CEMASTEA Trains Junior School Teachers On Pedagogical Content

The Centre for Mathematics, Science, and Technology Education in Africa (CEMASTEA) plans to train 9,639 Junior School (JSS) teachers across the country, to equip them with practical skills and knowledge for effective implementation of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education, under the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC).

The training, whose theme, is enhancing teachers Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK) for effective implementation of the CBC in JSS, targets teachers of pre-technical studies, agriculture, and nutrition to enhance their capacity in teaching and learning through learner-centred strategies.

Deputy Director, Training at CEMASTEA, Patrick Kogolla, said JSS teachers play a key role in laying the foundation of CBC, and the training will support the transition of 60 per cent of learners to the STEM pathway in Senior School by addressing issues that relate to the capacity, interests, and needs of the learners.

‘These trainings are meant to strengthen teaching so that more
students can opt for the STEM pathway in senior school,’ said Kogolla.

The Deputy Director training disclosed that CEMASTEA is currently conducting a four-day regional training for 292 county trainers in Machakos, Naguru, and Kisumu, who will in turn cascade the training to teachers across all 47 counties.

Speaking today at Machakos University during the workshop for 92 county trainers drawn from 17 counties, Kogolla said trainings are expected to help the teachers understand the curriculum designs that the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) has prepared for JSS, how to interpret the designs, and how to implement learner-centred pedagogies, which are key principles in CBC.

‘Learner-centred pedagogies make the child the centre of the learning process in the classroom. This approach is very key because it makes the learner to actively participate and develop crucial skills,’ added the Deputy Director of Training.

He pointed out that the training will also address the integration of digital lit
eracy, which is a core competency in CBC.

‘The teachers will be trained on how to integrate ICT in teaching and learning for improved learning outcomes,’ said Kogolla.

He said the trainings will be conducted in the counties starting next week.

Speaking during the official opening of the Machakos regional county trainers workshop, the Director General, Ministry of Education, Dr. Elyas Abdi, noted that CBC aligns with the government’s Bottom-up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA) in developing interventions aimed at growing the economy and improving the welfare of citizens.

In a speech read on his behalf by Hellen Avisa, the Deputy Head of JS, Dr.Elyas reiterated the Ministry of Education’s commitment to supporting CEMASTEA’s programmes that are geared towards establishing a strong foundation in STEM education under the CBC.

‘The ministry is also keen on addressing inequalities to achieve a level playing field for learners,’ he added.

Dr. Elyas underscored the need to adapt learner-centred strategies, s
aying the approach ensures inclusion and actively engages the learners, hence equipping them with the necessary skills and knowledge required to navigate the current dynamic world.

The director also laid emphasis on the integration of technology in teaching and learning to capture and sustain the attention span of learners in the 21st century.

He, however, noted that the capability of JS teachers to effectively integrate technology remains a major concern and hailed CEMASTEA for developing programmes that have the potential to transform teaching and learning practices in the implementation of STEM education in JS.

‘There’s also a need for teachers to create communities of practice to deliver quality STEM education,’ said Dr.Elyas.

The director called for mentorship and guidance in STEM-related fields for young people to ensure that they exploit their talents and explore opportunities both locally and globally while contributing to the economy.

‘Mentorship and guidance in STEM fields is one of the fastest
-growing areas to get young people interested in educational opportunities and global competitiveness. This will minimise the dilution of the talent pipeline that continues to hurt the economy,’ he said.

Dr. Elyas expressed his confidence that the training will give the teachers new insights and practical skills to improve learning outcomes.

Maina Cliff,a teacher at Bishop Njenga Mixed Secondary School and a JSS county trainer for Agriculture and Nutrition in Taita Taveta, said the new teaching methodologies that involve inquiry-based learning will shift the focus from the teachers to the students and make them engaged throughout the learning process.

‘The old methodology of teaching that most relied on lecturing made students passive, but with the new strategies, the students actively participate and are able to gain practical skills that can enhance their creativity and innovativeness,’ said Cliff.

He said the training will bridge the gaps that exist in the teaching of STEM-related fields at CBC.

training will improve our pedagogical skills and will in turn enhance the content delivery of the curriculum through student-oriented approaches that will give learners hands-on practical skills that can help them solve emerging problems in society,’ said the County Trainer.

Source: Kenya News Agency