IBM extends its ICT driven learning push countrywide

About 3,700 teachers across the country will benefit from training in ICT integration in teaching and learning to boost students’ passion in science subjects, starting January.

The design-based learning is aimed at changing the traditional classroom culture for learners (of using textbooks) by incorporating the use of computers and practical work outside class.

The programme dubbed Teachers TryScience (TTS) steered by the Center for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education in Africa (CEMASTEA) in collaboration with the International Business Machines (IBM)ompany targets science and mathematics in primary and secondary schools.

Learning in Kenya is largely theoretical where students are made to absorb content for examination purposes but end up without practical skills. Employers have raised concern about the quality of Kenyan graduates.

READ: IBM bets on tech to address learning hurdles in Mombasa

So big has the problem been that President Uhuru Kenyatta has offered tax rebates for companies to recruit interns and pass over skills, to make them employable.

The learning will also work to infuse the culture of entrepreneurship as students are encouraged to engineer solutions through their knowledge of science, technology, engineering and math.

Every county

“We have developed a one week training manual for teachers in leveraging technology during lessons and every county is required to identify between 50 and 100 Sub County trainers teachers for science and art subjects, ICT champions and other stakeholders,” said Stephen Njoroge, CEMASTEA Director.

Many countries in the developing world are unable to compete in innovation globally as their learners do not have access to facilities and training enjoyed by their peers in the developed world.

“About 70 per cent of students who sit for KCSE score Ds in sciences and we want to change that notion in learners as science is the solution for our everyday lives.”

Mr Njoroge was speaking during the launch of the up-scaled IBM-CEMASTEA Teachers TryScience Programme Wednesday, in Nairobi.

“The programme is part of our Sh600m ($60 million) fund for Africa to leverage on technology in sectors such as education and provide tools and resources to spark students’ enthusiasm in the Science subjects. We will be providing hardware and software tools to try and address the work needs and help them prepare for the work place at an early age,” IBM East Africa chief operating officer, Nigel Noble said.