Kenyatta University Thursday announced plans to offer short courses for retooling teachers in an effort to enhance the teaching of coding and computational thinking in Kenyan primary and secondary schools.
The short courses will focus on providing teachers with a solid understanding of the fundamental concepts of coding, as well as the tools and techniques needed to teach it effectively in the classroom, said Kenyatta University Vice-Chancellor Prof Paul Wainaina.
“As a key stakeholder in the Education sector in this country, we took notice of last year’s approval of curriculum support material on coding by the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development,” said Prof Wainaina.
“To supplement this historic move, we are therefore taking our responsibility and position to ensure that our teachers are equipped with the latest knowledge and skills to deliver their mandate effectively.”
The partnership with Kodris Africa cements this initiative.
The short course will cover topics such as curriculum development, assessment and evaluation, and classroom management and will be managed by three faculty members.
The team leader will be Dr. Francis Kiarie of the Department of Management Science, supported by Dr. Olivia Opere of the Department of Educational Foundations and Prof Wainaina. of the Department of Computing and Information Technology.
“Our commitment to enhancing computer programming and digital skills in school is borne out of our understanding that these skills are highly sought-after today and will greatly contribute to Kenya’s participation in the global digital economy,” said the VC.
The training of Trainers model with Kodris Africa will see thousands of Kenyan teachers in both private and public schools trained in coding who will transfer this knowledge to the classroom. It will be the first model of its type on the continent.
“Firstly, coding teaches children how the functions that are found on a computer are built. Therefore, they learn how to become producers rather than merely consumers of the digital economy. Secondly, as technology becomes increasingly integrated into every aspect of society, the ability to code is becoming a fundamental skill for many careers. Thirdly, coding helps with problem-solving: Learning how to code helps students develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills, which are valuable in any field. Coding can open doors to good career opportunities in technology and related fields, which are some of the most in-demand and well-paying jobs today,” said Prof. Wainaina.
“Overall, learning how to code can help Kenyan primary and secondary school students to be more successful in school and in their future careers. The initiative we are announcing today is, therefore, part of Kenyatta University’s long-standing commitment to providing top-quality education and training to educators in the country as part of our contribution to the continuous enhancement of our nation’s human resource capacity.”
The chair of KICD Prof. Elishiba Kimani said the partnership will a long way to enhancing the digital revolution and equipping teachers with the requisite skills to meet the needs of preparing pupils in both primary and secondary with coding skills which KICD was on board with the initiative.
Kodris Africa CEO Mugumo Munene said the partnership with KU carries immense potential to positively impact society.
“We are excited about this historic milestone in the area of digital literacy and the impactful value-add it will have on teachers who daily impart knowledge to young minds. We have been keenly aware that the delivery of coding and computational thinking lessons in schools in Kenya requires a multi-stakeholder approach. We are honored that Kenyatta University is on board to and ready to prepare teachers to deliver these lessons which will in turn create a great impact as learners acquire 21st-century skills,” said Munene.