Innovative approaches to STEM Education in Kenya and Sub-Saharan Africa include creating centers of #excellence, empowering all learners in STEM education, and revitalizing societal attitudes towards education. Therefore, it is important to focus on creating specialized centers of #excellence that can provide high-quality #education . Another approach is to promote #digitalliteracy and a fundamental revision of curricula. This can be achieved by developing vocational training programs that are tailored to meet the needs of local communities.
Estonia, China, The United Kingdom, The United States, and Korea among others have developed a #curriculum that involves all the fields of science and mathematics we refer to it as the Stem Curriculum. Kenya is the country that came closest to it in Africa together with South Africa and Rwanda but here in Kenya, the closest we ever came to a stem curriculum is through The Digital Literacy Program (DLP). The digital literacy program is a government-backed program that wanted to create digital students and citizens who had literacy in what is going on in the modern world. With tech skills and online safety management being key goals of the programs. In the first year of implementing the program, the government supplied digital devices, set up the infrastructure, trained teachers, and created awareness but that was not enough for the program to become successful. With a lack of private partnerships, the program was doomed to fail before it started.
It is with this result that private EdTech startups such as; Afribot Robotics, Transcend Network, Zeraki, UPTYKE CONSULTING LTD, and others were formed to try and fill that gap. Afribot, Transcend, and other tech start-ups are working on an integrated stem curriculum that will incorporate all fields from robotics, AI, biotech and gene editing technology, 3D & edge computing, mathematics, and space science and technology. With this, we envision a dream to tap all the abilities in our kids. Stem curriculum sparks #creativityskills and #cognitive abilities in kids but educators will need special training to get motivation before integrating stem activities in their classes. With the dawn of #4ir, we envision a country where every kid achieving the state of digital literacy will be a basic need. UPTYKE CONSULTING LTD Inclusive Learning project is a project that aims to support curriculum and e-learning developers, to make educational content accessible by translating it into formats that can be accessed by Special Needs Education (SNE) students in primary schools.
A smart classroom is the modern concept of the current education system but setting up the infrastructure for such has been a problem for some time now. Local manufacturers such as Afribot Robotics are changing that by bringing educational robotic kits to schools across the country at an affordable fee designed for the local market. With such companies working on African products for Africa, the future is bright and this proves that local techies can thrive in Africa. Transcend technologies develop the platform and other tools that will facilitate the stem curriculum. UPTYKE CONSULTING LTD offers consultation services on the implementation of Educational Technology materials and devices conceptualized within existing education ecosystems. #Memoi another startup wants to create AI, Blockchain, and cybersecurity clubs across the country for girls in schools.
With all this and other startups coming soon the future of education is bright in Kenya.
Technology has the ability and will bring #equity to the elite-considered educational system not only here in Kenya but in sub-Saharan Africa. Education in sub-Saharan Africa is a matter of luck and privilege. This has widened the gap between the rich, Middle income, and Lower income group in the country.
Innovative approaches to STEM education in Kenya and Sub-Saharan Africa have the potential to create a significant impact on the region’s economy and society. It is important that STEM-related organizations and education in Africa have African leadership, not just international leadership, and empower Africans to become involved in order to ensure that projects are sustainable for African nations long-term. By doing so, African nations can develop a highly skilled workforce that can drive innovation and economic growth in the region.
I hope STEM education can drive #innovation by teaching students how to think critically and solve problems creatively. By learning these #skills , students can become innovators who create new products and services that improve people’s lives.
For example, STEM education has been instrumental in driving sustainable innovation through the circular economy. By reducing waste and promoting sustainable practices, STEM education can help create more efficient and sustainable systems that benefit both people and the planet.
Hope this #blog is insightful and useful. Keep sharing your experiences and suggestions on topics you would like for us to delve into…
Lilian Kawira & Khal Saleita, digital editors…