science in the hope that this will drive scientific inquiry and innovation.

Already, more than 306 teachers have been lined up for training starting August 14 to 18 in eight regions across the country.

Statistics indicate that its only 22 per cent of students in universities that are taking science-related courses compared to 70 per cent of students in South Korea and Singapore.

CEMASTEA Director, Mr Stephen Njoroge said schools that have been identified are required to work closely with others not in the programme in their counties.

http://www.nation.co.ke/news/education/Most-schools-ignore-holistic-learning--says-report-/2643604-4050760-wxll8vz/index.html

Published in CEMASTEA News Written by October 13 2017

SUNDAY AUGUST 6 2017

By OUMA WANZALA

A student from Temple Road Secondary School in Nyeri is assisted by her teacher during a chemistry lesson on May 12, 2010. PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

Teachers play a key role in encouraging or discouraging students from taking up science subjects in secondary school, a new report has shown.

The study, conducted by the Centre for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education in Africa (CEMASTEA), shows teachers routinely advise students they consider weak not to take up science courses, when they should be encouraging them instead.

Other challenges identified include poor school infrastructure. Also, many schools were not proactive in entrenching the study of science. For instance, the study found that about 117 pieces of science equipment donated to one of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) model schools last year had never been put to use.

“Let’s use this equipment,” said CEMASTEA Director, Mr Stephen Njoroge during the launch of the report last week.

Vision 2030 is premised on more students taking up mathematics and science in the hope that this will drive scientific inquiry and innovation. Launched last year, the STEM programme is expected to inspire learners to excel and pursue careers related to science and mathematics.

To address the challenges in science education in secondary schools, the government has embarked on an ambitious programme that seeks to update these subjects. The initiative, spearhead by CEMASTEA, seeks to fill the gaps by setting up STEM model schools across the country and changing the way the subjects are taught.

It also includes setting up of a special class dubbed ‘Makerspace’, where students pursuing the subjects will be able to innovate and enjoy a hands-on approach to teaching and learning. This is expected to enable students in the 102 schools to carry out activities such as robot building (Robotics), learning circuits and electricity with paper circuits, sewing, wood working and inventing.

The STEM programme was introduced in public schools last year, with one school being selected as a model in every county based on centrality, performance, STEM culture and leadership.

The survey also revealed how candidates in secondary schools have continued to perform below the mean score in science-related subjects in national examinations over the years. It shows that the overall school performance has grown gradually between 2006 and 2015. It is only in 2007 that the mean score in biology shot above the overall mean. In all the other STEM subjects, the mean score was below the overall mean, indicating that in most schools, mathematics and science were at the bottom.

The study was conducted last year and released last week during a workshop for the board of management and principals of 102 schools in Nakuru.

http://www.nation.co.ke/news/education/Student-performance-in-science-subjects/2643604-4046922-sw2j4g/index.html

Published in CEMASTEA News Written by October 13 2017

THURSDAY AUGUST 3 2017

By OUMA WANZALA

Bethlehem Senior School student Neema Glory explains to the Ireland Ambassador to Kenya Vincent O’Neill about her project during the BLAZE Safaricom Young Scientists Kenya launch at the Centre for Mathematics Science & Technology in Africa in Karen, Nairobi, on July 5, 2017. The centre seeks to create a culture that inspires students to excel and pursue careers related to science and mathematics. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

In Summary

The programme is being put in place by the Centre for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education in Africa.

A special classroom is set to be established in selected secondary schools across the country as the government makes efforts to promote innovation among students at an early age.

At such a centre, dubbed the ‘Makerspace’, students pursuing Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics will innovate and enjoy a hands-on approach to teaching and learning.

INVENT
Students in the schools will carry out activities such as 3D printing, laser cutting, soldering, electronics and robot building.

They will learn about electricity and circuits, sewing and woodwork. They will also be involved in inventing.

The programme is being put in place by the Centre for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education in Africa (CEMASTEA)

CAREER

It seeks to create a culture that inspires students to excel and pursue careers related to science and mathematics.

The Centre’s Director, Mr. Stephen Njoroge, said the special classrooms will enable students to share resources and knowledge, work on projects and network.

“This is a space for students with a maker mindset where they can come together and create something out of nothing,” Mr. Njoroge said.

     

http://www.nation.co.ke/news/Schools-to-have-centres-to-boost-innovations/1056-4043934-gfnj6p/index.html

 

 

 

Published in CEMASTEA News Written by August 10 2017

By Augustine Oduor | Published Sat, July 22nd 2017 at 00:00, Updated July 21st 2017

Mathematics and the science subjects have for a long time been branded difficult and boring. But a new programme aims to break this myth. The government has rolled out an ambitious scheme to make the subjects easy and enjoyable.

At least two model secondary schools have been selected in every county to champion best learning practices and create a positive attitude towards the subjects for others to copy.

The science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programme is being rolled out by the Centre for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education (CEMASTEA).

Appropriate knowledge
A government brief seen by Saturday Standard says the main objective is to nurture students to become effective lifelong learners equipped with appropriate knowledge, generic skills as well as values and attitudes necessary for facing 21st century challenges.

