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Published in CEMASTEA News Written by February 03 2022

Written by John Odhiambo & George Kiruja, CEMASTEA

The 41st UNESCO’s General Conference (GC) was held in Paris, France, from 9th to 24th November 2021 at the UNESCO Headquarters. UNESCO’s General Conference (GC) is the apex decision-making organ of the organization. It comprises all Member States and is held every two years to determine UNESCO's policies and focus areas. In the 41st (GC) attending delegations highlighted the effects of COVID-19 and their post-Covid-19 recovery strategies, challenges being experienced in the education sector and the way forward.


Cabinet Secretary MoE, Prof. George Magoha delivering the Kenya message during the Conference

The Kenya National Commission for UNESCO, KNATCOM, spearheaded the preparations for the Kenyan delegation. Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Education Prof. George Magoha led the  Kenyan delegation. Others included members of the National Assembly, the Senate, Principal Secretaries and Officers in government. Mrs Jacinta Akatsa, Director, accompanied by Mr George Kiruja, and Mr John Odhiambo led the team from CEMASTEA. The CS delivered the Kenyan Policy Statement on 15th November. H.E. Santiago Irazabal Mourao, Ambassador, Permanent Delegate of Brazil to UNESCO, was elected as President of the 41st session of the General Conference.

In his speech, CS Magoha congratulated Ms Audrey Azoulay upon her re-election as Director-General of UNESCO and noted that Kenya looked forward to working closely with her during her second term in office. He lauded the Secretariat for the solid support for the Member States during the COVID-19 pandemic. The CS highlighted some areas of concern in education to the Kenya Government. These included; the need for continued collaboration among member states to mitigate the effects of Covid-19 pandemic on education; innovation and coordination to protect and promote education and accelerate progress towards the achievement of SDG4; Kenya’s support to UNESCO’s role in strengthening international scientific cooperation, open science and address the climate crisis and; gender equality. The presentation by UNESCO focused on what quality education should do to humanity where every child, youth and adults fully realize their transformational potential of education as a route for sustainable collective futures. It called for the ‘new social contract for education to repair injustices while transforming the future’.


Dr. Mulambe (centre), Director, Policy, Partnerships & Linkages-MoE),

Director, CEMASTEA, Jacinta Akatsa (left) with other Kenyan Delegates

The Global Education Meeting held on 10th November and Co-chaired by French President Emmanuel Macron, and UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay led to the adoption of the Paris Declaration. Member countries declared their total support of the education agenda and committed to improving investments in education through public and public-private cooperation. The team from CEMASTEA used the opportunity to network with other delegations to acquire ideas to transform CEMASTEA programmes.

 

Published in CEMASTEA News Written by February 03 2022

Written by Patrick Wanjohi

Food security is one of the most critical sectors of any country. Achieving it requires constant change in producing our food amidst a growing population, especially in urban areas. Rural-urban migration has led to a higher population in urban settings and the demand for more quality food. This paves the way for innovation in food production. The underlying principle is producing more food with fewer resources, including space, water and labour. One such innovation is multi-storey gardens that increase the vertical distance, allowing more plants to grow. CEMASTEA has set vertical gardens to demonstrate the possibility of growing food, guarantee the quality, and reduce living costs through savings on food purchases. The garden can accommodate at least 100 vegetable seedlings to sustain a family unit. Some of the benefits of vertical gardening include;

  • Increased production from space maximization.
  • Reduced water use
  • Reduced labour because there is no weeding required and planting and harvesting are physically more accessible than conventional bending.
  • Ability to lure young people into agriculture, especially in urban areas

Vertical gardening can take many forms and can use locally available materials, e.g. waste pipes, gunny bags, containers, among others. One only needs a mechanism to stack the planting media vertically. At CEMASTEA, we have constructed a multi-storey garden and vertical pipes gardens. This can be replicated in schools and communities for more people to adopt the innovative practice and contribute to food security at the household level.

(Left) A photo of the multi-storey garden and (right) vertical gardening with waste pipes

 

Published in CEMASTEA News Written by February 03 2022

Written by Dr Mungai Njoroge

The Ministry of Education mandates CEMASTEA to provide continuous professional development of teachers in STEM education. Among recent initiatives put in place by CEMASTEA includes mentoring teachers into practitioner authorship. Guided by transformative praxis, the mentoring initiative intends to attain two outputs. Firstly, provide teachers with decolonized spaces for documenting their lived contextual experiences as practitioners and secondly, encourage sharing of lived experiences among practitioners in communities of practice. The transformative praxis initiative by CEMASTEA came at a reasonable time given the many challenges posed to the education sector by the COVID-19 pandemic. As practitioners, teachers have valuable stories to share towards enhancing the teaching and learning process. During the three weeks mentoring experience provided by CEMASTEA, participants shared lived experiences and scholarly pursuits for social change via reflexive research and practice. Some of the stories were handy towards supporting the continuity of learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. CEMASTEA, through the Research & Development Knowledge Management (R&D KM) Department, is in the process of actualizing documentation and sharing of these lived experiences and stories through the establishment of a practitioner journal. The R&D KM department shared this mentorship initiative at The Centre for Leadership & Diversity International Conference, held online from December 10th to 11th, 2021, by the University of Toronto. Conference participants lauded the initiative by CEMASTEA, which was deemed a timely intervention to mitigate the dearth of literature on quality education from sub-Saharan Africa. 

 

Dr. Mungai Njoroge presenting a paper on behalf of CEMASTEA at the CLD Conference – University of Toronto

Published in CEMASTEA News Written by January 21 2022

 

Written by Njeri Mburu & Winfred Magu

In 2020 CEMASTEA, with support from JICA, started a Collaborative Lesson Research (CLR) Project. Collaborative Lesson Research (CLR) is Teacher Professional Development (TPD) that borrows from the Japanese culture of lesson study. It aims to support teachers' professional learning through classroom collaborative action research. To successfully implement the Project, a team of CEMASTEA national trainers has received training and support from two lesson study experts in mathematics education; Dr Akihiko Takahashi and Professor Fuji in Tokyo. The training objectives included building capacity to demonstrate Teaching Through Problem Solving (TTP); Acquiring skills and knowledge to guide pilot school teachers to design teaching activities for TTP and, the Appreciation of TTP as a process of building learner’s problem-solving skills.