Conference Report for COMSTEDA 17
The 17th Conference for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education in Africa [COMSTEDA 17] and, Annual SMASE Africa Delegates meeting was held at CEMASTEA, Nairobi, Kenya in December, 16th – 20th 2019. The theme of the conference was, “Teacher Professional Development in Africa: Knowledge, Skills, Values & Attitudes in STEM Learning Environments.” 271 out of expected 250 delegates attended all drawn from 12 countries namely; Kenya, Botswana, Namibia, Malawi, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia, Mozambique, Niger, Tanzania, and Malawi. Three ministers of education; Hon Dr. John Chrysostom Muyingo, Minister of Higher Education, Uganda; Hon Makwinja Tebogo, Assistant Minister of Basic Education – Botswana; Hon. David Mabumba, Minister of General Education – Zambia attended the forum. Other organizations represented in the conference were; African Union Commission Head Quarters – Ethiopia, Siemens Stifftung – Kenya, Coalition of Concerned Teachers – Ghana, Education department of the Ministry of Defence Army – Nigeria, Snaplify, Allan and Gill Philanthropy, Sci-Bono Discovery Centre – South Africa, Science Equipment Production Unit – Kenya, AFEW – Kenya, Public and Private Universities, Global Minimum, Global Peace Foundation – Kenya, and Shule Direct – Tanzania.
The opening ceremony was graced by the Minister of Education, Kenya represented by Dr. Belio R. Kipsang, the Principal Secretary, Early learning and Basic Education. In his opening remarks, he reiterated the importance of STEM education in enhancing national development. He noted that the conference provided an excellent opportunity for sharing practical and evidence-based research outcomes, and best practices. He said that STEM-based innovations control social-economic status and Africa is in the process of adopting it. He challenged delegates to equip young people in STEM education because it will ensure that they become job creators.