International webinar on inclusive STEM education
Written by Mary W. Sichangi & Irene Vutale
The Centre for Mathematics, Science, and Technology Education in Africa (CEMASTEA) organized a webinar under the theme, “Inclusive STEM education” from 4th to 6th May, 2022. The objective of the webinar was to sensitize partners and stakeholders on the center’s programmes in order to identify areas of mutual interest and spark the establishment of synergetic networks and linkages with organizations. The virtual forum attracted an attendance of up to 27 organizations with interest in STEM-education from Africa, USA, Middle East and Canada.
The opening ceremony keynote address was delivered by the Director General, Ministry of Education, represented by Mr. Paul Kibet, Director-Secondary Education, Ministry of Education, Kenya. In his speech, he lauded CEMASTEA for providing leadership in unifying STEM-based organizations through the webinar. He emphasized the importance of inclusive STEM education in the 21st-century as it relates directly to the achievement of the SDGs, particularly goal four on “inclusive and equitable quality education, that promotes lifelong learning opportunities for all.” He urged all organizations present to work at strengthening the quality of STEM education, towards achieving social change and development across Africa.
The three-day webinar was characterized by presentations with participating organizations pitching on respective activities what they do. The presentations revealed relevant programs being undertaken in the area of STEM education leading to cross-pollination of ideas and best practice. In addition, they revealed crosscutting issues affecting STEM education and innovative interventions. The cross-cutting issues include: limited resources, regional and national peace, ICT, gender, special needs and disabilities, entrepreneurship and innovations and vulnerable communities. It was evident that synergy is required for the various actors to address the crosscutting issues in STEM education for social good and posterity.
In her closing remarks, Mrs. Jacinta Akatsa the Director CEMASTEA appreciated the efforts being made by stakeholders to strengthen STEM education in Africa. She reiterated the importance of creating synergy among the organizations with interest in STEM education in order to strengthen STEM education and proposed the creation of a coordinating committee to strengthen the networks and linkages. The Committee will draw its membership from African regions and the diaspora. The coordinating committee will be entrusted with compiling activity reports to consolidate actionable recommendations and assign subcommittees with related functional areas.