Custom Adv 1

Esther Nyambura

Written by Mary W. Sichangi, Winfred Magu & Gregory Njogu

The Strengthening of Mathematics and Science Education in Africa (SMASE Africa) Association held its 18th Annual Conference on Mathematics, Science and Technology Education in Africa [COMSTEDA 18] from 23rd -25th November 2021. The virtual conference under the theme: Teacher Professional Development in Africa: Knowledge, Skills, Values and Attitudes in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Learning Environments was hosted by the University of Rovuma, Nampula-Mozambique. The conference attracted 58 paper presenters from 11 countries; Botswana, South Africa, Nigeria, Mauritius, Kenya, Namibia, Niger, Mozambique, United Kingdom, Zambia and Uganda.

A screen shot showing participant’s during the conference

During the opening ceremony, Chief Guest, Honourable vice Minister of Education & Human Resource Development-Mozambique, Professor Manuel Bazo, lauded the conference and its intended contribution to STEM education in Africa. He noted that STEM educational disciplines play an integral role in the socio-economic development of African nations. He indicated that the conference was the proper forum to share good practices and innovative teaching approaches. He noted that outcomes could be used to explore new methodologies for learning science, developing and cultivating interest, raising performance, and the motivation to choose courses and professions in STEM. Prof. Cyril Julien,  University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign delivered the keynote speech. CEMASTEA presented three papers; two from the biology department and another by Dr Mercy Macharia of the Chemistry department. 

 

The closing ceremony for the conference was presided over by Dr Benson Banda, President and SMASE – Africa. To ensure an effective learning STEM environment and prepare them to meet the continent's demands, President challenged the participants to balance policy, research, and practice. In her remarks, Executive Secretary SMASE-Africa Mrs Jacinta Akatsa, Director, CEMASTEA, reiterated that the conference provided an opportunity for constructive dialogue on STEM education in Africa. She encouraged more participation, especially on ICT Integration in STEM education.  Professor Sarifa Fagilde, Vice President, SMASE-Africa, lauded the Organising committee, the hosting Committee in Mozambique and the SMASE Africa Secretariat for organising such a successful conference. She noted that such partnerships would contribute to Africa’s aspirations to realize quality STEM education and act as a stepping stone towards more scientific and technological innovations. Uganda's Ministry of Education will host the 2022 COMSTEDA 19 conference.

 

 


Written by Dan Orero, CEMASTEA & Peter Ndiritu, Mt. Kinangop Girls

Mt. Kinangop Girls’ Secondary held their third Annual Science Week from 1st to 6th November 2021. The theme of the science week was ‘Enhancing Mastery of Content through Practice’. The week was marked with numerous activities designed to provide active learning experiences for the students. These included peer teaching, group discussions, making teaching & learning aid models, symposiums, quick-fire sessions and STEM-based edutainment. Learners were expected to develop skills in communication & collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, problem-solving, and self-efficacy.

During the closing ceremony, the Chief Guest Director CEMASTEA, Mrs Jacinta L. Akatsa, represented by Deputy Director Mrs Lydia Muriithi, affirmed that the knowledge and skills learnt will be helpful beyond school and will make them more adaptable and competitive in future. She was delighted by the demonstration of skills by the learners. She informed the learners that CEMASTEA functions to assist schools in becoming better in STEM education and promoting innovations that solve real-life problems.

In her remarks, senior Principal Mrs Jane N. Njoga noted that we live in an ever-changing world with emerging challenges that require creativity and innovativeness in home-grown solutions. She emphasized the importance of learners aspiring to be scientists to be curious, attentive, and able to do research. In addition, she reiterated that learners should aspire to apply the knowledge learned to solve societal problems. She thanked the teachers for coming up with the noble idea and promised to make the event part of the school culture. CEMASTEA donated a science kit to the school.