Through the use of modern and interactive learning materials, the programme is expected to improve students’ attitude, achievement and confidence, and trigger creativity.

Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i said the STEM Model Schools intervention programme will enhance learners’ capability in sciences and mathematics.

The ministry allocated CEMASTEA Sh32 million in the 2016/17 financial year to implement the project. And in 2017/18, the Centre has been allocated Sh58 million. Overall, 94 schools have been identified for the initial phase of the project.

The ministry allocated CEMASTEA Sh32 million in the 2016/17 financial year to implement the project. And in 2017/18, the Centre has been allocated Sh58 million. Overall, 94 schools have been identified for the initial phase of the project.

Dr. Matiang’i already released a set of equipment to the first lot of 47 schools for easy teaching and learning. “The ministry is distributing STEM equipment to the first batch of schools under STEM Education Model Schools Intervention Programme,” he said.

Each of the selected schools will receive a laptop, LCD projectors, digital cameras, white-boards, light microscopes and photometers. Other equipment procured for the model schools are biological models, preserved specimens, Liebig condensers, Hoffman’s Apparatus, atomic models, fractionating columns, electronic balance, cathode ray oscilloscopes, ammeters and volmeters. Micrometer screw gauges, thermometers, stop watches, galvanometers, magnets, lenses, scientific calculators, mobile graph boards, chalkboard geometry sets, globes, mathematical shapes, wire models and nets are also some of the equipment listed to be sent to schools.
CEMASTEA director Stephen Njoroge said the equipment and materials are essential to teaching and learning yet few schools can afford them.

Improve performance

“We are giving the equipment to schools to support them in improving performance and for experiential learning. Schools are expected to use 21st Century teaching approaches that incorporate inter-disciplinary ICT integration and inquiry based learning (IBL),” said Mr Njoroge.

He said a baseline study conducted by CEMASTEA revealed that schools tend to restrict learners’ access to available equipment. Students in STEM schools will be empowered to try out things and nurture ideas that can be commercialised in future.

It emerged that only 22 per cent of students undertaking university education in Kenya pursue courses in STEM, compared to 70 per cent of students in Asian Tigers such as South Korea and Singapore.

The introduction of STEM Model Schools is as a response to a shortage of graduates in the STEM field and for enhancing innovation, critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

Read more at: https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/article/2001248588/new-plan-to-make-maths-and-sciences-interesting

A participant from South Africa showing Mr. Thuo Karanja National Trainer Biology- CEMASTEA some of the innovative ways to demystify topic Cell Division

Published in CEMASTEA News Written by August 10 2017

By Joe Ombuor | Published Thu, August 3rd 2017 at 11:21, Updated August 3rd 2017

NAIROBI, KENYA: Teachers have been urged to make use of digital social media platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook and others to create networks to learn from each other while sharing different challenges at national and regional levels.

Kenya’s ambassador and permanent representative to UNESCO Prof. George Imbanga Godia said during regional teachers training programme in Nairobi that UNESCO through its convening power and multi- sectoral offices in Africa had the capacity to support such networks.

Prof. Godia was officially closing the second Teacher regional teacher training for Africa at the Centre for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education in Africa (CEMASTEA) that brought together 80 participants from 10 countries across the African continent.

“Teaching is a continuous learning process and I encourage you to continue learning from each other after workshops such as this one.  Become TeachHer ambassadors and strive to share what you have learnt with your students and colleagues in your countries,” he said.

Prof Godia described Science, Technology, and Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) activities and careers that fuel the TeachHer programme as key accelerators of socio economic development of nations.

He said Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) would continue to play an important role in transforming African economies from natural resource to industrial based. “This can only be achieved with significant investment in STEAM related careers, still marked by a shortage of girls and women.

Remarked Prof. Godia: “Women make up a paltry 30 per cent of the world’s researchers and are more under-represented in engineering fields globally.

He said the lack of women in technology sectors has significant socio economic consequences with women losing an important tool for personal and economic empowerment while countries lose developmental opportunities as a result.

Prof Godia said the TeachHer initiative that is a private public partnership between UNESCO, the US Government and other partners aimed at creating a master corps of educators equipped to deliver innovative hands-on instruction for adolescent girls, opening doors in an area where women are greatly unrepresented.

He said it behooved female teachers to serve as role models for girl students to raise their interest in STEAM at an early age. And advised fathers to encourage their daughters to take up science subjects leading to professional careers in technical fields. “Girls develop resolve when told by their fathers that they can challenge men in any discipline,” he said.

Prof. Godia announced that Kenya would next year host the first Pan African high level   conference on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), courtesy of UNESCO.

Participants in the training were drawn from Kenya, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Nigeria, South Africa, Senegal, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. It was the second such training since TeachHer was launched in 2016.

Read more at: https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/business/article/2001250197/use-electronic-media-platforms-to-share-your-professional-skills-unesco-tells-teachers

E. Prof. George Imbanga Godia was appointed as Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of the Republic of Kenya to UNESCO Paris speaking during the closing ceremony for the 2nd Teachher Training in Nairobi

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