Custom Adv 1
Published in CEMASTEA News Written by January 18 2021

Director CEMASTEA Jacinta Akatsa HSC presents a laptop, a trophy and certificates to Mr Jeremiah M. Njeri, a teacher at Wajir High School who emerged the North Eastern regional winner (teachers’ category) in the Remote Learning Competition.

Published in CEMASTEA News Written by August 17 2020

The Centre for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education in Africa (CEMASTEA) has launched free online webinar series on "Educational Innovation in STEM: Towards Enhancing Continual Learning during Crisis Times". The well-paced five day hands / minds-on training is staggered to twice a week on Tuesday and Thursday East Africa Time. The course attracted over 450 participants who include; ministry of education officials, university lecturers, directors in charge of mathematics and science education, teacher trainers, school principals, teachers, quality assurance officers, and NGOs all drawn from 19 countries. For effective learning interactions, they have been grouped into cohorts of 100 each. The one-month online webinar series will discuss pedagogical entrepreneurship cycle that supports blended learning. The following are snap shots of the second session of cohort two held on 6th August, 2020.

The chief guest, Mr. Abdi, the Director General, Ministry of Education, Kenya presided over the opening ceremony of the ongoing online webinar training and informed the participants that the educationists are devising innovative ways of delivering curriculum without face to face interaction between the learners and the teachers. “It is important to provide continuity of learning despite all the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic” He said that it is good to keep the learners busy not only through academic learning but also through life skills. He mentioned that home schooling which was only limited to a few has since changed overtime thereby giving us a glimpse on how education could change for the better in the long run. He lauded the Centre for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education in Africa (CEMASTEA) for being in the forefront of utilizing technology and reaching out to teachers and education stakeholders wherever they are giving an opportunity to perfect on technology and building on the future systems of education. He thanked the Director CEMASTEA, the team and partners for coming up with the noble idea of virtual sessions not only for STEM subjects, but also useful in other subjects in the curriculum.

The opening keynote was delivered by Mrs. Jacinta Akatsa the Director, Centre for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education in Africa (CEMASTEA). In her speech she delved on supporting learning continuity through education innovation in STEM through experiences and innovations. The speech focused participants on the strengths, weaknesses and opportunities during a crisis. She encouraged the participants to develop innovative solutions and actions to address the need and mitigate the effects of the long school closure.

The team of facilitators taking the participants through sessions:

  

                            

Participants were divided into discussion group activities in order to apply learnt principles. They also came up with some initiatives that they shared with the members in the group.

 

Participants in group activities

Article by Mrs. Mary Sichangi, Coordinator Partnerships and Linkages and Dan Orero, Corporate Communications Officer II - CEMASTEA

Published in CEMASTEA News Written by April 09 2020

 

CEMASTEA has been conducting professional development of science and mathematics teachers to change their attitudes as well as those of their students. The professional development is also conducted to shift the teaching from teacher-centered to learner-centered pedagogies. While there is commendable success in this direction, there is little empirical evidence of how the professional development initiatives affect the pedagogies that the teachers employ in their classrooms.

 

This impact analysis study used trained research assistants drawn from a pool of Quality Assurance and Standards Officers (QASOs) with a Science and Mathematics background to follow 40 carefully sampled teachers who had undertaken training through CEMASTEA involving Inquiry-based learning (IBL) and 5E instructional Model strategies. The teachers together with 811 of their students were selected from eight counties.

 

The following are findings of this research

Changes in the student’s attitudes in science and mathematics. The students hold a positive attitude towards science and Mathematics that measured 3.82 on a scale of 1-5. This attitude is not uniform for all subjects and seems to have greatly changed in favour of Physics.

Leaner-centeredness of lessons. The students reported that for every two weeks 71% of their lessons were leaner-centred. For example, in chemistry, 6.5 out of 8 lessons offered in two weeks had hands-on activities for students.

High pedagogical knowledge but lower content knowledge:  45% of the content in the lesson observed had tasks designed at the low “confirmatory” level of inquiry and another 42.5% at “structured” level of inquiry. Teachers rarely made changes in the material as presented in the course books. This may be due to low content mastery, it was noted that when in class, 53.1% of the teachers operated at higher levels of inquiry (i.e., “guided and “open” inquiry) often characterised by open-ended questions that extended learners engagement. This means that the development of pedagogical knowledge is good but there were gaps in the development of content knowledge. 

 

Besides, the study showed that the teachers’ practice was affected by the following issues

  • Inadequate infrastructure including laboratory space and equipment, and ICT infrastructure
  • Low morale especially due to lack of support by the school administration as well as strenuous workloads
  • Syllabus coverage with emphasis is on the pace of coverage at the expense of quality teaching. Principals did not support teaching for conceptual learning and understanding.
  • Entry characteristics of learners are deteriorating, and in many ways becoming more diverse. There are also more students with special needs. It is increasingly becoming necessary to differentiate instructions on this basis.

 

Recommendations

  • Leverage on ICT to extend professional development beyond the INSET workshop, to reach more teachers at a time, improve communities of practice among the teachers, host and share exemplar practices on an accessible cloud platform.
  • Increase frequency and length of contact with teachers to adequately inculcate a modern teaching philosophy as well as increase uptake of new pedagogies.
  • Efforts should focus teachers on improving Content mastery by focusing teachers on designing alternative activities.
  • There is an increasing need to integrate strategies for learners with Special needs
  • More research: How does fast-tracking content coverage affects learning outcomes? What is the extent of diversity in the current classes? What is the impact of the current efforts in integrating ICT?

 

The study recommends that to curb the dynamic variations in the students’ attitudes in mathematics and science, CEMASTEA should consider ways they can encourage interdisciplinary collaborations. The rigidity to textbooks that limits the teacher’s ability to design suitable tasks can be mitigated through encouraging creative and exciting explorations such as those in the CEMASTEAs training manuals. The students also recommend that CEMASTEA tries to train teachers as close as possible to the opening day for schools to allow them to practice what they have learned while it is still fresh in their minds.

Published in CEMASTEA News Written by March 13 2020
Article written by: Sarafina Njeri,Dorothy Nyerere and Dan orero
Photos by: Dan Orero

The career fair commonly themed as ‘Careers for the Future’ is an annual event by myNETWORK with the purpose to motivate ambitious young people with the thirst for more information to improve their careers. This year’s event was held from January 17 – 18, 2020.

 About 35 institutions of higher learning exhibited at the event showcasing different opportunities they have for learning as far as careers and opportunities are concerned.