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Status of STEM Education at Basic Learning Levels in Africa

Status of STEM Education at Basic Learning Levels in Africa

Published in CEMASTEA News Written by  January 19 2024 font size decrease font size increase font size
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By Mary Sichangi and Ann Mumbi

The Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) seeks to empower African countries to develop responsive education systems for sustainable development. ADEA achieves these aspirations through thematic-based Inter-Country Quality Nodes (ICQNs) such as the one on Mathematics and Science Education, (ICQN-MSE), a policy dialogue forum for ministers of education that implements programs focused on developing STEM education in African countries.

 Seated from Right to left: Ms Ngina Kairu, Member, CEMASTEA Board of Governors, Mr. Charles Chacha Mwita, Director Policy, Partnership and East Africa Cooperation Affairs, MOE – Kenya; Ms. Cecilia Ochoa, Representative of LEGO Foundation; Mrs. Jacinta L. Akatsa CEO, CEMASTEA; Mr. Albert Nsengiyumva, CEO - ADEA; Dr Pius Mutisya, OGW, Chair, CEMASTEA Board of Governors and Shalini Mahadowa-Reechaye, Mauritius

The Centre for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education in Africa (CEMASTEA), on behalf of the Ministry of Education [MoE], Kenya, hosts the Secretariat of the Association for Development of Education in Africa’s Inter–Country Quality Node on Mathematics and Science Education (ADEA-ICQN-MSE) since 2014. The Centre in collaboration with ADEA, hosted an international workshop on the status of STEM education in Africa from 18th to 21st September, 2023. The meeting was aimed at harmonising understanding of the status of STEM education in Africa at basic learning based on findings from two studies conducted in primary (2022) and secondary (2020) levels; discuss the proposed Strategic Framework for ADEA’s Inter-Country

Workshop participants included senior ministry of education officials from the headquarters, regions, heads of primary or secondary schools, teacher trainers, teachers of STEM subjects, national curriculum development officers, national examination officers, commissions for science and technology, and quality assurance officers. The delegates were drawn from 17 countries that participated in the two studies. The Secondary study was represented by Botswana, Rwanda, South Africa, Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Uganda, Angola and Morocco and the Primary study was by Eswatini, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, The Gambia, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Senegal, Malawi and Rwanda. Other guests included The ADEA Secretariat based in Ivory Coast and The LEGO Foundation.

The opening ceremony was graced by the Principal Secretary (PS), State Department for Basic Education Dr. Belio Kipsang, represented by the CEO-CEMASTEA, Mrs. Jacinta Akatsa. The PS pointed out that it was important to understand the current status of STEM education in Africa. Highlighting the critical role of a robust STEM education curriculum, Dr. Kipsang emphasised the need for investment in building STEM institutions. He informed participants that the Ministry of Education had taken various measures to promote STEM education, including capacity-building programs and the transformation of select secondary schools to model STEM education.

The Chief Guest further emphasised that the action points generated in this workshop had the potential to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Continental Education Strategy for Africa (CESA) 16-25, and the objectives of STEM education. The workshop outcomes will drive substantial progress in STEM education across the continent by aligning regional strategies and fostering increased collaboration.

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