A course on ICT integration in education started with a face-to-face three-day workshop at the Centre for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education in Africa (CEMASTEA), Nairobi, Kenya from 19 to 21 January 2016. The course will continue online from February to May 2016 in order to prepare teachers in using ICT in the roll-out of the Digital Literacy Programme of the Government of Kenya.
The 59 participants to the course represent the 47 counties of Kenya. Mr Wekesa Abraham from Turkana County, one of the participants, said, “It was the best, though challenging. I thought I was a guru in ICT but I have learnt a lot and would wish to never miss any other ICT training.” The participants were taken through the KICT-CFT Course that aims at:
- developing Kenyan teachers’ skills in knowledge deepening and more specifically in applying principles of ICT in education and other key concepts and processes;
- designing a unit plan with ICT and develop relevant classroom activities;
- designing online materials using an authoring environment or tools;
- managing the use of supplemental ICT resources with individuals and small groups of learners; and
- using ICT to search for, manage, analyse, integrate and evaluate information for professional learning. The course is based on the UNESCO ICT Competency Framework for Teachers.
The course is a vital preparation for teachers to take full advantage of the Digital Literacy Programme, rolled out be the government of Kenya. The programme emphasizes Kenya’s long-term vision of creating a knowledge-based economy. Teacher training is critical component of integrating ICT in education and the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology is mandated to develop a skilled and innovative man power in Kenya and works towards the integration of ICT at all levels of learning. Teachers also need to embrace change with the new paradigm shift in teaching and learning brought about by the demands of ICT tools. The course is the result of collaboration among UNESCO, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MOEST), Teachers Service Commission (TSC), Centre for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education in Africa (CEMESTEA), Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD), and Airtel Kenya.
The participants enjoyed the face-to-face training and are looking forward to the three-month online course. Airtel joined the training initiative to provide the participating teachers and online facilitators with data bundles and modems to access and participate actively in the course. Mr Abdiwahab Mohammed from Garissa County stated, “It was captivating, exciting and educative. I wish the same could be enrolled to other teachers in school so that ICT integration becomes a success in our schools.” According to Ms Susan Kanyiri from Kiambu County, “this experience has been very rich and she has learnt a lot and polished her ICT skills. “We have been able to interact with like-minded people from various counties, and we are grateful for the opportunity and hope to excel at all levels,” she added.
The initiative builds on a generous grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation (USA) and is a direct follow up to 2012 World Congress on Open Educational Resources which released the Paris Declaration on OERs calling on governments to openly license all educational materials produced with public funds. UNESCO has been working with the Governments of Kenya, Oman, Bahrain and Indonesia to implement dynamic and relevant policies to guide and recognize teachers and learners to find, adapt, use, develop and share open educational resources.