The integration of science and technology in the education curriculum is a key driver to the economy, President Uhuru Kenyatta has said.
Uhuru said young scientists were at the centre of determining how Kenya’s future and community of the nation wouldl be. He spoke at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) during the first Young Scientists Kenya (YSK) exhibition.
Ten counties, including Kajiado, Kiambu, Kisumu, Nairobi, Nakuru, Murang’a and Mombasa were represented.
Ken Kiogora, a student at Alliance High School, said YSK had given them an opportunity to use their talent outside the classroom.
Some of the innovations on display were like how to make beads using milk. Others showed how madagala (artemisia afra) can be used to prevent malaria.
Reforms and quality
A marijuana testing kit was also on display. The President said the Government had in the past five years introduced reforms aimed at improving access to quality education.
“I have been very impressed by the various projects I have seen here. Recently we refocused the role of innovation as being an essential component of our education outcomes,” he said. This informed expansion of technical and vocational training institutions and the support of innovation hubs, he added.
"As we make a journey towards becoming a truly middle-income economy, we will continue to face major challenges in the vital sectors of our economy, challenges that are born out of our inability to fully satisfy the demands of a fast-growing population using traditional approaches," said the President.
“Question is how we leverage technology to address these challenges within our economic reality. For instance, the number of doctors available to treat our citizens, number of policemen to deal with growing public safety needs and the number of teachers to guide our growing student population,” he added.
Uhuru said the solution lay in scientific innovation and the harnessing of new ideas.
“Through smart learning we can improve the quality of our education outcomes and through smart agriculture, we can improve the yields of our crops. These are just but a bit of the role science and technology can play in development,” the President said.