Efforts by the Centre for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education in Africa (CEMASTEA) to whet the skills of serving Mathematics and Science teachers to confront the new curriculum with confidence has been hailed for its positive impact on students by education officials at County and national levels.
Uasin Gishu County Director of Education Dr Nicodemus Anyang said while closing a week-long training workshop for 91 teachers of Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry and Physics drawn from the County at Moi Girls School in Eldoret that Strengthening Mathematics and Science Education (SMASE) program piloted by CEMASTEA was injecting fresh interest in the subjects erstwhile avoided by girls and considered difficult and dull by boys.
“I can state without any fear of contradiction that teachers rejuvenated by SMASE training programme are injecting a new lease of life in an area that holds the key to industrialization in the 21st century,” said Dr Anyang’.
He said the new approach to teaching SMASE subjects was helping many students walk away from the fear that has adversely affected science and technical disciplines. "Good performance in any subject is stirred by interest which in-turn depends on the approach adopted by teachers", he noted.
“Knowledge is dynamic and nothing demonstrates that notion better than CEMASTEA’s novel experiment that during school holidays brings together teachers who have served for 21 years and above to sit in classroom situations to be taught new ideas as they share their varied experiences,” said Dr Anyang.
“Not only is sitting in the classroom on hard wooden chairs a throw back to their younger days, it makes them appreciate the lives of the students they teach,” he said.
He urged schools in Uasin Gishu County to form themselves into clusters where teachers who have undergone SMASE training can make regular training visits to disseminate to younger teachers what they have learnt. “That way no schools and by extension, no students will feel left behind by the new train carrying new instructional models,” he said.
Dr Anyang appealed to big and better endowed schools to lay bare their science facilities to smaller schools in the neighbourhood that are not as well endowed.
The trainer in charge at the Moi Girls’ High School Centre Mr William Oduol asked CEMASTEA to increase the frequency of the training sessions at County level to demystify the new curriculum.
“For quality in in-service education and training (INSET), trainers need to be exposed to more training sessions in a timely, efficient and effective manner,” said Mr Oduol, a mathematics teacher at AIC Kapkei Secondary School.