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Robots to revolutionize science and technical learning in Kenyan schools

By Joe Ombuor | Published Sat, August 25th 2018 at 09:44, Updated August 25th 2018 at 09:49 GMT +3
Teachers testing a robot at Kisumu Girls' High School

For Kenya to inch closer to industrialised nation status in future, we must do away with drilling for purposes of passing examinations, says Centre for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education in Africa (Cemsatea) Director Stephen Njoroge.

Mr Njoroge regrets that science has been badly taught and falsely cast as a preserve of a few extraordinary individuals, causing many learners to find it boring.

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“To make science interesting, students must be engaged in activities that invoke fun and are not necessarily examinable,” he said at Mukumu and Kisumu Girls High schools where he witnessed the launch of a five-day robotic science training workshop. The workshop brings together 339 teachers drawn from 102 Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (Stem) schools across the country. 

Besides the two schools located in Nyanza and Western regions respectively, the training simultaneously took place at Moi Girls’ School, Eldoret (North Rift), Allidina Visram Boys’ School (Coast), Kangaru Girls’ School (Metropolitan and North Eastern) and Tumu Tumu Girls’ School (Central region).

“We need innovations that can only be realised through creativity and critical thinking as opposed to obsession with academic grades that rarely lead to tangible achievements,” he said.

Plans are underway to increase Stem schools from the current 102 to 588 incorporating all national schools, one school in each of the 290 constituencies and all In-service Education Training (Iinset) centres plus 105 special schools for children with disabilities.

National Coordinator of Stem at Cemastea Dr Tom Mboya Okaya said the introduction of robotics science, previously a preserve for international curriculum, in the selected public schools was aimed at inspiring students in science related careers.

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