Custom Adv 1

Esther Nyambura

Written by Mary Sichangi & Ann Mumbi, CEMASTEA

The 7th International Day of "Women and Girls in Science" was celebrated virtually on February 11th, 2022, under the theme: "Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion: Water Unites Us". The day aims to recognise the role of women and girls in science as beneficiaries and agents of change. The day's theme spoke to SDG 6 on clean water and sanitation and its benefits to the progress across all Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The International Day for Women and Girls in Science forms a curtain-raiser for the International Woman's Day celebrations on March 8th. The UN 2022 theme for International Women's Day was 'Gender Equality Today for a Sustainable Tomorrow". The tagline "Eliminate the Bias" was also adopted to drive the theme of focus on a world free of biased stereotypes and discrimination against women.

   

In celebrating the Women in science and experts across the globe, including government officials, international organisations gathered to discuss issues on sustainable development related to economic prosperity, social justice and environmental integrity. The Principal Secretary of State Department for University.

Education and Research Amb was in attendance. Simon Nabukwesi, CBS and Principal Secretary State Department for Early Learning and Basic Education Dr Julius O. Jwan, CBS. Prof. Eng delivered the first keynote address. Bancy Mbura Mati, former Director, Water Research and Resource Center (WARREC), Water Management Expert and Professor at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology titled, "Women, leadership and contribution to SDGs with focus on Water access and security for sustainable development".

Director  CEMASTEA, Mrs Jacinta L. Akatsa was among the panellists during the discussions. She was represented by Mrs Mary W. Sichangi, Coordinator, Partnerships and Linkages Department at CEMASTEA. In her contributions, Mrs Sichangi explained CEMASTEA's programs that focus on Women in Science. One of the anchor programmes at CEMASTEA related to accelerating girls' participation in science is the training of teachers in Gender Responsive Pedagogy STEM education. The course, run in partnership with Education Development Trust (EDT) Programme 'Wasichana Wetu Wafaulu', aims at helping schools and, in particular, STEM teachers eliminate barriers that hinder girls' participation in STEM subjects.


Written by Beatrice Macharia and Winfred Magu, CEMASTEA

CEMASTEA conducted customised training for mathematics and science teachers of Aga Khan High School, Mombasa from March 7th to 11th.  The theme of the training was "Enhancing Effective Learner Involvement through Learner-Centred Pedagogies". The training was planned and implemented remotely by a team of National trainers from CEMASTEA. Some of the sessions facilitated during the training included attitude changes, an introduction to Competency Based Curriculum (CBC), leaner centred teaching practices, leaner management, and Remote learning technologies

In her opening remarks, Director, CEMASTEA, Mrs Jacinta Akatsa noted that performance in mathematics and science subjects lag behind the art and social sciences subjects. Issues that affect performance include; negative attitude, low entry behaviours and poor instructional methods devoid of meaningful learner participation. She lauded the leadership of the Aga Khan High School for valuing the continuous -professional development of its teachers.

The course was motivated by the school's needs and that its content was carefully and purposefully designed to support these needs. She was optimistic that after going through the training, the teachers' ability to practice learner-centred pedagogies for an effective learning process will be enhanced. The Director challenged the teachers to be creative and innovative, use hands-on activities and integrate ICT in teaching and learning. While teachers expect an attitude change in their learners, the director noted that learners often do not know how to do it. "We keep telling students to work hard, but we do not show them how to do it", she remarked. Teachers, she advised could assist learners in identifying topics and subtopics in challenging subjects and plans their revision timetables to reduce students frustration and negative attitude towards STEM subjects.

During the closing ceremony, the school principal, Mrs. Mary Stella Chitechi, thanked CEMASTEA for organising and facilitating the training. She promised that the school would put in place mechanisms to implement lessons learnt. Deputy Director CEMASTEA, Mrs Lydia Muriithi, reminded the participants that a 21st Century teacher must be willing to unlearn, learn, and relearn to meet the learners' needs. Mr Joseph Kuria, CEMASTEA’s Deputy Coordinator, Special Programmes and Student Learning, urged the participants to cascade what they had learnt in their school.