A High Level Webinar on the Status of STEM Education at Secondary School Level in Africa
Written By: Mary W. Sichangi & Gregory Njogu
The high level webinar on the Status of STEM Education in Secondary Schools in Africa was hosted by the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) through its Inter-Country Quality Node on Mathematics and Science Education (ICQN-MSE) on 24th February 2022. In attendance were Ministers of Education, senior education officials, leaders from STEM-based organizations, development partners, teachers and key education stakeholders.
The keynote address was delivered by Dr. Sara Ruto, Chief Administration Secretary, Ministry of Education-Kenya on the importance of STEM Education in transforming society towards global status. In her remarks, she encouraged all to work together to strengthen the quality of STEM education. She applauded ADEA’s efforts in strengthening synergy between public and private sectors.
The report on the status of STEM Education at secondary school level in Africa was presented by Mrs. Mary Sichangi, the coordinator of ADEA’s ICQN-MSE. The report revealed challenges that the continent faces in achieving quality STEM Education namely; inadequate resources and facilities to support STEM education, poor pedagogical practices and inadequate number of teachers of STEM; and a general lack of interest in STEM subjects among students. Arising from the study findings, a monitoring and evaluation framework was designed to strengthen the capacity of education systems in Africa to improve the quality of STEM education at secondary school level. More information on the report can be accessed via the link https://www.adeanet.org/en/publications/adea
In attendance were; Ministers of Education from Mauritius, Sierra Leone, Rwanda, senior ministry officials from Senegal, Namibia and Kenya. They made presentations, highlighting the status of STEM education in their respective countries. The presentations revealed that the uptake of STEM subjects is low, evidence of gender differences in enrollment and students perceive STEM as a difficult discipline. It was apparent that African governments were implementing various initiatives to promote STEM education. The meeting concluded that key on the list of next action points; countries need to establish national STEM education strategies and policies, increase investment in STEM education, institutionalize monitoring and evaluation mechanisms, align policies in teacher capacity development, address the gender gap in STEM education and conduct a similar study to cover primary school and tertiary education levels for a holistic view. The forum was officially closed by Mr. Albert Nsengiyumva, the Executive Secretary, ADEA who thanked the participants for sharing experiences from their respective countries.
Mary Sichangi, Coordinator-ICQN-MSE making the presentation on the status of STEM Education in Africa