Tap children's potential at early stage, Machogu urges

Education CS Ezekiel Machogu when he appeared before the Public Investments Committee on Governance and Education at the Parliament buildings, Nairobi on October 11,2023. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

Education stakeholders have been urged monitor children’s growth and development immediately they are enrolled in school to realise their full potential.

Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu said this will foster the development of communication, critical thinking and problem solving, imagination, creativity, citizenship, self-efficacy and digital literacy of the children.

Machogu said children have untapped potential which should be nurtured early in life.

‘‘No child is a failure. It’s only us, the adults, who have failed to tap the potential of every child. That is the reason why Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) is focusing on summative assessment,” Machogu stated.

He was speaking during the opening of the 2023 Teach for All Global Conference in Nairobi.

‘‘The meeting brings together stakeholders to mobilize the promising future leaders to grow and strengthen the movement for education. They are working out to develop collective leadership to ensure all children have the opportunity to feel their potential,’’ Machogu said.

The details are contained in a speech read on his behalf by the Director General, in the Ministry Dr. Elyas Abdi.

The summit brings together efforts from over 600 educators, leaders, and supporters worldwide across 62 countries.

It symbolizes the resilience, creativity and collective strength of individuals committed to expanding education opportunities to children worldwide.

The meeting was organised by Teach for All, an organisation that trains young people on leadership.

The three days conference was however hosted by Teach for Kenya, an organisation that posts tutors from universities to schools in marginalised areas to supplement staffing.

Teach for Kenya Chief Executive Officer Yukabeth Kidenda challenged the education stakeholders to ensure that all students are given equal opportunity to thrive.

"Our shared goal is not merely to educate, but also to create leaders. Africa, with its rich tapestry of cultures, traditions and stories, holds countless lessons on Leadership. We believe that given opportunity, every child can lead, and we have to ensure we commit to unlocking that leadership,’’ she said.

Kidenda reiterated that culture and mindset really matter in learners, hence is important to start young - Insights on leadership development in these children.

The three days meeting will see delegates share experiences and knowledge on the latest trends in the education sector.

Machogu urged the participants to explore ways of ensuring learning is not interrupted in case of emergencies.

‘‘I believe you will leverage technology to ensure that teaching and learning is not interfered with during future pandemics. This unprecedented time, the owners of education and rescilious of global education communities need to be focused,’’ Machogu said.

The CS further said, that although the girl child still lags behind in accessing education, the Ministry has prioritized giving all children equal opportunity to realize their full potential.

‘‘Kenya has put its foot forward in addressing the issue of gender parities and inclusivity within the education framework.

There are some regions of this country where the girl child is still way behind, there are emerging reasons where the boy child is taking challenges, but as a country, we are taking cognisant of the challenges and addressing them,’’ Machogu said.

Teach for All Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Wendy Kopp said the meeting will make a big difference in the lives of growing children in public schools across vulnerable areas.

‘‘I don’t think there’s a way to put the world on a truly different trajectory towards peace, justice & sustainability without developing the young people in classrooms today as leaders with agency, awareness, empathy, problem-solving & critical thinking skills,’’ Kopp said.

Teach for All Global Network board chairman Gbenga Oyebode said this is an opportunity to change societies through imparting knowledge to children.

‘‘We are talking of developing students as leaders in this continent. We need to focus on leadership, not just as teachers being leaders but as students as leaders,’’ Oyebode said.

‘‘They are able to change the way, their communities and their countries operate.’’